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When a business owner is working hard to grow their traffic, it’s easy for them to get sucked into using services that are either ineffective or potentially harmful to the business. Creating bad habits is another thing people tend to do when they’re overworked or short on time and which can have a negative impact on their business. I have had numerous experiences, for instance, where a business owner tried to shortcut their search engine optimization (SEO) and had their site penalized as a result.

website-traffic-mistakesRunning a business is hard enough without these self-sabotaging behaviors. This is why it’s so important to scrutinize our business methods and traffic opportunities carefully while keeping the following things in mind.

1) If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone says they can get you thousands of visitors for little money, it’s not worth your time. There is value to traffic and someone who is selling advertising or traffic for a small amount of money isn’t likely producing quality traffic.

2) People get stuck in old habits. Many website owners do things just because they’ve always done them or someone told them they should. Times are changing and many traffic methods are no longer effective so it’s vital to stay up to date on what methods are and are not working.

3) People don’t track their traffic. In addition to getting stuck in old habits, the average website owner doesn’t check their traffic sources carefully to see what works and what doesn’t. They have no idea which browser their visitors use, what pages traffic is coming into or leaving from or where visitors are clicking while they are there. So when you’re taking advice from others, make sure to track things carefully, so you don’t fall into the same trap.

With those cautionary notes in mind, here are a few traffic methods to avoid:

1. Low quality link building. With all the changes in search engine algorithms lately, chances are if you’re consciously trying to build your own links directly, it probably isn’t going to benefit you all that much. People will tell you that you need other websites linking to your website in order to gain favor with search engines, but search engines are sophisticated and they can recognize natural links and popularity.

2. Buying traffic from bulk providers. Just don’t do it. Even if it’s cheap, it could potentially harm you because you have no idea what these sellers are doing to grow your traffic. Add to that, the traffic they provide is very low quality.This means you are paying for visitors who are not targeted. This can increase your site’s bounce rate and impact your search engine ranking.

3. Thinking “if you build it, they will come.” Unless you have a built-in audience, sitting on your laurels, expecting people to find your content isn’t going to do you any good at all. You have to be proactive in your efforts.

4. Getting bogged down in statistics about your content. Statistics are important for evaluating where you are and where you want to go, but frequent stats checking isn’t going to change your results one bit. Get out there and work on sharing your content and expanding your reach instead.

The truth is- there is no “holy grail” of traffic. Good content, consistently provided and consistently shared, will help you naturally build an interested and enthusiastic audience.