How to Get 10,000 Pageviews in a Week
Many years ago, the movie "Field of Dreams" was released and with it came the increased popularity of the phrase "If you build it, they will come." While building a field in the middle of nowhere might work in a movie, that doesn't mean it will always work in real life. In the same way, just because you build a web site doesn't mean anyone will ever come to it either.
Many people discover the sad reality of web site traffic trends until after they've spent hours building a site or thousands of dollars (or other forms of currency) paying someone to build a site for them. They buy what they believe is the greatest domain name ever (at least in their minds), build a site that promotes their business or sells their product, and then launch it live to the world. With the launch, they know there are billions of people that now have a direct path to their site.
But sadly, their site is like a baseball field in the middle of a farm in the middle of the country far away from any major roads. It is likely that nobody is around to stop by. They might see a plane fly over but the likelihood of anyone stopping by your field or your site is almost nil.
The reality is, your site is one of a magnitude of sites on the web. It is likely one of many on a given topic or within a given business area. Your site, while connected to the internet is unknown. At some point, it might make it onto the search engines, but like a baseball field being added to a road map, getting into the search engines doesn't mean anyone will find your site that wasn't looking for it already.
"So, where's the traffic?"
So where is the traffic? The traffic is out there, and you can get it to your site.
Web developers that build sites for people unfamiliar with the web, need to set expectations on traffic. The effort to gain traffic can be harder than building the site itself. As such, a web developer who builds the best site in the world, could still be seen as failing if the site doesn't get traffic. It is for this reason that many people post questions about how to get traffic. It is also for this reason that there are a multitude of businesses that focus on promises to drive traffic.
The good news is, you can get traffic to a site. There a number of ways. Getting traffic, however, it is like the old Hollywood axiom: You can pick two; quality, cost, or speed.
"So, how do I get traffic FAST!"
There are many options people to get traffic. While all of these can drive traffic, they vary in how fast they operate, how much effort they can take, and how much it can cost to execute.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Click marketing / PPC
- Native Advertising
Each of the items listed has a varying chance of success in driving traffic. Before looking at each, there is an important question you need to be able to answer. Who are you wanting to come to your site. Most sites are aimed at a specific audience. If you have a site that sells snow shoes, then getting people who live in the tropics to come to your site is not likely going to drive any business! Getting any audience is often easier than getting an audience that you can monetize.
For most sites, getting 10 people who are interested in the topic is better than getting 1000 who have no interest in what the site covers. In fact, getting people who don't care about your site's topic can hurt you your site overall. If a lot of people come to your site and quickly leave because it isn't of interest, then, then this can hurt your long-term traffic efforts. Your site pages will get a reputation for being low quality. This is something to consider as you determine a strategy for building traffic. Even though some of the suggestions below might drive traffic quickly, they might hurt your site and cost you traffic in the long run!
"So, what is SEO?"
When people talk about getting traffic on a site, the conversation generally includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Most people find things on the web by using the search engines, primarily Google. If you can get your site listed on Google search page results, you increase the chance that someone will find and then click to your site. See our article, "So You Want to Do SEO on Your Site… for more tips.
Getting found on the search engines requires that your site be indexed by the search engines and that the search engine then ranks your pages higher than others. There are many ways to get your site and pages found. There is also code you can add to your site, such as a site map, that will make it easier on the search engines to know what pages are on your site.
SEO is a longer-term strategy. If you are wanting 10,000 pageviews in a week, then SEO is not the best approach to make this happen. This is not to say you should avoid SEO. SEO is a critical strategy for maintaining traffic long-term. You should apply SEO from the time you start designing a site.
There are books on SEO. There are good and bad approaches to applying it as well. If someone promises you 10,000 views on your site in a week using SEO, however, you should question their tactics to see if they are doing SEO or one of the other items about to be mentioned in this article! See our article, "So You Want to Do SEO on Your Site…for more tips.
So, what are the ways to get traffic other than SEO?
Following is a very quick look at some of the ways you can drive traffic quickly. Note that these range in the level of effort required to execute as well as the level of cost.
Email marketing has been around for a long time. With email marketing, you create an email with a call to action that helps to drive people to your site. When people get the email, you hope that your call to action will get them to click on a link to your site.
Email marketing can be a viable model for getting traffic relatively fast because most people read emails immediately. If you don't already have a list of email addresses, however, then you can buy names and addresses. The more focused the list of names, the more they will cost.
In general, the chance of success with email marketing can be high — if you buy the right list of names, write an engaging email and include a call-to-action that the reader would want to click. Even so, open rates on emails can be low, so you should expect to send out a large number of emails relative to the number of views you want. Mailchimp posts open rates between 15 and 29%. The number of people that click on a link within an email will be even lower. Mailchimp posts click through rates that hover between 1 and 3 percent. With a click rate of 2%, you can assume that you'll need to send out at least 50 emails for every click. That would be 500,000 emails to get 10,000 pageviews. These numbers assume you are using a somewhat targeted list of names and writing a good email. If these are substandard, then you should expect to send more than half a million emails to get the 10,000 pageviews.
Sending emails is generally done by creating a list or by buying lists of names of people who have expressed an interest in a given topic. You can also contract marketing and other third-party sites, which can also send emails to their audiences. This adds to your cost.
If you want to reduce the cost of sending emails, you can find cheaper lists of random names, or you can scrape email addresses from the internet. The cost can be substantially cheaper in creating your emailing list this way; however, the click through rate is likely to go down as well.
Sending an email to someone that has not opted to receive emails is spam. As such, scraping names and emailing to them would be spamming. When you buy a list of names, it is important to verify that the email addresses have agreed to receive emails. In some countries, you can be fined for spamming addresses. Additionally, you risk building a bad reputation if you send out multiple unsolicited emails.
While sending to cheap email lists or scraped addresses can be cheap, the click throughs are likely to be below average and the risk to your business is high. As such, it is a bad way to drive traffic.
Advertising your site is one way to gain traffic. You can create custom ads that you then pay to have displayed on third party sites, social media, and other locations. Placing ads on sites with a similar audience is a good approach to getting exposure and driving traffic to your site quickly.
In general, ads are priced based on the number of times they are displayed. Most rates are priced per thousand (CPM). CPM rates can range from a few cents to many dollars. This varies based on the site you place the ad and how specific you are in targeting the advertisement to a specific persona. The more you target your audience, and the better you create a call to action in an advertisement, the higher the chance of getting a click from the ad that results in a pageview on your site.
While ads are easy to place and can be obtained for a low cost, placing an ad does not equate to anyone coming to your site. An average click-through rate on an ad is around .05% That's not five percent, but five hundredths of a percent. This equates to needing 2,000 impresses (2 CPMs) to get 1 click. To get the 10,000 clicks you might need as many as 20,000,000 impressions. As mentioned, if you find a site with a similar topic, or if you add criteria for only showing your ad to people that would most likely visit your site, you can increase the likelihood that they will click, and thus also reduce the number of CPMs you need to buy. In general, however, adding these criteria will often drive up the cost of each CPM.
One thing you can do to increase the chance of a person clicking through to your site, is to make a bold offer or imply something that everyone would want. For example, an ad for "Get a free $10 Amazon card for visiting this site" will generally do better than an ad saying, "Get information on the composition of dirt in rural Alaska." Having said that, misleading ads can get you into legal trouble.
You can get 10,000 pageviews in a week using advertising. The better the ad and the call to action, the faster you'll get there. Having said that, the cost for getting the 10,000 views could be high depending on where you advertise and how many ads it takes.
Click Marketing / CPC
One way to some companies work to increase the performance of their advertising efforts is to pay for the clicks that a person does on ad instead of paying for the displaying of the ad. Rather than paying for every thousand displays of an advertisement (CPM), you instead pay for each time a person clicks. While the cost per click (CPC) is a lot costlier than display, you know that you should generally get a pageview for every click you pay for.
Clicks can be expensive, but overall the chance of success is higher. Like the CPM model, you can get 10,000 views in a week if you are willing to spend the money it takes.
Backlinking is often discussed as a strategy for driving pageviews. Backlinking is also a part of SEO. Backlinking is the process of getting a third-party site to link to yours. By having a link on their site, you are hoping that people will click to then come to your site.
With the right text associated to the link, and on the right site, this can drive traffic. Having said that, in most cases backlinking will likely do little for driving direct, immediate traffic. For example, posting a link in a comment on a site might get you a backlink, but it is only good if someone sees the link and then clicks on it. While getting backlinks can be easy, getting good backlinks that are clicked can be very difficult.
There are services that you can pay to get backlinks; however, you need to be very careful about the quality of the backlink as well as the location of the backlink. Getting a link from a site that covers a completely unrelated topic can be toxic to your sites placement in search engines.
Backlinking on Social Media
It is possible to get 10,000 views on your site from a backlink. This most likely way to accomplish this is to create a piece of interesting, catchy content on your site that has a potential to go viral. This content can sometimes be done with an edgy, interesting infographic, a good article, a leading-edge story, or a unique insight into something from an expert.
If you can get this content posted on social media, then there is a chance that it could be picked up by shared. If you can get someone with an engaged following to share your link, then you increase the likelihood that it will be seen, shared, and clicked through to your site.
Social media is a good place to put your link (with appropriate associated text). To get 10,000 pageviews on your site, however, requires that you either already have a good following, or that you get the right people to share so that others will click on a link. In general, this is really tied to the piece of content you post and its call to action to those that see it.
Phishing and Spoofing
Phishing and spoofing involve using email, web sites, social postings, and other means to drive people to your site. Instead of promoting your site's products and topics, you instead promote something that is more likely to get people to click. By mimicking a real company in your email, advertisement, or other service, you look more credible. This will increase the likelihood that someone will click and come to your site, and it should decrease the time it takes to get to 10,000 views or more.
Obviously, when they get to your site and see that they we mislead, they will leave; however, you will have gained the pageview. This is an easy strategy to drive traffic and may be cheaper than standard emailing and advertising. This is also illegal in most countries and will generally cause your site to be blacklisted and possibly banned. It could also lead to your arrest. Clearly, it is not recommended; however, it is one of the faster ways to potentially drive 10,000 pageviews to a site.
Backlinks were mentioned earlier. One of the issues with backlinks was making sure they are in a location that has value and has a chance to really drive traffic to your site. One way to do this is to get a backlink in content on a site that already has the type of people you want coming to your site.
Native advertising is the integration of advertising, links or other marketing efforts into existing or new content on a site. One way to get these links into content is to also create content for a third-party site and offer it at no cost. If the content (such as an article) is written in a manner that is of value to the third-party site owner, then they might post it at no cost to you or for a fee. If they see that the article is promoting your site, then they are likely to charge an advertising fee. If the article is subtler in how it presents a link to your site, then you might be able to get the article posted at no cost to you. The more subtle your link, however, the lower the chance of someone clicking through to your site.
In general, native advertising will work a little better than standard backlinks; however, the effort and possible costs are much higher. Like standard backlinks, getting to 10,000 views could be slow. Where native advertising can help is if you get the article posted onto a site with extremely high traffic.
Like a field of dreams, building a site doesn't guarantee anyone will come to it. Most likely, they won't.
Having said that, there are ways to get people to come to your site. A few have been mentioned in this article. It is important to remember that the fast you want targeted people to view your site, the likelihood the cost is going to be higher.
Having an expectation of going from zero to ten thousand pageviews in a week is unrealistic even if it is possible. You are better to focus on getting the right people to your site than simply getting any people. In most cases it is better to have 10 of the right people coming to your site then to have 10,000 come and quickly leave with no interest. Building the right traffic takes time, effort, or money. Rarely will the people come, simply because you built it.