What is good traffic?

Updated February 10, 2016

I’m often asked this question: What is good traffic?

What is good traffic?

It’s one of those questions that isn’t easy to answer, but here’s my advice…

Speaking the same language

Let’s make sure when we say “traffic” we’re talking about the same thing.

First, there are a lot of stats and metrics involved with traffic. Examples: unique visitors, visits, hits (although “hits” is such a vague, unhelpful term in my opinion). They all measure and indicate different things.

Second, you have to specify a time period for which you are measuring traffic. I’ve heard statements like, “Her site has over 1 million visitors!” Alright, but are you saying she has over 1 million visitors per month or are you saying she’s had over 1 million visitors since she began her site 5 years ago?

For the sake of example, let’s talk pageviews

For many years, especially in the days of display ads, “pageviews” was used when conversing about traffic in general. Unique visitors or unique visits are stats that are talked about more these days, but for the sake of this example let’s concentrate on pageviews.

A pageview is counted each time your site loads.

For example, when someone lands on your main page and your site appears on the screen, that’s one pageview, because your site loaded. The visitor might scroll down to read (still the same pageview) and then click over to another one of your posts. When they click, your site will load that new post (on a new page) and that will be a second pageview. And so on.

In general, when bloggers talk about traffic in pageviews, the default is monthly pageviews (as opposed to daily or weekly or yearly).

So, how many monthly pageviews is good?

Well, it depends. There are site owners for whom 500 pageviews a month is fantastic. There are bloggers for whom 50,000 monthly pageviews would be mediocre. There are bloggers for whom 500,000 pageviews would be devastating.

The age of a website or blog, niche, popularity and purpose are all things that would determine what is good and what is not-so-good.

(But let’s be real here, many times the reason why we want to know if our traffic is “good” is because we are comparing ourselves to others. That’s a quick route to discouragement.)

Measure your site against your site, not against other sites.

A better question

Instead of asking, “Is my site’s traffic good?” first ask, “What is my site’s main goal and am I reaching it?”

Why are you asking the traffic question in the first place?

Do you want to make money and aren’t sure if you have enough traffic to do so? Do you want to build a strong, intimate community? Do you want to know if a move to a more robust hosting plan is warranted?

Another way to ask the question better is, “Is my site converting?”

In other words, are the people who visit your site converting from a simple visitor to someone actually doing the thing you want them to do? Is the main thing you want to accomplish happening?

  • If your goal is to make money, are you making money?
  • If your goal is to get people to sign up to your email newsletter, are they signing up?
  • If your goal is to build community, are your readers interacting?

Your answer will help you define what a good amount of traffic is for you.

Using myself as an example

If you look at my traffic numbers over the years, you would see that it has been a slow, steady climb with a lot of seemingly endless plateaus in between.

At first, I found this discouraging. But that all changed when I realized my income (my main goal for this site) was increasing significantly from year to year as I optimized my site and refined my marketing strategies.

Suddenly I became much more interested in conversions rather than traffic.

Don’t look at numbers, look at trends

So to recap, my answer to the question “What is good traffic?” is this:

  1. It depends.
  2. Don’t get hung up on the numbers. What matters more is you getting closer to your main goal, which can only be defined by you.
  3. If traffic numbers are indeed important to you, look for an upward trend in your numbers. Is your traffic steadily growing from month to month? Sure, we all have months that dip & spike for all kinds of reasons, but if you look at the last 6 months or the last year, are your numbers steadily increasing? If so, then I would say you’re moving in the right direction.
  4. Don’t chase traffic, chase conversions.

Going back to the example of me

I may be satisfied with my income increase, despite my lack of traffic increase, but we all can see that if I increased my traffic, my conversion rate would also likely increase.

And that would be even better, right? Yes, it would. So in that way, don’t dismiss traffic altogether. Just have the right perspective.

Traffic is still important

If you want some tips for increasing traffic read my top traffic tips.

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47 thoughts on “What is good traffic?”

  1. How about new blog? Domain will be very new, there won’t be any social media followers, Google won’t rank at top if search engines. The process takes lot of time to build reputation and traffic.

  2. Great read, thanks Amy. It’s true, it’s hard not to compare your site to another so this really helps to concentrate on the real objectives, not just comparisons. Much like real life really!

  3. Very interesting read, thanks Amy!

    I started mine in October 2012 (then under a different name and .blogSpot). By January 2013 I was getting about 4,500 monthly page views.

    By May 2013 it had increased to 68,000 per month and March 2014 did a record 76,000.

    Do you think that is pretty good going? My site primarily reviews burgers but also lists menu items and prices for McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC in the UK – which is where the majority of my traffic comes from.

    Thanks!

  4. Amy,

    I just did a blog post entitled “How My 1 Month Old Blog Generated Over 4000 Page Views and 857 Unique Visitors Using 2 Simple Methods”

    At the beginning of the month, I would have been happy with 25 visitors. I never imagines the traffic I would receive.

    I follow Matthew Woodward’s blog and did a story on how he grew his blog without any backlinks by finding peoples problems online and offering solutions—-in his case very well laid out and detailed tutorials on the subject.

    So I started reaching out to active forum organizers asking if I could be a Newby Case Study on their forum. Many successful people did not want to share their ideas, so I laid out everything to the readers.

    I also found that many of the Newby’s had many of the same ?’s over and over again. The group was asking for a FAQ—-so I stepped up and hired someone on Odesk to help me create one.

    The FAQ is over 25 pages long now and I will organize it and offer it up for the measly price of an email address.

    I thought at the beginning of the month I would have to rely on SEO and organic rankings. This month has taught me that there are more ways to skin the blogging cat.

    Thanks for such a great blogging resource!

    Regards,

    Scott in Boston aka MASSMAN

  5. Hi Amy,

    I completely agree with you that it is more about goals than absolute traffic, although it is nice to have a reference point to evaluate how we are doing. I have a scale for that here if you are interested: http://howtonichesite.com/much-traffic-good-traffic-niche-site/

    However, I am posting this comment mostly to say that I don’t think pageviews are the best metric to evaluate traffic. If you have few visits but high user engagement, pageviews will be high. But the behind that truth is that your website is effective in managing users, and not so much at attracting them in the first place. Furthermore, when we talk about getting more traffic we often mean getting more visitors. SEO is all about getting people to the site, not keeping them there. That is a job for usability and UX.

    Therefore by using pageviews as a metric for traffic, we are mixing two very different set of activities together which is not a suitable way to analyse what is going on with a site. In my opinion anyway 🙂

  6. Just started my blog today already have 3,600 page views I would like to break the 250,000 mark for my first month and hopefully move onward to 1 million a month, but only time will tell.

  7. Thanks for the article…its not about worrying about sites pageviews…its relative…thats the biggest gain of this article…cool!

  8. Hey Amy, Excellent Post! My Site is a month old and I’ve been looking for many similar articles on Google but I find yours very useful. I think most of the other posts also emphasise on the conversion rate and how you are reaching your goal, but I like the way you wrote it. Cheers.

  9. I hardly ever write on my blog but I’m still getting around 5,000 views an article on average. Then again, I always try and pick popular topics and don’t just write for the sake of it. I agree that you shouldn’t get hung up looking at the viewing figures. I look at mine once a month.

  10. Hi

    I was looking for “good” number of page views as I wanted to know what number qualifies for placement of advertisement in one’s site. I can relate to your answers as not to be too hung up with number of pageviews.

    I read somewhere that you mention 500page views is fantastic for one particular blog while for others 500,000 monthly pageviews would be so so. What’s the reason behind this?

    If someone is looking for placement of newsfeed on my website. Any guideline on how I should charge the person based on the number of pageviews I generated ? Thanks.

    1. The reason why pageviews are so relative is because there are so many variables to consider. For example, a new site that has struggled to gain traffic, and say, has had trouble creeping above the 100 pageviews a month mark would be doing very well to see a sudden uptick in traffic amounting to 500 pageviews. However, a site that is used to getting 3 million pageviews a month would be devastated if that number suddenly plummeted to 500,000 pageviews a month. As with most things in life, it’s all relative. 🙂

      Regarding advertising, there are no hard and fast numbers, although clearly the more pageviews one has the more attractive it will be to advertisers. I think the main thing is the ability to show a solid history of growth. Large brands are unlikely to advertise on a site with few pageviews, but small companies with smaller advertising budgets may very well be willing to advertise on smaller sites.

      Pricing can be difficult to judge. I would start by looking at other sites in your niche and determining how much they charge for advertising. Many sites have an advertising page on which they list their advertising rates (usually monthly or quarterly rates). You could also look at Google AdWords and determine what the rate one of your keywords has. For example, if you were going to advertise with Google on a site like yours with keywords like yours, how much would it cost you? Unfortunately, this varies widely by niche, so there’s no single answer. A third option would be to just make your best guess and seeing how advertisers respond.

  11. I was getting worried that my views per month weren’t good enough, but after reading this I feel reassured that I’m on the right track.. thanks! 🙂

  12. Fitness Wayne | Paleo and Exercise

    Right now I am averaging 200 pageviews per day but would like to get up to 1000 by the end of the year. My blog is only 6 weeks old.

  13. I love it when you explain what numbers are, my page views last month were just over 10,000. To date I have set my goals on daily count! meaning I would love to see a 1000 visitor day by the end of the year. However, after blogging for a few months now I am thinking daily visitors don’t mean much if they don’t stay around and read. I think I need to refocus my goals to page view numbers, and average visit duration.

  14. Well, I finally installed Google Analytics after relying on Word Press Stats.

    As I expected, Google shows that I have fewer unique visitors than I thought, but my page views are actually quite a bit higher on Google Analytics than on Word Press.

    I’m really not sure what that means…..I guess visitors are making more use of other pages/posts within my site than I thought.

    My traffic has been steadily growing over the last year, though not at the speed I was hoping for. I guess I had this hope my site would go “viral,”-lol.

    I notice very definite seasonal trends, so I’m working on being responsive to that.

    1. Oh, the difference in stat numbers means it’s not an exact science and all stats vary from service to service (mine do!). I understand the frustration of not growing as you’d like but I always say that slow growth is good growth. Also, it seems common that a blog will barely increase in traffic and then suddenly there will be exponential growth, so don’t count it out. 🙂

  15. What’s the good traffic for 3 weeks old site? I got around 1300 page views and 650+ visitor from first 3 weeks. I have no idea, is it potential or not.

    Thanks.

  16. Good things to keep in mind. I am just starting to learn about pageviews, etc. I need to set some goals for myself in the future…

  17. This post was super helpful for me, Amy. I’ve really been evaluating who I want to read my blog-who I’m writing for. That’s helping me to think and develop new and different ways of finding those people. 🙂 Thanks for all your thoughts, especially your interaction on FB. It means a lot to me. Somedays it’s hard to read a blogpost, but getting even just a nugget on FB is helpful. So, I hope you keep doing that! Thank you!

  18. Hi Amy

    Ahhhh, so I’ve been wondering what “Page Views” means exactly. I figured it was what you’re saying, but great to have it confirmed. Quite a timely article for me, actually. Thank you for the simple explanation!

    Lina

  19. I want to make sure I understand right.. When looking at my bounce rate….do I want a low number or a high number? I’ve consistently had a bounce rate of 75%.

  20. Amy,

    Very nice. Too many times I worry that bloggers get too wrapped up in NUMBERS. Sure you want them high but the key is to keep them moving in a forward direction, like you stated.

    The only time I can think that numbers really need to get technical is if you are selling your blog.

    I can admit I look at bounce rates in reference to the sites that feed visitors to me to kinda gauge if I am getting good traffic or not, that is just a quick way. The higher the bounce rate, the more I figure they like what they are reading.

    I try to check quality over quantity. 🙂

    ~Allie

  21. Thanks Amy- as a new blogger part of me wants to see big numbers….500 wow!!! I would love that. 50,000?! who ARE those people.. but I remind myself of what Ann shared at Relevant and I concur with her sentiments- I write for One and if I only reach one- person- then I consider myself having done faithfully. Yes, you cannot make money with one view! My blog is all about ministering and teaching the hearts of women. God bless.

  22. When I started my first blog, I was insane about checking the traffic! Then, I realized how time-consuming it was to worry about it! I still check my traffic sometimes, but mainly I’m working to build a better blog, network more, and try to write helpful content! I’m finding the less I focus on my numbers, the more they seem to increase!

    Love your blog, Amy…and I’m looking forward to Relevant!!

  23. No matter how much you try to ignore stats, if your a blogger your going to think about it. Great post Amy – to the point-easy to understand and exactly what most people want to know.

    Thanks!

  24. I was wondering this exact thing this morning… I need help! LOL I need different ways to market my blog without spending a ton of money. Any ideas?

  25. Thank you for a great explanation of the different metrics terms. I’m working to increase my traffic so I can earn an income from my blog. I’m wondering, which stat should I share in a media kit – monthly page views or monthly visitors, or both?

    1. I would at least include monthly pageviews, monthly unique visitors, Facebook & Twitter numbers.

      1. Hey Amy…can you elaborate on what you mean by “Facebook and Twitter numbers”? Is this simply number of likers/followers? Or are you referring to more indepth insights?

  26. Hey Amy, it is great how you actually ask the question about what metrics are we using. I would just continue the post here saying that if you are selling a 1.000$ consulting package and every 50th person that comes to your site purchases, that means you don’t need but 50 people a day to make 30.000 a month.

    But if you are relying on ad clicks and affiliate sales, you will need way more traffic.

    I would agree that the best thing is just make sure that the traffic is growing steadily.

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