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Is your Web site popular?

By John L. Beath
Do you know how popular your Web site is or how many other Web sites link to your site? Knowing this information can help you direct future marketing efforts and help you monetize your site.
Alexa.com is one of the most useful and informative places to learn about your site. Alexa.com offers a simple toolbar on its homepage for looking up info about any Web site. Type in the URL, hit the “Lookup Sites” button and Alexa.com will give you worldwide traffic ranking, U.S. ranking and rankings for other countries. It also provides demographics, time on site, reach, page views, bounce percentage, search percentage and more.
Linking information from Alexa.com does not show all of a Web site’s links. To find out, as accurately as possible, how many external Web sites link to your site, go to www.altavista.com. Type “link:www.yoursite.com” and click the “find” button. Altavista will list almost every link to the requested Web site.

I use this information to find out who links to my site and why. This information can benefit the current and future direction of the site’s marketing efforts and let you know what content attracts the most links. Links to your site will increase your traffic and your site’s search ranking, so pay close attention to linking and develop as many relevant links to your site as possible. Relevant links are links that match or have relevance to your site’s topic. For instance, my main site, halibut.net has hundreds of links from other fishing sites. Links from sites not relevant to my site will not help with rankings as much as “like sites.”
Web site owners should also consider signing up for a Google account and then use Google Analytics to learn more about their site’s traffic.
This super powerful analytics system gives a very complete insight into your Web site’s traffic patterns. The information is so complete you can design your marketing efforts around your site’s success or re-design your site to match your goals.
Here’s a sneak peak at the Google Analytics page for Outdoors Unlimited Online:

Web site Designer Tip

R.I.P. Meta Keywords

Keywords died a very quiet death last year. During a search engine convention several months ago, Yahoo! announced they joined Google, Bing and most other major search engines by eliminating meta keywords from their search algorithms. Having meta keywords on your Web site won’t hurt, but they won’t help in any way.
When building new pages, don’t insert keywords into the meta data. Instead, use a tightly written targeted titles and descriptive, relevant meta descriptions. You should also use a descriptive message at the top of the page.
Here’s an example for an automotive site my team just built for a customer targeting Honda car repair customers in his town. Also note that his URL, www.MonroeHondaRepair.com, helps his search results because the URL is relevant to the search.

  • <TITLE> Monroe Honda Repair (360) 794-5211
  • <META NAME=”DESCRIPTION” CONTENT=”Honda Repair in Snohomish County’s Monroe Washington. We specialize in Honda auto repair.”>

The first line of text on this Web page gives the search engine relevant search information and tells the potential customer the company’s specialty:
Honda Repair at Monroe Foreign Auto Repair. We specialize in Honda Repairs. ◊

For more information on search engine optimization, check out these articles from the OU archive:
https://owaa.org/ou/2009/11/increasing-website-visits/
https://owaa.org/ou/2009/11/search-engine-optimization/

John L. Beath is OWAA president and owner of Pacific Lure Communications. He is a writer/photographer and owner/editor of 14 Web sites and 10 online stores. He is also an Internet marketing consultant for several businesses. Contact him at jbeath@gmail.com.
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