Traffic and the Average Website

December 9, 2004

How can we categorize traffic for the average small business web site? It’s pretty simple, actually — the average small business web site doesn’t get any traffic to speak of.

Looking at the statistics for November, 2004 for a typical site, we find that it got 774 page views — that’s about 26 per day.

Of those 774, 92 were from “robots” — automated processes run by search engines to update their index, and by spammers looking for e-mail addresses (which is why you never put a “live” e-mail address on a web site).

Of the remaining 682 page views, 119 belonged to the site owner. That leaves 563, or fewer than 19 a day.

80 of these page views came from links from other sites, and a paltry 31 came from search engines.

The remainder either came from “type-in” traffic (people who found the address on brochures or other material), or from bookmarks.

Since the site does have a frequently updated activity calendar for the organization, it’s likely some number of these were people involved in the organization checking their calendar.

Of our 19 page views a day, 67.5% stayed for 30 seconds or less. 16.5% stayed for more than five minutes.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a simple two-or-three page site that’s never updated. It’s a very pretty site, done by a professional graphics artist with lots of very slick looking flash animations. It’s updated frequently, and even offers various free audio downloads.

There’s nothing at all wrong with the site, in fact, unless we consider that its purpose is to attract new business to the organization.

If we look at it from that perspective, it’s a miserable failure.

It would be nice to think that this is an isolated example.

Unfortunately, having been in the web hosting business for the past ten years, I can say that this is typical of somewhere between 75% and 90% of the sites that are hosted.

Which isn’t a bad deal at all for the web hosting business, of course — you figure that the majority of resources will be consumed by 10% – 25% of the customers, and provision your facilities accordingly. On the other hand, if you are a small business owner whose web site should be one of your best marketing, sales and support tools, it’s rather a shame.

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