Measuring the Influence of Your Web Site
One of the advantages of having an on-line presence is the ability to measure data. Having been listed in a top 50 blog it got me thinking about exposure and what this means for marketing for smaller businesses.
Five years ago, we measured web influence by the number of sites linking in, now depending what site system you believe we have between 170 and 203 sites that link, and yet when you google a url on our site there are many more – so how is this calculate – and does it really matter?
Now your on-line marketing strategy will stand or fall based on how influential you are.
What is Influence?
Influence is often defined as
“implicit or explicit effect of one thing (or person) on another,” or…
“can someone’s words (and/or video) make you think or do something?”
Lets first look at some of the traditional (on site) measures:
There are sites which claim to measure visits etc, these include Alexa, Google and many others. But can you trust their data?
Lets have a look at RapidBI.com and compare:
Pages per visitor
Google Analytics –
Visitor stats from Google for the month 28 April-28 May 2010 (yes just ONE months worth of visitors….)
These stats ignore the people that have subscribed to our RSS feed and see the content not on our site!
Now this begs the question which is right? Well without giving away my real stats, all I can say is that neither are as accurate as they claim!
Data for a website is critical, as you can monitor what works and what does not, you can see what key words attract traffic, and most importantly of all which pages turn potential clients away!
What has this to do with influence?
For me one of the most important strategies when having a web presence is to build traffic, then work on creating conversions. Having traffic does not mean that you influence your readers, or potential readers. Influence comes from trust and belief that what you say has meaning to them in their situation. The more often you post on a blog, the quicker it is to be able to build trust, as with each piece comes an understanding of where you are.
But it is so much more than just your web site
Many of us now have a presence in many places, Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook etc and because of this our on-line ‘footprint’ is much more dispersed. Some approaches create the Social Index like this one from Sixty Second View:
They created the beta version of their “Social Media Index” or score for them. Here’s how they score it:
Each person has been given a score out of 10 based upon 6 criteria:
- Blog – analysed Google Rank, inbound links, subscribers, alexa rank, content focus, frequency of updates, number of comments
- Multi-format – analysed Facebook – number of friends
- Mini-updates – analysed Twitter – number of friends, followers and updates
- Business cards – analysed LinkedIn – number of contacts
- Visual – analysed Flickr – number of photos uploaded from the person/s or about the person/s
- Favorites – analysed Digg, del.icio.us
Now this is great, but it assumes that top influential people will use all platforms. For example RapidBI do not use Flicker or FaceBook for business, so we would lose out on that score alone, also Digg & del.icio.us are great for B-2-C topics, but low volume for B-2-B, so again this stacks the odds against business net-workers.
Other proposed approaches include:
Looking at the following components and putting a value on them.
Incoming Traffic – Page-views, Incoming traffic from search engines, rss subscribers
Incoming Links – Primarily manual links such as blogrolls, in-post deep links
Reader Engagement – Internal searches, time on site
Recommendations – Retweets, share stats
Connections – Number of mutual connections, number of mutual connections on multiple sites
Track Record – Age of domain, number of blog posts, length of engagement
Engagement – How often and long a person has engaged with a service on-line
This has been taken from http://mashable.com/2009/03/02/measuring-on-line-influence/
Whatever you do, as part of your online strategy, look out for these measures and consider them (and any new ones) when developing or adapting your strategy.