Website Traffic – Waiting for Google
I’ve stressed over and over how important it is to get traffic to your site. In fact, it’s where you’re going to spend some 90% of your time when you build a Website with the intention of making money.
The greatest site in the world is useless without Website traffic.
You need visitors to make money. It’s that simple.
Building a site is relatively easy. So is finding a product to promote. Creating good content is harder, but the hardest part is finding a way to get people to visit you so they can buy whatever it is that you’re selling or promoting.
There are lots of ways to generate Website traffic, from proper onsite SEO to social media to paid advertising. These things all contribute getting traffic to your site.
Sometimes, however, you just need time. Everyone wants to get traffic to their site immediately, and that’s understandable. After all, you’re paying to put that site online from day one, and it would be nice to have that site rise to the top of the Google rankings right away, so you can start making money.
If you’re determined to make a career of Internet marketing, however, you should be prepared to play the long game. Work on your site. Add good content. And be patient.
Website Traffic and Google
Once or twice a year, Google makes major changes to the algorithm that they use to determine which sites should rank where. These algorithm changes often disrupt the affiliate marketing community, as many marketers see their traffic drop substantially as Google tries to improve the “user experience.”
I’ve seen that happen many times. Sometimes the drop in traffic is temporary, and sometimes it’s permanent. About a year ago, my retail site saw a 40% drop in traffic after a Google update.
Fortunately, that drop only lasted about three months, and then the traffic returned to prior levels.
Sometimes, however, the results of a Google algorithm change can be for the good – and dramatic.
Google had a major update about a month ago, and it affected one of my sites in a way that still has me scratching my head.
Most of my work has been reviewing products in the make money online niche, where products tend to have a rather short lifespan.
Someone writes a book or creates a piece of software that’s supposed to help you get more traffic or make money easily. Many of these methods do work, and those products sell quickly…
…for a short time. Sometimes, things that work to make money work for one or two people, but when ten thousand people start trying the same things, they stop working. This is especially true of products that show you how to exploit some search engine deficiency. Google and Bing do eventually catch up.
So about three years ago, I decided to create a site in a very competitive niche. I won’t name it, but it’s one of the most competitive niches on the Internet. There’s a lot of money to be made there, but you’ll be competing against people who can spend a fortune on professional SEO or thousands of dollars per day on advertising.
On the plus side, some of the products in that niche (almost all of them are ebooks) can sell well for years. If you can get a site to rank highly for one of those books, you can make a lot of money.
I built a site in this niche that reviewed products in that niche. The reviews were both detailed and honest, and every single one of them was a review for a book that I’d actually read completely.
My site has about 150 reviews on it, and I’ve done nothing to promote the site but on site SEO. No social media. No ads. No outreach to other sites in the niche.
All of the Website traffic came from organic search engine optimization.
How did that work out?
Until about six weeks ago, that site was drawing 20-25 visitors per day. It was producing about $25 per month in revenue.
Not much to brag about, but $25 per month is profitable, and the site was not my primary focus. So I’d add a couple of reviews each month to the site and let it do its thing – which, as I said, wasn’t much.
And then Google changed their search algorithm about six weeks ago.
Suddenly, Website traffic on that site went from 20-25 visitors a day to 500-700 visitors a day. And yes, revenue increased substantially.
Did I change anything to the site? No. The site is the same it’s been all along. The single busiest page on that site was created 18 months ago, and I haven’t done a thing to change it since then.
What changed is Google’s assessment of the site. They might have been indifferent about it before, but today, Google seems to think that this site has something to offer people searching for products in that particular niche.
As a result, many pages from that site are now on the first page of Google, in positions as high as #2 on the first page.
I have no idea exactly why Google now regards the site as important and worthy of a higher ranking. It could be that they have changed their idea of what a site in that niche should provide to people searching for information in that niche.
It could also be that since that site is in a niche that is extremely competitive, it just takes more time for the pages of sites in that niche to rank highly, with Google giving more weight to older, more established, Websites.
Website Traffic and Patience Summary
What does this mean for you?
If you’re working in a niche that you enjoy and you can create good, lengthy, compelling content that will keep your visitors interested, you should stick with it and just keep doing just that.
As your site grows larger and gains some age, it will likely gain additional respect from Google and Bing. That’s not guaranteed, but in general, older sites will have some search engine advantages over new ones.
Don’t get me wrong – you should keep working on proper SEO. You should work on social media, if that’s your thing. You should still do whatever you can to get people to your site and to build external links that point to your site.
But you should also be patient. Sometimes, getting good search engine rankings and Website traffic just takes time.