Category Archives: Research

A Look At Visits

We often talk about getting traffic to our blogs and websites, but I’ve wondered if everyone really know what it is we’re talking about. There are different places where we can get information from concerning our traffic, and those sources don’t ever really seem to match up with each other.

I thought I’d take some time over the next bunch of days to talk about this topic of traffic, and what’s really important to know as far as tracking your statistics is concerned, while rolling out a possible new way of writing some articles for this blog.

Unique visits are the number of times an event has searched your site looking for something. That’s a much different description than unique visitors, which is the number of times an actual person has come to visit your site.

Hosting companies generally track unique visits, because that’s what’s important to them and their statistics. That’s how they check how active your account is on their servers, or how much bandwidth might be being used. It’s the reason that there’s such a dramatic difference between the two figures when one decides to check all their statistics.

For this blog, I’ve done a comparison of a three month period, from January to March, of the two statistics, as a point of clarification. From 1&1, my host, my unique visits numbers are thus:

January – 16,307
February – 15,185
March – 21,634

From Google Analytics, which I still think is the best at telling you just how many real visitors you’ve had, I get this:

January – 1,767
February – 1,206
March – 1,918

Analytics also gives you another statistic that’s interesting in this regard. It’s called Absolute Unique Visitor, and on this one, it tells you how many people came once, as opposed to might have come again. This number is lower, but if you do the math, you can determine how many of your visitors actually come back more than once. For this same period, here are my numbers:

January – 809
February – 698
March – 1,410

What this tells us is that in January, 958 of my visitors, or 54%, were return visitors to this blog; February, 508, or 42%, were return visitors; March, 508, or 26%, were return visitors to this blog. For whatever reason, folks who frequented my blog more often have drastically gone away, and that doesn’t bode well for this blog for long, as return visitors are the ones who help keep you above water, and possibly are the ones who help you make sales along the way.

However, if you were looking to sell your blog, which I’m not, which is why I can share this information with you, the figure you’d give someone as far as telling them how many visits your blog gets, is the unique visitors statistic.

Why? Because it’s the figure that most people will ask you for, because it’s the statistic most people are set up to track easily. And it’s an honest figure in its own right, because one thing someone really wants to know is how often the search engines might be stopping by to check on the site, and in this case, Google is number one as far as visiting my site and producing unique visit statistics.

And there you go. Next time I’ll talk about page views, which I believe is infinitely more important than visitors.
 

Number 401; A Pattern Of Steadiness

This is my 401st post, and as I do after each century post, I’m going to give a recap of the past 100 posts. I’m also doing something with this post that I haven’t done for any other posts in the past 100, that being I’m skipping three days before this post, as my last post was on the 13th, in honor of what would have been my parent’s 52nd wedding anniversary if my dad was still here now.

When compared with number 301 and, oddly enough, number 101, the more things change, the more they stay the same. First, compared to 101, it took me six months to write my first 100 posts; it took me just under 3 months to write my third 100 posts. This time around, it took me four months to write 100 posts, which makes a bit more sense. One hundred posts every four months comes out to 300 posts a year, so if I keep that up I’ll hit 600 posts by my next anniversary; “if”, that is.

Also, most of the categories remain the same, but the order of posts concerning those categories has changed. Three of the top categories from my first 100 are still here, and from my last 100 four are still here, but this time around, I’ve added two new categories, which means that my top five is, for this month, a top six. Here they are:

Blogging – 20

Internet – 18

Marketing – 15

Research (new) – 7

Affiliates (new) – 6

Writing – 6

I find it interesting that “research” entered the top five/six this time around, because that shows, at least to me, that I’ve had more things that I’ve tested or investigated to share here than I could have had early on, mainly because I hadn’t had the time to evaluate anything. The thing about researched posts is that they take a long time to write. Steve, our friend the Trade Show Guru, compliments me all the time on my output, but researched posts show that I don’t just write everything off the top of my head, that sometimes I put real thought and real time into it all. Just thought I’d point that out. That blogging is at the top of this list is somewhat surprising also, because I’d really thought I had been giving more time to internet marketing topics this past quarter or so, and, though they’re both up there, I’d have thought they would be in the lead; nope.

Next, my most popular articles during this time period. Four of the five were written after #301, which is a good thing for the most part, but one of my articles came beforehand, and I’m kind of surprised it’s still popular because I’d have thought, with more people moving to Vista (or maybe that’s in my own mind”, that this particular post and tip would have dwindled. It’s at number four on this list of visits:

Top 100 Singers Of All Time – 232

Visa Black Card – 155

My Big RSS Subscriber Contest – 144

Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird – 143

The Keys – 140

Next, comments during this time period. This fourth period showed more growth in comments, as it went from 1,344 for the previous 100 to 1,804 this period; I like that. I still wish it was much higher, but I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. My most commented on articles were:

Upgrade To WordPress 2.7.1 – 70

My Big RSS Subscriber Contest – 60

At Least Be Professional In Your Writing – 55

Nine Best Blogs Of 2009 – My List – 55

Page Rank/SEO – A Short Blogging Research Project – 48

So, there’s those stats for this past group of articles. Now, on my quest towards 500, I’m going to change up a couple of things, because, well, it can either be an experiment, or it’s something that just needs to happen; let’s hear what your thoughts on it are overall. One, I’m thinking about reducing the output of my articles a bit. I’ve been averaging 5 articles a week, and though I can easily keep that pace up, I’m wondering if the number of articles actually keeps the number of comments down. Maybe the output is so much that it’s hard to keep up with each article. I’m not really sure, but I do know that I visit blogs where there might only be one post a week, possibly two, and I see hundreds of comments on those; you see my highest is 70, and that’s over four months time.

Two, I’m thinking that the longer posts, stories notwithstanding, get less activity, for all the work I put into them, and that’s problematic. My solution is to think about breaking them up into multiple posts while spacing them out. So, if an article goes more than 750 words, I’ll break it up into two separate articles that may come in around 370 to 500 words each, since I’d have to add a few words in rewriting a second article to blend in with the first part of an article. That could mean that, for some of my posts, there might be 3 or 4 parts to it, but maybe that’s what’s needed to make sure everyone has a chance to see everything, and maybe the first part drums up interest in seeing the rest of the story, or, if no one’s interested, then the second part helps me with my SEO part. Of course, this can’t be standard, because some posts will have to go over 750 words for cohesion, but I think it’s time to consider it. I want this blog to grow, and though it’s growing, it’s not growing as I’d like it to. And, as I’ve seen how easy it is to post-date articles (this one is actually being written six days ahead), I could easily go out an entire month’s worth of posts, and if I need something more current I always have the option of adding something anew, even if it’s just a quick little video that I like at the time.

And three, I’m thinking that I might add a weekly post of deals that some of my affiliate marketing companies offer, along with codes and the like. Commission Junction and Google Affiliate Network products always have their advertisers sending me new short run specials, and sometimes you can save upwards of 15% if you’re given the code to add onto your sales page while you’re checking out. I’m not sure how popular that would be for everyone, but hey, one has to find new and unique ways to market themselves and their products, right? This one I haven’t fully decided upon, though; I want to think about it some more.

And, one final thing before we move on. I still want more RSS subscribers, and obviously I’m not afraid to ask for more subscribers either. Just to throw this out there, Technorati has finally, FINALLY, bumped me up, and now I’m sitting around 85,000, which I’m not upset about at all. But I want more readers, more visitors, more commenters, and more people talking about me and writing about me. Folks, I’m looking to not just be popular, I want to be a movement! So, get out there, spread the word, share my name and some of what I write on your blogs or Twitter or Delicious. If you haven’t noticed, one thing I often do here is use someone else’s post to write a post of my own, but I link back to it. It’s a good tactic, and even Sire got into the mix by mentioning John Dilbeck in his post against Google’s new advertising policy. It’s works great.

Anyway, by the time you see this, I’ll probably have already put some of these things into practice. Doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way, of course, but for awhile, unless I have a story to tell, this may be the last article you see from me that is more than 1,000 words at a time. For now, please enjoy what I’ve produced up to this point, including this post, and let’s see what the heck 100 articles brings.

Art Poster Print – Perseverance – Lone Pinyon Tree

Price – $14.00


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SEO Is Easier With Websites Than Blogs

If you remember, back on January 1st I had a pretty comprehensive post on Page Rank and SEO, where I did an examination of this blog, and another blog, to figure out where page rank and SEO might have some sort of affect on the pages within a blog. I pretty much came to a conclusion that it was hard to to proper SEO to a blog because even if you only write on one thing, there are so many other variables on a blog that it’s hard to get a good page rank; that is, if you really care. I decided to do another long project, adding something else into the mix. So get something to drink, sit back, and either read or listen, via that Odiogo button there at the top left of this post, because this one’s going to be long.

What I’ve done is gone through this blog, my business blog (Mitch’s Blog), and my main business website. I’ve selected the top 10 visited pages, or articles, for each of these entities, based on Google Analytics. I’ve checked them for page rank, and then I’ve checked them on Google Rankings to see, based on the main search terms, where they might come up, if at all; only the top 500 this time, though, so I could get through it all. My point, which will be proven, is that SEO efforts for websites can bring some nice results, much nicer than with blogs, even if the niche is more defined. Yeah, there’s a lot of link love I’m giving myself, in case you ever decide you’d like to see what all I’ve been writing and creating over all these years, but hey, it’s also a research project, so forgive the indulgence. I do this for you, my faithful readers. My story and I’m sticking to it. So, let’s begin.

Let’s start with this blog. To begin with, it’s not always easy to figure out which search terms to try to find blog entries for. This means that the ranking figure might be skewed too far one way or the other. But we’ll take it as it’s worth. Here are my top ten articles, my Google rank, and my Yahoo rank; none of these pages has a Google page rank, so why even chart it. Here are the other numbers:

9 Instant Tips On How To Leverage The Power Of Squidoo (used to be 1) 4 Google, 0 Yahoo

Be Responsible For Your Own Life Google, 0 Yahoo 0

A Point About Commenting On Blogs Google 0, Yahoo 0

Getting Google Desktop To Index Thunderbird (this page has a 0 page rank, instead of being unranked) Google 6, Yahoo 2

Another Rant On NYS Internet Taxes Google 48, Yahoo 0

Dofollow/Page Rank Discussion Google 31, Yahoo 1

My First Week In Reno Google 0, Yahoo 0

Kontera -Performancing Ads And TTZ Google 0, Yahoo 32

My Big RSS Subscriber Contest Google 0, Yahoo 1

The Dance-Off Google 0, Yahoo 0

Out of those 10 posts, I think only two can really be considered as legitimate as far as the search engines go, those two being the one on Google Desktop and NYS Internet Taxes. The rest,… well, iffy at best.

Next, let’s take a look at my business blog. This one, it’s slightly easier to see how the SEO efforts went, but this time some of the posts do have page rank, so it’s included this time around:

RAC Audits – A Commentary PR 0, Google 1, Yahoo 1

My Personal And Business Goals For 2009 PR 0, Google 19, Yahoo 1

Did Martin Luther King Jr Believe In Our Future? PR 1, Google 18, Yahoo 0

PR 1, Google 2, Yahoo 0

The 7 Habits Seminar PR 1, Google 1, Yahoo 0

Is Fox News Anti-Obama? PR 0, Google 14, Yahoo 0

Am I An Invisible Man? (this is actually one of my pages on that blog) PR 2, Google 53, Yahoo 24

Group Think Doesn’t Always Work PR 0, Google 3, Yahoo 1

Quotes I like (another one of my pages) PR 2, Google 0, Yahoo 0

Evaluating Employees And Yourself PR 1, Google 4, Yahoo 0

As I said, more of these work as far as being able to see how my SEO efforts worked, but probably four of them aren’t all that valid.

So, those are the two blogs, and truthfully, though some of the numbers on this blog look pretty good, I don’t think they’re valid. And for my business blog, more are valid, but I’m not sure anyone would be looking for the keywords I used to search for those articles.

Now, though, we’ll take a look at my business website, where most of the pages we’re going to look at would offer legitimate search terms I might be found for. Notice the PR difference, as well as the more legitimate search term rankings:

Employee Evaluation Module (this is actually my most searched and reviewed product page, which I’ve never mentioned here because I doubt there’s a single person who visits this blog who could use it, as you’d need to have employees) PR 2, Google 1, Yahoo 1

2009 CPT Code Changes (one of my healthcare newsletters PR 2, Google 2, Yahoo 4

Tribute (this is a tribute I wrote to my dad when he passed away) PR 2, Google 122, Yahoo 0

Records Retention PR 2, Google 106, Yahoo 0

Free Newsletters PR 3, Google 1, Yahoo 1
( for this one, since I offer two newsletters, I also did a second search term, for free healthcare newsletter, and it came up Google 6, Yahoo 2)

Biography PR 2, Google 0, Yahoo 0

Chargemaster Consulting PR 2, Google 6, Yahoo 2

Charge Capture Consulting PR 2, Google 8, Yahoo 0

Healthcare Consulting PR 2, Google 221, Yahoo 0

Executive Coaching PR 2. Google 0, Yahoo 253

As you can see, every page here except for my bio page is ranked by either Google or Yahoo (I didn’t even know what kind of search term to use for my bio, so I left it alone), and the search terms are more accurate because, on a website, it’s easier to define what each page should be about. Now, many people forget two important things about internal pages. One, to optimize them at all, which is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. That would explain why so many internal pages aren’t ranked on most websites; I’m happy to say that the majority of my pages have a page rank of some kind, if only because it shows that they have been optimized. Two, if they optimize, most people use the same exact meta description and keywords on every page of their site, which is a mistake because every page on a website isn’t optimized for the same thing, and the search engines will ignore pages where the optimization doesn’t match what the page is about.

Now, let me be clear here; I still don’t care all that much about page rank. However, unless they’ve banned you for some reason, it’s still a nice indicator of whether or not you’ve optimized your site pretty well. It still doesn’t mean anything as far as visitors or even making sales or more money, but it does mean you have a better opportunity to be found on the search engines, if only because someone just might put in search terms that will lead them to you. Just like we look at Alexa and Technorati, or any of the other little things we can choose to view (see the two ranking icons to the upper right, above the Twitter bird) that rank us in some fashion. It’s better being on a list, or a ranking of some sort, than not being noticed at all.

I believe I have achieved my purpose, but I need to define it a little bit better. There are things we can do on our blog to help generate more interest, to get people to read more of it, and hopefully to get it to rank in some fashion, long term, on the search engines. But when all is said and done, it’s quite possible that blogs are just so active that posts don’t really get a chance to get rankings, even posts that continue getting visits years after they’re written, if you’re lucky (that’s where internal linking might be able to help), so don’t kill yourself trying to make every one of your blog posts optimal. If you can stay somewhat consistent on a topic, as I do with my business blog, you will have a better chance of attaining and keeping a page rank, because every blog post I mentioned on my beginning of the year post, at this point, has lost its page rank. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

However, when it comes to your real websites, using good SEO skills can help your pages get ranked, which means you’ve probably optimized them well enough to have a legitimate chance to be found on the search engines. With blogs, it seems to be more important to generate visitors in other ways, such as commenting on other blogs, and many of the other ways that so many people have written about that I’m not going to bother going into it again. When it comes to your blog, just write, and write as well as you can. It’s a blog; have some fun with it.

Star Trek Waterglobe Holiday Style

Price – $21.95






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February Statistics Report – Still Growing

Once again, time for a monthly finance report, and anything else I want to talk about. And the good news is that this is my best month ever online.

Let’s do the breakdown of making money, this month only talking about things I made money on. That means the list will be short, but the last item will be a small surprise. Here’s the list:


Adsense – $77.69
Commission Junction – $37.04
TLA – $32.30
TTZ Media – $.25
Kontera – $.06
Startup Rebel – $.00, with qualification
Grand Total – $147.34

So, it was my best month financially. Now, I did show Startup Rebel, which above shows no dollars. I actually made a sale, but the next day the customer asked for a refund from the program, and that brought it back down to zero. Still, it was a sale, and if it had counted, I’d have made another $23. So, the numbers show us that Adsense is kicking behind, and Commission Junction took a nice little step forward. Nothing much directly from this blog, though. Most of that Adsense money came from my medical site again; I need to think of another niche I care about and build another website at some point.

Of course, this is the first month where I changed the types of ads I was putting on the site, as well as moving my own products into the top left, which many people questioned. I did say I was testing, and of course most affiliate marketing books say one should try to market their own stuff first. It would seem that this blog isn’t a good source of traffic to any of my products, though. At least in the first 24 days, it didn’t drive a single visitor to any of these products pages; that either means no one cares, or I’m the worst marketer in the world, to not even drive one stinking visitor. Then again, overall it’s pretty pathetic; this blog drove only six people to visit my main site during the month, and only one person to visit my other blog. That’s in direct comparison to my main business website driving 161 visitors to this blog, but my business blog didn’t drive a single person here. That’s actually kind of weird, now that I think about it, but I’m not going to go crazy trying to figure it out.

What does that mean for the upcoming month? I’m not really sure. I love how Adsense is doing its thing, but I need to step up the affiliate marketing thing a bit more, and I’m not really talking about this blog as much. I’m about to do a minor redesign on one of my sites, and I also have a plan on adding some affiliate links to my medical billing site, topics that are related to what the site is about. On my finance blog, I’ve already added a couple more finance related affiliate products. I’ve got some other ideas in the pipeline also, but I’ll keep those to myself for now. And, oddly enough, last month I said I wasn’t going to promote Startup Rebel anymore, then I made a sale, though it was taken away. So, I’ve added it to my list of recommended products over there on the right, and of course you’ll see the little affiliate ad at the end of this post; strike while the iron is hot!

And there you go. Sure, I’m not in the stratosphere with the big boys, but I took a big step forward in February, and I can only hope to grow from there.

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January Statistics Report – Getting Better

Well, finally some better news. The economy of the country might be going down, but the economy of my online internet marketing has gone up. Can’t say I’m rich yet, but it’s going in the right direction, so that makes me happy.

Without further ado, my January cash total was $73.37. That’s the best month since I started keeping and reporting statistics on this blog, so I’ll take that, though I know I had one better month in the summer. This month, I’m going to give a full breakdown of not only those programs I made money from, but those I made nothing from. Here’s the list:

Commission Junction – 18 cents
Google Affiliate Network – 0
Clickbank – 0
Adsense – $55.16
Mining Gold – 0
Startup Rebel – 0
Shopping Ads – 0
Widget Bucks – 15 cents
Solutions Medical Billing – 0
Joel Comm – 0
TLA – $14.60
Kontera – 42 cents
TTZ – 25 cents
LinkXL – $2.50
J-V Network – 0
Share-A-Sale – 0
Chitika – 11 cents

This was my best month ever for Adsense, which pleases me, and I made most of it from my medical billing site, which I’ve talked about before. The rest of the earnings all came from this blog, which means it made $18.21 for the month. Not bad, but now it’s time to change some things around some more.

What am I going to do? Well, the first thing I’m going to do is remove Widget Bucks from this blog, and only use it on my other sites. Every once in awhile this site loads slower, and I think it’s that widget. So, I’ll lose that 15 cents from the blog; c’est la vie. I’m also finally giving up Mining Gold; that’s an affiliate program through Shawn Casey that I actually joined 3 years ago, and I’ve advertised it a few times on some of the posts on this blog, but no longer. I’m also not going to be wasting time advertising Startup Rebel anymore, as it’s pretty much a one trick pony. The same goes for Tweet My Blog, which I didn’t even mention here, because, well, I never got any money from the past when I know people signed up for it through me, and now I just don’t trust them. Outside of those two links, I’m done.

Next, about Clickbank. As you know, in the recommended products to the right there, four of the five items are from Clickbank. Well, I’ll be removing the one link that’s not them, which is for my marketing tool book (no link this time), because I’m going to be listing the book on the left side with my other products. Matter of fact, I’ll be moving my products up the left side more, since those are my creations, and one of the things most “true” internet marketers say is that you should promote your own products first before promoting other things. True, that’ll be my only product that’s related to the internet in any way, but products are products. And I’ll be creating more as I go along. Anyway, I’m going to search Clickbank and add one more product of theirs to my recommended products, then we’ll see where things go. I don’t think I’ve promoted Clickbank products all that well, or probably anything else; I need to work on that.

There is one thing I listed that most of you won’t know anything about. It’s the Solutions Medical Billing affiliate program. They only market medical billing books, and I’ve been marketing those books on my medical billing site only. It seems that, if you find a niche, most of the time you’ll be able to find an affiliate program specifically for it; neat, eh?

And there you go. Some of the other affiliate programs here I haven’t done all that much with, but there will be items rotating on this site as I give other things a try. The latest is a Shopping Ads 250×250 that you see there on the right after the recommended products. Hey, this is supposed to be my internet marketing blog; it’s time I started marketing better.

The Bradford Exchange My True Love Diamond Bracelet






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