How Much Traffic Should Your Website Really Get?

miley-vmas

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.”

The Rub

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.

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Comments

  1. I think more important to visitors is website traffic growth. Whether that growth is based on a marketing campaign (social or print) and monitoring the related activity via your website, or seeing growth trends on your website related to search or views on particular market sectors you are trying to target – that’s more important to me than visitors. That shows progress and shows ROI. I’ve had random hits (or visitors) based on someone finding a random master plan on a sports project and then posting it on ESPN’s website once – so my hits increased. Did that help my business? Nope. But when I see that I’ve been working on business development activities in healthcare, and then seeing a spike (or trend) towards more visitors going to our portfolio page and viewing healthcare projects and then looking at our healthcare market sector leader – then I know that I’m doing my job. The number of visitors will ebb and flow a bit, so having analytics measured across months and years is more important to the mission.

  2. I finally set up Google analytics for our new(ish) website thanks to this article. Thanks for helping me refocus!

  3. Jana Brickey says:

    I have to say, I love the article, but I can’t “unSee” the opening picture.

  4. I watch the trend of visitors, and don’t worry too much about comparing volume because it is meaningless unless the businesses being compared are VERY similar.

    However, when I started out, I tracked every lead, and paid careful attention to how prospects found me and whether they were the prospects I wanted. It was interesting to note the pages that brought in the right kind of traffic, and the pages that brought in the wrong kind of traffic.

    Instead of removing the non-buyer attracting pages, I beefed them up, so they were self-service. Everyone else was removing those pages. But I proved over the years that someone who lands on your site and isn’t a buyer today, may be a buyer later, when their firm is larger or they move on to a more responsible position with a larger firm. Sure enough, I signed contracts with several folks who had found my website years earlier, and were grateful for the help they found given away free, and remembered me when they were ready to hire help.

    Ergo, I’m in the same camp with Matt, Help Everybody Everyday. It’s good business as well as good karma.

    • Matt Handal says:

      Laura,

      Thank you for commenting. That’s a whole different discussion (reducing bounce). I have a bunch of stuff written in that area, but I’m not sure how to publish it yet.

  5. Hi Matt. We are a mid-size firm with national geographic presence in a fairly niche market and average 1,600 unique visitors per month. Thanks for giving me something to show our C-Level team that we are above average, even if the numbers are just an estimation!

  6. Nice newsjack of the Miley story. I was wondering how you were going to bring that around, and you did masterfully.

    Analytics have value. But you’re right, we often measure the wrong things. Traffic is simply an ego measurement.

    Rather than ask, how many visitors is your site attract. Ask the following (and use analytics to help you answer):

    Who is vis­it­ing my site? Who is dri­ving traf­fic to my site? Which con­tent are they con­sum­ing on my site? How are they engag­ing with that content?

    “Traf­fic is mean­ing­less; action is every­thing.” –Mark O’Brien, author of A Web­site That Works

  7. Hi Matt, interesting post. I was just curious to see how much traffic is reasonable. I’ve been running my blog Thoughtbrick for a year now and am on about 150 visitors a day but I know other websites in the self improvement/ meditation can get around 20,000 visits per month — a figure I would love to reach. It’s just a question of how and being more patient I guess.

  8. Hey Matt, good post mostly because I think it’s important to know when to stop trying to expand… I mean your site might just reach its full potential, and you should expand your effort in another direction or begin developing a new site.

    I have a site that gets about 1,000 unique visitors/day and about 60K pageviews. The traffic grew to this level in about 4 months, but I think it’s leveled off, so I’m doing a very similar site in a completely different niche. With this traffic level I make about $10 – $50/day (I know, huge variance)

    Can’t stress enough the importance of solid research prior to starting out – got to know what you want your site to do, and there needs to be a clear tone.

    Anyway, was just surfing, so thought I’d drop a comment. Take care, pat

  9. My website’s focused on Bitcoin and after a lot of promoting I got it to 10K unique hits in one month. I’m hoping for some search engine traffic to slowly come along but idk I’ll take things slowly for the first few months and if things don’t go well I’ll prob try to sell it. Thanks for the post and good luck to you!

  10. Hi,

    I find your article very interesting and believable. I have a small website for local growers / farmers, and it has around 18,000 unique visitors per month (Google analytics). When I was getting 30 visits per day I felt exactly like you (It was nice to know that everyday 30 different people were reading my work). On the other hand, my pagerank is very low (2) beacause I never exchanged links and didn´t work hard on that, I must confess. My Alexa rank is acceptable (Aroun 2,000,000). Despite this, everyday around 600 different persons get to my website and, I hope, find what they are looking for. The problem is that to win some money they only care about those things (Alexa rank, Pagerank, SEO stuff…). But my point is, at least Google make relevant data available even though we usually don´t win as much money as people who talk about this or websites with apps and so on.

    Best,

    Javi.

  11. it’s really helpfull.. Thank you..

  12. Matt, For the longest time my photography business website was getting hits all over the place because I ranked very high (#1) on Google for two keywords – “Color Photos”. I was thrilled, but over time I realized it lead to 0 conversions. After about 3 years of letting it linger I did a whole site reorg with SEO and focused my audience down to the types of photography I specialized in. My visitors and pageviews immediately dropped, but my conversion rate increased dramatically. Now, I’ve got a steady increase of both visitors and page views, but I feel it’s quality. Your article hits this whole exercise on the head. Who cares if you get 1 million page views if there is no conversion? All you end up doing is paying more money to the hosting and internet companies. This is excellent information for those looking to grow their web business smartly.

  13. Hi,

    my site is drawing average 1000+ visitor a month. How do i actually bump it up. I don’t have enough funds to pay for SEO. is there any advise you can give me?

    thank you in advance

  14. I get over 1000 monthly visitors. I Thought I was a loser but hey here is some encouragement. I wish I had stumbled on this page a few days ago or lets say I wish I had clicked on page 2 .

  15. Thanks for article…it’s helpful…

  16. Looking for some stats? A medium theme park in Australia has 60k, small theme park 40k unique visits per month. I thought this might help put some things into perspective.

  17. Thanks very enlightening. My site is 1 month old (launch) I have been privileged to have over 1,000 u/v but as yet no conversions. I have offers running, 100% guarantee, but still no sales so I guess it has to be a trust issue. Problem is without reviews (84% visitors click on tab) it’s difficult to sell but without sales you get no reviews (chicken & egg scenario). So no matter how fantastic my visitor rate (any fool can advertise) it’s the conversion rate that confirms success, I’d rather sell to the few than use PRC and sell nothing, but that’s the rub. Thank you for an interesting read I’ll be back for more.

  18. Thanks so much for this article. My webite is kind of niche (although pretty soon a lot of jobs will be requiring some knowledge of GIS). It’s been live since January 6th 2015. My average monthly sessions come in at 799 (if I include May which isn’t over yet… 832 without May). Plus I was on vacation for 2 weeks in April. So I guess your estimate of 1000 is pretty good.

  19. My website gets around 1500 unique visitors a day, or about 45,000 pageviews per month. However, my alexa rank is still in the 2 millions. I don’t understand how that could be, probably because alexa only takes into consideration those with the alexa toolbar? Wouldn’t life just be so much easier if these estimations were exact!

  20. Hi Matt, interesting post. I was just curious to see how much traffic is reasonable. I’ve been running my blog Thoughtbrick for a year now and am on about 150 visitors a day

  21. Wow, thanks for boosting my confidence about my own blog. It feels really awesome to see Google Analytics tallying up new visitors. Thanks for the interesting post!

  22. I get over 1000 monthly visitors. I Thought I was a loser but hey here is some encouragement. I wish I had stumbled on this page a few days ago or lets say I wish I had clicked on page 2

    • Matt Handal says:

      You are not a loser. You created a website that 1,000 people go to each month. How many people can say that?

  23. I like this “The amount of traffic you should get also depends upon the level of interest in what you do.”. Definitely true. While some online marketers recommend starting a website around your passion, there is also wisdom in launching around a topic or product that has a mass appeal. Good article Matt.

  24. Hi, I have probably been blogging for about 3 months now and am receiving 20 visitors per month without any real marketing efforts. Just focusing on building a great base of articles. If you want to check it out you can do so at sebastianhenryblog.com

  25. Wow I’m feeling so much better after reading this article. I almost did away with my blog completely because I thought it was a failure. I think I get about 50+ people a day but some days I get 150+. So I guess it’s not a failure after all? Thanks again.

    • Matt Handal says:

      Well, think of it this way: If you had a store and 1,500 people per month walked in, would you consider it a complete failure?

  26. Unlike everyone else here, I have an alternative informational no-income site. I get about 1500 page views a day (plus mp3, pictures, documents). Just two points: don’t deceive yourself: take out all the referrer spam, porn spam, spiders, crawlers, bots, Yahoo!, header requests, post requests; and count only 200 statuses. This can be discouraging! And also (as some people here have said) don’t get too excited over sudden spikes: I’ve had spikes of 10,000 downloads where the readers seem idiots and say nothing useful.

  27. I really appreciate this article, and thoughts from the comments. I would agree with several individuals here that the quantities of traffic don’t matter as much as the quality and context of that traffic. Unfortunately, overviews and general snapshots can only tell you numbers that don’t have much meaning behind them. I was hoping to see more conversation about user engagement and matching user intent.

    P.s. “7 Things Gaga Taught Me About Clean Room Design.” – has anyone published this post yet?

  28. I am so happy to have read this article! It’s not exactly what I was looking for when I googled “How many local Users should a blog get to be locally successful?” But then, I didn’t really expect ANY results at all. Hah! My blog about local (and mostly media) contests gets about 140 unique users and 500+ pageviews per day (and about 1500 Users and 9000 pageviews per month). I thought it was lame, but this article assures me that quality is more important than quantity, which is the premise I’ve been working under for these past 2 years. I pay it forward each day, and karma brings it back to me seemingly tenfold! 90% of my readers are local, and that to me is the most important thing – I know they are truly interested in what I blog about. I love helping people, and YOU have helped me, so thank you!

  29. Nice and clear. Very easy reading. There’s a huge gap between which traffic it’s good for your business and the one you get. By neglecting that, you are also neglecting the main purpose of having a website.

    Keep on sharing contents.

    Ric

  30. I real appreciate articles like these, thank you.

    Having the ability to gauge and compare our progress is imperative imo. It can stop us getting lost in the what ifs and maybes.

    My site http://www.bristolchannelfishing.com It is aimed at sea anglers and supporting angling communities. We went live on the 23rd of October 2015.

    In the first week we received 229 visitors. (23/10/15 – 30/10/15)

    On Week 5 – 869 visitors (20/11/15 – 27/11/15) 42.6% new 57.4% returning

    On Week 10 – 1,257 visitors (25/12/125 -01/01/16) 46.3% new 53.7% returning

    On Week 15 – 2,067 visitors (05/02/16 – 12/02/16) 41.5% new 58.5% returning

    From 01/11/15 – 29/02/16 11,722 Visitors

    I Hope my input is useful in some way.

  31. Hi sir,

    I’m a starter blogger and don’t know how to increase my website’s traffic. in other hand some of my website’s competitors have per day 50k plus per day visitors. The main thing is this, those website are just about 6-8 months old.. i don’t know the tricks..

    Please sir help me… i only depend on blogging.

    Thanks, Yash

  32. Hi, my site is drawing average 2500 + visitor a month. How do i actually bump it up. I don’t have enough funds to pay for SEO. is there any advise you can give me?

  33. Always a good idea to know who your audience is when developing a page/blog .. it will help you gauge the amount of visitors you should be receiving.

  34. I personally think that chasing after ‘key words’ is a total BS. There is absolutely NO GUARANTEE that 1 years from now, or even 6 months from now, those key words would be as popular and therefore needed to be present in my website article. Do I have to review and update my keywords every quarter to please the search engines to come out on the top ? Don’t I have anything else better to do than chasing after ‘key word’ of the day to place it on my web page to get the traffic??? What a total nonsense! I refuse to write for computers and will keeping writing for people. Sooner or later my website will have regular readers and dedicated followers REGARDLESS THOSE KEYWORDS OR SOME ALGORITM THE GOOGLE WILL TRY TO PULL OFF.

  35. After optimizing the SEO on my e-commerce site, and installing a plugin to read web statistics. I’ve noticed that I’m receiving about 1000/visitors not hits or even visits, but 1000 unique visitors a day. Most are national and international. I haven’t been able to convert this traffic/leads to sales because we deliver our product within a 40/mile radius in Florida. The site has been live for about 1.5 weeks now, and I finished the SEO optimization about 5 days ago.

    I’m impressed with the site traffic thus far but not with the 0 sales point.

  36. Forget traffic…I’m still trying to just get our CEO to understand the importance of a website and keeping it active. sigh

  37. We just launched a website about fixing your credit and have an average of about 6,000 views per month so far. Keep in mind we’ve just opened the new site up, and the Mobile app hasn’t even launched yet.

  38. 1000 visitors/mo depends on the language and also geo-location. I think the best best would be to Google Image: “Your Topic” Google Analytics traffic stats to see what others are doing instead of guessing a random number.

    Also you will notice a trend with a small slope for most google analytics traffic stats and then after 1-2 years you can see a higher slope and increase in traffic.

  39. Thank you for the informative article! I have often questioned what is “appropriate” or “good” traffic on a website. My website was created to attract attention and be able to offer business solutions in addition to day-to-day real estate operations. It took five years to build and make the site presentable and functional. There is still work to be done, but what was just a simple idea in my mind evolved into something very cool in action.

  40. I’m a Therapist and my site is now averaging about 70 unique visits per day, which has been growing steadily thanks to my blog posts. I would like to see more action taken per visit, so that’s were I’m going to focus my efforts from here on.

  41. I have a website for a club I belong to. My monthly visitor stat is 766 with daily visitors from 15 – 60 . There are about 500 members in the club. I’m trying to say that the members are using the website but are those 766 unique visitors or the same 60 or so multiple days? We’re a group of retired women and it’s been a tough sell!

  42. Thank you so much for this awesome article! i have just started a new website and i look forward to have 1000 visitors daily. I am ready to work hard to achieve that goal. Thank you again.

  43. Thank you for sharing. I started my company about 2 years ago and I have been very curious to how much traffic a website should be getting. I anywhere from 50 to 600 visitors a day on my website (depending on what I post). On average I have about 5,000 visitors per month. And yes there is a huge difference between hits and visitors. Thank you for giving me an idea.

  44. I agree with everything you’ve mentioned, the only thing is that I think the numbers should be analysed based on your industry and business model. The law firm you’ve mentioned, do they put money towards attracting visitors online or are they being searched because of their branding efforts through traditional methods? Are people looking them up directly or are they appearing based on related searches. Take a company like bankrate.com, lendingtree.com and getmoney.com (I just got a credit card on their site). It looks like they are all trying to make money from their site traffic, so their search appearance is huge. Now take a company like GE and Ford, they are simply providing info to people interested in their products. Basically, you’ll have to look beyond the basic numbers to see how your site is doing.

  45. Matt Handal says:

    Interesting statistics. Thank you.

  46. I am a small structural engineering firm – and yes it seems i am getting 30 unique vistors a day- almost 1000 a month. You are spot on. However this is for a single person operation – not sure i am enough if i started to employ people. Now these 1000 visitors a month – I get around 15-25 phone/email leads. (not all leads get converted to a sale but the engineer always has 2-4 jobs on the go which for him is good (Ave. job around £800-£1200).

    Hope this helps 🙂

  47. Matt Handal says:

    2.5% is not a bad conversion rate for visitors to real leads. And 16% conversion of leads to sales seems low. You don’t have a traffic problem, you have a conversion problem.

    But you are far ahead of many other firms.

Trackbacks

  1. What Is The ROI of Custom Content Marketing? | My Media LabsMy Media Labs says:

    […] feedback from consultants who develop law firm websites suggests an industry average of 1,000 site visitors per month for small and midsize law firm websites. Average conversion rates of 10% of site traffic to sales leads are an industry standard within […]

  2. […] feedback from consultants who develop law firm websites suggests an industry average of 1,000 site visitors per month for small and midsize law firm websites. Average conversion rates of 10% of site traffic to sales leads are an industry standard within […]

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