Archive for the ‘Traffic Generation’ Category

PostHeaderIcon How to Check Website Traffic

Knowing how to check website traffic is useful for two main reasons: getting to know your audience and learning about your competition. Traffic monitors now allow you to look beyond numbers and see other statistics, such as how long visitors tend to stay, where they come from, and which sections they read the most. They also offer a peek into competing websites and how they work compared to your own. Both provide valuable data that can steer your marketing and content in the right direction.

The most popular and widely recommended tool for checking website traffic is Google Ad Planner. Site statistics are provided both in country-specific and worldwide perspectives, and include total versus unique visitors, page views, monthly statistics, and average time spent on site. Its interface is also one of the most user-friendly in the market, making it especially useful for new site owners and those who like to focus on the business side of things.

Alexa is better known as a ranking system, a measure of a site or blog’s popularity. It provides useful metrics such as global traffic rank, country-specific traffic rank, page views per user, bounce rate, and search percentage. It also shows the top keywords that lead to the site, which can be useful in search engine optimization efforts. The comparison tool allows you to see how your site measures up with up to four others. The data is a little less accurate, but works well as a prediction and site-valuing tool.

For U.S.-specific users, Compete is also worth checking out. Its data is based on a list of 200,000 users in the U.S., which makes it a little limited but well-targeted for those who don’t really care about international traffic (such as community-based websites). QuantCast works in much the same way; like Alexa, its accuracy doesn’t quite match that of Google, but it serves as a supplementary resource for Compete or a similar service.

If your main goal for checking website traffic is ad revenue, BuySellAds may be worth a look. It’s primarily an ad network specializing in banner ads, but it offers very reliable traffic estimates. The catch is that you have to use the service (i.e. install the script) before you can get your hands on the data. Experts recommend it mostly for an overview of the most important metrics, including rankings on Compete and Alexa, social network shares and followers, and SEO statistics.

PostHeaderIcon Traffic Generator Software

When it first hit the market, traffic generation software was well-received—it was a way to sweeten website stats, increase hits, and boost conversions while barely lifting a finger. But like many get-rich-quick schemes, it didn’t last long: search engine Google promptly changed its policies, blocking access to 100,000 sites using its AdWords feature. It was a response to abusive traffic generation programs, most of them driving false traffic and using other unethical means to boost site rankings.

Lesson learned: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. It’s a cliché, but a hard-learned one for many web entrepreneurs. While some traffic generator software is legitimate and delivers as promised, many more are just after site owners’ money. The first thing to remember is not to go for the first program that presents itself. Lurk around forums, ask other site owners, and do your own research to see which traffic generator can get you meaningful traffic and keep you out of trouble.

Major search engines—Google, Bing, and Yahoo—usually offer guidelines that include acceptable means of traffic generation. No matter how long you’ve been in business, a quick look at these guides once in a while can come in handy. You’ll notice that some of the best-ranked ones offer a service more than a product—they don’t just get you visitors, but also guide you in marketing efforts that help you keep them.

Of course, you can’t leave everything to code. Traffic generator software can kick-start your business but it won’t work for the long haul, at least not if you plan on keeping a meaningful customer base. Part of your job is to keep providing useful content that will keep users coming back, and ideally spreading word around about your business. Whether it’s how-to articles, an insightful blog, or high-quality products and services, the key to success isn’t so much web traffic as it is good practice. It gives you more credibility not only in customers’ books, but also in the eyes of search engines, who take into account the relevance of your content.

A popular way to complement traffic generation is article marketing, which involves publishing articles on several channels that link back to your site. If they’re useful and well-written, they can drive traffic from people who are really worth your time. E-mail marketing and social marketing are also excellent ways to reach your target market. Whatever your methods, they should account for more of your traffic and conversion than traffic generator software.

PostHeaderIcon How to Lower Your Alexa Rank

Alexa rankings (provided by Alexa.com, a site owned by Amazon.com) are one of the most common measures of a website’s popularity. The site measures popularity by counting visits from users who have the Alexa toolbar installed, and ranks websites according to the number of visits they get. While many agree that the method is flawed and shuns many important factors, it continues to play an important role in web marketing, dictating rates for such services as Review Me and Pay Per Post.

Website owners aim for a low Alexa rank, which means they’re high on the list of most popular websites. For the most part, this means getting more people to visit your site—or on a more technical note, getting Alexa to track more of these people. The Web offers dozens of ways to do this, although not all of them probably deserve merit. If you’re wondering how to lower your Alexa rank, here’s a look at some popular methods and how they can help.

Use social traffic: Try to get your content on Digg, StumbleUpon, and other social bookmarking sites. This will increase your site hits exponentially, and subsequently add to your readership. Another way to boost social traffic is to comment on other blogs yourself, particularly higher-ranking ones (programs like SEO Book can show you site rankings as you visit them). Choose sites and posts that are relevant to your own, and make sure to link back to your own site.

Get advertising: Investing in advertising is essential, even if you already have a strong reader base. Each advertising method brings something different to the mix, and not all of them are worth your money. Pay Per Click ads are a cheap but effective way to bring traffic. Advertising on big sites like Blogger and Webmaster will also work, but it’ll cost you a lot more—most people who do this are already making considerable amounts from traffic and just looking to cash in.

Install the toolbar: The logic is simple—since Alexa counts visits from people who have the toolbar, having it on your browser means your own visits will count. Your numbers move up every time you log in to comment or update. This may only help minimally, but much of Web marketing is like that—little tweaks adding up to give you that big boost. Note that the toolbar may have different names on different browsers.