I’m happy to say that 2016 ended with DGB beating all of 2015’s major site metrics. Page views, visitors, unique visitors and time spent on site per visit were all higher in 2016 than the previous year. So a big thanks for helping me complete another year of growth! I’m currently working on a post packed with graphics to show 2016 performance versus 2015 performance, including a full breakdown of traffic across the major metrics. Industry advertisers listen up!
But, that’s dead and gone now, and are only stats on a page. Forwards and upwards are the only directions this site will be going in, so it’s time to set some new targets, lay out some new goals and see if we can make 2017 yet another year of growth.
The big three in website traffic metrics are visitors, unique visitors and page view. The latter often being seen as the most important. Each and every year my aim is to always grow these three metrics. By growing them it’s the only way I know the site is growing. It can also help me to understand the content I get right, I get wrong, and what needs improvement. This is why stats and numbers matter, not just for websites, but for any business of any kind.
I’m due to publish a full break down of site stats for 2016 in a post in the next few days, but here are some very general targets I have set myself for this year:
120,000 unique visitors
225,000 page views
You’ll see when I publish 2016’s figures that these are quite big jumps across all three metrics. To be honest I’ll be happy just to beat all of 2016’s stats, even if I don’t quite reach these targets. If I do then happy days, DGB is doing very well! I’ll also continue to use Google Analytics as my preferred method of data collection and analysis. Although not everyone in the world uses Google, it is still the most tried, tested and respected. There is other software out there that is very clunky and dated and can give some very skewed numbers out the other end. Something any website publishing it’s data should be aware of.
Each and every naturally I want to grow the site and improve these metrics every time, without fail. I almost always do that. But in order to keep the growth going, I am going to need a plan. A post a day and some PR isn’t going to get me there. I need to try some new things.
If you’re not innovating, you’re dying. A phrase I hear a fair bit in the business community. You always have to be tweaking, improving and indeed innovating if you’re to continue growing and become better at what you do. That is why with DGB I always try and test new ideas to see what will stick and what won’t. This is how I aim to achieve this year’s targets, and those beyond 2017.
You may have noticed I have left the banner up on the home page of DGB showing that DGB Sites and DGB Consumer are coming soon. DGB Guides is already live, you can explore that here. My original goal was to get Sites and Consumer up and live before the end of the year. However real world work continued to be busy right up until the end of the year, so that went out of the proverbial window. I’m not ignoring them, and I do intend to get the both live as soon as possible.
If anything, DGB Consumer is going to be one of the more important parts of this website as DGB continues to pull in a growing number of home owners. I want to redesign DGB Consumer so that it better services home owners who may stumble on this otherwise industry focused site.
But it’s not just DGB Sites or Consumer that I want to expand into. I have a number of new ideas that I wish to try on here over the course of this year. In fact one is very close to being put into action. You’ll hear more about that soon too. Of course some ideas will stick, some ideas will fail. I am considering whether to redesign DGB Design or to scrap it altogether. In it’s current guise, DGB Design is an incredibly heavy part of the website that doesn’t have a great user experience, takes an age to load and generally needs either an overhaul or to be binned. I’m reluctant to scrap it, but to redesign it will take a lot of time, of which I don’t have. However, I do believe there is room within DGB for a “architectural magazine” style section, showing off some of the best in class work we do, to inspire the industry and home owners alike. It’s a decision I’m carefully weighing up.
I’m also considering tweaking my logo. I think I might get rid of “v4.0” on the logo, as it’s really moved on from that now anyway and I don’t think it’s required. I may also go for a completely different logo altogether, just for the sake of a refresh. But that would mean changing every banner and logo I have used on the site, on social media and any other place where the DGB logo is used. Your thoughts on that would be welcome!
In terms of DGB subscribers, I would like to hit the 1500 mark by the end of this year. I was thinking of trying to go for 2000, but that seemed a bit steep. 1500 subscribers would be nice, getting their weekly DGB emails every Wednesday morning. I have already picked up a ton of new ones this year, I’m off to a flyer on that note, so if it continue, I should hit 1500 by the end of the year no problem.
On the social media front I will continue to work on growing my Facebook page and Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. In fairness, my LinkedIn account takes care of itself, I don’t really need to spend too much time on that. However, I would like to hit 10k followers on Twitter before long, definitely by the end of the year. And I want to expand my Facebook page to at least a few hundred likes by the end of the year. All of this combines to boost site traffic driven by social media. The better I do on social media, the better DGB does. Simple.
For DGB as a whole 2017 is going to be an even busier year. I have my goals, and my methods to try to achieve them. All that is left to do now is to do the work and hope that you guys continue to support me and the site and help me get those targets crossed off as soon as possible!
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