“Website Traffic Isn’t Everything”
Traffic to your website may not make or break your business but if you want to have the time available to actually serve customers and scale your idea well, you should offload that as soon as possible.
Tim and Jerry recently set aside their differences and have been talking about the problems in their relationship. They see others struggling with the same issues they had. Tim and Jerry, now, feel drawn to helping others in similar situations.
One morning, over coffee, Jerry suddenly blurts out excitedly, “Let’s start a consulting company, Tim!”
Tim, not too excited about the idea but seeing the enthusiasm in Jerry’s eyes, leans in, smiling, signaling Jerry to go on and explain more.
“Seriously, Tim. You and I have found the key to smoothing out one of the most notoriously challenging relationships known to man. Imagine how many businesses could use our help in creating strong relationships with their employees! Today, so many people float from place to place every few years. With what we know now, we could help businesses save a ton in training, onboarding, recruiting, marketing to new talent. We could seriously help businesses change their whole practice on employee turn over”
Have you ever felt like that? Like you were on to something great and if people only had a clue what you were working on, they would flock to your business and beg to purchase your product or service?
I have started a number of businesses. They all were awesome and exciting from the start.
- An eco-friendly moving company from my dorm room.
- A crowdsourced home services business that could get a service provider to a customer’s door in less than 2 hours from the time they requested help.
- An Augmented Reality (AR) application development company that built an AR interface for one of the Hyperloop companies competing at the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition.
I was excited to start each and every one. I put everything into those businesses. Every business I’ve had, I thought people would be drawn into what I was offering simply for the sake that it was something actually, finally, available. Waking up excited to start every day working. Pushing hard on the product, the service, some part of marketing, the website… Oh, the website is awesome and looks so good! How could anyone say no? How can anyone not notice this website? Does that sound familiar to anything you’ve started? What business(es) or projects have started that got you excited to wake up each and every morning?
Tim leans back in his seat and, while skeptical of the idea, he can’t refute it. They really do have the skills they need to help businesses build a rewarding relationship with their employees. He is reluctant to tell his friend no. He shrugs internally and thinks to himself, “what the heck… I’ll give it a try. I’ve got nothing else really going on.”
“Okay, Jerry – Let’s do it!” Tim says, smiling wide at his friend. “I’ll start on the website tonight so we can start getting the word out right away.”
That night, Tim starts by purchasing a domain name and website host. To their good fortune – the host has a one-click WordPress install. All they need to do now is add some pages to help people get to know more about how they can help.
Tim looks at the clock – 11:47 pm. “I better get to bed”. As he lies in bed, considering the day, he starts to feel a sense of accomplishment and smiles slightly.
Starting something new feels good. Work is pleasurable under the right conditions.
Two months later…
“Jerry – stop. stop. Please STOP! I added all of the pages we talked about… Home, About, Blog, Services, and Contact Us. I’m doing everything I can – people are just not visiting our website. That’s your job!”
Jerry sits quietly, thinking. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t blame you. I’m just feeling frustrated because we’ve been at this for two months now and we have zero clients. We need to get people to the website, we need leads. We need sales if we’re going to have a business.”
How many websites, have you started with your businesses and/or projects? What did traffic look like for you? Of course, you had some form of analytics on there to determine how many people were visiting. This is how most business website stories go:
Month one, you see a handful of visitors to your website… “Not bad”, you think to yourself…
Month two, another handful of visitors – even some returning visitors… “I like seeing people come back”, you say.
Month three, “okay fifty people this month… not even close to what I need to run a profitable business, none of them are turning into customers. How can I improve?”
Month four, “to hell with this! I’ve tried changing so much and still just 100 new visitors!?”
“Tim, I’m sorry… I’ve been writing articles every day for the last few months on our blog and nothing seems to work. I’ve studied everything I can find to help boost our rankings. I’m writing and re-writing our article’s titles, I have Yoast installed and all filled out, I’m doing all of the keyword research and making sure to optimize on those… I just don’t know what more I can do to make it better. We’re getting, at most, two hundred visitors monthly now. It’s better than we’ve seen but still, no one is converting into leads. I was reluctant to do this at first, but I’ve started recording short videos and posting them on the pages as well!”
Month five. “…”, You’re tired of this sick sick game the search engines are playing with you. You’ve been writing blog posts, sharing stuff on social media, even started posting videos of yourself giving people advice. You’re exhausted now and hardly have time left to provide the very service or quality product you set out to start offering in the first place… Instead of making money, you are making videos and writing articles. Instead of being a huge success as you imagined in the beginning, you feel like this whole business may not be the right one for you.
With my previous businesses, one of the biggest, and most consistent, issues I faced was getting people to my website. I wanted leads so I could attempt to make a sale. To get traffic, I would try running ads, social media posts, email newsletters, writing blog articles with SEO tactics, making videos, and I even started a podcast. They worked to drive people to my site but nothing really worked all that well… The ads did get people to click over to the site but as ads work, they only show up if you’re paying for them. There’s nothing residual about traffic from ads. You pay, you may or may not get traffic, they may or may not convert, you stop paying – it all just turns off. No more traffic. The key with ads, I found, is that you need to get stuff to work organically first then place ads out for those things that are working well to simply scale it.
In the end, for my previous businesses, I shut down the first of those businesses, the next one I sold to my business partner, and the last, I gave away to the other founders who I worked with on building that business.
After many attempts to build a business, I always felt discouraged when I failed to get strong traffic to my site. I would eventually give up on trying with the business and moved on. If it is so difficult to get my business in front of people, how could I show anyone what I was working on? How could I get any clients or customers if I couldn’t pass the first test… get people to my site? Was it even worth my time trying to start and run a business? How would I ever have a chance to achieve the success I wanted and felt I deserved? How can you achieve the great success you dream of without people knowing your business exists? What is your response if you can’t get leads or people to your website?
Tim calls Jerry, “Hey Jerry, I know how hard you’ve been working to get our website to rank well on search engines. Is search the best thing for us to target? How important is it that we get people coming to our website from search engines? Is it something that is a ‘make it or break it’ kind of thing?”
“Well, not necessarily, Tim. We can certainly get clients and build our business without much traffic. The thing I was looking forward to with the website, though, is that it gives us the ability to scale our business more easily. If we can get people to the site and generate leads from that, we can grow much faster than we are now.”
Tim replies, “We have two clients now… it’s not a bad start, Jerry.”
“No. You’re right – It’s not bad”, Jerry says with a sigh. “But what if it could be better? I can’t survive off of two clients and I don’t think our business can either.”
The two sit in brief silence…
Jerry interrupts the silence. “Not only could it help us scale the business but if potential clients can’t find our website easily online, we’re going to be sitting there just waiting for our competitors to ‘eat our lunch’ as they are better able to answer our customer’s questions when they are searching online.”
“…”, Tim is thinking silently
Jerry starts again, “I don’t want to lose what we have here, Tim. I like what we’re doing and I think that we can really do some good. We need to get in front of more people. We can do that ourselves for sure and we should. We need to level up on our website traffic though. We are going to wear ourselves thin if we think we can get in front of enough people to keep our business afloat without our website being effective for us. We need to find a way to get our site in front of more people searching for our services.”
Now – I realize getting traffic to a website is not the defining factor of success or failure for a business. Sales and Revenue are. Traffic to your website, though, can determine how many leads you get coming in on a monthly basis. If you can get strong leads, your opportunity for sales increases. And finally, if you’re pricing model is right – you’ll make a profit from the revenues coming in from those sales. What’s your reason for having a website in the first place? You likely have a website to market your offering to the public. It answers questions for people. It tells people about what problems you’re solving. It connects you with the public. Your website is a marketing tool. How can you get it to market for you well?
How many people do you have coming to your website right now? 200, 300? maybe 600 if you’re lucky one month? I don’t want to blow your sense of accomplishment if you are getting numbers like this, but – these are, relatively, very low numbers. You can make something from that base which is nice to think about but how long will it take you? How much time and energy are you putting into getting those numbers? What will it take to double or even triple your number of visitors?
What if your website could be more than a marketing tool? What if it could be a lead generation tool or even a sales tool? What would that mean for you and your business? If you could get a strong foundation set up on your website to the point where people could buy from you there. If people could build a deeper relationship with you through there and schedule a meeting with you based on their positive interactions on your site – how would you feel about that? Pretty nice, right?
I spent some time thinking about that question myself and determined – that’s the way I want my website to work. I want my site to generate leads. Hell – I want my site to help me sell my products for me. Would it be a bad idea for you if you could get that from your site also? While I was thinking about that, I figured that – problem number one is getting people to my site. From there, I could understand more about my audience. I could understand what blog articles they were most interested in, and what parts of my site needed improvement. If I could boost my traffic in a big way without investing much more time – I could start figuring out how to generate leads from the new visitors as well as have time to spend serving my clients well.
“Jerry, I think the issue we’re facing is a common one. This must be a solved problem. I’m going to do some research and call you back.”
As I faced this same issue with many of my previous websites, I sat down and started writing out my options. About three days later, it hit me!
“Jerry! I’ve got it. What if we can create a software tool that helps us boost traffic by generating great content for readers on the internet… What if it could generate so much content that it didn’t matter so much where it ranked. Could it help us see more visitors? Maybe we could have so much content that people would find links to our website on multiple locations and pages within the same search results!”
Tim did create such a tool and the results were much bigger than he expected. At first, he started seeing a boost that doubled his visitor counts. Both he and Jerry were happy with finally seeing people coming to see what they were offering.
Two weeks later, Jerry calls Tim…
“Tim! I’ve got bad news and I’ve got good news. I’ll start with the bad here. How many people can our servers handle on a daily basis?”
“Jerry, I’m confused… what are you talking about?”, Tim asks.
“Dude… I don’t know what you’re software is doing exactly but it seems to be working! We just cleared 8,000 visitors over the last 30 days! HAHAHHAHA!”
Tim and Jerry’s software tool is indeed alive and working well, even here in the real world! If you’d like to understand more about how this tool works, click below and complete the form to evaluate it for yourself.