20 Tips to Lose Traffic on Your Joomla Website

Yes – we know – the title of this post is a bit weird. 20 tips to lose traffic? Well, we figured, if we explain what happens when things are done the wrong way then we’ll create a sense of awareness that’ll help many Joomla administrators to do things the right way, which is a step towards making Joomla websites even better!

Below you can find a list of actions and inactions that you can take to decrease traffic on your Joomla website:

  • Tip #1: Do not update your Joomla website: Updating your Joomla website typically addresses performance and security issues. If you don’t update it then your website will most likely get hacked, eventually making you lose your spot in Google’s rankings. Isn’t that great?
  • Tip #2: Ensure your website is slow, very slow: A slow website is ideal for those who don’t want Google to visit them often. Think about Google as a customer in a restaurant, the longer that customer has to wait, the more likely he’ll go somewhere else, and that’s what Google does: the slower your website is, the less visits you get from Google, which means the less Google knows about your website, which means the less your search engine rankings will be.

  • Tip #3: Have a lot of scheduled maintenances: Ah, those scheduled maintenances. They are all about temporarily serving a blank page to Google. Google might think that a blank page (or error page) is just a glitch the first time it sees it, but if those blank pages are more of a norm rather than the exception, then Google will start diverting your traffic to a competitor, because simply, Google will think (and rightly so) that your website doesn’t provide any value to the visitors.

  • Tip #4: Not paying attention to the competition: Your competing websites are growing by the day and are working very hard to beat you. They are using all the tools and the techniques they can get their hands on to steal your keywords. Pretending that they don’t exist and doing nothing about them is a great way to lose traffic to them.

  • Tip #5: Leave your website hacked: If your website gets hacked, then leave it as it is. It might just fix itself in a few days, and if it doesn’t, then it might get either penalized by Google or even completely wiped out from the index. This means zero traffic from Google. Isn’t that exactly what you want?

  • Tip #6: Don’t care about having a logical site structure: Let’s see. You have a new menu item to add, and that menu item is a new product. But why add it under the Products menu item (where it should be), just add it anywhere and search engines will sort that thing out for you (and for your customers), and if they don’t, then the merrier, because you will lose traffic since a confusing/meaningless site structure is the best search engine deterrent.

  • Tip #7: Just delete the robots.txt file: The robots.txt is an extremely important file for search engines. It tells them which areas of your website to index and which areas to ignore. Deleting this file is like telling them to index everything on your website, which will dilute the page rank of the pages that really need to be indexed. Another great way of losing traffic.

  • Tip #8: Create some infinite loops with sh404SEF: sh404SEF can be (mis)used to create infinite loops on your Joomla website. Do that, and we’ll guarantee you that you’ll start losing traffic on your Joomla website the moment you do it. Not only with this method you will lose visitors and traffic, but you will also create a huge load on your server (which will lead to performance issues on your website), thus losing even more traffic. (See Tip #2).

  • Tip #9: Stop creating new content: The traffic catalyst to any website is content, without content, your website won’t get any traffic. Now, if your website already has a decent traffic which is starting to annoy you, then you can just stop writing new content. This will make Google, Yahoo, and the likes to think that your website is abandoned, and as such, they will gradually reduce the traffic sent your way.

  • Tip #10: Don’t have a blog: As a corollary to Tip #9, having a blog will increase your search engine rankings, which means that you shouldn’t have one if you want to lose traffic. If you already have one, then you should think about getting rid of it or even redirecting it to a competitor’s blog.

  • Tip #11: Have a broken .htaccess file: A broken/wrong .htaccess file can:

    • Generate a lot of errors on your Joomla website
    • Cause indexing issues
    • Completely disable your website

    All the above things can reflect very badly on your search engine rankings because search engines generally don’t like visiting websites with errors.

  • Tip #12: Disable SEF: Whoever said that search engines don’t like links such as index.php?option=com_content&id=5&Itemid=10 was right. Search engines think that these links are complicated and that they don’t tell users what they are about by just looking at them. Disabling SEF on your website (and all other 3rd party URL rewriting extensions, such as sh404SEF) ensures that your links will have the exact same format which is disliked by search engines.

  • Tip #13: Have the same meta information for all the pages: Search engines don’t respect websites with no meta information or where all pages have the exact same meta information. So, if you have set meta information for some your pages, then remove it, because search engines will rank you higher if you don’t.

  • Tip #14: Use dofollow for all of the links that are external to your website: Search engines are perfectly OK if you choose to pass some link juice to other external websites, but, keep in mind that any external link on any page on your website will reduce the importance of that page from a search engine perspective. If, for some reason, the importance of that page is not reduced, then it might be that you are using rel=”nofollow” on the anchor tag to block the link juice from being passed to 3rd party websites. Address this immediately by removing all the rel=”nofollow” so that search engines will think that the websites you are linking to are more important than yours. Also, don’t forget to ensure that all the links to social websites are not rel=”nofollow”, since these social websites such as Twitter and the likes need all the link juice that they can get – they are also generous enough to use rel=”nofollow” on their end (social websites don’t pass any link juice to any external website because all their external links are rel=”nofollow”).

  • Tip #15: Leverage your website’s SEO strength to make money: Sell blog posts, sell links, sell text ads, etc… Just sell anything on your website that other people tell you to sell, and you are sure to get either penalized or de-indexed (e.g. blocked) by Google in no time. The even better news is that you’ll get paid a few dollars (or a few hundred dollars, depending on your website) for the ads that will get you penalized.

  • Tip #16: Don’t even look at Google’s webmaster tools: Google’s webmaster tools provides a lot of insight on what is wrong on your website such as:

    • 404 errors you have on your website and where they are
    • Duplicate titles and duplicate meta descriptions
    • Server issues you have on your website
    • DNS issues

    Ignoring Google’s webmaster tools altogether ensures that you don’t know about any issue that you have on your website (that Google knows about), which means that you don’t have to fix it. This is a silver bullet for losing traffic.

  • Tip #17: Install a gazillion 3rd party JavaScript embed codes: Most, if not all, JavaScript embed codes (especially the free ones) are really there to spy on your website and steal your keywords, while giving you in return very limited functionality. The information they get from your website is usually passed along to your competitors, who will most likely use it to crush you. 3rd party JavaScript embed codes can also slow down your website considerably (this happens a lot). See Tip #2 and Tip #4.

  • Tip #18: Page Titles? What Page Titles?: One of the most important factors used to rank your website is the page title. Since you want low rankings, then ensure that your page titles are completely irrelevant to your content. Failing that, try to add as many keywords to your page titles, including, but not limited to: The name of your website (add it to the beginning of the page title for maximum impact), the high ranking keywords you want to rank for, and the name of your brother’s in law second grade physics teacher. That combination will do miracles to your search rankings.

  • Tip #19: Have a messed up, invalid HTML: Search engines love websites with valid HTML, and since you don’t love search engines, then you should ensure that your HTML is not valid and that the W3C tool will generate at least 100 errors when trying to validate your website.

  • Tip #20: Focus only on search engine traffic and ignore social traffic: A few years ago, a website only needed search engine traffic to survive and to thrive. Nowadays, search engine traffic is not enough, social traffic is increasing by the day, and search engines are taking social traffic and social presence as a positive contributing factor to rank your website. Focusing solely on search engine traffic and being completely oblivious to social traffic will mean that your general traffic will ensure a consistent decline for the foreseeable future.

Since you spent all this time reading our 20 tips to lose traffic, here’s a couple of bonus tips for you:

  • Tip #21: Do not interlink: You are writing a new blog post (which is a big no-no, see Tip #10), and you remember that buried blog post that you wrote a few years ago and that will explain a bit more about the side-topic that you’re discussing. Keep that post buried! Do not link to it, linking to it will revive it and may accidentally increase your traffic. Interlinking to other pages on your website should be avoided at all costs if you want to keep that traffic to a minimum.
  • Tip #22: Hire SEO companies that guarantee top results in Google: Google warns against these companies, and that’s why you should use them. They have these wow techniques that will increase your website’s traffic by about 4 folds for a few days, but then Google discovers their tricks techniques, and your website will get penalized or banned for eternity.

We hope you enjoyed this post. It took us nearly 4 hours to write it, edit it, review it, and re-review it, but it was really fun! Now, if you’re committing any of the above tips mistakes, and you need help fixing it, then please contact us. We are experts in Joomla, our work is fast and professional, and we don’t charge much!

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