Website traffic is important for measuring the effectiveness of your website. But it can be difficult to know what to expect. How much traffic should your website get? How do you know? There are a number of factors to consider, including your industry, website history, and your goals.
What Does Website Traffic Measure?
How much traffic your website gets can be a good indicator of its effectiveness. However, it’s important to know what website traffic actually measures, and what it indicates for your business.
Your website’s traffic generally refers to visitors to your site. These might be new or returning visitors, and can come from anywhere, including paid traffic from advertisements, organic traffic from a search, social media posts, or direct traffic, where a user enters your URL directly or bookmarks your page. Website traffic isn’t the only indicator of your website health. It’s important to keep the big picture in mind when considering how much traffic your website should get, such as:
- Web traffic vs unique visitors vs leads: These are not the same. The same visitor may visit many times, with no intention of buying or signing up. To get unique visitor and lead numbers, you’ll have to dig a bit deeper into the data.
- Conversion rates: Your website may have low traffic compared to another, but a higher conversion rate, so it may be more effective in gaining customers or leads.
- Cost per lead: Or, you may spend considerably less time, effort, and money generating traffic than a comparable site, so you may have a lower cost per lead than a site with more traffic.
- Bounce rates: You may have many visitors, but if they click away moments after visiting, these aren’t very valuable visits.
Your Google rank plays an important role in your site traffic. See how you can improve it:
How Much Traffic Should My Website Get?
A number of different factors will affect how much traffic you can expect from your website, and what number might be considered successful. If you’re comparing your website to others in order to see where you fit, remember to use fair comparisons.
The following, among other factors, will affect how much traffic your website will get, and a what to expect from a reasonable average.
- Industry: A B2C website selling consumer products will have a much larger market, and much more day-to-day traffic, than a B2B website for manufacturing equipment. Compare your website to others in your industry.
- Age: Part of how your website ranks on Google and other search engines comes from the trustworthiness and authority of your domain. Domain authority takes time to build, so compare new and older websites accordingly.
- Content: Publishing more content means creating more opportunities for users to find you. Websites with more content are more likely to get more traffic.
- Seasonality: Some industries can expect relatively steady traffic from month to month, while others can experience dramatic swings. You might balance this by averaging your traffic throughout the year, or by comparing your traffic to similarly seasonal industries.
- Current events: Sometimes, events outside your control can shift users towards some content in favor of others. For example, a newsworthy event might shift your customers’ focus to your competitors. In some cases, such as the web traffic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers’ attention can shift on a larger scale across a number of industries.
Is My Website Traffic Good?
With so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to set benchmarks for website traffic. How do you know if your website traffic is up to par? There are a few strategies you might use to set benchmarks and compare.
Compare to Competitors
To assess your website traffic, it may be useful to compare to other websites in your industry. You can find traffic estimates on sites like Alexa.com or SimilarWeb, or use other strategies for estimating traffic as well.
Remember to consider the age of your site, as well as how much content you have, compared to your competitors. It will take time for a new website to compete with a similar one that has been regularly producing content for several years. You may also want to consider geography and target markets; a business targeting a large, metropolitan area will probably get more traffic than a similar business in a much smaller town.
Compare Traffic Over Time
You might also set goals against your own traffic numbers. Your website traffic should be increasing year over year, and this should make sense with your overall marketing strategy. For example, if you have approximately 10% more customer-centric online content than you had at the same time last year, you might expect a 10% traffic increase, barring other factors.
Collect data on your current website traffic using a tool like Google Analytics, and set realistic, but challenging goals for improvement. While setting goals, make sure you have realistic strategies for meeting these goals, and that your team has the time, tools and expertise to execute these strategies.
Compare to Your Market Potential
While any visitor is welcome on your site, the most valuable visitors are those who are interested in your content and may become customers or leads. With this in mind, you can roughly estimate a minimum website traffic based on market potential. How many internet users do you estimate are ideal customers or leads? What percentage of them can you realistically expect to visit your site?
Let’s look at an example. Say you’ve just opened a landscape business in a mid-sized town. You estimate about 400,000 people live in your service area. About 65% of these people are homeowners, and about half of this group have properties large for residential landscaping. That’s about 130,000 ideal, potential clients. Combine this estimation with your goal for online leads or ROI, and you can see if your current website traffic is good, average, or needs improvement.
My Website Traffic is Low—What Can I Do?
Remember that things like the age and authority of your domain, current events, and seasonality are beyond your control. If you still find that your website traffic is low, there are actions you can take to improve. These strategies work by either creating more opportunities for users to find your site, extending the reach of your current site to a wider audience, or putting your website in front of users who are most likely to visit.
The following strategies can help to boost your website traffic:
- SEO strategies: SEO can improve the search engine rank of some of your best-performing pages. Higher ranking content drives more clicks and brings in more visitors.
- Create more content: Choose your topics thoughtfully, and cover subjects in detail to provide helpful, informational content that will interest your audience and drive more traffic.
- Utilize advertising: Paid advertisements help to put your content in front of more users, encouraging more clicks and more traffic. By using ad targeting, you can show your website to users who are most likely to be interested.
- Leverage your audience: If you have a large email list, consider using a newsletter to share your content. If you have a large social media following, share your content on your preferred platform.
- Update your website: If your website looks outdated, runs slowly, exposes users to cyber threats, or has other issues, it’s unlikely to rank well on search engines, and users are unlikely to stay on a page or return for another visit. Take some time to make updates before working on more content.
When considering your website traffic, remember to consider your industry, history, and marketing strategy as well. Your website traffic, conversion rates, leads, ROI and other metrics can all work together to give you a clearer picture of your online presence.