SEO Alexa and Unique Vistors

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[podcast][/podcast] Fifth SEO Podcast Jan. 23rd 2009. Second page of Transcription

Chris: And making sure that you link them together properly. So that’s important. And I love this fact. This is kind of—it’s a mouthful but here we go. By linking poorly, it is possible to fail to reach the site’s maximum page rank but it is not possible to exceed it. Now, let you take a stab at that one.

Paul: So I’m going to say OK, if you are linking to someone that may be is not related to what you do. I’m Joe the Plumber I’m linking to—

Chris: Well, this is going to be internal links.

Paul: Oh, OK. OK.

Chris: So if you do internal links poorly, you can fail to meet your maximum page rank but you can never exceed your maximum page rank.

Paul: OK. And I know it’s important to link to all of your internal pages because Google won’t be able—if you don’t link to a certain page, there’s no link to it, it’s not going to end up in the directory, correct?

Chris: I think we would call that poor linking. [laughs].

Paul: That would be called—definitely be called poor linking.

Chris: If there’s no link to a particular website that you want people to find, that would be incredibly poor linking.

Paul: Another reason to have a site map.

Chris: Exactly.

Paul: I checked the last five cast for that one.

Chris: Exactly. And there are lots of tools actually out there to check and make sure that all of your links go together. You can actually type in page by page for some tools and it can make sure it can tell you what other pages linked to that page. So there are lots of things out there available for you to make sure that a particular page is linked to.

Paul: Here’s a question. Here’s probably what a small business owner is—you’re Mr. Small Business Owner, you’re thinking, “OK, page rank is important. I know I need to have a good page rank but why? How is page rank going to affect my business?” I mean by now you know that you know how keywords are going, you know why they’re important, you know how to do that, you know what link building is and how to import it so why is page rank—why will you talk about it? Why is it important?

Chris: That’s a great question and I’m sure that Joe the Plumber is out there.

Paul: [laughs].

Chris: In additional—in addition to making his many political commentaries is wondering why page rank is important and probably what to do about it once he realizes it’s important. So page rank, we already discussed, is how Google defines the value of particular content, the value
of a particular web page, not necessarily the content side of it. So you can imagine if we’ve got two web pages that one of them is pointed towards us with the term ‘search engine optimization’ and another one is pointed to our competitor with the term ‘search engine optimization’. Those would probably have an equal weight to Google [inaudible] search engine using some sort of page rank. Now, if the page pointing to us had a higher page rank than the page pointing to our competitors, it makes sense that Google was going to want to give more credibility to that website ‘cause it’s a more valuable website than the one pointing to our competitor. And of course, the only websites pointing to our competitors are almost of no value.

Paul: None, absolutely none.

Chris: [laughs]. And everything pointing to ours is of significant value ‘cause it ends up at

Paul: Exactly.

Chris: All kidding aside, that’s just a simple example to illustrate, you know, why do I want to have good page rank. Why do I want to be spending my time if I’m going to do any sort of link building and that’s external link building. Why do I want to bother—not bother with the guys a lower page rank and spend my time trying to get links from the people with the higher page rank? Does that make sense?

Paul: That makes perfect sense. So basically it’s I need—page rank is important to me, Joe the Plumbers because it’s going to help with my positioning and with my credibility .

Chris: Exactly.

Paul: OK.

Chris: It just kind of makes sense you got a higher page rank, you’re going to show up higher in the search engines for different terms. Now, page rank, you know, somebody may have a higher page rank but not use search engine optimization. They’re clear in the text, in their content, which is king, they’re not going to use the term search engine optimization so they may have a higher rank but they’re not going to show up above us or maybe not at all if they don’t have the term ‘search engine optimization’. So I think I’ve made that clear. I think we had a clear understanding of what page rank is and how to use it. We may end up covering it more in-depth ‘cause there’s, you know, there’s pages of algorithms and we can get into that kind of detail, we can have those kinds of discussions. It’s not our target right now.

Paul: Yes.

Chris: Let us cover a lot more of the basics and we’ll move on. The next thing we have—you were going to say something?

Paul: Well, now, I was just going to say that—let’s talk about Alexa ranking. Or should we—

Chris: Oh, yes, we can bring in election ranking too ‘cause that’s one that I like to use. So there’s a website out there called Alexa (A-L-E-X-A) and I believe it’s actually an company. And they have a toolbar which you can download and the toolbar does this nifty little thing. It’ll tell you its version of page rank or it’s kind of like page quality, if you will, quality is not a good word. It tells you relative page rank. That is everybody that has an Alexa toolbar on their—installed on their Internet Explorer, all of those Internet Explorers as people are surfing the data’s getting sent to Alexa. And then Alexa compares all of that data and says, “OK, this webpage, according to those people who have the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser is getting, you know, twice as much or half as much or a relative amount of traffic. It’s obviously not going to be 100% accurate because it’s not tracking all of the traffic. Additionally, there can be some skews in it. For instance, people who tend to have the Alexa, maybe people who tend to use MSN or they may be people who tend to use CNN or some other partic
ular larger website. So it can certainly be skewed. But it’s a very good way to compare and contrast how much traffic a website. And in fact, we’ve got a great example of that. We have a client who called us. Paul, you were telling me.

Paul: Yes.

Chris: And that you’re telling him, “Hey, you know, here’s one of the services we offer. You know, we can take care of your website. We can also do your SEO. That’s Search Engine Optimization, get your website on the first page of Google and what did he say?

Paul: He said, [laughs]. I just drew a blank. [laughs].

Chris: I think he said something to—that’s alright. He said something to the effect of “Oh, I don’t need search engine optimization, I’m doing great. I get 2000 hits a day.

Paul: No, I get no—like 20,000, 20,000-25,000 hits, that’s what he was saying.

Chris: Was that a day or a month?

Paul: A month, I think.

Chris: OK. So in a month. So, you know, we have lots of websites that are getting, you know, 20,000 and more, so I pulled up the Alexa ranking comparing him to one of a website that was comparable. And here’s another thing that we can—this is a nice piece of information because often when you look at statistics and I know webilizer is one of the ones that we use here, or used to use actually when we now use Google Analytics. They have a term, a traffic term called hits. And what they really mean by hits are not just the number of times your page has been viewed, but actually how many times an item was taken off of your server. So if you’ve got images on your server, say you pull up one page and it’s got 20 images on that server on that webpage, it’s going to hit your server 20 times to pull each of those images, that’s going to count as the 20 images hits plus one hit for the page. So you can imagine that the number of hits a website gets has nothing to do specifically with unique visitors.

Paul: Very big difference.

Chris: Because if I go to five pages with 20 images on each, I’ve got 105 hits. But I’m one guy. So we were able to explain to that customer—I don’t know if we’ve had the chance actually but—

Paul: Not yet, I haven’t done it yet but I can’t wait to have that conversation.

Chris: It’s on the to-do list.

Paul: [laughs].

Chris: So that’s just a really good example of you can use Alexa ‘cause we know the traffic our websites get, we know the traffic his site gets relative. We know the hits he’s claiming and we know the unique visitors and I think we did a comparison where our this particular client that we compared him to is getting 2000 hits a month and we’re talking 2000 unique visitors a month and he’s—and that particular client was actually 10 times—

Paul: Yes.

Chris: Higher ranked than the guy you were pitching.

Paul: Than this, than this—

Chris: Yes.

Paul: And so I’m going to give a side note. Anyone out there that doesn’t understand unique visitor. A unique visitor is valuable because it is what’s exactly what it says. It is a unique visitor. It is a visitor that is unique. If I go visit your site today, I’m counted as a visitor. If I go back and visit your site tomorrow, I’m not a unique visitor. I am the same visitor. So having unique visitors is good because and I mean you can clarify this.

Chris: Yes.

Paul: Unique visitors is good it’s because how many people, how many unique people came or people came to your website that particular month.

Chris: Yes. And one of the things we look to Google Analytics for is they’ll talk about unique visitors, they’ll talk about new visitors.

Paul: Yes.

Chris: And so you may be an inde—if you come the same day, you’re definitely not a new unique visitor.

Paul: Yes.

Chris: And you’re definitely not a new visitor.

Paul: Yes.

Chris: You’re just somebody who happened to come back. Maybe you closed all your browsers ‘cause Microsoft crashed on you.

Paul: [laughs]

Chris: You know it does that every now and then, right? [laughs]

Paul: I hear, I hear that.

Chris: [laughs] Or, you know, whatever the reason when you come back, there are, you know, there are some statistic software that will actually count that as a new user. And it is in fact from the perspective from the CPU perspective a new user. But because it can identify where you’re accessing the website from, it understands that you’re just a guy who’s coming back so you’re not a new visitor.

Paul: Yes.

Chris: And so, Paul, you’re technically right, new unique visitors are how you’re expanding your business. If you have a subscription service, it may be okay for you not to get many new clients. I mean you want them, of course, but as long as your people who are paying your subscription service are coming to your website and finding the information they need, then you can be pretty happy with that. In general, and it’s—I’m hard pressed to think about of reasonable example, in general, you want new visitors, you want new people finding your information, new people finding you, new people signing up for your service or product or calling you or buying, you want new people. So—

Paul: So, remember, hits doesn’t mean anything.

Chris: So and again, that’s how we use Alexa ranking here. Alexa, once you’ve added that toolbar to your Internet Explorer, they also have a version for Firefox, you have the ability to compare Alexa ranking history, which is a really nice feature. You know, you can compare to different websites. You can see how you’re doing compared to MSN, American Idol. I like it. It is an interesting one ‘cause the traffic’s a lot lower than you think. So just it’s got a lot of good tools and it’s a good rank. And it’s fairly well publicized so people will use it.

Paul: The next—I think we’re almost done with page 1. [laughs]

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