Uh oh! Unpopular opinion alert! I just said website hits don’t really matter!
Even though I get tons of spammy emails and comments telling me I need to “backlink” and “up my Google ranking” (which sounds uncomfortable and/or rude, LOL), I actually will dare to say that the sheer NUMBER of hits our sites get doesn’t matter.
Why? Well, there are a couple of major reasons:
#1: A Five-Second “Visit” is Not a Visit
Web statistics record every visit, even if somebody’s just on your site for a few seconds; this doesn’t mean that anybody’s actually staying around to really SEE your site and get meaning out of it. In fact, most quick visits are Web crawlers/robots anyway!
Instead of focusing on the number of hits, look at how long each visitor stays on your site(s). Long visits mean that someone out there is ENJOYING your content–which is what all us webdesigners want!
#2: No Comments and No Repeat Visitors is a Bad Sign
If you get a few longer-duration hits, but none from the same IP address, it can mean that people are visiting your site and finding no reason to come back. Likewise, if you’ve got no repeat commenters, your site is interesting, but not interesting enough to warrant a second comment.
Instead, look for the number of times an IP address pops up in your site statistics per month. If IPs show up more than once, you know you’ve got someone’s attention out there. Also, people who come back to comment a second or even third time are likely engaged with your content and are enjoying it.
How to Get Meaningful Visits and Keep People Returning
- Don’t just post your link on random sites that have nothing to do with your content. Advertising in this spammy, selfish way will make people think your site is full of spam, too!
- Affiliate or link-exchange with sites that are similar to yours, so that you drive traffic to each other’s sites.
- Another great way to advertise: get active in forums and online communities that are relevant to your topic, and mention your site as something others in the community would like to visit.
- Keep making content, and keep your site updated. Fresh content gives your visitors something to keep coming back for–update at least once a week and post the newest content prominently on your front page. (Plus, a layout/design update every six months to a year is a good idea!)
Don’t just chase after a certain number of “hits” to your website–instead, seek out meaningful connections with your users, and you’ll find your website being visited a lot more often. After all, numbers don’t mean everything in this business!