How to increase website traffic reliably

Check out how we increased our Website traffic using a variety of sustainable SEO & marketing strategies, and how much money that Web traffic generates to this day.

All webmasters need to increase their website traffic in order to grow profits - regardless of whether revenue comes from ads, affiliates, or sales. But, because Web traffic is the most valuable commodity online - it's effectively the currency of the Web economy - it's not always easy to come by.

And, this article will highlight a number of Web traffic milestones that SME Pals has reached (and a few traffic targets we still want to attain), and share the various lessons learned and strategies that got us there.

Website traffic milestones

The milestones I discuss here are essentially arbitrary in nature, and you might want to make up your own traffic goals and targets.

Remember, it helps to set attainable goals.

Setting Web traffic targets and reaching them can be encouraging, because you feel that there is progress to show for all the effort going in. Of course, Web traffic is not the actual bottom line, so it is important to relate your Web traffic volumes to online earnings.

Keeping a close eye on how traffic relates to revenue is vitally important for understanding how well your blog or site is performing. So, for each milestone, I'll include rough earnings estimates as well as the primary content, marketing and SEO strategies responsible for growing our traffic volumes.

1. 1000 pageviews a month

Starting a new site is actually one of the hardest parts of building a sustainable online income. It's the stage at which you have the least experience, and are most likely to make the wrong decisions.

I made plenty of poor choices when starting this blog. My number one mistake was spending too much time developing an advanced website with features no-one needed.

Become operational as quickly as possible. Start making money early on.

You don't need Web developers or custom Web developers to start a really high quality blog or eCommerce site. In fact, you don't need any Web design or programming experience at all.

Make use of the leading website builders to get up and running as quickly as possible, and focus on building the enterprise through marketing and networking.

[earnings] $10

2. 10 000 pageviews a month

This phase of an online startup is awful - the excitement of starting a new venture has started to wear off. A good percent of people give up at this point because there is little to show for the substantial amount of effort that has gone into building the blog or website. They decide to cut their losses.

Be patient. Page rankings and organic search traffic takes months to build up.

Spend this time learning how to create great content, and high converting landing pages. Put in place a publishing and editorial strategy that you can analyze and refine based on market research and analytical data that starts coming through in ever higher volumes.

[earnings] $100

3. 50 000 pageviews a month

At 50 000 pageviews a month, things are looking up - but still pretty quiet. 50 000 pageviews might sound like a lot, but let's do a quick calculation to put it into perspective.

In a month of 30 days, there are 30 x 24 x 60 = 43 200 minutes. This gives us:

50 000 pageviews / 43 200 minutes = 1.16 pageviews per minute

So it's still pretty much a ghost town out there, but it is worthwhile thinking about moving to the best Web host possible (if you have experienced any performance or reliability problems), before your Web traffic starts climbing steeply.

Even at this early stage, if you are an affiliate marketer or operating an online store, then there will likely be moments of excitement as visitors make purchases or convert on a semi-regular basis. It's also important to become familiar with analytics at this point because you'll need to understand where sales and conversions are coming from.

Understanding what marketing strategies are and aren't working will help you to start generating better content, marketing and advertising to increase Web traffic and revenue.

Be persistent and consistent. Recognize that you first have to provide a valuable resource for visitors before money starts coming in.

Start using tools and software that can improve your content and ability to network and market - Software and services that allow you to operate more efficiently pay for themselves many times over.

[earnings] $500

4. 100 000 pageviews a month

Things are starting to happen, at last. During peak traffic hours, you'll be able to watch your ad earnings (assuming you use something like AdSense) tick over. The site is a nice residual income earner, but not a sustainable one. This might be different for you, depending on your niche industry, products & services, or clientele.

To put things in perspective, I have a site that earns more than SME Pals on one twentieth the traffic. It is a much better earner (per visit) because it is in a highly focused niche and offers a quality service that people are willing to pay for.

Don't get too comfortable with the status quo. Something like a Google penalty can wipe out all your hard work and earnings overnight.

Start spending time and effort on reaching new markets, making new connections and finding new channels of traffic via backlinks, referrals and social media.

While search remains the largest share of the pie, it is important to have a broad base of traffic generators. So concentrate on finding marketing strategies that work.

In addition, you are likely starting to earn a reputation in your particular niche. Capitalize on this by implementing additional forms of communication for your readers - a newsletter, or mailing list is the perfect way to keep visitors engaged with your site.

[earnings] $1000 per month (depending on your niche and business model, earnings at this point may be significantly higher or lower)

5. 500 000 pageviews (short term target)

SME Pals does not, at the time of writing, generate half a million pageviews per month. However, at the current rates of growth we would expect to get there before the end of the year.

At 500 000 thousand pageviews per month, your site will be taken seriously by larger advertisers and marketing agencies. For bloggers this is great news because it opens the door to direct advertising revenue that is potentially far more lucrative than AdSense ads.

[proposed strategy] To keep our rapid growth trundling along, SME Pals is going to start approaching other social influencers and thought leaders with a view to connecting and collaborating.

Many leading webmasters are hesitant to partner with unknown blogs and businesses because they bring no advantage (in the form of an established readership and valuable Web traffic) to the table.

In addition, with fairly high, established volumes of traffic it should be possible to start creating and selling products or services directly. This should increase the RPM (Revenue per Thousand Pageviews) to generate higher returns.

[target earnings] $8 000 per month

So those are our Website traffic and revenue milestones (plus one target milestone). I'll be sure to uncork a bottle of bubbly once our short term traffic goal is reached, and earnings are up. I'll update this post if, as and when that happens.

How has your Web traffic grown? How do your earnings relate to the Web traffic volumes generated by your marketing, advertising and content? Share your Web traffic tips, ideas and experiences in the comments.

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Proof that business blogging works. Pic by nicoleec

The vast majority (in the region of 95%) of all sites and blogs ever created fail to make any money at all - let alone a profit. Against this backdrop it's quite easy to lose faith in blogging as a viable tool for online marketing.

But all is not lost. There are plenty of businesses out there quietly creating great articles and content to share and promote around their networks. Many of them have had great success in driving new leads, customers, sign-ups, traffic and direct revenue.