Author Topic: Web-based business - Site view projections  (Read 393 times)

doublezer6

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Web-based business - Site view projections
« on: August 30, 2020, 11:29:28 AM »
I've been developing a web-based business concept for the last few years and in recent months have tried to turn this idea into a reality in an effort to create an additional revenue stream. I have tried to build a simple and operational version of the site, and while I am not technologically illiterate, I have come to realize that I am not going to be able to develop a working product on my own. It's just a little outside of my capability. As as result, I have been speaking with third-party companies and free-lancers about site development and now know that to have someone else do the initial heavy lifting, it's going to cost upwards of $7500 to get a working product developed and live.

For the sake of this discussion, let's assume that I do not have the cash to pay for this out-of-pocket. I'm looking to apply for a small business loan to get the funds required to get the site built and running. Operational and maintenance costs will be minimal and can be covered with existing funds.

This site will have a paid membership element, however from my research I suspect the majority of revenue will come from advertising (via both paid banner ads and Google Adwords type advertising).

Here is where I run into my current roadblock that I need some advice from others that run web-based business. I need to guesstimate page views in order to calculate potential advertising revenue streams along with growth projections in the coming year as the site gains more traffic. This is a niche industry, and through the use of third party tools I have been trying to gain an idea of what to expect these numbers to be, but it has been very difficult.

When making these calculations for business plan purposes, are there any "rules of thumb" or other strategies that I can utilize? I want these projections to be as realistic as possible so when I bring my business plan to lenders that they don't think I have overstated the potential revenue I expect to see and laugh me out of the room.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2020, 11:51:15 AM by doublezer6 »

Michael in ABQ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1092
    • Military Saints
Re: Web-based business - Site view projections
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2020, 02:48:42 PM »
How do you plan to get traffic to your website?

There are four primary methods:

Organic search - relying on Google, Bing, etc. users clicking on a link to your website. This is heavily influenced by SEO (search engine optimization) basically how well a page on your website ranks for a specific search term. 1st result gets most of the traffic, 2nd and 3rd result quite a bit and by the time you're on the second page maybe 1-2% of the traffic.

Referrals - links from other sites. This also helps with SEO.

Paid - Google adwords, Facebook ads, banner ads, etc.

Social Media - Similar to paid in that many social media platforms, i.e. Facebook, will limit how much your links are shared unless you pay extra to promote them.


Organic traffic is "free" but realistically you can have the best content in the world but if it's on a new site with no links from other websites and no traffic it will languish on the 4th page of Google and take months to climb up to the first page - if ever. If the first page results are all highly reputable sites you may never get there. Typically you need to plan on 6-12 months for a new site to start getting significant traffic even if you have great content from day one.

Paid traffic can obviously get expensive. "personal injury lawyer" or "best credit card" might cost $50-100 per click. On the other hand something extremely niche like "how to make trees for model railroading" might cost $0.10 per click.


Google Adwords advertising revenue is not going to make that much. It has one of the lowest bars to entry and lowest payment rates. To make more from display advertising you need to use other ad networks like AdThrive and MediaVine. However, they require 50,000 and 100,000 monthly sessions, respectively, to qualify. One source I found shower their average payment rates to be about $15 and $20 per 1,000 sessions, respectively. So if you have a website with 100,000 sessions per month you could make $2,000 per month, or $24,000 per year. Nice, but not exactly quit your day job kind of money by itself.

As far as tools to estimate traffic there are some free tools but most of the good ones cost money. If you have Google adwords account you can get some idea of traffic volume for a specific search term - say "inflatable kayaks". If that search term on Google gets 10,000 searches per month and you are creating a website focused on inflatable kayaks then projecting you will get all 10,000 of those searches is unrealistic. Maybe you can get 5-10% at first and eventually as much as 40-50%. But there's a lot of factors that go into that and frankly my knowledge is not very deep on all of this.

belly05

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Age: 33
Re: Web-based business - Site view projections
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2020, 07:54:43 AM »
hi doublezer6 -

It is a going to be an inexact science to estimate a competitors traffic, however there are some great tools you can use:

https://www.semrush.com/analytics/traffic/ - this tool will let you add competitors websites into a list and it will pull data on how much traffic the website gets.  This will be estimated data but it should get you in the right ballpark. You can register for a free account and do a couple lookups.

https://moz.com/learn/seo/estimating-traffic-based-on-keyword-research-mozcon-2012 - this is a a talk about estimating traffic based on keyword research.  As Michael mentioned you can do keyword research and then estimated your potential traffic based on your keyword research


Other great SEO tools that you will find useful now, or in the future when running your website: