Blogging for Website Traffic? Um, No.
I don’t usually get into negative posts or blogging, but I can’t help myself as no less that three times within the last year or so I’ve been confronted with re-donculousness when it comes to the decisions that some people make. Lorraine (one of my clients) if you’re reading this I realize that I just made up a word and that isn’t proper grammar. However I did so for maximum effect because ridiculous just doesn’t suffice for the purpose of this BLOG.
I’m going to spend a bit of BLOG time to share three stories that HOPEFULLY will help someone out there somewhere to avoid the pitfalls of these three clients.CASE ONE:A potential client called to inquire about how we could help her grow her online consulting business. She is NOW a client so hence the non-use of her name – and YES I told her that I was going to use her in this post. “Jane” came to us because she was acutely aware that her website was getting NO traffic. When I say “NO TRAFFIC” I mean no traffic. During the discovery stage of our design process she told me of how she used her website to educate her current clientele and to attempt to impress potential clients with her online BIO and BLOGGING.I was desperately trying to wrap my head around how she was educating her clientele since her website received NO TRAFFIC. She then proceeded to inform me that she enjoyed using her website and that she spent an AVERAGE of two hours a day BLOGGING on it.
If you’re reading this and have YET to see the “punchline” coming then you’re probably missing out on the same thing that “Jane” did. According to Jane she averaged spending SIXTY HOURS a month or SEVEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY HOURS A YEAR BLOGGING to N-O-B-O-D-Y.
If you’re not into math that is ONE MONTH A YEAR that Jane has been sitting at a computer sharing her wealth of knowledge with PERHAPS spammers and scammers – who were the only people coming to her website. Jane is an otherwise BRILLIANT woman.Go figure.When I shared this little pearl of wisdom with her, she responded with, “You know I actually thought about that a few times, but it was like therapy for me anyway and I figured that sooner or later if I kept writing, people would come.Ummm…not so much.THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS: Is It BLOGGING or THERAPY if nobody is reading?CASE TWO: IS ANYONE “INN” THE HOUSE? NOT ANYMORE…In this case there are NAMES to protect…multiple ones because this client was recently not a client, after having been a client for many years…and they’re now a client again. If you’re confused – don’t be as I think I can clear things up. As in the previous case I have informed them that I was going to use them in this post.
For this story I will call these people, “THE BORED.” (Lorraine, I KNOW it is spelled ‘board’ but I’m trying not to be bored writing this, so work with me.)This client is located at the beach. I’m not saying what beach, but it is on the southeast coast and it isn’t in Florida, Georgia, or North Carolina. THE BORED had been a client for around ten years and we had progressed through three renditions of their website during that time and they had enjoyed amazing success. I’m not sure WHY they were BORED because they live and work at the darn BEACH and this particular BORED led a membership of lodging clients and ALL of their member websites enjoyed awesome bookings that came through their website.Then along came a “spider” – okay a fast-talking, so called SEO guru who did all of the fancy talking and power-word-dropping that he could muster until THE BORED decided that this guy HAD to know his stuff.
<This isn’t “Chad” but it could have been. You know the type…
After all, his hair was perfect; his teeth were white and straight as heck and even his tie dared never to swish to the wrong side when he was presenting his case to be their new web designer.THE BORED couldn’t really help themselves when this guy (let’s call HIM CHAD because that’s his real name) spoke because he was THAT good. Turns out this guy had ONE-MILLION FACEBOOK followers and he was a SOCIAL MEDIA GENIUS and that’s all that THE BORED could focus on. It was as if he was slowly swinging a shiny chain in front of THE BORED. They were sold even before he could quote them a price. Turns out his price was “million dollar worthy” of his FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS. All THE BORED could see was these one-million people just sitting on Chad’s every word. They just KNEW he could get those people to stay in their inns.After six months it turns out that what Chad was REALLY good at was spending their money and tanking their once AWESOME traffic to their website. I guess it takes a lot of money to keep Chad’s hair in place and those teeth whitened.After six months it became apparent to THE BORED that their phones stopped ringing. Seems those one million Facebook followers couldn’t find their way to the phone and evidently though they liked the beach, they didn’t want to STAY there – even for a short stay.Even though THE BORED’S phones quit ringing, MINE rang one afternoon as one member of THE BORED wanted to find out what it would take to get their phones ringing again…like mine did. (Okay, I gloated just a little bit.)The truth is it is often HARDER to “FIX” issues that some firms create with their shortcuts and bad practices – than it is to get improved traffic to a new website. Needless to say that we’ll be asking the one million Facebook followers to look at a different beach. Seems that Chad was BLOGGING the heck to these One-Million followers but evidently his “pied piper” approach to BLOGGING to the social crowd didn’t work.Again, is it BLOGGING if nobody is reading?THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS: Facebook CAN be good for your website, but it will NEVER surpass good old ORGANIC rankings to get your website traffic. I know another scammer who had one-million Facebook followers on his Myrtle Beach Facebook page and he also operated a hotel/motel website and he advertised ALL OVER his own Facebook page and still couldn’t drive 200 visitors a day to his own website.There are TONS of misrepresentations and SCAM going on out their in “Social Media Land”. There are great choices that work, but for every ONE that is good – there are TEN that are bogus. You CAN’T know who to trust, so you need to research and talk with people who do business with these people who are shining their white teeth at you and find out what experiences OTHERS have had before you get dazzled.CASE THREE: WOULD YOU LIKE A LITTLE “WHINE” WITH THAT WEBSITE?In this story I’m going with a SECOND title – and it is:Do you want to be DAZZLED with brilliance, or BAFFLED with Bull-sh**?It BLOWS ME AWAY that otherwise BRILLIANT business men and women become goo-goo-eyed, PUTTY in the hands of ANYONE who can say “SEO” and “META TAGS”. I’ve been in the business of marketing since 1974 and I have NEVER seen intelligent business people throw away money with ANY kind of marketing without FIRST requiring credentials and PROOF that what they are proposing to them makes fiscal sense. Yet in the case of this story I am going to call the owners of this beautiful WHINERY (Lorraine, I KNOW how to spell “winery”.) – I’ll call them Cain and Not-So-Able.These guys have tasked us and numerous members of their staff to BLOG for years…and VERY successfully so. Cain and Not-So-Able came to us after a few website blunders with other firms. When we took them on, their website was “boasting” 328 visitors a month. Not horrible, but not as impressive as their WINES.We’ve taken them to more than 32,000 visitors per month with good, old-fashioned ORGANIC rankings for anything and everything you could possibly want to be found for…when it comes to “pining for wine”.During our handling of the website, they asked us to help them get found for winery weddings. We did that. Bolstered by all of those successes they wanted to be found for winery lodging – we did that. Wine festivals – you guessed it.So BLOGGING and good ORGANIC content have been the driving force to push their website to awesome success without having to spend a penny on Adwords or advertising on Facebook, etc.< No, this is NOT the attorney-turned Social Media Wizard.ENTER “Puss” – the SOCIAL MEDIA WIZARD – who used to be an attorney. Seems he’s a great talker – just NOT in court. Along the way a couple of years ago – he helped someone put up a website and NOW, one client later, he’s ready to take on a website that is ALREADY gaining more than 32,000 visitors a month. You can’t GET much more “social” that having a wine tasting with 32,000 of your wine-loving buddies every month.E-v-i-d-e-n-t-l-y Puss thinks you can. Puss has GOT to be “Chad’s” long lost brother because he is convinced that now that he couldn’t make it as an attorney, he’s a guru of marketing.Just so you don’t think that I’m sour because we’re losing this client – I’M NOT, because WE’RE NOT.Oh no. What we’re being asked to do is “Give Puss whatever assistance he needs” while he cranks up a brand new website with a huge, new emphasis on social media. The brothers Cain and Not-So-Able want us to continue to host the website…but we need to allow Puss and his team of two to do their magic.I’ve been at this stuff via the net for 18 years now and I can spot BS from 583.3 miles away. That happens to be the distance between my office and the doorstep of Puss’s office. I hopped over the Puss’s website and two things quickly stood out. The first was the fact that while they were using some nice WordPress themes on their OWN website, it was a standard theme template and the images were smudged or blurred in a place that was obviously not meant to be. The second thing that I noticed was that their own website’s front, default page was titled “HOME”.Uh-oh.So I plugged their website into a few tools at our disposal and in the last THREE YEARS their own website had NO ORGANIC traffic from Google. That is NEARLY impossible because our brothers from China, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and India USUALLY can find even the most difficult-to-find websites. Evidently “Peggy” hasn’t found their website just yet. Not in the last three years anyway.It appears that they DID spend a couple thousand with Google Adwords in December of 2013 but when that didn’t get them any business, they stopped. What I’m trying to figure out is how their social media peeps aren’t visiting their website.
FYI, they DO have ONE (1) ranking for “Thomas Edison Family Guy” for whatever that’s worth.By the way – these guys BLOG. Oh yea…they need to team up with JANE from CASE NUMBER ONE because maybe they could share some thoughts. Sorry Jane, you didn’t deserve that!I looked over their website to find some clients. None. So, I hopped over to their social media page and lo and behold they have over 1200 followers. I had to look around. One social media client signed on with them on December 1st. They welcomed her with “Let the journey begin.” Nine days later she posted her disappointment when her journey went nowhere. Seems whatever BLAST they did – DIDN’T.Remember the BLAST was meant to get SHARED in their website. That’s hard to do when you’re getting NO traffic. It’s hard to get traffic when your home page is titled “HOME”.THE MORAL OF THIS STORY: Don’t make marketing decisions if you’ve been product testing your own product too often.So if you’re BLOGGING or BLOGGING to the social peeps of the world…you MAY want to check those analytics to see if anyone is reading. If so, carry on my wayward friend. If not, then maybe it’s saving you some money otherwise spent with a therapist.In the case of CASE ONE…we’re happy to say that “Jane” is now a well-read BLOGGER thanks to us helping her get her website found.In the case of CASE TWO, old “Chad” isn’t around anymore and THE BORED is back to answering the phone. It STILL isn’t ringing like it used to but we’re working on it and phase two of the repair work is scheduled for next week.In the case of CASE THREE, the jury is still out, but I’m betting anyone reading this – DINNER that “Puss the Attorney” will tank the website in question….and I will be asked to clean up the mess.Editor’s Note: Yes my BLOG is read. But YES I’m venting a little bit as this is therapy for ME as well.Until Next Time…if you’re thinking about using social media to assist in sending your website traffic, that’s smart. If you’re thinking about making it the focus of your website’s traffic – think again.