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Can we predict website site traffic ?

For Example, I am writing blog about web development. I like to find out how many web developers are in the world. How many of them working on related to my hot tags.

How can we predict maximum traffic for the site. Is there any tool or any formula to find this.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Most analytics providers offer benchmarking tools which allow you to compare your own analytics with those of other sites in the same market sector.

Google offer a free service (in the form of an email since it's restoration in mid 2011, and webtrends and omniture offer paid services.

This is about as close as you can get to predicting traffic, even then it's not really a prediction just another performance metric.

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As far as I know of, there is no tool to predict traffic rates, nor is there any formula. It depends on a lot of factors;

  • First and foremost, quality content. If the information you're posting is already out there, well known or presented in a bad way, no one will come to your site.
  • SEO, if you're site is undiscoverable, no matter how good your information is - no one can see it!
  • Usability, this kind of steps into the quality content area, and yet an extremely important item to put on the checklist. You have to have a good template with easy to use and intuitive designs to get people to actually read your content. Also, Web Writing would fall under this category.
  • External Links, having other relevant sites link to your site will increase SEO and traffic.

These are just a few examples of increasing traffic to your site. You can use tools like Google Analytics to see who exactly is looking at your page (Demographics, system configuration, time on each page, etc), and improve your site's weakspots accordingly.

SEO is a constant maintenance type thing; revamping and using the information from the tools available to you is the only way to go.

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The Google Analytics benchmarking tool which @toomanyairmiles mentions is deprecated and no longer in use

Read this thread about it Evolution of Google Analytics Benchmarking Report

Benchmarking Deprecation FAQ

What? The Benchmarking report in Google Analytics is being deprecated. This means, the Benchmarking report will not be available via Google Analytics reporting frontend after March 16, 2011.

Why? The purpose of benchmarking is to help advertisers & publishers gauge how well (or not well) they are doing relative to a related group of websites. There are different ways to achieve this goal. The relatively low-adoption of the current benchmarking report indicates that we should evaluate alternative approaches.

Is there a replacement benchmarking service? On March 16th, we will send out an “Analytics Benchmarking Newsletter” as an experiment to all admins whose accounts have opted-in anonymous data-sharing. If successful, this newsletter will be sent on a quarterly basis.

Will I lose data? / Will there be any changes made to my account? No. Deprecating the benchmarking feature will not affect your data or your account.

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It was restored in the form of a newsletter in july last year, as the link I provided indicates. –  toomanyairmiles Mar 24 '12 at 16:37

Tools can give you some idea but you also need to consider changes that will be made to the content on your site, frequency of updates, user behavior as well as global changes in search engine algorithms.

Some things will remain constant for the most part with minor fluctuations:

  1. If you use email to get people to your site via a newsletter then you can sort of predict what an average CRT will be.

  2. You can expect you traffic to drop 20%-30% in December and January (unless you run a food recipes site or something). In summer months, july/august in particular, you can expect a 10%-15% drop in traffic as well. You will usually see traffic pick up in February when people head back to work and are rested.

Some other events you cannot account for:

  1. You could get one great piece of content out that results in a huge increase of organic, social and referral traffic.

  2. Something in the news that results in a particular keyword starting to trend like crazy and your site picks up major traffic.

Conclusion:

You can predict your traffic but its just a guess based on what you have seen in the past and some predictable numbers that go up and down consistently with minor fluctuations.

Best way to ensure that you traffic remains steady is to diversify your traffic channels evenly. That way, if one of your channels gets hit others can pick up the slack until you figure things out.

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