Tag Archives: blog

Ask Alexa: How Popular is your Website or Blog?

I’ve been blogging for years, but I’ve just started taking it more seriously a couple of months ago. I decided I would start blogging more often and I wanted a way to determine how well the strategy was working. Here are some strategies for determining your blog popularity using Alexa and to build your following more quickly.

Using Alexa to determine my blogs popularity

Using Alexa to Determine Blog Popularity

Alexa (http://www.Alexa.com) is a ranking system created by Amazon that tracks the number of visitors sites get. The lower your Alexa score, the more popular your site is — if your score is below 200,000, you’ve got a pretty popular website.

When I first checked my Alexa ranking a couple of months ago, it had a Global Ranking over 10 million and the USA ranking was over 1 million. Not so good.

Now after 3 months of focused blogging, I have improved my Alexa ranking to just over 1 million globally and about 148,000 in the USA and it is improving by leaps and bounds each month.

Related Post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

Using Alexa to Analyze Your Website

If you want to check your Alexa ranking, simply navigate to Alexa.com and type in your website URL, it will analyze your site.

Alexa Traffic Rank

Here’s what mine says as of the date of publishing (October 2015):

Alexa Traffic Ranking

Once my blog is ranked under 100,000, it will start to compare my site to others so I am working hard to reduce my ranking.  It will also tell you where the majority of your traffic comes from — for me it is from the USA and India.

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Visitor Engagement

Next, it shows me how engaged my visitors are, here are my stats:

Alexa Engagement Statistics

I am pretty proud of these numbers, here’s what they mean:

  • Bounce Rate – This is how often people come to my site and only view the page they landed on. For my site, it is 34% of the time. In other words, 66% of the time, people find other content on my website that they like and continue looking at other pages. If you can get your bounce rate to 50% or less, you are doing well.
  • Daily Pageviews per Visitor – This is the number of pages a single user will view on your site in one day. If you can get this number over 3, you are doing well.
  • Daily Time on Site – This is how long people are hanging out on your site. My visitors are spending over 10 minutes a day on my site — that’s pretty good. If you can get that number over 5 minutes, it is good.

Sites Linking In

Finally, use Alexa to view the number of sites that are linking to you. If other sites are linking to your site, search engines reward you because it assumes you have important content on your site. One of your strategies is to get more people linking to your site and this is a way of determining if this strategy is working:

Alexa Sites Linking In

The Alexa Toolbar

If you want to check the Alexa ranking of any site you land on, consider installing the Alexa toolbar, it makes it a lot easier.

How I Improved My Alexa Ranking

I greatly improved my site visits and Alexa ranking in under 3 months, so you may be wondering how I did it. Here’s my strategy:

  • Create Great Content – I spend a lot of time thinking of interesting content that I think others will enjoy.
  • Blog often – I try to create at least one new blog post a week, more if I can.
  • Make each blog SEO friendly – If you’re spending the time creating a blog post, make it SEO friendly so that the search engines can find it, here is how to do that.
  • Market each blog post – I market my blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, ViralContentBuzz, Google+, LinkedIn, BlogSpot, Tumblr, Pinterest, Medium, Niume.com, Buzzsumo, and Gizmodo.
  • Follow Other Blogs – I follow other bloggers that I admire and am interested in. Each time they post a blog, I post a comment on their blog. Many of those blogs use a tool called CommentLuv which puts a backlink to your website when you post a comment. This is how to get other sites linking back to you.
  • Build Your Twitter Following – At the time of this writing, I have almost 22,000 Twitter followers. When you tweet something (like your blog post), a lot of people see it and many times they will retweet it to their followers. Use a tool like Crowdfire to build your following.
  • Participate in Discussion Forums – I regularly participate in discussion forums where I ask and respond to questions. In each forum, I have a link to my blog and my Twitter account. People are curious and will visit your site as they see you posting in these forums. The forums I used most often are Mr. Money Mustache, Reddit, and Blonde on a Budget. I don’t use this strategy specifically to drive traffic, I just enjoy the interactions. But it does have a side benefit of driving traffic.
  • Joining a Tribe – I’ve just discovered this technique, but the idea is that you can interact with a group of other people that have similar blog content and you can share each other’s content. The software I use for this is Triberr and I think this will become a regular part of my blog strategy.
  • Create an About.Me page – An About.Me page is an online profile where others can learn about you, here is mine.  I include that information in the signature line of each email that I send out, here is how my email signature looks:

    Steve Miller
    www.FlipFlopSoftware.com
    Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  | About.Me

Conclusion

With a bit of effort, you can drive more visitors to your website and improve your Alexa ranking. I hope you enjoyed the tips I provided for building your website following, do you have other tips that I haven’t considered?

Related Post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

How to Build a Product Website for your App

This blog is all about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and cool mobile apps. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I build mobile apps as a side hustle to supplement income for my early retirement.

Many people are surprised to know that building an app does not require programming skills. I haven’t written a single line of code for my apps. Instead, I subcontracted that work out and documented the exact process I follow.

If you develop an app, it is imperative to create a product website for your app. Why? Because people often search Google for apps and having a product site will increase the number of people who find and download your app.

How to Build your App Product Website

I highly suggest you use WordPress to build your product site. Here’s why:

  • The WordPress engine is free
  • WordPress allows you to categorize posts and include links to recent posts
  • WordPress allows people to sign up to receive your posts via email
  • WordPress allows people to search your posts via the search widget
  • WordPress allows you to create pages without any HTML or programming knowledge
  • Most WordPress sites work well for mobile devices as well as web browsers

OK, the advantages of using WordPress are clear. To get started, simply go to http://www.WordPress.com and click Create Website.

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Customizing your WordPress Site

Once you create the website, you can customize the look with WordPress themes. Some of them are free, but if you are really serious about developing a site that will attract lots of attention and be visually appealing, you should consider purchasing a WordPress theme.

I use Template Monster because they have themes for pretty much any look you are going for and they normally cost about $75. That’s a lot less than you would pay a professional website designer to create a site for you. To get started, click here and view the templates.

Hosting your WordPress Site

When you create a site in WordPress, they offer free hosting and this works absolutely fine when you are first getting started. However, I like to plan for the future by hosting the site myself. By doing this, you get more control over your WordPress site and you can include advertising in the future. If you self-host, It will normally run faster too.

One of the things you will want to consider is creating a blog in addition to your product page so that you can build an audience and loyal fans. Once you begin building followers of your product and blog, you can advertise on those pages and drive an extra revenue stream for your business. You can’t do that with a free WordPress account but you can by hosting your own site.

I use Winhost to host my WordPress sites because it is economical (about $3.95 per month) and it supports .NET, PHP, and includes the ability to create your own MS SQL and MySQL databases. This can be valuable if you later decide to add web services to your apps or want to sync your app data to the cloud. So it supports not only your WordPress site but also your app development efforts.

Installing your WordPress site on Winhost is pretty easy to do (it takes less than an hour), here is a tutorial.

Structuring your Product Website

When you are in the development stage of your app, I suggest you create a simple product website that allows people to sign up for your beta once your app is in that stage. By doing this, you will get some great feedback before moving to the app store and you will gain loyal followers that may evangelize your app within their circle of friends.

I am in that stage with my Count Us Down app. Notice from the website, the users can enter their contact info to sign up for the beta. In just a few weeks, I had about 100 beta testers signed up, here is my sign-up page:

Product Website for Count Us Down app

I use a free tool called Zoho CRM to keep track of people who sign up for the beta.  Zoho CRM allows you to embed sign up screens into your WordPress site and when  someone signs up for your beta, it keeps track of them and sends them a welcome email. It is free for up to 10 users, so indie appreneurs will probably not outgrow the free version.

In addition to including a sign up for beta, I also suggest including these pages on your product website:

  • Blog – Build loyal fans by including a blog
  • Products – If you offer more than one app for sale, include information about each app. If you only have the one app, include information about your app, features, and links for downloading it.
  • Press Kit – You will want the press to talk about your app so include app descriptions, screen shots and press releases here.
  • Support – You will want your users to submit bugs and feature requests to you. I use Zendesk for this. It is an excellent support tool and is only $1 per month.

If you would like to see an example of an app that is already in the app store, here is the website for my password management app (aMemoryJog). Notice that it has the same links (Home, Blog, Products, Press Kit, Support).

Product Website for aMemoryJog app

Using YouTube

I also suggest you create a video that shows how your app works. I use Camtasia for to create my app video but you can use a free tool called Jing. Once done, you can upload it to YouTube and people can view it from there.

When creating your video, focus on how the app will benefit the user, don’t focus on every feature of the app. When I first created my video for the Count Us Down app, I sent it to about 10 appreneurs that I respected. I got some candid (and harsh) comments and recreated the video several times before I feel that I nailed it (watch it here).

By uploading your app video to YouTube, you will also build additional followers which leads to more downloads.

Conclusion

By creating a product website, you will increase your downloads and fan loyalty. In summary:

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog