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Last week on
VirtualMarketingOfficer.com I wrote about How
To Promote Your Law Blog and it turned out to be a pretty popular
post, so I figured there are enough readers who are looking for ideas in this
regard-thanks to all who re-tweeted the post; Twitter was driving a lot of the
traffic according to my WordPress Stats. Over the weekend, I thought, hey, I
wonder how many blogger/readers are using Alexa?
(I have no business interest or other connection to Alexa, except being a
registered user.) Then I thought, why not ask? Are you using Alexa to
monitor the health of your blog, understand your audience, and build a more
If the purpose of your blog or
website is to gain exposure and influence readers to pick up the phone and hire
you, you should know about Alexa and add it to your blog or website tool kit.
What is Alexa?
Alexa is "The Web Information Company." It provides (free)
information about all websites including data about; Top Sites, Internet
Traffic Stats and Metrics, Related Links, Site Reviews, Site Ownership contact
information, and a few other really valuable paid services. They've been
pursuing their vision of intelligent Web navigation since 1996. Alexa is one of
the largest Web crawls with an infrastructure that can process and serve
massive amounts of data.
Okay, so what does this mean for
you? Read on...
To promote your blog or law firm
website (Going forward in this post I use these two types of sites
interchangeably.) and to develop the right audience (the one most likely to
engage your services), knowing how these sites are performing in search results
across the web will be an important component of your strategy. With Alexa
tools you can do that. Further, you can see how you compare with your
competitors' websites. This type of competitive intelligence should allow you
to make some informed choices that will make your site a better tool for
revenue generation and not just a millstone around your neck.
the Alexa Toolbar
There are two choices. You can
install the toolbar up top in your browser menu or install it as a status bar
at the bottom. Either works. I use the status bar. Open your site (or any
site) in a browser window and then right click the little icon in the status
bar and you'll get an expanded menu of options.
Select Traffic Stats. A window will
open and give you all the traffic stats about the open site in your browser.
Other choices include: Search Analytics, Audience, Reviews, Related
Links, Clickstream, or Wayback Machine to see earlier versions of the website
Before I started using Alexa I
relied solely on my WordPress Stats and Google Analytics (all good). I'd learn
which posts were most popular, how many visitors a day, where they were coming
from and what search queries they used, but with Alexa I can uncover a whole
lot more to help me gain clearer focus.
The Traffic Rank shows me what
percent of total visits to the site are referred by search engines.
Approximately 12% of all visits to my blog site are referred by search engines.
Alexa tells me that: 32% of visits
to my blog site are bounces (one page view only), but two thirds stay
approximately seven minutes, spending 60 seconds on each page view.
In plain English, this data allows
me to make some assumptions: My search optimization is working but I'd
like that 12% to become 20% as readers who reach my blog via search are likely
brand new prospects. A third of my visitors hit the home page, read the current
post and leave. But, at least two thirds read more than one post! Keeping an
audience for seven minutes tells me that readers are getting a deeper picture
of my knowledge base and expertise.
It also tells me that because
visitors are spending a minute on each page view a lot of my content can be
skimmed or read in a minute-this has always been one of my goals-making content
easy to skim-I write to reach busy professionals. I want them to be able to
quickly assess my value, how that might help their law firm, then pick up the
phone and hire me to fill in any "specialty marketing" gaps.
Alexa tells me that 73% of visits
come from the US where it has attained a traffic rank of 274,702 (not bad
considering my niche focus but certainly can be improved) and my audience,
based on Internet averages, is comprised more frequently of females who are in the
age range 45-54, have no children and are graduate school educated. (Perfect!
Leaders and decision makers!)
The most recent top search queries sending
visitors to my blog are "virtual marketing," "proskauer rose" (I did a post about their iPad purchases), "jayne
Navarre," "alternative fee agreement," "marketing officer," "law firm business
card," "where do CMO's get their ideas from," "marketing partner forum," and
"social media secrets."(pic)
Alexa also told me that this month
the search query "corporate counsel social media" is driving traffic to the
site at an increased rate of 1.30%, while "law firm business card" has declined
by 1.22%. With this information, a strategic choice would be to write a
new blog post about "corporate counsel and social media," "social media
secrets" or "iPads in AmLaw firms."
If you're working a Search Engine
Marketing campaign, Alexa will give you a run down on the most apparent
opportunities for you based on Query Popularity scores and Query Competition
Index (QCI). A topic for another day....
The Alexa Reputation Score is based
on how many "incoming links" a site has. Links coming into a website
are important because they indicate to search engines a measure of authority
and popularity of site content.
Click on the Reputation Score
for your site (or any site) you'll get a list of the top sites that have added
an inbound link to the content.
Then, make a few assumptions.
Based upon "who" is linking in to your site and "what" content on your site has
been attracting inbound links you could create more content like that to
attract more links. Or, use the information to uncover the types of
bloggers or sites interested in your content and then search for and reach out
to similar bloggers (use the Alexa Top Site Category Search) or site owners by
email with an excerpt of a relevant post and a link to it; just in case they
are so inclined to one day use it for an outbound link. Though this takes more
work than writing a check to a Link Building agency, the links will be
authentic, valuable, meaningful, and ethical (and make you a richer blogger as
you drive new revenue through the threshold of your blog).
Don't neglect to link your blog or
website from your profile on directory sites. While not of the same quality as
being linked to from a top blog or news site, these do count as inbound links
and grows your Reputation Score. ** see note below
As your reputation grows, it can
open up doors that didn't exist before. For example, I've been contacted by a
publicist to review several very high profile business books, which I assume
was in part based upon my ability to drive inbound links-it's a web! (The more
links you attract, the more authoritative you become.) Although I
primarily review books to alert my readers to great resources, as an added
bonus the inbound links they create builds my web credibility!
If the purpose of your blog or
website is to market your law practice, and your site doesn't have any incoming
links, there's a problem. Either your content isn't getting found or isn't
being read by other bloggers, news sites, or those who could link in to your
content. In this case, you'll need to work a little harder at creating some
connections and build strategic content that will attract inbound links. Go to
other similar sites such as yours that have high reputation scores and study
their Alexa data to see what they are doing and what you might replicate.
Don't forget to claim your site with
Alexa. With a free registration, you can "Claim Your Site" and update site
title, description and contact information which is all effective for making
sure the search engines know what your blog or site is about.
For a small fee, via Alexa paid
services, you can optimize your site, grow your traffic, and improve user
experience without a long-term contract. The Alexa Site Audit performs a deep
analysis of your site to reveal potential problems and provides recommendations
to help you improve your site. You can get the one time audit or sign up for
the monthly plan. Learn more...
I'm going to leave this for another
post because there is so much you can do with an Alexa Search, but
meanwhile, when you're on the site, try it out, play around in there. You can
learn a lot by looking at Top Sites in specific categories to see how you
measure up and what you could do to improve.
If you or your law firm use Alexa,
tell us about your experience in the comments; love it, like it, lukewarm? If
you're not using Alexa, check it out and remember to come back and tell us
about your experience. Thanks!
**Note on Inbound Links from
profiles on social networking sites like LinkedIn. Alexa only counts the first
inbound link from any site. Therefore, if all the attorneys in your firm have
the law firm website link in their LinkedIn profile, it only counts as one
inbound link. No big deal, but just wanted to clarify that. Still, any lawyer
in your firm with a blog site should definitely include that link in their
profile to generate a separate inbound link to their blog site.
Read more on Virtual Marketing
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