There’s a lot of advice on how to get traffic to your website. But how do you know whether or not your firm’s website gets enough?
You could easily spend $30,000 or even $100,000 on a flashy new website. But if not enough people see it, is all that money really worth it?
Nobody gives you any guidance on this subject and all your contemporaries claim they get thousands or millions of hits per month (which is a meaningless statistic).
So what number is enough? And what’s the twerking connection? Read on, my friend…
Two Men On A Train
Years ago, I found myself sitting on the DC subway with Mark Buckshon. At the time, HelpEverybodyEveryday was getting about 30 visitors a day. My firm’s site was probably getting about the same. So, I posed this question to Mark.
Mark disclosed that he (at that time, many years ago) was getting on average 150 visitors per day.
My jaw dropped.
150 different people were coming to his site per day. That was 4,500 people per month vs. my 1,000. At the time, I could not even fathom getting that much traffic. I figured my website would just explode!
Then about a year ago, I got to look at the website statistics for a very large law firm named Deckert. Deckert was getting 3,000+ visitors per day! That’s over 90,000 people per month.
But where was all this traffic coming from? Almost all of it was coming from people who Googled the term “Deckert.”
Therein lies the rub. The amount of traffic you should get depends on who you are. If you are a small landscape architecture firm serving Albany, NY, you shouldn’t expect 90,000 people to visit your site per month. There just isn’t 90,000 people in Albany, NY looking for for a landscape architect or even interested in landscape architecture.
But if you are URS (one of the biggest firms in the world and whose name gets Googled over 60,000 times per month), then it’s a lot more reasonable to expect those kinds of numbers.
It Depends On Your Audience
Remember that train ride? Let’s compare my audience with Mark’s. Mark’s Construction Marketing Ideas website is for anybody in the world who may be marketing construction-related services. That could be the person who installs your concrete porch or the person building the Freedom Tower.
In contrast, HelpEverybodyEveryday is really for marketing people (coordinators, managers, directors) who work for A/E/C firms doing commercial or government work. The residential contractor will not find a lot of value in a post about bugdust in proposals.
Inherently, Mark’s potential audience is bigger.
Since that train ride, I’ve published my book and people who work on proposals in other industries have become interested in what I have to say. So, it’s not uncommon for this site to get 5,000+ visitors per month. Recently, I’ve even had 400+ visitor days. And thanks to my move to Bluehost, my website hasn’t exploded in recent memory. My audience expanded, therefore my traffic grew.
But I have other websites that cater to a much greater audience that get over 30,000 visitors per month.
The amount of traffic you should get also depends upon the level of interest in what you do. Websites about green architecture should reasonably get more traffic than websites about commissioning systems for pharmaceutical plants.
The Right Traffic
In addition, not all traffic is equal. Let’s say you work for a small M/E/P design firm in Indiana. You post an article on your corporate blog called, “7 Twerking Secrets from Miley Cyrus’s VMA Performance.” You get 100,000 visitors that day. Pretty good, right? Not really.
Because everybody knows people who buy M/E/P design services are waaaay more into Lady Gaga!
You are getting lots of traffic, but the wrong visitors. So what do people search for when they are trying to learn about the topics your firm is the expert in?
You would have been much better off posting, “7 Things Gaga Taught Me About Clean Room Design.” Somebody, please write that article and post a link in the comments.
Did I Mention…
…that the systems we use to track traffic to our websites are flawed. So, whether you are using Google Analytics or something else, the numbers are just an estimation.
The Rule of Thumb
Of course, this is all a cop out. I can’t just leave you with that. I have to give you a solid number. So, I asked consultants who develop websites for A/E/C firms about this.
They say the rule of thumb for your average small firm in our industry is 1,000 visitors per month. If you are getting 1,000 visitors per month…that’s a good amount of traffic. Pat yourself on the back.
If you are not seeing anything close to that, you may have some work to do.
Do you agree with this number? How much traffic do you think the average architecture, engineering, or construction website should experience? Share your thoughts in the comments.
And if you are willing and able to share your website and monthly visitors (not hits or page views), please do. Just leave it in the comments.
P.S. A link from this site won’t “help your SEO” no matter what anyone tells you.
Get Awesome Update
This is the last post of the month, so if you want your chance at a free copy of the Adweek Copywriting Handbook, you better comment!