Today’s post is not so much about Ultimate Demon, or even link building software in general. I’m looking at how to measure your success early on in any project besides just trying to increase web traffic.
It can seem difficult to measure any level of success on the Internet below the level of;
“How much profit am I making?”
The thing is, as many people in SEO will know, there are a lot of steps to go to between setting up your site initially and actually making a decent profit from it.
It’s nice to have some pointers along way to see whether you’re heading in the right direction. I’ve mentioned several times in the last few posts the importance of having a diverse set of referrers and not relying on just the big search engines for all of your traffic.
You can be using the best SEO software or the best link building software (ahem – Ultimate Demon) on the market but still failing, and with your “business head” on, you need to work out why this is happening.
I read stories sometimes about people losing 99% of their visitors by being de-indexed by one particular engine. That’s not a nice thing to happen.
But when they then go on to mention that the site is several years old I can’t help but feel a little bit annoyed.
Why on earth did they let themselves be held ransom by one single source of traffic? That just doesn’t make any sort of business sense.
The thing is about building links is, that if you use high-quality content – which is what I always recommend in SEO software reviews for Ultimate Demon – then you can gradually, over a period of time build up a large base of sites and systems that will refer visitors to your site. There is no excuse to using one search engine. It’s potentially extremely harmful to your financial health.
But it’s so convenient, you are looking to increase website traffic, perhaps using some link building software and some on-site SEO software to help you optimise your LSI, but you’d need to measure the effect.
Maybe you haven’t risen in the search engines yet but are you moving in the right direction?
- Should you test for weeks or months before realising that you’ve been optimising in the wrong way?
- Are you targeting the right keywords?
- Are you getting as ton actionable clicks but the vendors sales page or the payment providers interface is letting you down at the last step?
That’s where you need to have a few metrics you can check as you go along. Sure you can carry on with your link build with Ultimate Demon, but let’s measure it on a day by day basis to see what effect it’s having on your website. I’ve read SEO software reviews for products that claim they will do all of this stuff for you, but there are free and brilliant alternatives out there. Let’s have a quick look at a few.
The first and most obvious thing to check daily your visitor statistics.
If you have a C-Panel with your web hosting provider you will probably be able to install something like a AWstats or similar.
This monitors traffic through to your domains and gives you a very rough cut analysis of your visitor figures.
Despite it looking like a pretty complicated. A set of graphs and figures that look to be broken down, I found them wildly inaccurate. It sometimes doesn’t seem to know the difference between a spider and a real human visitor and this can be misleading. It also is not particularly brilliant at knowing what a unique visitor is and what a return website viewer might be. But it’s better than nothing, and will at least give you the trends.
How about finding some better alternatives?
Some of the best SEO software is free, or is part of a service that’s provided free.
As you can probably tell this site is run on the CMS platform WordPress. There are any number of free statistics packages that you can use.
Statpress is one such package which breaks down your visitor figures. The overview is simple and tells you the number of unique visitors you’ve had per day, their page views the number of spiders that have crawled your pages and the number of times your RSS feed has been picked up.
Running an SEO product like Ultimate Demon allows you to submit your RSS feed. I would do this once per month if you add content once or twice a week, or once every 7-10 days if you add content daily. RSS pickups are a pretty good advertisement for the style and quality of content on your site and, in turn, a pretty good way to increase website traffic.
Below this, there are a number of pie charts and statistics which will tell you the origin of the visitor, the keyword is any that they used to find your site and be referring site that sent them to you. All excellent information.
It’s great to see sites like Yahoo, Reddit, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Digg, Ezine and other high profile websites sending you a good proportion of your traffic.
In an ideal world no single referrer would be able to hold you to ransom for more than 20% – 30% of your visitors.
That way, next time Google changes their algorithm the biggest risk your site has is to lose 20% of its visitors. If you are happy with your content and the way that you are marketing then you might take the decision just to ignore the de-indexing, and just carry on and increase your traffic numbers from other sources.
As you can tell (because I keep banging on about it) this is something I highly recommend every sensible business minded web-master does as a matter of some urgency.
Okay, so you have visitors only of worked out where they have come from. But what are they doing?
The real key performance indicators are;
- Are you selling or referring the product or service ?
- Do you visitors take the action your site was built for?
- In other words, is your bank account filling up?
While this is a great figure to look at, there are some others you should be examining slightly closer. Here I found using a URL shortening such as bit-ly is an excellent way of measuring the number of visitors take the primary action that your website promotes if it is a CPA offer.
The graph below shows the number of people click the actual link on this site and referred to the payment page. It’s recorded automatically by the URL shortening service along with the referrer stats and some basic geographical details about where they came from. Nice information. Think of this as free SEO software.
You will be surprised to know that a 10% conversion rate on those that click through to the payment page for many products is actually considered quite good. I think this means that the Internet is full of those who like to procrastinate rather than take action, but that is a figure you should be checking.
If you are referring people to the seller’s website or to the payment page on a regular basis but not making sales you are doing something right. It’s either just a matter of time until the sale start to come or perhaps you should have a word with the vendor and tell them that their own conversion rate is very poor.
I have sent e-mails in the past to some vendors have told them that they are converting under 5% of referrals from my website. I’ve even been cheeky enough to offer a few bits of advice.
For me 5% is the absolute minimum for referrals to the main site. 7% is OK and anything over 12% is excellent. But it does depend on the offer. If you are getting CPS commissions for referring potential buyers to a site selling a yacht for three million dollars and you in turn are making $10,000 in commissions for each sale, then you are going to get a lot of browsers. Maybe look at 1%, it might even be less
If on the other hand you are referring for a $10 subscription for some SEO software reviews site, then you will want to be pushing 10% – probably more. There are no hard and fast rules.
I won’t go into how to optimise your site in detail yet, that will be part of the case study for members. Using the best SEO software helps of course. Ultimate Demon can link build to the benefit of every potential referrer site not just the big search engines