2017 update – this page has now been superceded by a much more detailed page about this subject that covers levels of monthly website visitors plus also advice about how to get the most benefits from your website visitors.
Click here to go to the new page.
When we’re running through A1WebStats accounts (trials and paying) and we touch upon the subject of overall numbers of visitors to the website (typically, within a month), the same question comes out a lot of the time:
“Is that a good number of visitors?”
The answer is that it mainly depends on the types of visitors being gained.
Suppose you had 300 visitors to your website in a month. That’s a pretty low number. Remove the following from those 300:
- Existing customers/contacts
- Internal staff
- Pointless SEO (being visible for something that doesn’t really benefit you)
- Visitors from beyond your geographical target market (e.g. overseas)
We went through this exercise with a business recently and they ended up with less than 100 ‘UK’ visitors and even then, there were doubts about the usefulness of many of them.
Whether you use A1WebStats, Google Analytics, or something else, it’s important to strip your monthly visitors back to those that could be considered potentially useful.
Most people are initially interested in A1WebStats because they want to know which companies visit their website. This is done mostly through IP address tracking and we’d normally expect a website to see from 10-35% of all visitors as being from identifiable companies.
That’s not to say that the other 65-90% of visitors aren’t from companies – it’s purely that they can’t be identified (for various reasons).
Say your website visitor numbers were 300 per month and you could identify 10% of those as being from companies – that’s only 30 business names for you to be working with, and many of those are likely to be competitors, existing customers, etc. Now triple those monthly visitors to 900 and stay with the 10% – that’s 90 business names for you to be working with.
We see a huge range of results within subscribers accounts and sometimes they vary hugely within the same industry. As an example, we examined the statistics for two companies within the printing industry and this is how they differed:
- Company 1 – 1,032 visitors in a month – 112 of them (11%) identifiable as companies.
- Company 2 – 561 visitors in a month – 118 of them (21%) identifiable as companies.
The companies each had roughly the same number of companies identifiable but the percentages were wildly different. In effect, Company 1 had a lot more traffic to their website but it was Company 2 that was achieving more identifiable companies through their traffic.
When we dug deeper into this we could see that Company 2 were undertaking various online activities that pulled in more of their target market, whereas Company 1 were more passive in their approach.
What this means is that it’s not just the number of visitors you have, but what types of visitors they are.
Start with the percentages
Take a look at what percentage of your overall traffic is showing an identifiable company/organisation. If you have good traffic (e.g. 1,000 visitors per month) and you’re getting 10% identified as companies then that’s still 100 to then filter down to those that are useful prospects. However, instead of thinking “let’s get the traffic up to 1,500 visitors per month (to increase the number of companies identifiable)”, perhaps it would be time/resource better spent digging into those who weren’t from identifiable companies (i.e. the other 90%). What could you do to take that 10% up to 11% then 12% and so on?
In particular, ask yourself the question “why don’t we ever see [insert your desired company name here] come to our website?” and then go out and find ways to pull them in.
It’s a numbers game?
Yes, if you increase the numbers of people to your website, using similar methods to how you’ve always done it then logic says that you’ll also get more identifiable companies, more prospects, but of course more irrelevant visitors. That’s how many businesses work but it’s a recipe for disaster because your competitors will instead be focusing on bringing in more of the ‘right’ type of traffic, much of which they can identify by their company name.
Lucky for most companies, many competitors are doing very little in analysing their website visitor types (companies, people who get to certain pages, people who come in from certain sources, etc.) and so it’s not time-critical to make improvements. But gradually, mindsets will change and that change will turn to these types of questions that companies will ask themselves:
“Instead of worrying about how many visitors we have to our website, how many of those visitors actually made contact with us, or were we able to capitalise on, based on what we know about them (e.g. which companies they were from and which pages they viewed)?”
Aside from bigger businesses (who generally have more resources or outsource the work), the vast majority of companies do very little in the way of analysing website visitors, even when the tools (e.g. A1WebStats, Google Analytics) are there to work with. It’s a real shame because every business, regardless of sector, has the opportunity to ‘do better’ with their websites/online presence but there’s usually something (seemingly) more important to do.
OK, I’ve read all that – I still want to know!
Our view of a ‘good’ number of website visitors varies by sector. Based on the data we have, here are some typical numbers for a few types of businesses …
Web/SEO/Online marketing service providers – in the main, low numbers of traffic per month – from 200 to under 1,000 visitors. That may seem strange (after all, if you provide web type services you should do well for your own site) but perhaps the focus is put into clients work and not their own businesses traffic levels.
Services that people don’t know they need or rarely have need to look for (for example, electronic document management, health & safety, website analytics (!), bespoke programming) – as low as 100 to under 500 visitors per month. Why? Because however useful these services are, the reality is that the market has to be educated in order to grab their attention. An example of this is electronic document management, an industry that has to pay huge cost per click in Google but the reality is that most people searching on such phrases aren’t genuine potentials and those who are potentials don’t have a desperate need for it yet.
Business consultants – typically low numbers ranging from 150 to under 400 visitors per month. Again, these are the types of services that businesses may benefit from but they’re not actively out there searching for them. It’s the job of the consultants to find ways to entice them to their websites, not sit there hoping that someone will type something into Google.
Engineering/manufacturing firms – these vary wildly but are generally good, ranging from 400 to under 3,000 visitors per month. Although numbers are good, conversions from those numbers aren’t so brilliant, usually due to weaknesses within the websites themselves and a lack of understanding that people want to see lots of examples of what’s been made/sold, instead of being told that a certain service/product is on offer.
And what about you?
Your business type may not have been included in those above but if you want a generic insight (we can’t give specific details, due to confidentiality) into how your industry fares amongst our data, then please do let us know.