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getting traffic

Posted on 2004-10-13
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hi all,

has anyone here taken a website off the ground and put it on a good traffic position (daily hits)?

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Question by:testn1
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by:humeniuk
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I've worked with a few sites (in different capacities) that have done fairly well.  I presume your question is how to get good traffic?
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by:testn1
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hi hum,

my question is more, how long does it take to make stable traffic in terms of  time/daily hits?
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by:testn1
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from your previuos experience..
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by:duz
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testn1 -

>how long does it take to make stable traffic in terms of  time/daily hits?

I guess the real answer should be never because SEO and e-marketing is not a one-off act, it is a continuing process.  For example lets say you have a site selling widgets with 300 pages fully optimized and it's where you want it in the SERPs. Let's say you add a page of quality content a day, the history of the widget, inventors of the widget, the Ancient Greeks and the widget,  love and the widget, green widgets etc etc. but only what is applicable of course :)  Then after one year your site will have more than doubled in size and if done properly so will the traffic!  The question is of course is it the sort of traffic that will buy a widget? Well that's where the daily monitoring and tracking of your website's visitors comes in, you see what works and you do more of it!

One of my sayings is:  A website is never finished!

- duz
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by:humeniuk
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A very good point: "a website is never finished!"  You definitely have to be constantly refining your site.  Not all traffic is created equally.  Your history of the widget section may well draw widget enthusiasts, but if your goal is to sell widgets, you still have work to do.

The answer also depends very much on the site and purpose of the site.  And what constitutes a lot of traffic also varies widely depending on the purpose of the website.

<< from your previuos experience >>
Are you looking for anecdotal info, ie. things that have worked in certain situations?
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by:humeniuk
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In other words, what kind of info would be useful?
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by:testn1
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"a website is never finished!"   - agree

'Are you looking for anecdotal info, ie. things that have worked in certain situations?'  -- yes, also: an average of time/hits you have seen from your experience..
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by:testn1
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you have seen 'or created' from your experience..
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humeniuk earned 500 total points
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I'm sure duz has worked with far more websites than I have, but here are a few examples from my experience - this also shows how success is relative:

The cases where drawing traffic has been the easiest is with sites for existing businesses.  In one case, a client (a golf resort) had a website that was drawing very little traffic.  They asked me to look at the website, but the problem was that their existing client base had no idea the website was there.  None of their print ads, promotional material, scorecards, etc. had any mention of the website.  Once they started including the URL on all this material, the traffic went up immediately - their golfers started visiting the site - and found the online booking feature, the photo gallery, etc. and kept coming back.  With this additional traffic and adding some incoming links to the site, the search engine profile went up as did the traffic and they started getting bookings from tourists planning trips to the area.  It still isn't a high-traffic site, but they're averaging a couple hundred unique visitors each day (half that during the off-season) and they're happy with it.

Another case was one of the first websites I ever worked on. It was for a yearly event, a festival of sorts.  In retrospect, the site was a complete mess from an SEO perspective, but the website took off pretty quickly.  It was launched about two months before the second year of the festival.  The URL was on all the promotional info, posters, press releases, etc.  There was a good amount of publicity, so the URL appeared in the press and on media websites.  There were also links from festival participants.  The traffic built up steadily until the first day of the festival and there were about 10,000 unique visitors over the ten days of the festival.  This average dropped off to about 1/3 to 1/2 of that over a period of about two months following the festival.  In subsequent years, the traffic would begin to build up about 3 months before the festival, would peak from about a week before the festival through a week after the festival and then would slowly recede again.  By the third year, there were an average of almost 2000 visitors per day during that peak period.  Ultimately, I think the website could have performed better, but as I said, it was completely unoptimized and there was virtually no online promotion.  But that's how it goes, right?  "If I knew then what I know now . . ."

A final example - I helped a friend set up a blog-type website where she and a couple of other people write political opinion articles.  I've told them about incoming links/exchanging links and gave them a list of a few good directories to submit to, but they haven't done it so far.  In September (month 4), they were happy to have 125 unique visitors reading their words of wisdom - 1/3 of the traffic from search engines, 1/3 linked from the URL in the signature line my friend uses in a political forum she posts in, and 1/3 from a link on the website of one of the site contributors - and the site's Google PR went from 0 to 1.
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by:testn1
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hum,

Thank you for the explanations, they're very helpful. I must assume that conventional marketing combined with a good online stratefy would be an effective way to succeed.

Does duz has any comments about it?
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by:humeniuk
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Online marketing is conventional marketing, just in a specific medium :)  In terms of marketing, each medium - online, print, television, radio - has it's own conventions, formats, requirements, etc.  As duz pointed out, a website is ever changing because it has to be part of your current, past, and present marketing campaigns, ie. it has to be last week's commercial, today's commercial, and next week's commercial.
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by:duz
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testn1 -

>I must assume that conventional marketing combined with a good online stratefy would be an effective way to succeed.

Not quite.... different media require different paradigms. An effective emarketing strategy requires analysis, research, planning and a thorough knowledge of the online industry. Jakob Nielsen's Website (or books) is a good place to start although I don't always agree with everything he says http://www.useit.com/

- duz
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by:testn1
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duz ,

thank you for the website. I'll look into it.

anything to add in regards to traffic/time numbers from your experience?
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by:testn1
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I can see that Jakob Nielsen's website of more about usability.. but thanks.. i'm researching more on the 'building traffic' subject..



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testn1 -

>I can see that Jakob Nielsen's website of more about usability

I suggested it in reply to your "I must assume that conventional marketing combined with a good online stratefy would be an effective way to succeed". Usability is not a conventional marketing paradigm but its importantance in website design cannot be overestimated.

Back to 'traffic/time numbers' :)

Above I suggested that you can increase traffic by adding content because it will increase a site's presence in the search engines and make it easier to obtain inbound links.  Traffic comes because users see a link they want to click on it and the more links in the right places the more traffic - it's as simple as that.  You can buy traffic with PPC or by buying text links for example but you need to know that the ROI makes it worthwhile.

Of course when the traffic arrives on your page you have two or three seconds to show the user what they are looking for and entice them in!   :)

- duz
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by:humeniuk
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"Usability is not a conventional marketing paradigm but its importantance in website design cannot be overestimated . . . when the traffic arrives on your page you have two or three seconds to show the user what they are looking for and entice them in!"

Very good point.  Again, all traffic is not created equally.
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by:testn1
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agree..  just usability not an issue, traffic is.

'Again, all traffic is not created equally.' of course not.. depends on the type of website, among other things to consider.

in general, i have seen some good strategies out there, but again, I would like to hear some numbers(again: hits w/time). Maybe be it's a very broad question, but i'm sure someone has gone through it and could share some numbers...

btw hum, thanks again, your information is what i was looking for, I'm just wondering if someone else has done it too.
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