The end of the year is the time, for many of us, to set goals for the coming year. Your goals for your business, practice, or organization should include some challenges for your website — metrics that will help you make sure that your website is doing its job. As you set your SMART goals for your website, you might consider ROI, conversions, sales, signs of thought leadership, email signup, lead generation, time and money spent to keep your website fresh, patient education and customer service, and many more jobs your website can do. But you should also set traffic goals for your website.
Aren’t traffic goals just vanity metrics?
Some popular digital marketing goals are vanity metrics — things that make you feel good, but don’t align with your business goals. Likes at your Facebook page can be a good example of this problem. For most organizations, the number of Likes at the Facebook page do not correlate with sales, leads, or any other business metric. They might make you feel popular, but they usually don’t contribute significantly to the success of your ventures.
You might feel the same way about traffic at your website. But that’s only true if you disregard conversions.
For example, let’s say that you get $1,000 in donations each month at your website. Let’s make it simple with the following numbers:
- You have 1,000 visits per month.
- About 1% of visitors — that is, 10 visitors each month — make donations.
- The average donation is $100.
If you increase your visits to 1,500 visitors per month and the other numbers hold steady, you’ll have $1,500 dollars in donations each month. As long as it doesn’t cost you more than $500 per month to increase your visits, putting additional resources toward increasing traffic is worth your while. If you increase the conversion rate or the average donation as well, you’ll be even better off.
Most strategies that produce increased organic traffic will increase conversions and basket size as well. Paying for traffic and other shady practices typically won’t.
How much can you increase your traffic?
In our experience, this is not a simple question. First, you have to consider where you already are.
- If you have a small amount of traffic and haven’t been working on your website, you can see large percentage increases in one year.
- If you already have a strongly performing website, you may see smaller percentage increases — but you might see the same number of additional sessions or visitors.
Let’s go back to our example of a nonprofit with about 1,000 visits per month. If you haven’t been working on your website, you might have had about 1,000 visits a month for years. It would not be surprising to see your traffic double or triple during the first year you take strategic action to increase your website traffic. For new websites, we have seen year-over-year increases of 4,000% or more in the first couple of years.
If, on the other hand, you currently have 20,000 visits per month, you might see a 10% to 30% increase year over year.
Let’s get into the specific numbers. Say that both the 1,000 visit site and the 20,000 visit site run a campaign that brings an extra 2,000 visitors to their websites this month.
- The less popular site would receive 3,000 visits instead of the usual 1,000 — a 300% increase.
- The more popular site would receive 22,000 visits instead of 20,000 — a 10% increase.
The actual numeric increase would be the same in both cases, but the percentage would be very different.
What’s a normal, average increase?
Actually, the normal average increase in web traffic is a decrease, or an increase of 1 or 2 percent. You should not expect an increase in traffic if you’re not working on it. There is n enormous amount of competition online, and you will have competitors — probably new competitors each year. If your competitors are working on their websites and you aren’t, you should expect a decrease.
If you’re ready to increase traffic, we can help you do that. Contact us to start the conversation.