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Realistic community/social website traffic goals

1:54 am on Oct 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 7, 2005
votes: 2

I started a new community/social website earlier in the year (sometime in January) based around a particular niche. This was really my first attempt at a social website.

I'm currently only getting about 300 visitors a day, mostly return visitors. I don't rely on search engine traffic at all. My initial impression was that the site would grow virally without any reliance on the search engines.

Is 300 visitors a day poor for a site that's 10 months old? It is growing a little each month but nothing to really get excited about (maybe 10% increase a month if that).

The traffic is, to be frank, quite pathetic compared to some of my other non-community oriented sites which draw thousands of visitors a day from the SEs.

I'm interested in others who've been able to successfully build a community website here. How did you fare after 10 months and what are some realistic goals (traffic wise) for community website traffic growth?

4:04 pm on Nov 4, 2009 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 2, 2000
votes: 0

That's a tough question to answer, but 300 mostly return visitors is a good start. What percentage participate? I'd say in some ways you are ahead of the game, but you need to take some steps to ignite growth:

1) Ensure you are both engaging users more and creating more content by stimulating discussion. Start topics, bump old ones, etc. Be provocative.

2) Make social sharing easy so your users can share your content on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Spend a little time yourself ensuring that new topics, etc. make it into those channels.

3) Optimize the site architecture for search. Free traffic is your friend.

4) Spend some time and/or money promoting the site on related sites, via press releases, etc. Do some link dev work to get visibility on relevant sites - this will drive direct traffic as well a help with search traffic.

With a stream of regulars, you should be able to crank things up easily - many startup communities have to resort to begging friends to post or creating bogus users, neither of which is a great strategy.

Good luck!

10:55 pm on Nov 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:Feb 20, 2002
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I've been wondering about traffic levels for a new forum, too. I launched one about six weeks ago, and I am trying to set some realistic goals for my site. I know that I'm just at the start of the process, but this is obviously on my mind. I look at the site revenue so far and can't decide which gumball machine to spend it on! :)
11:21 pm on Nov 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You could write a message to the membership which would appear in their Profile, almost like a personal note, asking them to refer three of their friends to the site.