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How many visitors a month is good for my website? This is actually a question I get asked frequently from our SEO clients, especially when we are just beginning their SEO campaign. In my professional opinion, visitor growth is the best metric for SEO success, so I can understand why a site owner would want to shoot for a hard and fast number. But here’s the thing – when it comes to how many unique visitors is “enough” for your website, determining the right number isn’t as straightforward as that. It’s all relative to your business and is determined by a multitude of different factors.
DON’T BE A VISITOR GROWTH JUNKIE!
Just as an adrenaline junkie is addicted to the rush created from bungee jumping or sky diving delivers, a visitor growth junkie becomes addicted to getting more traffic to their website. However, the number of people who actually see your site isn’t necessarily the most important thing. What matters is whether or not your site is actually getting quality traffic. Growth is a valuable statistic only if the traffic boost helps build your business in some way.
What truly matters is if your website helps your business grow. In other words, if the site delivers a great return on your investment, it’s on its way to being considered successful. Sure, you do need site visitors. However, the amount of visitors doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the traffic you do get.
THE SIZE OF YOUR BUSINESS MATTERS
We have a range of clients that get anywhere from 1,000 to 50,000 unique visitors each month. Does that mean that the client that only gets 1,000 visitors is somehow failing in their SEO efforts? No, not at all! A multi-national, billion dollar corporation might need thousands upon thousands of visitors each month to justify their SEO campaign, but a local mom-and-pop pizza joint is more than happy with a few hundred visitors each month. The size of your business, and whether you operate on a national or local level, affects how many visitors are “right” for your website.
Think about it like this – a home cleaning services company based in Boston is never going to get the same amount of visitors to their site when compared to a major, national IT brand. But that doesn’t mean that the home cleaning company isn’t doing a good job with their SEO. If the right people are finding their site, their visitors are ticking upwards with time and their business growth is steady then they are doing a great job with their online marketing!
As you can see, there is a danger to comparing your business to others. What happens if you compare yourself to the wrong competitors? It will skew your view of your own SEO success! If a local clothing boutique tried to achieve the online traffic that the GAP receives, they’d be disappointed! No matter how much time, effort and money they put into their SEO, the local boutique will certainly not get the same amount of traffic that the GAP does.
IT TAKES TIME TO GROW YOUR WEBSITE
One thing to understand is that it takes time to grow your website, so you shouldn’t expect rapid success right out of the gate. When I first started Brick Marketing in 2005, I was happy to get 50-100 visitors a day. A brand new site has so little trust with the search engines, and SEO is such a competitive field, that I knew it would take a while to build up my unique visitor count each month. Now the site gets 1,200 visitors a day (less on weekends), which is relative to the growth of my business. For right now, 1,200 visitors is a great number. In another seven years I would expect to see a noticeable increase because that means I have grown and developed my business. If 5 years from now the numbers are the same I would be worried because it means my business is stagnant.
You also have to take into consideration the level of competition in your niche AND what kind of search volume it experiences. If you operate in an extremely narrow niche, there probably aren’t that many unique visitors to be had in the first place. You might not ever see the mind-blowing amounts of visitors that other, broader industries might have to work with. You also have to think about how competitive your market is. Are there hundreds of other companies vying for the same visitors as your or only a few dozen? The more competition there is the more spread out the visitors will be simply because they have more options.
In the end there is no “right” amount of visitors for your website; at least not a hard and fast number. You have to establish what is right for your own industry, niche and website. Your website is successful if it achieves its purpose and you see your business grow in conjunction with your site’s growth. In other words, it’s your return on investment that really matters!