Ways to Increase Traffic

It’s the number one question for Website owners and managers

Long Exposure Traffic

image credit: Nelson D.

Part of the process for Comment and Receive a Copy of Hunting Business Marketing | The Book was to leave your frustration in the comments. The comments you left were great and I think we’re going to get some great blog posts as a result.

First, a big thanks to those who commented:

Ben G of Ben G Outdoors

JoAnna Zurinsky of My Bullet Points

Marc Reindell of Wildlife Callers

Scott Solar of Shotgunner.la

Willie of Outdoor Freaks

Native of Native Hunt (HBM Member)

Terri Lee of Camp Wild Girls

Rudy Hassall of Winded Bowhunter

There were two themes concerning frustrations in the comments:

1| Increase traffic, gain more followers, gain more subscribers, etc

2| Making money with a blog or Website

Let’s address these two frustrations with a two-part series starting with increasing traffic.

Stay tuned for the follow up…

Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website

This is definitely the most asked question of any business owner looking to expand their Web presence. Getting traffic (and quality traffic) to your Website is something that will drive revenue for your business and expand your Web presence, which means connections that can turn into long-term business partnerships.

My view for getting traffic has been that there are generally two ways for most Websites and businesses to acquire visitors:

1| Save time and pay with money

2| Save money and pay with time

The exceptions to these rules are the sites that find a way to really connect and capture the attention of a wide variety of Web users who become passionate about what the site is doing and promote it on their own simply through their passion.

Even those sites take a lot of time (and potentially money) to setup their success…and even then nothing is guaranteed.

It’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth. And it’s not a bad thing. There is a lot of opportunities to grow your site’s traffic. Some take lots of effort and time. Some take money. Some take little effort, little time, and no money.

Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to increase visitors (and quality visitors to your site)…

Before you start, check out the previous HBM articles tagged: Traffic

Spending Time

Depending on how much time you have to commit to your Web presence, there are lots of things that you can do today and continue doing for months and years that will grow your following.

Here is a list of a few of the ways:

Write Remarkable Content

It’s something that we all generally get tired of hearing, but sharing remarkable content is really what makes an impact on the Web. People on the Web like things that are interesting and make their lives more interesting or in other words they like things that make their lives more valuable – to them and to others in their lives. There’s a reason why Justin from @ShitMyDadSays (my apologies for the bad language) has over half a million followers on Twitter – his Dad says interesting things. It’s really that simple yet it’s really difficult to be interesting. But if you can be remarkable and interesting you’ll make an impact on the Web. Focus on what is interesting to your target visitors.

Comment on Other Blogs

One of the ways I’ve been able to generate some quality traffic is by commenting on other blogs. This can take some time as you learn what sites share your same target audience. It also takes time to actually read through hundreds of posts while you settle on just a few that will potentially be worth your time. Comment on those posts that have the most potential to return traffic to your site. Add value to the post you comment on – don’t waste their time.

For more see: How to Create Marketing Pull by Commenting on Other Blogs

Participate in Forums

Just like blog posting, participating in forums takes time, but can lead to lots of traffic for your Website. Just as with a blog, you get to leave your URL so those who find your comments in the forum interesting can find their way to your site by clicking on your username and finding your other remarkable content. It takes time, but it’s worth it if you target the correct forums.

For more see: How to Properly Use Forums

Internal Linking

One of the things that takes some time, but really is worth the time investment is internal linking. If you’ve been reading this post you’ve probably noticed that I’ve linked to a few posts as well as other areas on HBM. It’s not only a way to provide value to visitors by expanding on thoughts, but it increases page views and time spent on site per user.

External Linking

If you read the blog posts on HBM you’ll also notice that I link to at least three posts not on HBM. I also occasionally link to sites and posts throughout my own posts. This has been a great way to increase the traffic to my site for two reasons:

1| When you link to other blogs and sites the owner each particular blog and site often gets a notice of your link and they are often curious about who is linking to them. They check out your site and you have a potential reader

2| Most blogs have pingbacks or trackbacks. These blogs allow their readers to view who is linking to their post (it shows how popular their post is) and those readers have the option to click on your link. More traffic.

Link to posts that are relevant off your own site and start making valuable connections.

For more see: Make Every Post a Link Post

Guest Posting

New bloggers need to consider guest posting as a way to drive traffic. Most successful bloggers find their most growth as a result of guest posting. While it seems that you’d be giving away great content to other sites when you guest post, you’re actually borrowing the attention of other bloggers and interjecting your knowledge and interesting character to potential readers of your blog. Provide valuable content to other blogs and look to expand your audience.

For more see: Grow Your Followers like a Country Music Singer

Spending Money

Businesses that have sufficient budgets to gain quality traffic have many options for making an impact on the Web. Most programs on the Web that require payment can still stay within a smaller budget. The impact generally increases exponentially the more you are able to spend and reinvest as you gain sales.

Here are a few of the best ways to utilize your budget:

Ad Words

When it comes to advertising and getting quality return for your dollar, Google is always a good bet. Many businesses, in many areas of industry, have had success driving traffic and sales via Google AdWords. The program is very simple and has the biggest company and smartest individuals working to increase its effectiveness. You can spend as little or as much as you want.

Facebook Advertising

I’ve found success with Facebook Advertising. The technology has gotten more useful over time and I think they’re going in great directions with mining all of their immense user data. I found more success for driving traffic for a membership site similar to Facebook (free membership) than I have for driving sales or anything paid. Perhaps you will find more success.

For more see: How to Use Facebook Advertising (Subscribers Only – Join for $20)

StumbleUpon Advertising

I have never actually used StumbleUpon Advertising, but based on the success I’ve had with natural traffic via StumbleUpon (see below) I’m guessing it’s pretty impactful and beneficial. Check it out and let us know if you have success driving revenue and profit for your business.

Affiliates

There are many sites on the Web that are dedicated to driving traffic and driving sales for businesses that sell things via the Web. If you have something to sell, look into the technology available to develop an affiliate program (Commission Junction is one). It’s a good way to give up a little margin in return for more unit sales.

SEO Provider/Service

Sometimes paying to learn can be most beneficial for your specific business. It takes a certain person who is willing to take both the time and monetary investment to go out and participate in learning atmospheres. There are many SEO providers/services out there who will work for you to not only do your Paid Advertising and Natural Traffic for you, but they’ll teach you techniques that will benefit you in the long-term. Consider these as options if you’re willing to spend both time and money for long-term gain.

Contests

People are always looking for deals. If you have access to prizes, try a few contests as ways to get followers, sales, email addresses, etc.

Simple Changes

Some good news for you – there are things you can do to potentially increase your traffic right now that will potentially impact the number of people visiting your site, increase the time those individuals spend on your site, and increase the number of pages those individuals view per visit.

Here are a few of the simple things you can do now to increase your traffic:

Stumble Upon

One of the things I’ve had success with for one-off traffic is StumbleUpon. The traffic I’ve received from StumbleUpon has generally come fast once a page on the site has been stumbled and that traffic has lasted anywhere from about an hour up to about 24 hours. StumbleUpon and its users are very effective at choosing the best content on the Web per my observation. It’s generally my higher quality content that gets stumbled and also receives the most visits after being stumbled. I have also noticed that photos are something the users of StumbleUpon like to see. Almost all of the posts in the Flickr Creative Commons Series have had success with getting traffic via StumbleUpon.

For more details, please read: A Comprehensive Guide to StumbleUpon

Twitter

I use Twitter as a way to drive contests, traffic to posts, and other things. I also use Twitter to share the content of others. I try to share others’ content more than my own so I’m not spamming too much. Twitter takes some time and effort, but the return I’ve seen in connections alone would be well worth the investment. The monetary return I’ve seen has been an added bonus.

Join Twitter and look to make connections by adding value any way you can.

Improve Your Titles

Titles are important to driving traffic to your blog and site. The Cosmo Headline Strategy is a great way to write remarkable and eye-catching titles for your posts. Usually, someone’s first introduction to your site is a title on a search engine result or a title on someone’s site. Consider the things that will entice people to click while remembering that the title still has to be truthful in what your post will provide.

Write Content that Visitors can Scan

Web users love to scan content. There is so much content on the Web that people need to scan most of it before they decide if they will read your arguments on topics. Use headlines, sections and call-outs to make your content easy for people to scan. If your write strong lists and strong headings you’ll get people to stop and pay attention.

For more see: 42 Marketing Lists from The Future Buzz

Highlight Others

One of the most successful ways I’ve been able to make connections on the Web and thus drive traffic has been highlighting the success of others. When you participate in social media like Twitter or when you’re writing content for a blog post, write about how amazing and remarkable others are. Write about the folks who may be wanting for some attention and who are looking to make connections. Feed their appetites and see your traffic increase as the conversation about you spreads.

For more see: Highlight Others

More Resources on the Web

New Bloggers: Need Traffic?

25 Ways to Build Your Community

Ad Swaps: A Smart and Easy Way to Get Free Traffic

Related posts on Hunting Business Marketing

5 Simple Ways to Increase Traffic on Your Website

How to Drive Visitors Deep Into Your Website

The NFL Guide to Website Traffic

Related posts on the Web

Three simple actions that doubled my website traffic in 30 days

How to Find Readers for Your Blog

How I’d Promote My Blog If I Were Starting Out Again

How to Use Facebook Advertising

Facebook Advertising can be an effective way to acquire quality customers

Facebook Advertising

After the recent discussion in the forum, Paid Advertising – Facebook AdSense vs. Facebook, I thought it would useful to go through Facebook Advertising to show both how to use the paid advertising service as well as to see how effective an ad campaign can be for a hunting business.

For more detailed How-to instructions for Facebook Advertising please see Facebook Ads Help Center.

Let’s dive right into the step-by-step process for creating a Facebook Ad Campaign. I’ll set up a campaign for Hunting Business Marketing…

[private_member]

Facebook Advertising Campaign

Starting out with objectives for an ad campaign is essential or tracking results and determining the success of the effort.

My objectives for this short-term Hunting Business Marketing Facebook Advertising effort is to get:

1| Additional traffic

2| Comments

3| RSS subscribers (long-term readers)

4| A new Member

Since this is a small campaign, I’d be happy with a few new visitors and potentially a comment on one of the free articles.

Let’s look at how to setup of the campaign…

The Hunting Business Marketing Campaign

Facebook focuses on making the features on their site simple, but if you have any questions about setting up a campaign for your own business that aren’t included in this guide, please ask them in the comments.

Visit Facebook

Click for sharper images

Welcome to Facebook

Login

Login to Facebook

Click Advertising

Facebook Advertising

Facebook Ad Manager

Facebook Advertising Manager

Click Create Ad

Create Ad

1. Design Your Ad

Design Your Ad

URL

Enter the URL for the specific page on your site you would like your visitors from Facebook to land on when they arrive at your site. I’m picking my Welcome to Hunting Business Marketing page because it’s designed to get new visitors introduced to relevant content.

You could create a page on your site dedicated specifically for Facebook users if you want. You could create an ad for your photo gallery and enter the URL of your gallery.

Ad Title

Here is one limitation – I wanted to put Grow Your Hunting Business or Hunting Business Marketing for the Ad Title, but Facebook limits the characters. I’ll have to be more innovative.

Ad Title Character Limit

Ad Body Text

I entered a short description of what Hunting Business Marketing provides. The text you include is important because you only want to entice your target customers to click on the ad. This will give you the best chance of converting.

Ad Image

I added the logo here. You can include your logo or any other relevant image.

Design Your Ad Step 1

2. Targeting

Location

You can choose the location you would like to target.

Age

Depending on your business, age may play a part in your ad targeting.

Keywords

This is an important section. Try typing in hunting. Make sure to click on All next to the Education section below first. As you can see, there are lots of hunters on Facebook. This means that there are currently about 650,000 to 700,000 people on Facebook, over age 18, in the United States or Canada, who like hunting enough to include it in there profile.

Hunters on Facebook

I’m going to use the following parameters for the Hunting Business Marketing Campaign:

United States or Canada

Age 18 or older

Who like hunting

3. Campaigns and Pricing

Campaigns and Pricing

Campaign Name

I’m going to call this campaign Hunting Business Marketing.

Daily Budget

My Daily Budget is going to be $10.

Schedule

I’m going to run this ad for one day so I’m going to choose to Run my ad only during specified dates.

I’m going to pay for clicks.

Max Bid

Now, the suggested bid range for the keyword hunting is on the high side – $0.80 to $0.92 USD. I’m going to go right at the top with $0.92 so my ad will have a good chance of being shown. This means my ad will likely get only 11 clicks for the day (October 3 through October 4) I’m going to run the campaign.

Hunting Business Marketing Campaign and Pricing

Click Create

Once your information is all filled in you can create your ad.

Hunting Business Marketing Campaign and Pricing Create

Review Ad and Make Payment

Check to make sure your ad is as you would like, enter your payment information and make your payment.

I’ll be running my ad for one day at the rate of $10.

Review Ad and Make Payment

The ad is now active, but pending review from Facebook. Once it’s approved it will begin showing up on the pages viewed by users on Facebook who are interested in hunting. (Approval may take a few hours)

Ad Pending Review

Tracking Results

To track the results of this ad campaign, let’s go back to the original objectives:

1| Additional traffic

2| Comments

3| RSS subscribers (long-term readers)

4| A new Member

After a few hours you will receive an approval.

Facebook Ad Approved Email

Now comes the fun part!

Check out the analysis of the campaign on your Ad Manager screen.

Ad Manager

After analyzing the results of the Hunting Business Marketing Facebook Campaign, I realize that it wasn’t much of a success. I got the projected clicks I expected – got a few visitors and potential readers, but as far as acquiring customers it didn’t get the ultimate results.

However, your initiatives with Facebook Advertising will differ so you should definitely experiment. I will probably continue testing various things with Facebook Advertising.

Things to consider

Some things to consider when becoming active with Facebook Paid Advertising include:

1| Time of Day/Week/Year

2| The Nature of Facebook Users

3| Limitations

4| Advantages

The time of day, week, and even year is important when you’re thinking about your goals for your Facebook ad campaign. Think about when your potential customers are likely to be using Facebook: Morning, night, evening? Are the users you’re targeting likely on their computers during the week during breaks at work or are they using it on the weekends while at home? Maybe they’re not using it on the weekends because they’re business hunting. Also consider that the Facebook user you’re targeting might more inclined to click on a hunting product or service ad as hunting season is approaching rather than when their favorite hunting is out of season.

Thinking about the HBM campaign, it seems that the nature of Facebook users probably is not who should be targeted. If there was a way to target users who owned hunting businesses Facebook Advertising may prove more beneficial for HBM, but until then it seems like it might not be the best marketing option. However, Facebook users are familiar with using features like photos and free community sites so if you’re hunting business revolves around this format you might find success.

As I mentioned a few times above, there are limitations to Facebook Advertising: keyword targeting (and vs. or), character limits, etc. These are limitations to consider as you experiment with the advertising opportunity with Facebook.

While Facebook Advertising has its limitations, Facebook has been proactive in becoming business friendly over the past couple years as they’ve continued to improve their ad campaign platform as well as adding things like Facebook Pages, etc. I expect there to be lots of advantages for hunting businesses in the future beyond the advantages you have today: keyword targeting, spending limits, large user base, etc.

Summary

Overall, I would say this Facebook ad campaign for Hunting Business Marketing was good in the sense that it was a learning experience, but ineffective in my objectives. Even for the little effort it took to create the ad, it seems that the target customer of Hunting Business Marketing is not on Facebook. There are probably better opportunities elsewhere for HBM. However, there may be opportunity to target for HBM if I were allowed to select users with hunting and business as interested rather than users with hunting or business. I think this would make a big difference for target the specific customer of HBM. This was a small test for HBM, but there were interesting results.

I hope your results turn out a little better with Facebook Advertising.

Please share your experiences in the comments or in the Hunting Business Marketing Forum.

[/private_member]

Related posts on Hunting Business Marketing

Paid vs. Natural Traffic: It’s like Baiting vs. Funnel Hunting for Deer – Part 1

Hunting Industry Stats

How Small Hunting Businesses Can Beat the Big Competition

Related posts on the Web

Facebook Marketing: Articles and Resources

Facebook and the Social Graph- Who Benefits

The sad truth about marketing shortcuts

5 Simple Ways to Increase Traffic on Your Hunting Website

Relevant traffic and connections are what determine your success on the Web

Traffic on Your Website

image credit: doug88888

Usually the first question a new Website owner has for others is “How do I get more traffic and visitors on my Website?

As the Web has developed Website owners and managers always seem to focus on traffic (and various conversions of course) as a way to compare yourself to other sites.

So every Website owner has the thought of traffic and how to get more of it in their minds at all times.

I thought it would be valuable to jot down a few ideas of how you might be able to get more traffic for your hunting Website.

Let’s take a look…

1. Aggregate Your Content

Aggregating content is the idea of collecting content from either off your site or on your site and putting it into a single post or section on your site. One of the things people value is the aggregation of content and resources to make their lives easier.

I remember want to research the hunting industry before starting a business. I had to scramble all over the Web trying to find stats, resources and Information.

I thought about that while thinking about what to write one day. Here is the post that formed as a result:

Essential Hunting Industry Stats, Resources, and Information

Aggregating content from your own site into new posts is a great way to increase the page views per visitor.

Add value to your reader’s experience by including links within your copy as well as providing things like relevant posts or examples. (I’m doing this right now for this post).

This technique is more for driving unique visitors deeper into your site than it is for gaining new customers from off your site, but it can drive both loyal and new readers deep into your content, which is likely to build a deep and long-term connection.

Here are examples of how I have aggregating some of my content:

Dayne’s Top 15 Favorite Posts

List of Lists

For more on this topic, check out Adam Singer’s post on The Future Buzz:

Content Aggregation For Links, Traffic And Buzz

2. Write Awesome Titles and Headings

Just like magazines, TV shows, billboards, and any other form of promotional material, your blog titles and Web page headings are the first thing your potential readers and customers see. Your titles and headings represent your first chance to convince people to move forward in their buying process. Whether they’re going to buy into your blog and subscribe with email or RSS or if they are going to buy your product or service, it all starts with the title or heading.

So the secret to writing good titles and headings is to effectively present the topic you’re going to cover in your post or on the page of your Website. Along with effectively presenting your topic you’re also going to have to catch the attention of your potential readers and you’re going to have to do this with only a few words.

It’s not easy to write blog titles, but there are a few things I do that seem to make it a little easier.

First, I think about what you are thinking about, questioning, or possibly struggling with as it relates to your hunting business. Then I think about how I can provide the answer (or promise the answer) with the blog title. It’s important, of course, for me to actually deliver on this promise within the post, but the way I try to grab your attention is by promising to add value to your life and your hunting business.

It works the same for the headings and titles of the pages on your Website. They are the first things your visitors see before committing to dive further into your site. Your headings and titles have to be convincing and promise to solve the needs of your customer.

Second, I look at publications, headlines, billboards, and other promotions

I’ve always thought that I can’t be an expert on everything so I’ve never had a problem with admiring the genius and expertise of others and using their techniques to my own advantage. One area where this applies is title and headline writing.

So I like to use the titles and headings of things around me for inspiration.

One example is the post:

Write Better Blog Headlines: Tonight at 6

You can really use anything as inspiration for your headings and titles. Just make sure you promise your customer something valuable and then deliver on that promise.

Here are a few more posts on titles and headings:

Hunting Blog Post Title Ideas Part 1

Hunting Blog Post Title Ideas Part 2

Effectively Using Keywords in Your Blog Titles

Titles and headings are often the first things your potential visitors see before the either visit your site for the first time, decide to visit your site on any given day, or if they decide to commit to visiting other pages within your site.

If you can write awesome headings and titles that promise to add value to the lives of your visitors (and you of course deliver on your promises) you’ll find yourself getting more traffic on your site.

3. Write Valuable Blog Comments on Blogs (And Change Your Comment URL)

Some of the comments left on this blog are simply amazing and full of valuable content.

A few people who come to mind off the top of my head are T. Michael of Native Hunt, Cory Glauner of Outdoors International and Tom Sorenson of Base Camp Legends.

They continuously leave content-rich and useful comments that add to the conversations on this blog.

To get traffic to your blog you can leave valuable comments like the comments often left on this blog. The readers of the blogs you comment on will see that you have something of value to add to the conversation and they will be convinced to click through your signature or name to your site.

This brings us to the second part of this point – what URL are you leaving in the signature of the posts you comment on?

When you leave comments on blogs you often have the option of leaving your URL or Website link for your signature or username. Do you normally just link to the home page of your Website or blog? This is common for most people. One thing I’ve tried to do recently is to think about the site and post I’m commenting on. I think about the topic and look back at my own archives and then leave a link to a related post if I have one. This way if readers of the post I’m commenting on like what I have to say in my post they can click through and instantlybe at a relevant post I’ve written rather than just my blog home page.

Leaving value-adding comments is a great way to get traffic to your site from other blogs in and out of your niche. You can also gain the trust of readers, which can lead to long-term traffic if you use relevant URLs in your signatures.

Update: It seems that on some sites you can’t post a comment with any URL other than a basic home page. I’ll have to dig into this a bit more, but just wanted to update.

4. Highlight Other Bloggers in Your Posts

One of the most successful methods I’ve used to make connections with this blog is to highlight the greatness of other bloggers.

I highlight other bloggers because I want to make connections on the Web and a side effect of this mentality has been an increase in traffic.

Because I’ve highlighted the remarkable things others do on the Web, the people included in the posts not only feel connected in some way this blog, but they have a sense of pride in the post that features their name and highlight. This feeling of connection is an incentive for the bloggers to share the post that’s on my blog across their networks.

As others share the post that features them, this blog spreads after that to new people I would have never met otherwise.

The idea of highlighting others in your posts is a classic win-win. The person you’re highlighting gets exposure to a new audience plus positive content written about them. You make a new connection and possibly gain traffic.

Here are a few examples of how I’ve highlighted other bloggers:

8 Little Details That Make Big Differences on Hunting Websites

The Top Hunting Blogs: Part 1

Reviews of Remarkable Hunting Blog Posts

5. Figure out Stumble Upon

I’m still figuring out Stumble Upon at the moment (as I am always trying to figure out everything on the Web). All I know is that Stumble Upon sends (relatively) massive amounts of traffic to this blog on occasion. So I figured it might be worth checking out.

Since I’m still trying to find out more about Stumble Upon I’ll just leave you with this post:

A Comprehensive Guide to StumbleUpon: How to Build Massive Traffic to Your Website

Try experimenting with sites like Stumble Upon and you may stumble (sorry) on something that will generate lasting traffic for your website.

Bonus 6. Write Post Series

One of the most successful things I’ve done on this site has been to write post series.

I tend to write long posts and sometimes I’ll catch myself drifting into two or three different topics within a post and I’ll decide to split it into a post series.

Other times I’ll just find myself running out of ideas one night and I’ll put up a Part 1 and then work on Part 2 the following day when my thoughts are fresh.

Usually what happens is readers will become interested in Part 1 and they’ll have the curiosity or need to come back to find out if there will be more valuable information in Part 2. This is just another way to generate some long term interest in what you’re doing with your blog or site.

Post series also make for great flagship content that you can highlight on your site.

Here is one example of a post series I’ve done:

How to Use the Web to Grow a Successful Hunting Business – A Tutorial

Summary

Getting traffic on your site is probably the biggest frustrations for all Website owners or managers.

There are lots of ways you can experiment with getting traffic and I suggest you don’t shy away from trying all of the new things you can (stay on the good side of your morals) to try and increase the impact of your content to as many people as possible.

Here I’ve only listed 6 simple things you can try and possibly stick with to help get a little bit of traffic.

I hope these work for you.

I also hope you can find better ways to generate traffic to your site.

If you have any super ideas or suggestions, please share them in the comments below.

Related posts on Hunting Business Marketing

Paid vs. Natural Traffic: It’s like Baiting vs. Funnel Hunting for Deer – Part 1

Hunting Outfitters and Guides: Get Valuable Traffic to Your Website

How to Know Where and How to Advertise Your Hunting Business on the Web

Related posts on the Web

A Comprehensive Guide to StumbleUpon: How to Build Massive Traffic to Your Website

How to Become a Top StumbleUpon User (or Why You Really Shouldn’t Bother)

17 Ways You Can Use Twitter: A Guide for Beginners, Marketers and Business Owners

Is Traffic to Your Hunting Website Really What You Want?

What’s the best measure?

Tape Measure

image credit: aussiegall

Oftentimes the basic metric for a Website is traffic and/or page views.

It’s an important metric.

But should it be the most important metric for your hunting site?

Take a step back and ask yourself a few questions about what you’re trying to accomplish with your hunting Website.

Are you trying to get clients for your outfitting business?

Are you trying to generate eyeballs for the ads on your site?

How do you generate your revenue?

Traffic is the easiest Website metric for people to understand. It’s easy to convey to people that have Web knowledge and others who have less Web knowledge.

As long as you relate your traffic (Natural and Paid) to another site people are familiar with they’ll get an idea of how big your Website is.

Compete is a great site for showing traffic (unique visitors).

I should clarify that “traffic” often means unique visitors or page views.

But which one is more important to you?

It depends on the focus of your hunting business.

I’ve learned quite a bit about segmenting and individual customer focus at my job as a direct mailer (cataloguer).

It’s given me great insight into the world of what specific customers demand from companies as well as ways companies can determine how to promote and market each customer.

With this understanding…

Here are a few ways to determine…

What Metric is Best for You and Your Hunting Website

Outfitter/Guide

As an outfitter, the purpose of your Website or Web page should be to encourage your potential customers to call you so they can speak to you and learn more about the benefits of your outfitter service.

Your Website should also provide the functionality to allow users to request information through a contact form.

You could have a place for customer reviews.

There are many things (like a hunting blog with photos of trophies taken off your property) you could include on a hunting Website or Web page for your outfitting business.

So what are the metrics you should focus on?

I suggest measuring your success on the number of calls you get via the Web. Ask the customers that call you how they found your number.

Also, keep track of the number of messages you get from your forms.

Remember, the goal of your site is to generate leads to your business.

The key metrics are the lead generators.

Also keep track of how users are finding your site and look for trends.

As with any business it’s important to notice the patterns and trends of your potential customers.

You might find a need that is unfulfilled for your customers.

Maybe there is a popular search theme that isn’t being served for outfitters.

Keep track of the more detailed metrics along with the general traffic to your outfitting Website.

Hunting Social Network

In the last one to two years there have been a lot of hunting social networks to emerge. Some will be successful and others will go under.

Each site owner gets caught up in the potential of hunting online by the huge hunting statistics.

It’s easy to start a hunting social network these days.

A site needs to have a very valuable and unique service and product for hunters.

So what are the statistics that are important for the success of hunting social networks?

New users per day.

This is a big metric. And it’s important to track how each new user is acquired.

Did you pay for the user with some form of offsite advertising?

Did they find your hunting social network through a search engine?

Was the user referred to your site by a friend?

Once the user is signed up for your site you’ll have to track more important metrics such as how much time users spend on your site on average.

How many pages did they visit on your site (here we get into traffic again).

*Side Note*

All of these metrics do actually relate to traffic. This post is a way to segment each user in a more meaningful way than just traffic.

It’s important to understand the structure of a hunting social network.

Make sure your site provides an ease of transition between benefits such as forum posts, blog posts, photos in the gallery, etc.

Make sure to make it as easy as possible for each interested user to see as many (valuable…to them…note you) pages as possible.

Also make it easy for users to share the content on your network with their friends off the site.

These are all key metrics and methods for a successful hunting social network.

Hunting News/Information/Resource Source

I enjoy going to blogs on popular periodicals like Field & Stream, Deer & Deer Hunting, and Hunting Life. These sites provide the best hunting news on the Web.

So what key metric are these sites tracking?

These sites are getting back to the more organic form of traffic. These actually do depend specifically on traffic.

Very similar to newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

These hunting sites/resources depend on continual and repeat traffic for revenue.

News and resource sites need unique visitors and they need these visitors to come back to their site as much as possible and to stay as long as possible.

I am a fan of LewRockwell.com for its use of daily articles along with continuous updates from around the Web. They provide great content each morning as well as commentary on news and events throughout the day. I find myself visiting every morning as well as many times throughout the day.

Of course, for hunting news and resource sites it comes down to having the best content and commentary there is.

It’s a competitive market.

Hunting E-Commerce Site

Hunting E-Commerce is another area similar to the direct marketing industry. While E-Commerce is still in its infancy, there are some key metrics.

Most important is profit per acquisition. And not just profit per acquisition, but lifetime profit per acquisition.

It’s important to track the lifetime of your acquired customers and remember that while you may acquire a customer are a loss initially, their purchases over a year or two will become profitable for you.

Be detailed in this metric.

E-Commerce seems to be the area of the Web that has suffered the most from being blinded by the traffic metric.

Traffic and gross sales mean nothing without profit.

Segmenting and individual modeling are the only way to be successful in e-commerce.

Discrimination is good. You have to discriminate when it comes to e-commerce.

Otherwise you’ll lose money and spend all your time focusing on the wrong metrics.

Focus on profit.

If an acquisition avenue is profitable then expand. If an avenue is not panning out in the long-term then research other areas of Web acquisition.

Summary

Traffic is an easy way to get a glance at how a site is doing.

But in reality, it depends on the type of hunting Website you have to determine the best type of metric to measure your success by.

Ask yourself questions about your site and what your focus is.

What is the goal of your site?

What do you wish users to do?

What do users actually do on your site?

Determine how to best track your success and work to make it as efficient as possible.

Best of luck!

Related posts on the Web

How to Understand Your Audience: Data Collection & Analysis

Good advice for small business in 2009

SpeedBlogging: How To Write Better Posts In Less Time

Related posts on Hunting Business Marketing

Keep Your Hunting Website Simple

Are You a Character? Become a Character, Become a Successful Hunting Entrepreneur

Why Hunters Use the Web