Web traffic can be acquired in several different ways. There are repeat visitors and paid links and then there are referrals from social media or from other sites who have quoted or mentioned you. These are all critical parts of the traffic generation plan, but the one thing that sits above all of these in terms of importance and influence is search traffic.
Search traffic is acquired from people searching in Google or one of the other search engines – they type in a phrase or keyword and your website is returned as one of the page recommendations. In order for this to happen you need to be properly optimised for search which is not as easy as it sounds.
There are many myths and misconceptions around how to do this right. With that in mind, here are four things you probably didn’t know about the search engine game.
1. Why is SEO important?
You might wonder why search is such an important element in traffic acquisition. The answer is in the sheer volume and the amount of potential contained therein. Google alone is reported to process 63000 searches a second. That is over three and a half million searches in a minute.
So, if getting your SEO right helps you tap into even a fraction of that audience then you are going to be doing very well.
2. The algorithm changes
It is quite hard to know exactly what works and what doesn’t because Google doesn’t want to be manipulated. As such they regularly change their algorithm to ensure that the system can’t be gamed. For this reason, some experts will tell you that you will be brutally punished for duplicate content, while others will say that it doesn’t matter.
The truth is that they may both be right. It is hard to know exactly what the status quo is at any given time.
3. It is not just about content
There is a lot of weight given to content, but the reality is that of the top ten largest sites in the world, only two of them are what would be defined as content sites. So yes, while search engines like content, they are aware that not everything is content-based.
The ultimate goal of a site like Google is to return the best recommendation for their users, and if a user is looking to buy tickets to Spain or to open a bank account in the Bahamas then it may well end up that the recommendation is not to a content site. But that is not to say that the site that it ends up recommending does not have good optimisation.
4. Google loves video
Recent reports suggest that Google loves video and rich media so much, that if you have a video on your home page then you have immediately doubled your chance of appearing Google’s first page of recommendations. And we all know that this is where you want to be. Sites that appear on the second page of results or worse have a very small chance of being clicked on.
The goal is to be listed first, and if video doubles your chance of making the home page; well then, you know what you must do.
Now you know what are the things that contribute to your web traffic. If you want to increase your traffic, what you need to do first is doing those four things well. It’s by all mean not easy, but very doable.
Google Search is your friend, so you can always find the best practices to do those well. Of course, if you have the budget, hiring a specialist may proven to be more effective and efficient. The choice is yours.