Note from the editor: These next few days, we will be re-publishing note-worthy content from the Wisdump archive. This particular article was originally posted by Paul Scrivens on November 10th, 2006.
The Web 2.0 world seems to have a problem regarding traffic. It seems to be the measure of success for a website and because of this many sites either get unnoticed or their true value doesn’t really show. On the other hand you have sites the receive a large amount of traffic yet really do nothing for anyone so how does traffic play in these situations? Finally, there is no end-all solution for measuring traffic so anyone can throw out some numbers and who are we to call them out on it or not because it wouldn’t be too hard to find a program that makes those numbers look realistic.
Let’s explore a couple of scenarios.
1. You have a site that gets 10,000 uniques per day, yet you generate no revenue and almost no discussion. Does the site have the same value as the person doing 5,000 uniques per day and making $1500 a month along with having some great discussions?
2. 2 million uniques a month is nothing to sneeze at, but what if you breakdown what those 2 million uniques really mean? What if those uniques were distributed over 150 sites? When you first think about it, it still seems like a big number but look a little deeper.
- 2,000,000 / 150 = 13,333 uniques per month per site
- 13,333 / 30 = 444 uniques per day per site
Now how many sites do you know do at least 444 uniques per day? I was able to make the 2,000,000 into 444 through two simple calculations. That doesn’t mean the 2M isn’t an important number, but you have to be careful of how you use it.
3. One site does over 2 million pageviews a month. That is a ridiculously high number for a single site whether your ego wants to admit it or not. However, what if I were to tell you that over 1 million uniques visit the site every month as well, would you still be as impressed? Again, 1 million uniques is nothing to sneeze at, but you would hope that a site can do more than 2:1 ratio when it comes to PVs and uniques.
Now take into account another factor with example #3. There are plenty of sites that do more traffic, but do those sites pull in an average of $60,000 per month? Looking at that stat would you take a site that does 2M uniques and 5M PVs or the site above that does half that and pulls in the money?
9rules isn’t known for throwing our members millions of visitors a month, but we are known for giving them quality traffic that sticks around and many times subscribes to their sites. You can get on Digg one day and jump up 20,000 pageviews and the next day its all back to normal again because the quality of the traffic is meaningless.
Traffic should be used as a metric to view how well your site is doing against your own expectations and how it can be improved. Throwing out random numbers doesn’t always mean they are worthwhile, yet we have put ourselves in an age where the size of your traffic is the only thing that counts (insert size isn’t everything joke). Traffic does have meaning, but don’t make it the theme of your site.