Website Ranking - Basic Metrics (Elements)

According to statistics by Digital Strategy Consulting, on January 21, 2013, there were 634 million active websites. That’s over half a billion.

That’s a lot of noise . . . a lot of competition.

I’ve used the analogy before, about being a spec in the sky, and it’s true. You need to find and use marketing strategies, specifically website optimization strategies, to give your site (or your client’s site) a brighter light. You need to create visibility and ranking.

One method of keeping track of ‘how you’re doing’ in all that noise is using and website ranking.

Alexa gives you amazing analytics on your rankings and that of your competition.

Here's a bit on how ranking works.

The overall Alexa ranking should be low - the lower the better. Google is #1.

There are a number of factors Alexa looks at to calculate their numbers, including daily page views per visitor and daily time on site. For these numbers, the HIGHER, the better.

Then there are ‘sites linking in,’ ‘search visits,’ ‘bounce rate, and ‘new visitors’ categories that are also SEO basic factors for ranking.

*Ranking numbers change daily.

Let’s breakdown these elements:

‘Pageviews per visitor’ are the number of website pages a visitor clicks on while visiting. The more pages the better.

An effective way of ‘upping’ the pageviews is to:

•    Use long-tail keywords for title tags and headers
•    Have separate pages for specific topics (an example would be if you have a health site, one page might be on Cancer, one on Diabetes, one on Heart Disease, and so on
•    Have a ‘freebie’ page – it might be helpful information that’s downloadable (a download is considered a ‘hit’)
•    Use deep-linking (have links to more information)

‘Daily time on site’ is the amount of time (in minutes and seconds) a visitor stays on a site during one visit. The ‘pageviews’ plays a factor in this. If your content contains links to other pages or posts on your site, then the ‘time on site’ will increase. This is deep linking.

Another strategy to increase the ‘time on site’ is using video or audio. Even short 30-60 second clips keep the visitor in place.

‘Sites linking in’ reflects the number of websites that find your website informative and valuable enough to link to it. According to Moz Analytics:

External Links are hyperlinks that point at (target) any domain other than the domain the link exists on (source). In layman's terms, if another website links to you, this is considered an external link to your site.

Linking can be done through anchor text, which is the best format for site linking, or through a direct URL link. ‘Sites linking in’ is an important SEO factor.

‘Search visits’ are those visits to your site that are a result of online searches, usually for a particular keyword. But, along with search visits goes bounces, time on site, and page views. Simply getting a search visitor doesn’t do much if he’s gone in less than 5 seconds (considered a bounce).

The ‘bounce rate’ is the percentage of visitors who leave within a few seconds after visiting just one page (the page they originally land on). High bounce rates are usually an indication that your keywords aren’t really relevant to your content. Or, your site may be difficult to navigate or read, or confusing. You want a low bounce rate.

A key factor to keeping your bounce rates low is to deliver on what you promise. Meet your visitors’ expectations. This means having quality content and relevant keywords. You also need to have a visitor-friendly website design. This means it needs to load quickly, be easy to navigate and easy to read, has an easy to find call-to-action, and is clean (uncluttered).

Tip: According to Hinge Marketing, "A general rule for B2B firms is to try to keep bounce rates lower than 60%."

There is much more involved in search engine algorithms and website analytics, but these elements are some of the basics.

I hope you found this information interesting and helpful. Too advanced, not enough, just right? I’d really love to know, so please leave a comment – good or bad.



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