What’s a Typical Traffic Pattern?
Every now and then, we all need to “rise out and above ourselves” and see the big picture, not of where we are, but where we are headed.
We generally see three basic traffic patterns…
1) Exceptional – there is a steady increase in traffic, month after month, starting quickly (in the first weeks to couple of months) and growing steadily and well thereafter. This is usually a sign of a great niche (good demand to supply ratios for many keywords), well executed with good content, and/or someone who is working harder than average and is creating a lot of good content, building inbound links, etc.
2) Moderate — the more typical pattern is a site that runs in the 10s to 80s (per day) for a few months, sees a jump to the 100-300 range, which seems to be the critical hump after which growth is steady. The period and exact levels vary with the niche and the time invested.
3) Dismal — this pattern is generally due to a bad niche (too general being the most common mistake) and/or just not investing the time to build pages and links.
Overall, the conclusion is… The better the niche and the more time invested, the better you do.
And that, believe it or not, got me thinking about the stock market and site traffic. Here is the connection…
Suppose you invested $100,000 in some solid, no-load indexed mutual fund. Basically, the value of this fund will rise or fall with the overall performance of the stock market.
But did you know that on any given day, the value of your investment will be below your “highest-to-date”? That’s because the value of stocks dips. Overall, of course, an indexed fund increases in value in the long run.
But that upward trend is made up of daily, weekly, and monthly dips down and bumps up. And despite all the gurus who might claim the contrary, you really can’t “time the market” and decide when to buy low and sell high. Just trust that the future of this world is up, up, up… and that the markets will reflect that optimism.
It’s easy to get frustrated, sometimes for months on end, when you see that the value of your fund is below the highest value it was worth at some time in the past. Finally, you sell… often a week or a month before the stock market takes off on a bull run!
Web site traffic is a bit like that. Any given day or month is likely to be less than a previous “all-time-high.” Any given month can have a spike up, and then drop back putting you at a new plateau.
However, here is the big difference between the stock market and site traffic… you have much more control.
Lesson #1 – Dips are Part of the Pattern
Let’s say that your traffic has grown steadily over the year from 10 to 40 to 100 to 150 to 210 visits/day. Then all of a sudden it falls back to 177 in January of the new year. Traffic climbs back up to 190 in February, but there is no big increase in March.
From ground level perspective, you are in a rut. And that word “rut” suggests frustration — understandably, we all want straight lines upward. But, from where I sit (and I’ve watched thousands of month-to-month traffic patterns), these traffic stats demonstrate a key lesson…
This is a typical traffic pattern, whether it plays out over 6, 12, or 18 months.
Once you establish a solid traffic base, you can make your own market run up. It just takes time. And for some people, it takes more time than others, for a variety of reasons. But the key here is that unlike the stock market, it’s not out of your hands. You can push it!
It’s at this point that you re-double your efforts, including building more great content. Look forward, not backwards.
Lesson #2 – It’s All About Perspective
Business is much like life, only smaller. Think of your own life. Were the last 12 months perfect? Or were there setbacks?
Business is the same. We all move steadily ahead, with setbacks from time to time. But overall, onward and upward. Sometimes, it’s hard to see that bigger picture when a setback hits.
The interesting part of an SBI! site… as your site grows in “Web Presence” (size, age, quality as perceived by humans and measured by Google), the setbacks become far less frequent.
Lesson #3 – It’s Not A Race
You can build “Web Presence” in 6 months or 4 years depending on how hard you want to work, how competitive your niche is, etc. But…
It can be done. And then, you’re sailing!
All the best,