How To Determine Your Website’s Traffic Goals
Are you struggling to figure out your website traffic goals?
It can be a little frustrating especially if you’re not sure where to start or what to compare to.
When I launched this website, Ghost Blog Writers, I really had no idea what kind of traffic to expect. Should I be getting millions of daily pageviews like online magazines and news sites and blogs?
Was it okay to get less than that? Much less? Would that be enough to run and grow a business?
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to website traffic. I’m going to try to go over some of the important things so you know if you’re setting your business and website up for success.
1. Starting From Scratch
One of the important things to factor in is where you are in your website or business lifecycle.
If you look around at the popular websites or your competitors that appear to be doing well online you’ll find that they’ve been at this for awhile.
I remember when I launched a personal blog I thought I could catch up quickly to the other bloggers I was following at the time.
After a few weeks, though, I realized that the bloggers I admired had been doing what they’d been doing for years. And it would probably take me years to get to where they are.
And traffic comes in many forms.
A popular area of website traffic, that I get asked about all the time, is SEO or organic search traffic. Basically traffic from Google.
You put your site up. You add some content like blog posts and things like that and Google recognizes it and sends you traffic.
SEO usually takes time to build. Google wants to see that your website is trustworthy. They look at a wide variety of signals to gauge your website and its content. One of those signals is simply how old your site is. The longer your site has been online the more data Google has that shows if you’re relevant, valuable and trustworthy.
So it can take months and into years to build rapport with Google. After awhile they’ll begin ranking you and over time that should get even better the more positive signals you send.
Those signals can be things like creating blog posts that a lot of people read and share. It can be getting online reviews on various sites for your business.
So if you’re just starting out and you’re looking at SEO traffic only expect it to take some time.
Now, you can flip the switch with online advertising. Then you can get instant traffic and as much as your budget allows.
2. Industry, Demand & Competition
The amount of traffic you get and how much that increases also depends on your industry, the demand for what you’re selling and the competition.
Let’s say your business makes a specific part for antique clocks. And you only sell it to expert clock repairpeople.
That’s a pretty small market. You probably won’t get millions of visits each day to your site.
But you might not need that.
10 visits a day from 10 expert clock repairpeople could lead to some big sales.
If you’re the only business that makes your parts you’ll have a great chance to capture most of the traffic for your niche. But if there are ten other companies just like you then the traffic will probably be split between all of you.
3. Expected Rate Of Increase
Again, if you’re looking at simply getting natural traffic. SEO, social media, etc.
Then you can expect a fairly steady increase of about 10-50% per year depending on your industry, competition, etc.
Some businesses can do better. Others on the lower side.
It also depends on what you’re doing to build the content on your site. If you just publish your website with the main pages you might see some increase, but probably not as much.
You could see an increase because you’re getting online reviews, lots of mentions online and on social media and things like that even if you’re not creating content.
But the best way to bring in more traffic is to create content. Identify the questions your target customers are asking and providing them the answers with some kind of content.
Blog posts. Videos. Podcasts. Etc.
If you’re advertising, again, that could spike things and mess with the rate of increase.
4. The Right Type Of Traffic
A big item to remember when it comes to traffic is that you’re looking for the right kind of traffic.
I don’t want to pick on web designers, but I’ve seen something happen with a few web designers.
Their target audience or target clients are usually businesses. But let’s say that a designer creates something like a “State Of Web Design Report”. Businesses probably won’t care too much. Other web designers would probably care.
That kind of content will likely lead to more traffic, but it’ll just be mostly web designers. And they aren’t going to higher the web designer like a business would.
For most businesses with a website they are not the same as their target customer. Something that is interesting to a business owner might not be interesting to their customers.
So always keep the right focus with your content. You want traffic to increase, but you want the right people coming to your site.
5. What You Can Do
Let’s have the final point be a few tips on what you can do to set website traffic goals and hit them.
Tip #1. Start With 1-3 Traffic Builders
This could be something as simple as blogging. It could be creating an email newsletter. It could be posting 10x/day to social media. It could be posting a daily YouTube video or doing a monthly podcast.
Tip #2. Aim For 50% Growth
In organic traffic.
This would be year over year growth. There are variables that affect monthly growth. Some industries are seasonal. And web traffic itself can be a bit seasonal.
Building a website is a long-term play. Looking at yearly growth is the best way to assess your goals.
Tip #3. Setup Analytics
Without some kind of analytics you won’t be able to track traffic. Google Analytics is pretty easy to setup. If you have a WordPress site you can use Jetpack. Also very easy.
Tip #4. Commit To Regular Effort
Notice how in the first tip I gave examples of regular content. Weekly posts. Weekly podcasts.
One piece of content might do pretty well, but 100 or 200 will do exponentially better. And the more you have the more indication it gives Google (and your customers) that you’re trustworthy in your industry.
If you’re a small business in a fairly small market there is nothing wrong with aiming for 100-200 visitors per day eventually on your website.
It might take a few years to get there, but don’t get discouraged if you’re 6 months in and you’re only getting a handful of visits per day.
There are things you can do to increase your traffic.
In fact, I’ll leave you with a link to posts I’ve written about building traffic.
Good luck with all your website traffic goals!