Let me say up-front that I’m not claiming to be an SEO expert. What follows is my personal opinion, based on what I’ve researched and observed on the web since about 2003.
Site traffic is important for websites which sell products, and critical for site owners who make their income off of advertising sold on their site.
For the average professional who provides a service, however, I believe that, “How can I increase traffic on my website?” is the wrong question to ask.
The vast majority of clients who visit your website do so because they already know about you — either having personally met you, or having been referred by a mutual contact. Therefore, the most important question you can ask about your website is, “How can I get site visitors to contact me once they’ve hit my site?”
This is best achieved by:
- having a professional-looking site;
- making sure the personality or emotional feel of your site is a positive experience for them;
- making the information they’re after easy to find;
- seamlessly introducing them to info they didn’t know they needed but which tip their choice in your favor (if that is the case);
- making it really easy for them to find your “Contact us” buttons and/or links. (But not to the point of being obnoxious.)
There are firms who specialize in SEO, who really know what they’re doing and can help you successfully wade through the complexity of SEO factors. However, most web-design-hosting-package providers who tout their SEO services tend to focus on:
- meta-tags, which are really just not that important; and
- submitting your website to Yahoo!, Google, etc., which you can do yourself. OR just wait for it to happen, since search engines are constantly crawling the web and will find new sites within a few months, at most.
The MAJOR factor in a website’s ranking is relevant content. That is, are there appropriate keywords in there (making up no more than 5-10% of the page’s content), and can people find the kind of information they’re looking for?
And lastly, I believe that one of the other major factors that weighs search engine ranking is the age of the domain. That’s one thing you can’t fake.
Hope this helps!