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Successful Websites

How much traffic do "successful" websites get?

The answer depends on the definition of success. Different websites will obviously have different goals; for example, a small business site would not measure itself against the traffic of amazon.com — it would aim for the maximum realistic traffic that a small business site can hope for. In addition, a website with low traffic can make more money than a "large" website if its visitors are leveraged well.

I like to think of website success being divided into tiers, in which we start with a single visitor per day and work upwards in multiples of ten. The chart below shows what I mean. Note that I am referring to unique visitors, i.e. the estimated number of actual people that visited the site. This is different to hits, which mean nothing useful.

Unique visits per day Type of website
1 Any site can get one visitor per day, even your terminally boring family home page. All it needs is a reasonable amount of content and a few links from other websites.
10 Ten visits is quite achievable for any site, but it will require a little work. Not much, just a little.
100 A small to moderate sized business can get 100 visits if the site is well promoted.
1,000 Large businesses can get a thousand daily visits just through their branding, but other sites would need something out of the ordinary to attract this many people. This would be a good target for a niche site or a local community site.
10,000 Most webmasters would consider ten thousand visits to be a big success. Niche topic sites usually struggle to get this much traffic, although it is achievable. Sites in this range include popular resource sites, government departments, etc.
100,000 Not many sites can average one hundred thousand visitors per day. To do this a site must target a very large audience (usually international) and be very popular, e.g. large social network sites. In webmaster circles this would be considered a spectacular success, second only to the revered top-tier sites...
1,000,000 This level of traffic is only achieved by the likes of Google, Yahoo, Youtube, Wikipedia, etc.
Author: ,  Originally published: 2007-09-04,  Last updated: 2012-06-25