In this post, I’ll give you the quickest and easiest way to measure your Empower Network blog traffic.
It’s not all that specific, but it’s fast.
And, without wasting much of your time, you can get a good feel for how you’re doing from a traffic standpoint.
It’s called: Alexa.com …
You’ve probably heard me talk about Alexa Rank before, but I never got into the other data they provide.
Oh, I should mention, this won’t apply for your actual blog on EmpowerNetwork.com.
It’s only for your own self-hosted blog.
(If you enter your Empower Network blog URL into Alexa, it’ll spit back the traffic info for the entire Empower domain, not just the traffic for your blog.)
Read about why I think everyone needs their own blog here.
(You can use it alongside your EN blog, if you want.)
Anyways, moving on.
So to see how your blogging is paying off, go ahead and enter your URL into the search bar and hit enter.
It should pull up your website right away. Click “get details.”
You should see something like this:
I always start at the top left of the blue navigation bar…
On the right side, you’ll see just that.
The most important thing is that you’re trending upwards, meaning your “score” is decreasing.
Remember, with Alexa, the lower you rank, the better.
Hell, just make sure the arrow is green ;-)
For a smaller niche blog, I’d like to see you get under 1,000,000 as soon as possible. Under 500,000 is very respectable, especially in a tiny niche.
Most niche sites won’t go below that.
For larger, more general blogs (like Lazy MLM), it’s going to be easier to go even lower.
I’d say anything under 200,000 is pretty damn popular.
And less than 100,000 means serious player.
As you can see, in just a few short months I’ve taken this puppy from an Alexa Rank in the millions, down to nearly 100,000.
That’s tough to do when you’re not paying for any traffic and doing very little promotion of your blog posts.
But I’ll be the first to say:
A super impressive Alexa Rank doesn’t mean squat if the blogger isn’t good at monetizing the traffic.
Luckily, I am.
Reach % & Pageviews %
With these, again, just focus on improvement. If you’re green, you’re good. If you’re red, you’re going backwards.
This is very important.
Of course you want to improve here as well, but even the exact number can reveal quite a bit.
My average right now is about 10.5…
How accurate that is, I dunno. But it at least gives me a very good indication of how many pages an average visitor is viewing per visit.
Why’s that important?
Simple – it tells you whether random visitors care or don’t care (about your content).
History tells me Alexa tends to overestimate this number, so I’d shoot for anything above 5 pageviews per user.
Not only would this imply your content is valuable and relevant, but an indirect benefit is that I believe Google gives this number a lot of weight.
Think about it.
What better indicator is there of how high quality (or low quality) your blog is?
You could stuff all the keywords you want into your blog posts and fake all the backlinks in the world…
… but, at the end of the day, if visitors come to your site and hit the back button, is your blog a good fit for what they were searching for?
The number of pageviews per visit, along with the next two categories (bounce rate and time on site) are nearly impossible to fake.
That’s why, I don’t care what anyone says, the best investment you can make in terms of how you spend your time…
… if you want free search engine traffic, that is…
… is on content creation.
Make it next level, make it about them. Do what other Empower Network bloggers can’t do, won’t do, or don’t know how to do.
And, don’t underestimate design. See my post from yesterday for some stealth tips.
This sorta goes hand-in-hand with pageviews.
A bounce is when a blog reader enters on any given page, only views that one page, then closes the browser or hits the back button.
In other words, they never consume anything beyond the entry page.
A high bounce rate is another stat to pay close attention to.
After all, you know Google’s watching.
In terms of a goal, I’d recommend aiming for 50% or less. If you creep up towards 70% that’s pretty bad.
I’ve talked about this before, but strong interlinking within all of your posts and pages is key here.
Time On Site
By now, I don’t think there’s much explaining you need for this one.
The longer a person hangs out on your blog, the more street cred you’ll get with the traffic gatekeepers (Google, Yahoo, Bing).
Readers won’t spend much time on worthless blogs, so it’s your job to ensure they’ve got a reason to stay and kick it.
This one’s another that I feel like Alexa tends to be way too generous on, thus making my recommended goal higher.
Shoot for at least 5 minutes.
(Which is probably more like 2 minutes in reality… after all, I’m averaging over 17 minutes according to Alexa, and I highly doubt the “average” visitor is here that long.)
I probably care least about this stat.
Once again, the accuracy is questionable. For instance, mine shows just 15%, meaning only 15 out of 100 visitors is generated from the search engines.
Being that I rarely email my list and haven’t done much offsite promotion, I bet it’s a lot higher than that.
It really doesn’t matter, as long as your other stats are improving.
In fact, you could argue that the less it is, the better… as you really don’t want to be so heavily reliant on Google for traffic, anyways.
It’s best to get visitors coming from all over the place.
Word of mouth, return visitors, people who’ve bookmarked your blog, traffic from forums, links from other related websites, social media traffic, etc — the more variety, the better…
… and thus, the lower this stat will become (making you more diversified).
The way to achieve this, not surprisingly, is to create badass content on the regular.
Recurring theme, anyone?
Once you have a good understanding of these stats, you can swing by Alexa and in a couple of minutes, have a really good feel for how your blog’s progressing.
I like that it’s simple and fast.
No need to spend too much time looking through data, when you could be devoting that same time to actually blogging.
You know, that thing that makes you money?
In a future post, I’ll show you another way to get more specific information, like the keywords peeps are typing in to find your blog in the search results, and more.
Look for that soon.
Empower Network blogging pro,