Should I worry about my website traffic?

One of the most frequent questions I am asked is “how do I drive more traffic to my website”.  I think tracking the volume of traffic to your site is an metric for more business owners to understand,  so I can understand the focus.   But is this really a good indicator of how well your website is doing?   How is volume of traffic to your website going to improve your business?

Decide – Who do  you want to see your website?

Depending on the target audience for your website,  this may not be a large number of people.  To give an example, at one of my old jobs,  the total number of businesses we could sell to was about 3500.   It was a very niche product,  so the expectation that thousands would be visiting the website every day was going to be unrealistic.

Or what if you built the website to help support your existing customer base?  You know what that number is,  so you know what visitor numbers should be and should not be surprised either way.  Again,  just looking at website traffic reports with a knee-jerk reaction thinking the numbers are too small is not common sense.

Who can stop worrying about driving large numbers of web traffic? 

  • Sell a niche product – You should know what your customer universe is and what percentage of market share you are working towards.   Use that as your guide.
  • Specific Geographic Area – If you only do business in your town/area,  you should know what the population is and how many competitors are fighting for that population.
  • New Leads Are Not Your Goal –  If the universe of who you sell to is small or the purpose of your website is to support existing customers or a different part of the sales cycle other than lead generation,  you also will not expect big numbers.

Examples of websites that need  large numbers of web traffic.

  • Online store for consumer products – You are always going to need new visitors to generate new sales,  so you cannot stop driving new traffic.
  • Blogs –  If you are running a blog,  and the blog is the main purpose of the website,  you need large traffic numbers.   You need new readers,  you need new comments,  you need to be able to prove you have the audience in order to generate your ad revenue.
  • Online Service or App Seller – Your entire business is your website.  In order to grow,  you need to drive new people to the site in order to build your customer base and typically you are dealing in volume.  You will need large traffic numbers to convert large numbers of online clients.

Remember, Traffic is Metric,  Not a Business Goal

The key lesson here is to think strategically about your business website.   Don’t buy into hype about large numbers of website traffic if your business does not need it.   Track website traffic as a goal if that aligns with your business goals,  not because you think you need to.