Every blogger and website owner wants more traffic, but when the focus shifts from quality content to more visitors a slow erosion of a site’s quality can occur. You probably want more visitors so you can make more money, right? And you know that a great place to get free traffic is from the search engines. So what do you do? You focus solely on how to rank higher in the search engines and make any changes to your blog that will help you in this endeavor.
Your Site is Seen through Different Eyes
But have you stopped to think that Google sees your site differently than your readers. In fact, what may be great for Google may make a terrible experience for your visitors. But if you are only focusing on ranking higher in the search engines and kissing Google’s ring, you will miss out on the best kind of traffic; repeat visitors.
Who Should you Make Happy?
For instance, we have all heard how it is bad to have too many links on one page. But what if I have a website that people love to come to as a resource for finding all kinds of information, and they like that certain page that is full of links because they can always find what they are looking for. Do I change my website to make Google happy?
We have also all heard that we must use proper grammar and spelling on our pages to satisfy the search engine beast, but what if the crowd that visits your website is a little more casual in their speech and they like the slang you use on your blog posts. Do you change to a more “proper” style of speech just to satisfy a search engine?
Search Engines Do Not Own the Internet
What many bloggers fail to realize is that there is more to the internet than just the search engines. There is much more. And even though they may act like it, they are not the police of the internet and you do not HAVE to abide by the rules they have set up. Focus on what is best for your readers if you want to have a successful website that people tell their friends about.
Yes, if you focus on the search engines and getting backlinks you will see a rise in traffic. You may even see a rise in rankings. But I would rather have 100 quality visitors than 1,000 visitors who happen to come across my blog through a search term that gets a lot of traffic but doesn’t convert into sales very well.
Where Your Focus Should Be
I know it’s contrary to common wisdom, but don’t focus on the keywords that get a lot of searches. Focus on the information that your readers want. They are the ones who matter. They are the ones that will make you money and make your blog a success. And they should matter more to you than any algorithm update. When you have loyal readers who love your content, they WILL come back, regardless of what Google just did to your site. Even if your site is completely de-indexed your loyal fan-base will continue to provide you with quality traffic.
Bow down to the whims of search engines and you may find a big slap in the face when you thought you were doing everything to appease the gods. It’s a good thing loyal readers don’t act the same way.
It’s the People That Matter
So if Google does matter more to you than your readers it’s time to make a shift in thinking. It’s not the quick route to success, but if you want to have a successful website for years to come, it’s the brightest path to take. Starting finding other sources of traffic that are less fickle. Utilize social media and social networking as much as you can, but keep the focus on people instead of marketing. Facebook fanpages can be a huge treasure trove of traffic, but you still want to treat your fans like the people they are. After all, it’s not about machines with algorithms. When the day is done, it’s the people that matter.