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Website statistics cost just $5.00 + GST per month and offer an extensive range of valuable information about your website's performance, who is visiting, what countries do your visitors come from, what pages are most popular, what sites are referring to yours etc. etc. No other form of advertising offers this type of insight into your potential customers/clients. Are you paying for links to your website from other sites, if so your stats can show you exactly how many visitors are coming from those sites. Contact us to arrange to start receiving statistics now!

Are you winning or losing in Google?

Currently Google holds just over 50% of search engine market share, and probably the most asked question from our clients' is "How can we improve our search engine ranking on Google?", so here are some tips to help you achieve this ...

When comparing how youíre doing against competitors in Google, are you winning, losing or just holding your own? Donít know? ... then it's time to find out!

Don't just keep an eye on who YOU THINK is your prime competitor as there may be newer sites out there that you should be watching as well ... keeping score is not so difficult. Hereís all you need to do:

Identify the Competition
Track PageRank
Ferret Out How Many Pages in Google
Gauge Both Quantity and Quality of Inbound Links
Track Traffic
Keep an Eye on Them

Thatís it, so to start...

::Identify Your Competitors - Not hard. Just identify the top 5 competitors in your niche that you want to outrank. One way to do that, is to take the five or six keyword phrases you are looking to rank well for and see who is in the top 10 for each. Since anyone can rank well for one keyword, doing this for multiple keywords will spotlight those who show up repeatedly. This highlights them as the stiffer competition. Then repeat this every three or four months to make sure no one new has slipped in under the radar.

::Track PageRank (PR) - Once again take those same five or six "must-win" keywords you want to come out on top for. Use the Google Toolbar to track the PR of competitorsí pages optimised for those prime keywords.

Google Toolbar Tip: Simply hold your cursor in the green bar area itself. Get it in just the right spot and a little pop up box will appear that says: "PageRank is Google's measure of the importance of this page (4/10)" In this example the PR is 4.

Note the target keywords and the PR for pages featuring them on a spreadsheet.

::How Many Pages in Google? - There is a tool you can use on neutralise.com - As well as checking your own website, enter the competitorís URL. Insert a guess-timate for how many pages are on their site. Hit the "check now" button. The result will show you how many pages theyíve got in Google, FAST, AltaVista, MSN & Yahoo.

::Gauge Quantity and Quality of Inbound Links - Not all links are created equal in Googleís eyes. Links from High PR sites are worth more. So you want a read on both the quantity and quality of your prime competitionís inbound links.

Since itís more inclusive, you may want to use ALLTHEWEB to find out the total number or quantity of inbound links. Hereís how.

Using alltheweb.com put: link:www.competitor.co.nz in the search box. All pages linking to www.competitor.co.nz will be returned. Youíll see something like "1 - 10 of 135 Results for link:www.competitor.co.nz" at the top of the page of ALLTHEWEB listings which would tell you there are 135 sites that link to that site.

Google on the other hand will only reveal inbound links from sites with a PR 4, or higher. BAM! Thereís your take on quality.

While you can do the same with Google as you did with ALLTHEWEB, Google makes it even easier. Go to the advanced search page. Scroll down until you see a heading that says "Page-Specific Search". Insert www.competitor.co.nz into the search box labeled: "Links Find pages that link to the page". Click "Search". At the top of the page of search results youíll see a result summary line like the following: "Searched for pages linking to www.competitor.co.nz. Results 1 - 10 of about 21." The above would indicate there 21 high quality links to your competitor. Subtract the internal links from pages within the website in question to determine how many high quality sites actually link to your competitor.

Record the count of all links, plus high quality external links on your spreadsheet.

::Track Traffic - Use either Alexaís Toolbar or visit Alexa to grab traffic stats. While far from perfect since it can be manipulated, you can still get a decent estimate of traffic as measured by users with the Alexa toolbar visiting the sites. To keep it simple just track the Alexa traffic rank.

Then to close the loop...

::Keep an Eye on Them - Use a page monitoring service like Change Detect to watch competitor sites like a hawk. This free service makes the process automatic and will email you whenever the site you're monitoring changes. It gives you another means of checking whether a competing website is being actively improved and updated or not. The easiest way to recognize trends is to graph whatís going on. Youíll be able to see right away, if the trend is your friend or not. If any competitor is getting more of anything, youíre going to have to match them or risk falling behind. Donít be blindsided.

** Track your closest rivals.
** Compare your stats to theirs.
** Act or react accordingly.

Itís easy and doesnít take more than 20-30 minutes a week with the methods provided above. Doing so gives you the marketing intelligence you need to improve your Google ranking, or at least, to hold your own no matter what your competitors are doing.


A great way to improve your link popularity which is directly related to your search engine ranking, is to take advantage of our FREE classified advertisement offer. We have "classifieds" on our four town websites (www.matamata-info.co.nz/classifieds.html - www.morrinsville-info.co.nz/classifieds.html - www.tearoha-info.co.nz/classifieds.html - www.thames-info.co.nz/classifieds.html) and they receive an enormous amount of visitors (and are currently all PageRank 4) - if you're not there you're missing out !! All you have to do is forward us 25 words about your business - a breeze surely !! Your classified advertisement will be linked to your website and can also have an email link on it if requested.

Leanne Taylor
:: www.wwwdesign.co.nz ::
Award Winning Website Design, Hosting & Maintenance
Phone/Fax (09) 817 9656 ~ Mobile (0274) 701990


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