Earlier this week, I gave some suggestions on how you can leverage the Cloud for your SMB's site. Moving on, the logical progression would be to ensure that there are actually people visiting your Web site.
Other than direct advertising, one sure way to bring in visitors would be to rank high in search engines. But before you jump right in and hire a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert, it makes sense to know some of the fundamental terminologies pertaining to this somewhat finicky yet vital field.
I won't be able to go through everything here, since the scope is just so huge. What I hope to do, though, is to bring you up to speed with some of the basic metrics used to measure the performance of your online presence from a SMB-centric perspective. Let's take a look at some of them below.
A pageview is the number of times a particular page has been loaded into users' browsers. While not the most accurate measurement of site popularity, it nevertheless allows SMBs to form a pretty accurate gauge of the number of visitors. Detractors argue that pageviews can be grossly skewed by many factors, and that is true. Despite attempts to move away from using PVs as a site metric, however, they remain the predominant method to measure the popularity of a site.
Unique visitors (UV)
The number of unique visitors is typically measured by a combination of using IP addresses, cookies and other identifying marks of a visitor. This metric is typically aggregated with other factors, such as PV, to form a better overall picture of your site's health.
The bounce rate is a measurement of the number of visitors who leave (visualize them "bouncing off") after visiting just one page on your site. This is essentially a measurement of the retentive ability of your site. A high bounce rate could mean poor site design, inferior content, or even more serious problems that are preventing your visitors from exploring your site.
The rise of Google as the world's most popular search engine has quickly propelled the importance of obtaining a good PageRank into the stratosphere. The PageRank is a metric to indicate the relatively popularity of a particular Web site in the eyes of Google. Of course, the PageRank is but one factor out of many that Google uses to evaluate which search results to return. Nevertheless, there is general agreement among experts that a good PageRank is something to be desired.
Keywords or Search Engine Terms
For most sites, traffic coming in from search engines will invariably form a large part of their traffic. So it is important to know the keywords that are driving these visitors in from the various search engines. The mechanics of how this is done is not relevant here -- such statistics can be automatically captured by the relevant analytics engines. However, it is prudent to be aware of the top 10-20 keywords or search engine terms for your site.