7 Traffic Killers [Must Know]

Traffic is the lifeblood of most blogs or websites. Because of traffic, bloggers are able to successfully monetize their blogs. And because of traffic, bloggers continue to improve blogging. Having been able to establish the significance of TRAFFIC to a blog, I have decided to talk about it in today's post.

Generating traffic to one's blog or website is one of the hottest topics that bloggers usually look for using search engines. A lot has already been said about how to generate traffic or increase traffic to your blog so I came up with the idea of presenting traffic in a different paradigm. In this post I will be talking about the major TRAFFIC KILLERS; the common futile practices that bloggers usually do to attract traffic to their website or blog. I will also detail the impact of these traffic killers and provide you with some suggestions that will help improve your traffic.

An Overview of Traffic

Traffic used in this article pertains to the visits made to a certain website or blog. Traffics can be classified according to their sources.

1. Natural Traffic: Traffic from search engines or natural searches. (e.g. Google, Ask etc.)

2. Traffic From Referrals: Traffic generated from links in other websites or blogs that leads to your blog. Referrals may also include your links from your page to your other pages. (Internal Links)

3. Paid Traffic: Traffic generated by paying publishers, bloggers or webmasters to be featured on their blogs or websites. (e.g. Adword, Affiliate Programs etc.)

The 7 Traffic Killers

Traffic Killer # 1: Poor Title and Description

People use search engines to find a blog or website that can provide them the information they are looking for. For instance, I want to get more information about blogging so I opened Google and typed the word 'blogging' then hit enter. Google will return a list of blogs or websites that contain the information I am looking for. The list is made up of links to blogs and websites with their respective Titles and Descriptions. Google and other search engines are limited to the information that bloggers have provided about their blog's title and description. Hence, ineffective titles and descriptions discourage searchers to click on it.

Titles and descriptions that you use on your blog should effectively describe the nature and content of your blog or website. Don't use titles such as 'My Blog' or 'My Weblog' because people normally do not click on these links. If your blog is all about tips and guides for bloggers then use these words as your title and description. You should also take time to carefully research the most appropriate words that you should use in your title and description. It always has an impact on your blog.

The words EFFECTIVE and FREE are traffic magnets and people are usually driven to click on these links. You can read the 7 Blogging Mistakes that Bloggers do When Building Links for a more comprehensive coverage of this topic. The more technical issues on title and description using Meta tags and Title tags will be discussed in a separate article in the succeeding post.

Traffic Killer # 2: Begging for Traffic

Begging for traffic is a popular practice among bloggers especially those who are starting to blog and those who have difficulties attracting visitors. Out of desperation for traffic, they join forums and leave comments to other blogs begging for traffic. These are the words that they often use. 'Pls. Pls. Pls. visit my blog' or 'Show some love, please visit my blog'. Instead of begging people to visit your blog, tell them what they'll find on your blog and tell them what you have to offer.

What's wrong with requesting people to visit your blog? Well, requesting people to check out your latest post is not wrong as long as you don't sound begging and desperate. Otherwise, people will think that your blog sucks. Or that you've got lousy contents that's why nobody wants to visit it. As a result, they'll will not visit your blog. Give some dignity to your blog... don't beg for visitors.

Traffic Killer # 3: Eye-Sore Layout

When someone visits your blog, it's important to make your links to your other posts noticeable and attractive (internal links). This will motivate your visitors to stay longer into your blog and read more of your posts. It's not enough to attract visitors to drop by your blog. What's more important is to let them stay longer into your blog and read more about your posts. Most importantly, you should give them reasons or impetus to keep coming back and check your blog for updates.

I have come across several blogs that are difficult to navigate partly because of the absence of links to their other posts and partly because of its layout and color combination. I usually don't stay longer than 1 minute to a blog that uses red as a background and green as the text color.

Here are some suggestions to increase the time spent by your visitors on your blog.

Firstly, you should have links to your other post from the homepage of your blog. It is advisable that you have an archive on your side bar to allow easier navigation. Or you can create links to your best posts and place it on your side bar. You can also include links to your other posts at the end of each of your articles. For navigation purposes, you may want to consider having a sitemap of your blog or website. This is friendly to both the search engines and your visitors.

Secondly, work out on improving your layout, color combination and your style. I advice you to get feedbacks from your friends. Invite them to check out your blog and navigate through your pages. Afterward, ask them about their experience. Ask them whether navigating through your pages was convenient and ask them what they think of your color combination, layout etc. The feedbacks you will get from them will be very useful.

Traffic Killer # 4: Low Quality or Bad Content

How does a blog increases traffic through its content? If someone who visits a blog with unique, informative and relevant content, they will most likely talk about it on their blog or create a link to it or will refer your blog to their friends. As the links to your blog increases or the information about your blog reaches more people, expect an increase in your traffic. Always remember that a low quality content is definitely a traffic killer. It does not only deprive you of more links but it will create a negative impression from your visitors discouraging them from revisiting your blog.

Another factor that makes your content unpleasant is when you copy posts from other blogs. Once your visitors learn that you plagiarize other blog's content, they'll lack confidence to your blog and will be discouraged to pay another visit. To avoid this traffic killer, do not plagiarize. Work hard to create quality content for your blog instead.

Traffic Killer # 5: Unmet Expectations

One of the most unpleasant practices of bloggers is to describe their blogs with exaggeration. (e.g. Visit this blog… it's the best blog on earth, or XXX blog is the best blog that provides nothing but the best blogging resources) Using exaggerated words to describe your blog may attract people to visit it and may result to a spike in your traffic but will not be sustainable. The explanation to this is simple. Assuming that someone has visited your blog with high expectations because of the words you've used to describe it, but you failed to meet their expectations, your visitors will not pay another visit to your blog for sure.

In order to avoid unmet expectations which is one of the major traffic killers, never exaggerate your description. Use precise words instead.

Traffic Killer # 6: Negative or Bad Publicity

Publicity is a key element in becoming popular. Paris Hilton became popular after the publicity of the sex scandal she was involved at. Like Paris Hilton, we, bloggers should also be popular in order to drive more traffic into our blog. We can do this through good or positive publicity. Negative publicity, just like what happened to Paris Hilton will not last long. Besides, every time men think about her, they usually think about her sex scandal (well not really all men) which is not really a good thing to be remembered. Opps.. I hope I didn't hurt any Paris Hilton fans here.

Negative publicity or bad publicity may or may not kill your traffic. Most of the time however, it works as a traffic killer. I have seen a lot of bloggers who go around checking other blogs but always leave a negative comment. I have also come across bloggers in forums who are very hostile with their feedbacks and comments. These things create a negative publicity of yourself and your blog. Earning a notorious reputation from your interaction with other bloggers will not help you. Try to be more friendly with the blogging community. Attempting to be the enemy of every blogger is not rewarding. What's rewarding is when you befriend bloggers and appreciate the good things they contribute. Who knows, they might reciprocate this with a link to your blog.

Traffic Killer # 7: Too Much Adverts

I don't think this traffic killer needs a lot of explanation. To put it simple. No one likes to visit a blog full of advertisements. These advertisements discourages your visitors to navigate through your other pages. What's more, advertisements sometimes obfuscate your links to your other posts.

Advertisement is not bad only when it's not too much.

Now your turn. What else do you think are the traffic killers that have been included in this post? I'm sure you've got something to share. Use the comment to include your ideas of 'TRAFFIC KILLERS'. Thank you for your time.