The mechanics of traffic-building can be discussed in empirical terms all day, but it has to be understood that this is a process that involves humans. At the end of the day, it is as much about rapport building, loyalty, choice making and self interest, as any other business or personal relationship and/or transaction.
The innate psychological fondness that users tend to display for certain websites is well documented. For instance, a recent book studied the effect of facebook and twitter’s comforting blue hue on its users’ inhibition and indeed the former’s careful egging of the user with the question “what’s on your mind?” to prompt large scale public responses in the form of status messages. The same was studied with respect to Google. It’s no nonsense home page, with its uncluttered appeal and the sheer agility of its workings, aided by a state of the art server system. Being built around such well oiled mechanics makes a website a joy to use to the user and coupled with functionality or good content, it keeps them coming back.
The huge impact that the usability of a website has on its ratings is underrated. No matter how much one optimizes one’s page to comply with the latest trends in Keywords and make it search engine friendly, it is in the end, the user who dictates how much traffic the site gets by determining whether he/she wants to come back and again or even better, recommend/share it. However, there are certain norms coming under the standard SEO guidelines that every business need to correspond to in order to make the business visible online.
Successful websites, no matter what they deal with, usually are in keeping with these guidelines:
1. It must be easy to understand – Every website, be it personal, professional or social has to be simple and easy to understand so that the users who visit it get the point at once. There is no point having a website if the user goes without understanding what you wanted to convey though your website. The layout, structure, color palette and most importantly, the content language must all be easy to understand. There is nothing that disorients a user (in all probability, already sore from hours of browsing the net) more than a website that is heady with color and has a micro-font or has a whole slew of links, carelessly put together.
It has gone down in the annals of internet history that cluttered web pages are never preferred when more organized alternatives exist. Have your WebPages arranged nicely and importantly keep the content easy and compelling.
2. Must be Relevant – They usually provide direct, useful information that pertains directly to the query. i.e. the search word that lead the user to the site is in keeping with what the site has to offer. A good site knows exactly what its key offering is and sticks to it, while keeping standards as high as possible, while some sites serve a general utility purpose, covering multiple grounds; it is not very often that such sites achieve popularity. Therefore, establishing a webpage’s forte and strengthening it consistently is very important.
3. Must be well designed – There is just no overstaying this. The design and functionality of a website is of infinite importance in establishing its traffic. The usability of a website depends more on its design than on anything else. The user’s experience too, for most part, lies in this department. There is absolutely nothing that puts of a user more than a glitch, slow and clunky website.
In today’s world, more and more of transactions, both financial and otherwise are being conducted on the internet. A big-ridden and tedious website instantly prompts a user to look to other purveyors of the same service. While slick, hi-tech websites require the service of professionals, who demand equivalent amounts and aren’t affordable for everyone, a simple, well oiled, well structured bug-free and organized website isn’t all that hard to achieve. It takes a fine eye for detail and a certain degree of patience and diligence.
4. Must have High Quality Content – There is absolutely no substitute for good, solid content on the internet when it comes to building reputation or a strong user-base. While it was mentioned before that often good content is let down by faulty website construction, the reverse is also true in a significant number of cases: there are many sites which are all style and no substance. Such websites also are unsustainable on the long run.
Another thing that has to be carried in mind is that the legitimacy of content is also of paramount importance. While it may seem tempting to usurp someone else’s ratings by simply copying their content onto a webpage, this is usually not long lasting. Lazy miscreants have been warded off effectively thanks to placement of back links on documents which dissuade plagiarism.