Monthly Archives: March 2012

Measure Your SEO Stats And Increase Website Traffic

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.

Visitor Stats For Your Site

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.

Measuring SEO Metrics Click Through Rate

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

Case Study For Ultimate Demon Delayed

A very quick post as an apology today. This Ultimate Demon site has been hacked twice in the past 3 weeks, the second time last night was the most serious and required a full Cpanel backup.

Not a massive job – I do a full backup – including databases daily and archive backups going back months. But still two hours wasted getting everything back up and running again.

Before you ask –yes I do have all the best anti hacking services employed, but some people are very persistent.

The case study showing Ultimate Demon as a solo linking tool WILL be going ahead, however I will likely do it on a completely new domain and just have one link here to it.

Work on content is already underway and it is likely that I will catch up with where I planned to be in a couple of weeks.

On that topic, the response from members has been brilliant, however many of you do not want to see the “high ticket” item topic I originally suggested. The dreaded word “adsense” keeps cropping up.

I try and avoid all financial contact with Google possible. They are inconsistent and hypocritical. They are very heavy handed, totally one sided and will keep huge sum of your hard earned money on a whim (with little or no explanation why..I think the phrase I’m searching for here is “theft”). I will not be using that network.

This goes hand in hand with minimizing the traffic percentage I get from Google as well. It currently stands at 52% of unique visitors to this site, and dropping.

  • Visitor numbers are up week on week.
  • The percentage from Google is down.

This is exactly as I would like it. They can change their algorithms as much as they like with minimum effect on my cash flow and R.O.I

However, I will try and do something similar, a well known affiliate network that places contextual ads on page, maybe Amazon or similar. It does mean I will have to re-think the product slightly, though as the winner of the  first months pay check has already been announced I will honour that.

So, I’m sorry for the delay. The Ultimate Demon linking project will be underway soon enough though.


Ultimate Demon Link and Database Housekeeping

Sometimes even the best applications need some TLC. Ultimate Demon is no different.

After a couple of months of use I have 9 projects running each with fifty or more tasks. I keep these because it’s a neat and tidy way of looking after my links, but I think “The Demon” is beginning to get a bit of indigestion and would like some of this stuff cleared out.

I have noticed that start up time has increased a fair bit over the months. From 20-30 seconds to almost 2 and a half minutes (see the video below).

Now, in line with Edwinsoft’s licensing rules, I have two instances of Ultimate Demon installed (though only run one at a time). I checked my “desktop” version, which has only ever done a few small bookmarking campaigns, and this still boots up in about 20 seconds. This lead me to think it’s the database of linking tasks and projects that has built up inside Ultimate Demon that is the cause of the delays.

Database Size in Ultimate Demon

Here in the Ultimate Demon folder on your hard drive is the reason for the delay.

Firstly you can see the database file is now close to half a gigabyte in size. I’ve found keeping this to under 250Mbytes is best for most setups.

In addition you will probably have “error” files for a lot of the tasks Ultimate Demon has run.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that the task failed, it is a list of the issues that occurred during the sign up or submission process for your links.

A couple of useful tips here help you to keep each installation of Ultimate Demon up tot scratch speed wise and prevent slow downs.

  • Do not run other applications at the same time
  • Disable any unnecessary tasks that access the internet while your link building is on-going
  • Use the “Live Link” report to fetch your links then (in most cases) delete the task if you have finished with it
  • Export the sites you have added from time to time (in case the worst happens and your machine crashes etc.)
  • Export account data for bookmarking sites and perhaps other profile types for the same reason

Like any other business venture, link building with Ultimate Demon is best done in an organized and controlled fashion. The developers have given us a great set of tools to help in this regard, and the only manual thing I would do would be to delete the “error_x” files from time to time and delete old tasks and projects from the database.

Ultimate Demon start up. Reduce the time taken by about 75%.

Ultimate Demon – Are Links Worth It Without SERPs?

Last night I had an e-mail from a new Demondemon member asking me what on the face of it is a question that perhaps we all should ask more often. Am I building links just to the search engines?.

In other words, when you start Ultimate Demon and set about your link building campaigns, is it just to attract high ranking in the search engines or is there or are there other benefits to doing this?

This got me thinking, and I decided to dig through my referrer statistics. I already had a good idea what I would find, but needed confirmation and thought it would make a decent article to show the value of links with or without the search engines. I was pleasantly surprised to find that in the 24 hours I had the following main referrals.

The top two figures listed as “Spam” were “Plus one checker” and the “Internet Supervision” URL. These will be both what is known as “referrer spam”.

Referrer Visitor Quantity
SPAM sites (spoofed referrer) 265
Google 145
Social Sites (Twitter/Facebook) 137
Other Search Engines 122
Major IM Forums and Blogs 87
Random Sites 70

The chances are my site has been visited by an automated tool and in an effort to disguise the real identity of the visitor they have spoofed a couple of commonly used websites rather than show the real origin. Spoofing is a topic for another day.

Google comes in third, and is the first proper website sending me visitors. So yes, search engines are important. But look below.

Despite search engine appearing again a couple of places down there are a surprising number of independent sites and the bit-ly shortened URLs you can see both refer to people visiting my site via Twitter.

Refer Stats For This Site

This is a pretty good snapshot of a days traffic, and you do need to “sort the wheat out from the chaff” a little to realise what is real and what isn’t. If I hadn’t sorted the spam visits out then Google would have been an even lower percentage.

I’ve gone back over the past six weeks to see what percentage of my sales can be directly attributed to visitors referred to my site via the search engines. If I say I’ve had a decent number of sales of Ultimate Demon so far, I can tell you that only one of them was as a result of a visitor arriving here for the first time via Google or any other search engine.

Put it another way, when it comes to dollars and cents, Google is responsible for less than 10% of my sites revenue creation.

That’s a little lower than it might be in say 6 months time, because this Ultimate Demon site is still much newer than the others in this niche, and therefore lower ranked than some of the better competition. It has only been active for around six weeks and most of the other sites who are offering Ultimate Demon have been around for the most part since late 2011.

Did I mention domain and content age is vital? If I didn’t I should have. That’s domain age and content age, it’s now the case that one without the other is no-where near as effective. Another post for another day here I think…

So, with continued push in SERP’s it may well be the case that Google plays an increasingly large part in the sites revenue. But even if it doesn’t there is still a massive value in the links that I have created. They have attracted 66% of the visitors and 90% of the revenue that this site has managed to create in the last six weeks. In other words – this site works with or without the “Big G”.

I’ve mentioned on other forums that major search engines are playing a decreasing role in terms of traffic generation year by year. While they are still the single biggest referrer, it’s now the case that managing your off site SEO with links created by Ultimate Demon, you should now look to diversify your campaigns. Set up Facebook, Youtube, Twitter. In fact having a presence on any and all high PR/high traffic sites on the internet plays a massive part in making your site a success.

Using a linking tool like Ultimate Demon to take the hard work out of getting these sites noticed is now an important part of a successful linking strategy.

Short answer. Links are vital, they are the conduit for visitors from all over the web, with or without SERPs.