I am of the firm opinion that if your site isn’t getting traffic, you are doing one of three things incorrectly. In some cases, fixing the problem is possible while in other cases, you simply need to switch to a different website altogether. Here’s what you need to know:
Let’s start with the SEO issue. Do some research on Adwords and find out which keywords are getting good traffic for your niche. For example, if you were running a website on making money online, then you should put into the Adwords site, “make money online.”
Check to see if you have both long tail and short tail keywords which appear naturally in your content. This shouldn’t be news to anyone, but sometimes, just reviewing the basics is useful. Just make sure you’ve stuck to under 2% keyword density in your writing and ideally around 1%. More than that is keyword spamming and could hurt your rankings.
Next, download the free version of Traffic Travis and punch in your own website as the site to look at. Then, look at the backlink list. It will show you not only the backlinks which are listed in Yahoo Site Explorer, but also the Google Page Rank for each site which links back to you.
If you have only a handful of backlinks listed or all the links are PR0 sites, then you need to improve your backlink strategy. Consider writing some guest blogs, buy some link building services (Quantum SEO Labs offers such a service) and generally do the work that SEO actually involves – getting yourself noticed by the big boys.
The other half of the equation is your content. If you run an auto blog, you can bet that Google has long since detected it and, if they haven’t de-indexed you, they probably have at least pummeled your rankings.
Also, if you have been hiring cheap writers from third world countries, your rankings probably won’t be worth much since you won’t get much in the way of return traffic. As a professional writer, I can tell you from experience that I’ve seen the junk some of my clients have purchased from such cheap writers and it’s the sort of crap that’s never going to get you good traffic.
Finally, let’s talk about niche. Most niches will get at least some traffic simply because of the fact that there are always going to be others who are interested in what you are interested in. However, if you pick a niche which is truly obscure, say for a failed show which lasted four episodes back in 1982 and which no one has ever heard of since then.
If you find that your niche simply isn’t getting much in the way of traffic to begin with, then you probably should switch to something else entirely. Let’s face it, the Phoenix or some other stupid TV show which never really lasted is not likely to get you lots of traffic when you create a website around it.
A Note About Sandboxing
Finally, it’s important to discuss the issue of sandboxing and de-indexing. If your site has been sandboxed (i.e. you aren’t ranking at all – a good way to tell is if your site doesn’t appear anywhere on the first page even for your website name in quotes, unless your site is a popular keyword term like “make money online.”) or de-indexed (type “site:yoursite.com” into Google), then you have additional problems.
Generally, if you’ve been de-indexed, you need to check on what caused you to get de-indexed and then appeal to Google to be re-instated. If you repeatedly get de-indexed, then you probably should try a different URL and forget about using black hat SEO techniques if you want to build website traffic.