Website Traffic is Like a Mountain, Stream and River

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Today I was thinking of a good analogy between the idea of “traffic” and a real life scenario, in this case nature. To me, traffic is one of those things that appears finite to the outsider getting rolling, but as you gain experience in the online business world you truly realize how much abundance there is in terms of traffic.

To put this into perspective for you, I want to use the analogy of traffic equating to a Mountain, Stream and River. This is how I am going to divide up the different sources of traffic.

Traffic starts with a mountain. Snow melts when spring time hits and water trickles down the mountain, just like traffic truly starts as a trickle with your business.

There is this desire to get “traffic fast” and I can absolutely appreciate these wants, but the reality of it is that as you build out the initial framework of your website and start to get indexed and ranked in search engines, you can expect a mere trickle.

This trickle should be exciting though as the trickles are going to multiple with time and with content and truly start to connect with one another, forming something much more substantial.

The Trickle of Traffic Meets Up to Become a Stream

You have probably heard the term “stream of traffic”, this is what I am speaking about here. As you produce keyword rich content and you do so consistently, this is going to equate to many trickles making up a much more consistent stream of traffic.

The trickle from some posts on your site might be 1 click per year. Get over it.

The trickle from other posts on your site could be 100 clicks per month, or even a day. That is the reality.

Through time, these trickles create a lot of consistency in your business and before long you are going to have a regular 100 unique visitors per day, 300 unique visitors per day, 500 uniques per day...all as they start to meet up and build momentum in your business.

Then Something Incredible Happens, A River of Traffic

These streams meet up with each other, creating small rivers. Your streams of traffic, those that are getting 100’s of clicks per day start to compound. As you continue to put forth the effort, scale your content, and gain more and more authority in search, your traffic will continue to yield much greater flow.

1,000 clicks per day becomes a reality. 2,000 becomes a reality. And through time, this can continue to scale as you reinvest your earnings and your energy back into your content and scaling your efforts.

And ultimately these rivers will start to meet up and create much bigger rivers. This is how million dollar businesses are derived out of what was once a “trickle”. It is a very organic growth process and it will derive out of your hard work and approach the business as though one day you will have a river of traffic….because that is an absolutely reality.

Natural Website Traffic & 5 Things You Need to Know.

Being involved in first the Pay Per Click World and then the SEO World (combined for the last 15 years), I have had a lot of experience with traffic and I can appreciate the importance of it. You want a business, you need traffic. You want to GROW your business, you need more traffic.

A few things I have learned over the years about website traffic and in particular on the SEO side of things, are the following:

(1) Not every keyword you target will rank. That is a reality that all successful SEO have to deal with. Although you sometimes think you have put together the perfect page/post, Google can think otherwise.

(2) It is easier to write 5 new topical articles than it is to try to make ONE perfect. Not only this, when you have a wider distribution of content out there (more traffic tentacles), you are going to get indexed under many more keywords and subsequently get more traffic.

(3) Your website rankings will move as a large mass. Just like an iceberg or a continental shift, you are going to see your entire mass of pages/posts shift either up or down based on your authority in search engines. Google will reward you if you are active, creating quality content, and engaging regularly within your content.

(4) The first few months are the framework months. Before you can have a steady stream or river of traffic, you first need to experience the trickle.

(5) Keywords are unlimited. I have never found a niche where I have run out of keywords, rather I have run out of time or enough resources to tackle all the opportunity within a given niche. This will always be the case.


So there you have it, my story about the mountain, the trickle, the stream and the subsequent flow into the river. Perhaps an unusual analogy, but one that I feel depicts the process of building a very successful and lucrative business.

If you can understand and appreciate the idea of generating website traffic and the direct correlation to your website's overall success, you are going to be able to create a long term and fruitful business within ANY niche.

There is an abundance of traffic out there, but it all starts with the initial trickle.

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Recent Comments


Not an unusual analogy at all Kyle if you live in California. going in to this winter season CA was in a major 5 year drought that required water rationing by city water districts.

This winter season started early and the high mountain trickle got started. Then atmospheric rivers started to move in causing the first sustained rain and snow storms in nearly 5 years.

Now our rivers and reservoirs are overflowing causing frequent intermittent flooding. Can our sites even experience traffic flooding if we maintain the course you have described?

Yeah, your sites can be in a state of flooding and that is when you know you have made can and will happen within any niche with time, for some this takes 1-2 years, for others it may take 5, but you are sitting on a full time and growing business when this does take place.

Great analogy Kyle, thanks!

If you had seen my FB account, the Profile picture is that of a beautiful stream, flowing ever onward. This is my style, to never quit flowing toward success.

I just may have chosen the wrong niche and have to try again. Not quitting, just tacking to the left or right, as in sailing lingo.

I can remember this analogy!

Thanks for you time!



You don't have the wrong niche, there is no such thing (with 3.75 billion people online). It comes down to putting forth enough effort within any given niche and basically "becoming" that niche.

Here to help if you ever need a hand with anything at all moving forward. ;)

Thank you for this Kyle. I have had a lot of posts that have ranked 1st page on google, sometimes more than once even but I keep getting told conflicting things about my site and I am starting to lose heart with it all. I was really enjoying everything. Xx

Yeah, you are hitting 1st page, you are doing awesome. Think of that as the trickle, when this happens en masse and through time, this trickle will turn into the stream. ;)

Thanks so much and I will do. Xx

Great analogy Kyle. I often see how a vibrant mountain stream or river is made, hiking in the mountains of New York this time of the year with the snow beginning to melt.

Many different trickles of water from various areas of snow at the top eventually meet up a little further down the mountain. They all form together into a slow moving yet wider and slightly deeper stream.

Then these slow moving streams meet together in a gorge closer to the bottom of the mountain and the stream becomes vibrant. The water is now rushing with more authority, splashing and crashing over rocks creating that mountain river.

A website that produces traffic is no different. It is up to us to consistently create those various areas at the top of the mountain, producing those trickles in the form of content that engages with people.

I think I will take my iPad with me for a hike tomorrow, I am feeling inspired. Thanks Kyle!

Exactly, you said it perfectly here. It is up to US to create that trickle that leads to much bigger rivers.

That is the reality of building a business and it is funny that people that go to school (which doesn't have instant gratification) expect instant gratification when they attempt to start a business.

There are billions and billions of clicks up for grab out there and those that are patient enough to build some authority are going to capitalize on it.

Thanks Kyle well said I understand that concept however what I don't understand is why do I keep getting lost. I go in One Direction and then something comes along and I totally turn. I guess I just got to follow the program and when something comes along write it down.Go back to it when it it's time. Sorry for getting off track!

We all do it, so don't worry. It is a matter of getting back on track sometimes and that is partly going to be my job here to help you based on experience to see the reality of the process! :)

Well I went back to the comments on people's websites because of I had to go back because the gravatar that is really killing me but anyway somehow It let me by and I'm using my regular email instead of the gravatar email which I have both. Word press must of put in because i asked a question? But anyway I don't know what happened am finally able to put in comments. But it is myregular email Hope it's okay. I done more than what it said, but because of that issues with gravatar I lost them. Thanks for listening Donna

Kyle, this is exactly what I need to hear and at exactly the right time. I believe I have paid the price for not working on my websites especially my first one consistently last year especially towards the end of last year.

The reason I say that is because I've noticed recently that a number of my posts have dropped dramatically in rankings on Google, even my website as a whole has dropped a couple of pages in ranking.

It had me concerned because now that I've been posting very consistently since the very beginning of the year, I've noticed that a lot of my newer posts have been appearing on Google on like say page 5 or higher and some not even on the first 20 pages of Google even though I've targeted low hanging fruit keywords.

That's not to say though that some of my recent posts aren't ranking. There are a couple of them here and there that have shown up on the first or second page of Google that certainly did surprise me. Others however that I thought would get good ranking certainly didn't.

With that being said, I'm getting close to the 200 mark in the number of posts on my website and I certainly have some of them ranking on the first page of Google.

My thoughts on this are that I'm having to work to rebuild trust with Google, and also that with Google Analytics, I've had to resubmit some things such as an XML Sitemap that shows my website as being https now instead of http.

Regardless though I'm pressing ahead and adding content on a regular basis usually 3 or more posts a week and hoping that my traffic will steadily continue to build.

Google doesn't like to rewards websites that are not active and that are not getting active engagement.

The reason is that when Google delivers a website near the top of their rankings, they don't want to deliver a website they are unsure of someone actually being behind and support (as that impacts the users experience and ultimately doesn't shine well on Google).

If you consistent create content, you are going to see your rankings slowly (across the board) move upward...if you don't create it with consistency, you will see it go down.

That does make perfect sense. Why bother ranking a website that posts content on a very random basis or just not much at all? So for now, I just have to rebuild trust with Google and show them that I mean business on consistently updating my website.

I do like the fact that you can request comments here to get engagement going on posts and that has helped me a lot because I hardly get comments any other way right now.

Great post Kyle, I can personally attest to this happening with my sites using the WA training.

On my first WA site, I got an almost non-existent 'trickle' of traffic for the first 3 months, which slowly increased to a very small 'stream'. At around the 6 month mark, the 'river' started flowing and I now get a solid flow of traffic which keeps on growing. The hardest time (in my experience) was the first 3-6 months as you are hustling for (what seems) like nothing much, but it pays off with consistency. This stuff really does work.


Great share Tim thanks :)

Awesome Tim, thanks for dropping in and sharing your experience.

I have spoken with several people that have established SIGNIFICANT businesses online and this is exactly how the speak in terms of SEO.

The same can actually be said for PPC if you are going to properly build out a campaign. Start with trickle, find what is working and converting, then scale into a much more powerful stream/river. This happens with time.

Wow Kyle, it seems you have redescovered your poetic vein her!! But it is an analogy that gives the idea perfectly, and do you know what, one that, although still at the trickle stage of my online career, I can relate too. I'm starting seeing those trickles getting to possible stream level!!!


Thank you Kyle for your opinion. This is a very valuable for me on recognising the trickle. You know sometimes I feel very hard as a beginner to limit ourself abondon in a circle. I keep trying since I like to learn with a reason to know why is this and why is that. By jumping on trickle I found that free on trying and implement freely to get the answer on caused and effect with a little loose of discipline. Thanks by trying out there on getting multiple streams I could understand better the purpose of SEO and other things. Anyway I really appreciate what I'm getting the topics and hints given by you and WA. I learn a lot by doing practicals outside. Thank you again.

I likey analogies....

Your analogy is cool. I've noticed this for myself.

Each post you publish makes your website a little bit stronger. As it gathers strength you see more traffic that you didn't expect to come for things like tags (I noticed in my analytics) even when you're not ranked page 1 for the title of the post and the keywords you'd hoped for. EG. Ranked on page 15 of google but ranked on page 1 for the tag...

Linking internally also seems to help to "strengthen" a website. I try to find 3 posts to link to within each new post. I also like to go in to those 3 posts and make a link to the new published post.

so when I publish a new post I'm creating 4 new links, 3 going out to 3 older posts. One going in to the new post. I am 100% sure this helps to strengthen a site in terms of SEO. I think it also helps to keep people on your site for longer.

Making sure each link is relevant to the post, is clear as a call to action so that visitors can actually see it (I make mine red in colour) you can actually reduce bounce rate...


I use a mountain and snowballs as an analogy, similar.

When we first set out to climb a mountain we practice on a small mountain. What we have to do is roll a snowball up in our hands nice and tight. Then we set it off rolling down the mountain by itself (the blog is published)

As it rolls slowly down the mountain, it gathers more snow and gets a little bigger and a little faster...

While that snowball is rolling, you get on with another snowball, you make it a little better than the first. You set it off rolling and don't stop to analyse how it's going because that would slow you down on your your path to success in regards to time. You get on with another snowball.

eventually you end up with lots of snowballs rolling down the mountain simultaneously, some of them good ones that were made well and so are growing in strength as they get bigger.

Some of them will break open, they hit a rock or something and split, never mind, there's others you've pushed down the mountain.

In time, just about every snowball you push off the mountain will be good ones because you've had plenty of practice.

Sometimes, though, even the ones you thought were the best ones you've ever made, they'll smash into a rock and break. It's something you can't avoid, even the best cars in the world can crash.

And other times? Well, sometimes you make a snowball that you think is not good once you've pushed it off the mountain, but despite your expectations, it turns out to be the best snowball ever created in the history of humanity. (lol)


How's my little twist on your analogy?

It's awesome Jim-Bo, loved it. The funny thing though is that this snowball or stream or river analogy runs in a long span of time, such as months or years. You can imagine running the actual analogy but slowing the clock a thousand times, and that's what website traffic is all about.

The real deal is the TIME factor being the number one killer of countless dreams in the online world. The truly successful understand that it takes time to succeed with an online business. The best way you can really appreciate this concept is by increasing the intensity of your efforts with time.

After all, if you've only written 40 posts in 6 months, wouldn't it make more sense to pump it up to 120 in the next 6 months, or 300, or 1000? As a result, Google will really reward you, depending on the number of snowballs you are willing to throw down the mountain :)

I like this post ,what I still have to figure out though is how to do all this linking to your own posts within your own site.
I will follow it up in the queries area but if you can take the time to give me the info I would be rapt.
Thanks for your post. Cheers Cate

That's in the training, Cate.

As for where in the training I'm not sure. You shouldn't skip ahead in the training anyway, so if you haven't seen that part yet, don't worry until you reach that stage...

indeed! As you get better making snowballs you inevitably get quicker as time passes.

I think a good idea for newbies is to first shoot for 100 posts. Then 500 then 1000. Zen!

Cool indeed!!!

I will follow that Jim-Bo, right now I'm speeding up :)

me too, Dom!

I use the snowball and have used it extensively in the past, along with the "slow roller" strategy. I love your overall strategy and your analogy here Jim-bo!

People tend to want instant gratification when it comes to business, results and traffic. In fact they treat it differently than any other job or career which is something that I always find a bit bizarre.

The reality is that traffic will come in floods when you first can appreciate that starting out it will come in a trickle. :)

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