How to Break Through Traffic Barriers

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  • November 13, 2007

Has your website traffic plateaued? Are you stuck on 1000 uniques per day and wondering how to break through the 10,000 visitors per day barrier? If so then this post is for you.

Sound Barrier

The first task is to analyse your search engine traffic. Look at the keywords that are sending you visitors from Google. Are you relying on a few big keywords or is the traffic mostly from hundreds or thousands of long tail queries?

Trusted sites that have little content can very quickly build traffic by producing a lot of extra pages and leveraging the trust of the domain to get thousands of visitors per day for long tail search terms.

The extra pages can be a news section related to your niche if you have time to publish unique and interesting content or a database driven section such as classified ads or a directory of related companies.

A good example of this would be a car insurance website with a low number of pages and a lot of trust. The site could release data pages about every model of car with pictures, second hand prices and a for sale section syndicated from a partner car classifieds site. These thousands of pages would quickly bring thousands of well targeted new visitors every day.

Some sites (especially new ones) have lots of long tail traffic and poor rankings for larger volume keywords. There isn’t much webmasters can do about this other than keep building trusted links and wait until the rankings improve. Use linkbait and social media to accelerate the process and try to rank for a number of good terms rather than just one or two.

If your site has cornered the market and you rank for every one of your target search terms maybe it’s time to broaden your horizons. For example if you run a website about cars you can add a blog about the latest car news, a forum, social network so people can post pictures of cars, a cars for sale section or even “how to” articles so readers can fix their own cars.

Installing this kind of content encourages readers to look at your site on a more regular basis via bookmarks and social news sites which can send much more traffic than search engines.

Use social networks

Sites such as Digg are not really reliable for long term traffic unless you are one of the lucky tech blogs who seem to live on the Digg homepage. However if you can identify a niche within sites like Digg where your content can do well on perhaps a monthly basis this can really make a difference to your traffic figures.

StumbleUpon is great for sending long term traffic and is quite easy to become popular on. Try Stumbling through tags related to your niche to see what sort of content is popular and go away and create some similar pages. Use pictures and make the content non-topical and you will have a nice stream of long term traffic.

Photo credit

Patrick Altoft

About Patrick Altoft

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events.

  • Mark

    Any advice on what to do if you are getting a whole load of long tail keywords, but the short keywords are very competitive on all the search engines?

  • Patrick Altoft

    If you have a lot of long tail traffic you just need to really concentrate on building up your trust.

  • Ivan

    As much as Digg, Reddit and Delicious get a lot of blog posts and articles, Stumble Upon is a great point. I still don’t understand how different types of sites get segmented on SU. Most of the sites that i see on SU are leisure sites, fun or weird sites, little of them are more business focused…

  • Advice Network

    What a great post. Clear and to the point. Simple and easy to follow. I’m just getting my site off the ground, so I’m in the long tail build up trust phase.

  • Seo Design Solutions

    I just wanted to touch on something briefly as well. The long tail vs. vertical marketing channels. Site architecture also has just as much to do with acquiring competitive keywords as link building. Having a themed site with keyword rich naming conventions works wonders, in addition to strong siloing of the internal links. This is the missing ingredient when you want to chop of the long tail and go for the head of competitive keywords in search engines. Combine that with trusted links (Class-C’s), some social bookmarks (high PR) and that should break you through the barrier to entry.

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