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. And, that was a while ago.
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 (and your client’s site) a brighter light. You need to create visibility and ranking.
Some of the basic elements (metrics) that are looked at for website ranking are:
- Daily pageviews per visitor
- Daily time on site
- Sites linking in
- Search visits
- Bounce rate
Let’s break these elements down:
Pageviews per visitor refers to a view of a page on your website by a person/visitor. Factors such as reloading a page and moving to different pages count. The more pages the better. So, using WOTM’s statistic above, visitors are clicking on other pages during their visit.
According to Google.com, “If a visitor clicks reload after reaching the page, this is counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second pageview is recorded as well.” (1)
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 within your site)
A unique pageview “represents the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times.” (1)
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.
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.” (2)
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).
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Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and online marketing instructor. To keep up with must-know, easy to do writing and marketing strategies, get free access to The Writing World.
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