How To Increase Web Traffic: 7 Reasons For Low Visitor Counts

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2006-10-1528

Perhaps you’re hoping to earn a little money from blogging. You’ve already picked a web host for your needs, out of a list of cheap web hosting services. You’ve got your blog up and running and now you’re looking for ways to improve your sluggish web traffic which needs a big kick.

This topic has been covered countless of times on the net but I’d like to approach it from the angle of someone who is learning the process. So as I sat through filtering and sifting through articles on online marketing, all I can tell you is what worked for me.

Where’s My Web Traffic? Reasons For Low Visitor Counts

There are techniques available that should help you gain traction fairly and honestly, albeit gradually. Let’s start by understanding why your traffic may be lousy (interestingly, “lousy” is a relative term as one’s poor showing may be manna to somebody else, but what I mean is that your traffic is stagnant):

  1. You’re not SEO optimized.
  2. Your site is too slow.
  3. You don’t have enough quality links pointing to you.
  4. You’re not doing enough marketing nor are you making yourself known to your target audience.
  5. You’re not making your site available nor readable to search engine crawlers.
  6. You are a victim of Google Panda (the latest Google search algorithm update that evaluates site quality).
  7. Your site or pages have incurred search engine penalties.

One or more of these issues may have affected your site, particularly if you’re a new publisher. Perhaps your site could use a bit more work. Or, it’s possible that you may have tripped Google and/or Bing guidelines. I’ve actually learned a few things from my own experiences and from the recommendations of experts and gurus of this well worn subject. Allow me to elaborate on these points:

  1. You’re not SEO optimized.
    Apply SEO techniques to your site. You need to find the right keywords and add them to your HTML TITLE, META Keywords, META Description and Alt Tags. You may want to use SEO tools like a keyword selector tool to help you with keyword analysis, but take care that you don’t abuse the use of keywords.
  2. Your site is too slow.
    Users may turn away from your site if it takes too long to load, so improve its performance by watching where you put the javascript web service widgets you may have on your site or blog. They take some time to render so place them at a point in your page where they can be rendered after everything else as much as possible. Always add height and width parameters to images you use in your posts so that the browser can lay out the page without waiting for the image. Also reduce the images’ clarity to 40% or less to make their footprint smaller, which you can do with an image editor. And to see how awesome a job you’ve done with page optimization, run your pages through a Web Page Optimizer and see how you stack up!
  3. You don’t have enough quality links pointing to you.
    Quality links are desirable because these are supposedly what the search engines are using to “rank” your site. Link directories are pretty passe nowadays, so pursue a natural link building process. Perhaps you can drop your online calling card at somebody else’s site by leaving them insightful and useful comments and pointers to your homepage. In the beginning, I tried getting my site into free directories. I even explored BlogExplosion and BlogMad as traffic generating (or traffic trading) sites but all these methods are now obsolete. The best way to build links is to build a reputation first. By networking naturally with others, you’ll most likely receive solid, high quality links without having to be too persuasive.
  4. You’re not doing enough marketing nor are you making yourself known to your target audience.
    Did anyone tell you that you need to write from 3 to 5 blog posts a week of good, substantive content? Well, they’re not kidding (and I initially thought they were)! And if you’re doing news, you need to up that number due to time sensitivity. Then you need to make your posts visible to social bookmarking or social networking communities like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Add social networking icons to your site to make it easy for readers to share your content with others.
  5. Your site has technical problems.
    The bots and spiders can choke on your site if it has HTML errors. Use an HTML Validator religiously if you can. Also, make your content available through feeds, but make sure that you are careful about syndication. Be very careful as the web has evolved to frown upon reckless syndication techniques. Too much content duplication or the wrong type of syndication can actually get your site in trouble with the main search engines.
  6. Your pages are nowhere to be found but are indexed.
    Your pages can rank poorly because of low quality content. These days, Google has raised its standards for detecting which sites should be deserving of traffic. Make sure you provide unique, useful and up to date content that will attract users and readers. Google measures user engagement and looks upon the user metrics behind its SERPs (search engine results) to figure out which sites to present to users.
  7. Your site may have incurred search engine penalties.
    If you’ve practiced black hat or poor SEO strategies, your site (or its pages) may have triggered penalties. Correct your missteps and either file for a reconsideration request with the search engine that hit you with bad marks, or you can just wait for the penalties to expire (which they do over time). If you continue to break any guidelines, don’t expect to see improvements in traffic.

Check out, or for additional web traffic building resources.

Copyright © 2006 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

George Chernikov October 15, 2006 at 3:42 pm


I just wanted to thank you for this lovely article – I found it to be very informative and easy to read (something that being a blogging newbie I can definitely appreciate). I will certainly be implementing a lot of the solutions you outlined above to boost traffic to my own blog. Thanks!

authenteo October 16, 2006 at 7:28 am

Great article it was very helpful.

Brion November 7, 2006 at 8:42 am

If you want to boost traffic from search engines, check out some tools out there like the one from Axandra.

Have you tried linking your website to other blogs or other high traffic areas? It will boost your ranking as well.

Finally, check out Submit Express for their free search engine submission link as well as the link popularity.


Andy November 8, 2006 at 1:15 am

My site was showing up exactly like yours is on Google. When I just typed in “” only two results appeared.

I started to get very frustrated when I’d Google “” because I had been doing everything that the other blogs were recommending. At first I thought it might have to do with the amount of traffic, inbound links, etc. that my site had. Then I visited other sites with less content, with the same theme, that hadn’t been around as long as mine, and all their posts showed up in the Google results.

I had installed the Word Press Google sitemaps plug-in more than a month before, and I had been checking in with the Google Webmaster Tools to confirm that my sitemap was being seen.

There’s no way to guarantee that this would work for you, but it did for me:
1. Deactivate and delete the Google Sitemaps plug-in and delete the sitemaps from my web hosting account.
2. Delete the sitemap that Google had downloaded (logged into the Google Webmaster Tools site)
3. Deactivate the Post Teaser plug-in (even though I liked the effect, it seemed to be at least contributing to the problem)
4. Install the latest version of the Google Sitemaps plug-in, activate it, and rebuild the sitemap
5. Confirm that Google downloaded my new sitemap
6. Give Google enough time, and voila, all my posts started showing up

Unfortunately that didn’t translate into a large, immediate influx of visitors, but at least everything was out there which is the first step in getting it to show up in people’s Google results.

Aaron December 17, 2006 at 6:19 am

I think this is an excellent post. I was referred by ProBlogger (as have many, no doubt).

Simple Filipina May 2, 2007 at 5:59 am

Your article is a big help to starters like me. Thank you for the ideas. Your presentation is much clearer for people who are not IT savvy. Your article is easy to understand and I bet even my younger sister can learn from it.

I am trying to a apply what I have learned from you blog.

Weggy August 19, 2007 at 9:05 am

Was referred by problogger too. Great post.

E-commerce Website Hosting September 20, 2007 at 10:42 am

Well, what remains to be said? Almost nothing, as the indicated resources cover almost all areas. Excellent article, congrats!

Raving Rich December 30, 2007 at 1:24 pm

If you want to analyze traffic sources and page rank, you can use and google page rank. This post gives you the exact traffic updates of the web.

Goran Web Design June 4, 2008 at 10:11 pm

Alexa is a great tool to use and it’s well worth the monies. If you wish, we have a few copies and I am more the happy to run the report for you and send you the details. Send me an email with your home page to start, search engines you are interested in, and your three most important keyword phrases for the blog.

Also look at writing articles on other pages, not just on the blog.

Val August 4, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Have a look at Entopica Online is a bookmarking system tailored for individuals and companies. Users can easily access, categorize, share and store their bookmarks online. It is free to join.

Silicon Valley Blogger August 4, 2008 at 5:36 pm

Well, how different is Entopica from Delicious? Delicious has cornered the market on social bookmarking using bookmarks, so what does Entopica do that Delicious does not already do? Plus Delicious has the momentum and traction already…

Would love to hear about this more.

RedMaven February 16, 2009 at 9:47 am

Thank you very much, this post contains great information on how to increase SEO. I am new to the blogging arena, and we are trying to drive traffic to our site as well. This is definitely helpful.

RedMaven @

Vanna October 19, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Start out by keeping track of who visits you and why they do. You can find out more about your hits by getting one of those widgets that lets you track your visitors (ex. If you have been posting in a vacuum thinking that people are reading your material, then you may be in for a rude surprise. You may be horrified to know that in reality, you could be talking to the wind. So go to the nearest site tracker and start using it to see this stark painful reality for yourself!

Roland October 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I agree. You should check to see where your visitors come from. It is helpful to check and analyze what people are interested in reading so you can improve your blog. In some cases a site may not get as many visitors from search. Also, some sites may be more search engine friendly than others.

Silicon Valley Blogger October 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm

If your traffic isn’t too great, don’t lose hope — because there was a time when I hardly had search traffic myself. Here’s how my traffic used to look very early on:
Traffic Stats

Back then, I wondered what the reason for my invisibility in search engines could have been. I blamed it on the dreaded Google sandbox effect. I actually thought it was interesting that John Chow from TheTechZone was incredulous about sites actually existing without Google traffic whatsoever. Unfortunately a lot of people are in this boat. This is why so many folks are eager to raise their rankings in search.

Rodney@Blogging with WordPress October 21, 2009 at 7:51 am

So how is your traffic profile? Strange to see that for a while, you had such a small percentage from search. In my experience most new sites get 50%+ from search and then slowly diversify as they network with more sites.

Silicon Valley Blogger October 23, 2009 at 11:05 am

Well, as expected, my sites now get 50% to 60% in search traffic. So I guess it was just a matter of time? Thanks for asking!

Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny April 7, 2010 at 10:48 am

Your resources are now added to my ever-growing ToDo list. Suggestions and lists from copyblogger could take a year to get through. Thanks for sharing these sites with us! Your posts are always helpful, informative and appreciated.

Silicon Valley Blogger April 7, 2010 at 10:51 am

So happy to hear from you Cheryl! I am a new fan of your blog actually, and stumbled on to it from the Blog Carnivals. I visit frequently when I check out your carnivals and have found your site to be a great resource for us bloggers. 🙂 I appreciate your comment! 🙂

Steve August 27, 2010 at 8:07 am

If I were in your shoes, I’d copy a complex sentence or two from your blog into Google search. If it brings up your page, then you’re fine and you are listed (indexed). If you have poor traffic, it just means that boring stuff like keyword research and lots and lots of backlinks are required – especially for a new non mature domain.

Christian November 29, 2010 at 3:07 pm

My site is 13 months old and i am still sandboxed, doesn’t matter what i do, i remain there. So frustrating.

Silicon Valley Blogger December 1, 2010 at 7:12 pm

If you are one of those publishers who actually cares about reaching an audience of some sort then you are probably annoyed when you stumble across cloakers, spammers and content thieves who rank way higher than you do. In some cases, your site may not appear on searches. It can be frustrating if you’ve already visited all those places that talk about how you can build a better site, how you can trade your eyeballs for credit, and how you can do better by hiring an SEO company to help you.

But it’s possible that your site is simply too new to be ranked highly. I am going to suggest that you wait patiently while making sure you’ve built a very good, high quality site first.

Ben January 20, 2011 at 12:35 am

I think that things get better over time. Dedication and determination can get you far in the online game.

Justin December 18, 2011 at 1:14 am

On the point about practicing poor SEO strategies — remember that a lot of SEO pros are just a waste of time and money. If you’re going to hire a professional, you better get high quality ones and prepare to spend some money on their service. I do my own SEO and have been pretty successful thus far. But my focus is on a quality experience for visitors rather than SEO. I think content quality is by far, more important than SEO.

Leave a Comment