The Latest Traffic Shifts part 1 – SEO

The Latest Traffic Shifts part 1 – SEO

One of the challenging things about internet marketing is staying ahead of the traffic curve. The world of the internet is in constant change as is the browsing and usage habits of users. When it comes to acquiring traffic and turning visitors into buyers, what worked just a few short months ago may not work nearly as well today. Things online have an incredibly short shelf life. Unless you keep up with the trends your online business will lose traction.. and that effects your bottom line profits.

So what is happening nowadays? How has web traffic shifted and where should you be to access the most potential customers? Over the next few posts I will be doing a short series on web traffic sources and the latest traffic shifts.

A few years ago everything was about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The key to steady and sizable traffic was to choose a keyword heavy domain name then build a website upon it containing content heavily emphasizing that keyword. Update your META tags and site description with those same words and you had a good chance at ranking on the first page of all the major search engines for your chosen keyword. However as the search engines evolved, they got smarter. Algorithms became much more sophisticated and discriminating. Eventually they were able to penalize sites with weak content or where methods aimed at gaming their ranking system were employed. Additionally, as more and more websites were developed the competition for keywords and quality content exploded.

While SEO is still very important to website owners, ranking high on search engines and receiving the ‘organic’ traffic they provide is much more difficult. Dedicated SEO experts spend hours in study learning the techniques, staying on top of constant changes and monitoring their actions. SEO is not so easy any more. Even when a website is effectively optimized it can take weeks or even months to rise to a respectable ranking position.

One of the areas where SEO is still a bit easier is video marketing. Using some of the traditionally legit ranking techniques formally used for websites it is possible to post a video on YouTube® and have it successfully rank within an hour or two on Google® (sometimes even within minute). For this to happen keywords must be carefully chosen, properly incorporated with the video title, description and video itself (yes, even the spoken words on the video are monitored).  Yes, it still takes some study and practice to develop the skill but ranking videos is a lot like ranking websites used to be.

Is SEO dead? No, definitely not. In fact, I would suggest it is essential that an owner do their absolute best to ensure their website is properly optimized. But as an organic traffic form SEO is difficult and unreliable. If trying to maximize your optimization doesn’t drive you crazy, the constant search engine algorithm changes just might! My advice is to use a good SEO plugin if your website is WordPress® based (I like Yoast SEO) and keep it updated. If your site is HTML based then run it through either an online or stand alone SEO software. Do the best you can, don’t obsess over it. And unless you want to become an SEO expert (and have an abundance of patience) focus instead on traffic acquisition methods that are faster and easier controlled.

Agree? Post your comment below, like this page to your Twitter and Facebook friends.

Think I’m nuts? Comment below too. Tell me how I’m off base, share some ideas.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come back soon to read the next part of this series, “The Latest Traffic Shifts”.

See you then — Ernie


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