The Future of SEO is Promising

Traditionally SEO only meant keywords and inbound links. But the scenario is different today, with changes to Google’s algorithm in recent months which is poised to change the face of SEO forever. Inbound links and keywords will continue to be important, but there are many other factors involved in your website’s search rank. So what does the future hold for SEO? Here are insights to be aware of and some reasons all business owners must consider SEO for their online properties.

  1. 1.      Mobile Search will Continue to Rise

Statistics have revealed that 61% of mobile searchers who visit non-optimized sites will leave immediately and return to Google to find one that is more readable. Smartphone users make up a significant segment of online users and they too want to experience the richness of the web. Google has recently started to prioritize mobile-optimized sites on search results for users on tablets and Smartphone devices. What this means is that even if your website is optimized in terms of keywords and inbound links, but is not properly optimised for mobile, there are chanced it could be demoted in search rankings.

The solution is to use responsive design to build your website. Responsive design stresses on the importance of creating a site that adapts to the screen size on which it is being accessed. This not only does away with the concept of separate tablet, mobile and PC versions of your site, but also makes your content visible in a readable way.

  1. 2.      Social Media is Poised to Become an Authority

Social media is the future of SEO. A couple of years ago, inbound linking was the best way to increase search authority. While that hasn’t changed much, the definition of what makes an inbound link great, has. Earlier, the best inbound links were from a website that had a lot of authority itself. But now, there are other ways to achieve an authoritative link.

This is where social media comes in. According to research, 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from family and friends and family more completely. These recommendations come specifically through social media. Today, search engines have started factoring a user’s social connections into their results as well.

  1. 3.      SEO will focus on user intent more than just keywords

Google’s new algorithm Hummingbird was launched with the aim of returning search results more efficiently and accurately. This ‘conversational’ algorithm focuses more on a search query as a whole, rather than isolating every word individually. This intuitive approach is more personal and accurate and offers holistic results that can be reaped in every Google interactions. SEO has shifted its focus from individual words to the intent behind these words.

There are many parameters that will be taken into account now such as the location, context of the search, platform, timeliness, conversation cues, device, and hyper-local factors, to produce better results. For businesses, this means on shifting focus from individual keywords to questions that users may ask about you, and then create content around that.

So click here to arm your business with the power of SEO.

 

Developing Interaction With Your Clients in E Commerce Situations

In some ways, it’s harder to promote online businesses than it is to promote bricks and mortar. Because establishments that have a physical location can target their promotionsgeographically – and the nature of their business can lead them to time specific campaigns too, for example happy hours in bars or meal deals during the week in restaurants.

It is all, of course, about finding a way to get those feet marching through the door. And that means giving people a reason to get up and come to your premises.
But what about the online equivalent of a premises? When you have an e commerce store to promote, are you more likely to get a buying decision out of your target audience?

To an extent it is difficult to tell whether bricks and mortar or online promotions have more percentage of success. Because an online promotion potentially reaches thousands of customers, while bricks and mortar promotions don’t. To take the most obvious example, if you promote a restaurant with a sandwich board on the street, then the only people likely to be affected by your promotion are those who happen to walk past the board while it is out and legible. While everyone on an e commerce store mailing list can be contacted with a promotion they will at least see the subject line of, even if they don’t read the email in full.

Magento developers are able to develop interactive promotions using the tools with which they built your site. And they can promote in site too, using freeware add-ons designed to make more of a customer’s shopping experience.
But, again, what of the customer who isn’t logged into the site right now? How do you get him or her back?
One way is to interrogate his or her previous purchases, and then send out email updates telling him or her what other similar products have arrived at your store. So if he or she bought a few blues albums from you, tell him or her about all the latest blues albums. Or you can even create specific special offers for each person. So rather than waiting for new blues albums to come out, you can run a promotion where every customer who has already bought three blues albums gets a personal discount code, offering 15% (or whatever) off of their next blues purchase.

The functionality of e commerce platforms allows you to create some pretty incisive promotional drives. The only barrier, really, to your achieving a good hit rate is your own imagination.

Because if you can come up with a unique way of promoting yourself, which involves pressing a customer towards specific times to buy for example, then you end up with an audience fighting to get onto your site to spend its money. The most obvious example of this is something like a popular rock concert, where tickets sell out within minutes of going on sale.

That’s the kind of demand everyone hopes to create for their own e commerce ventures. The trick is in learning how to use available technology to do so.

Amy Manly is a product designer and promotions expert. She lives in Cairns. In this article she is providing us some valuable information on Magento developers and how they help in developing interactive promotions and empowering a small business too.

Using Links and Content to Hit Business Goals


With the arrival of frequent Search engine algorithms, especially the Google Panda and Penguin updates, Search Engine Optimization has emerged as a really tough arena. Today, a successful SEO demands tight requirements and authentic techniques. With such complications, is it still feasible to employ SEO for achieving business goals?

It has been time and again proved that how SEO can bring an abundance of quality to the business it has been used for. To achieve this edge of your business front, you can hire or consult independent SEO experts from top SEM companies or even better, include some into your business staff. For years, SEO has been used as an effective tool for marketing businesses through the distinctive online platforms. In order to extract a highly effective and powerful strategy via the use of SEO, you need to focus on two primary elements- the Links and the Content.

SEO is much more than link building

The major concern for any business is to drive more profits. This is the reason why more traffic is demanded on the business website. The only absolute way to ensure larger traffic and hence more profits to any online website is through the SEO. However, with a frequent application of Black Hat SEO today then the White Hat SEO, these days some people tend to misinterpret SEO as a marketing strategy that only increases link, traffic and content. But this isn’t true! Let’s just get this straight. While link building and content enhancing might be the practices adopted under any SEO campaign, but these are not its only primary objectives. Apparently, these are the best methods adopted under authentic SEO to fetch business goals.

Link building can really serve as an efficient and beneficial practice if it is adopted and implemented in a right manner. A fruitful link building campaign comprises the following fundamental elements.

Quality infographics

These provide an amazing platform to achieve the desired objective. However, they may turn up or sound as utterly irrelevant in case they are not guided and defined by any clear or direct objective. In order to generate leads ad sales through the usage of infographics, each one of them must be of a very high quality. Since infographics are usually shared across the web among the targeted audience base, hence they must be in a great first rate quality. Do not go over the board with them by making them too imaginative. Instead, keep them helpful, clear and simple to the readers and the target audience.

Content marketing

Regardless of how the SEO might have evolved with the changing algorithm trends, content has always been the king. Evidently, no SEO tactic or strategy has ever beaten good quality content. Instead it has been termed as the ultimate tool for several SEM companies. Today, content marketing involves much more than simply link building. It demands authenticity, uniqueness, usefulness and brevity. Also, it should be equally beneficial to the reader who reads it.

Certainly, links matter and that too a lot! People and businesses are always in need of the links and it seems hard to expect them to change. But with the regular surprises given by the Google updates have changed the entire scenario upside down.

In order to taste some SEO success today, you must put in some exceptionally extra efforts in terms of quality as well as hard work. In other words, try bringing some quality in your SEO approaches and you will be never ignored! Then be it content or links, every trial is acceptable a far as you show up some quality. Furthermore, if you carve your SEO strategy in such a fashion, any Panda, Penguin or other updates will never daunt you.

Author Bio:

Jason is the CEO and founder of an international SEM company. His company provided businesses with several effective SEO solutions and strategies.

Get Creative With Content in Marketing Emails

Included in your email marketing software will be wizards for you to create the marketing email. Space is limited, and for good reason, and you are left with the decision as to what to put the copy boxes. You need to have a clear idea as to what is required.

You could go along the route of a professional copywriter or have a go yourself. Whichever way you go the rules are the same.

The copy in the email has just the one purpose: the requirement to get the reader to click through. Every other function is not so much subservient to this as all but immaterial. You need to bear this in mind when writing or directing the copywriter.

Whilst the two specialities are often seen as entirely different, the images and copy must work together towards the same target. Your email marketing software will define your subscribers. The email should be a unified whole with no feature taking precedence.

Sales staff are the great unsung, although not by themselves, heroes of retail. We can usefully copy their methods when it comes to what copy is required. If they would not say it, it probably is not needed in the email.

You will pick the headline and subhead text dependent on the email list you use. If you are selling a camera then the 16 megapixel sensor could be the best to go for if your customers are a bit geeky. For those who are more athletic and go climbing or even walking, the rugged but lightweight build might be a better option to highlight.

After that the decisions come.

You might feel that the recipients would want a lot of technical information before considering purchasing the item. For these, a click through to a microsite containing all the details, and possibly a comparison with the inferior items your competitors are offering, will limit clutter.

The following text should support the headline and subheads. If you have made a feature of the 30 times zoom, then back this up with phrases like class-leading and follow with image stabilising as some might feel that extreme zooms give rise to camera shake.

Here we have the first bit of copy from a genuine email:

Heading up the super-zoom compact digital camera range, [company name] is pleased to introduce a new addition to [its] multiple award winning range of cameras.

A 25 word statement that says very little. On the other hand, if your headings have mentioned the 30x super-zoom, 16mp sensor and HiDef video then you could say:

A camera for the demanding amateur and semi-pro alike. No need to carry four or five lenses. Its compact build means that you can take professional quality images anywhere.

Again it says very little but we have suggested to the readers that we think they are rather good at photography, might even be semi-pro although are clever enough not to be taken in by the hype of other, more technical cameras.

Massaging the customer’s self image is the sort of tactic your sales staff would use so copy it.

 

Aaron Bond is a network marketing researcher with a keen interest in email marketing.  His articles aim to provide valuable tips for online business entrepreneurs; helping to create strategies and take action to increase leads and cash flow.

Aaron Bond is a network marketing researcher with a keen interest in email marketing.  His articles aim to provide valuable tips for online business entrepreneurs; helping to create strategies and take action to increase leads and cash flow. – See more at: http://www.docmarketing.co.uk/2013/02/27/cookie-law-crumbles/#sthash.dyiSDN5D.dpuf
Aaron Bond is a network marketing researcher with a keen interest in email marketing.  His articles aim to provide valuable tips for online business entrepreneurs; helping to create strategies and take action to increase leads and cash flow. – See more at: http://www.docmarketing.co.uk/2013/02/27/cookie-law-crumbles/#sthash.dyiSDN5D.dpuf
Aaron Bond is a network marketing researcher with a keen interest in email marketing.  His articles aim to provide valuable tips for online business entrepreneurs; helping to create strategies and take action to increase leads and cash flow. – See more at: http://www.docmarketing.co.uk/2013/02/27/cookie-law-crumbles/#sthash.dyiSDN5D.dpuf

How Do I Use Google Alerts to Generate Traffic

Do you want more traffic? Every marketer or just a small business owner will answer yes but how to get real, quality and targeted traffic is even better question. After recent Google Panda/Penguin updates, many are looking for alternative ways to gain targeted traffic. Well, through Google Alerts is easy to achieve something like that. Very easy but it takes some time, patience and work. However results are winsome. Even better than you might think. Don’t believe me? Proceed with reading since I’ll explain this trick into details. In the first place you need to go here:

http://www.google.com/alerts

In the box Search query you type every search query you want to monitor. You are able to select type of result, whether is query related to news or blogs and you are able to track all results or only better results as well. In the last box you enter your e-mail address to which Google will send you the data.
You are able to track any search query, but the real problem is which ones you should monitor actually.

Well there are different methods to come up with ideas what to actually track.

What’s your website about?

Different niches, different keywords, different search queries. Let’s say you got a website on laptops. Your main keyword is cheap laptops and you want to focus on that keyword. You simply could monitor these search queries:

cheap laptops
laptops
laptop
inexpensive laptops

By monitoring these search queries you will get relevant results of forums and blogs to comment on.

Make sure alert will be sent as soon as it happens.

Now what?

Now every time someone makes a thread on a forum, creates a video or writes a blog post relevant to the given search query you want to monitor, you will be informed through Google Alerts. Google Alerts will simply send you an e-mail which looks something like this:

Now just simply click on a link, register on the forum and write a post on the topic with included link to your website or in case that the relevant keyword has been found on a blog, you could leave a comment on that blog. In case someone created a video on given search query, you could leave comment on YouTube or even create a response video.

In case that forum doesn’t allow posting links, you could add the link in the signature.

But not only that, by using Google Alerts you could make a list of blogs and forums relevant to your niche which you can use on a daily basis, whether blog commenting or forum posting in order to gain some traffic.

Advanced way to use Google Alerts:Track your online presence

You could use Google Alerts to track your brand. For example, if you want to get informed every time you are mentioned on the Internet as a search query use your name or your company’s name. For example:

webmagz LLC (let's say I got a company)
webmagz
Eldin Egrlić

You could use quotes as well in order to get relevant results only from exact search queries, for example:

"webmagz.net"

On that way alerts might be more relevant and of higher quality but also such alerts aren’t as often as broad search queries.

Now every time someone mentions me or my company online, I will be informed immediately.

You don’t have to own a company. You could simply track your website’s online presence on that way as well. In a search query include quotes. For example, if I’d like to monitor my website’s online presence I’d use “webmagz.net” as a search query. Including quotes in a search query will deliver only relevant results I’m looking for.

So now every time someone says online Oh man, that website sucks I will get informed in order to say my opinion. Everybody’s got an opinion, right?

Detailed search query monitoring

You could use some search parameters in order to create alerts for detailed search queries.

For example

intitle:cheap laptops

will deliver to you results with the search query mentioned in the title.

inurl:cheap laptops

is gonna deliver you a list of results with search query mentioned in URL of the website.

filetype:.pdf

is for creating alerts focused on certain file types.

Monitoring long-tail keywords

You can use Google Alerts to monitor long-tail keywords as well such as:

where to buy laptop *
laptop * under *
* laptop
new laptop *

Using these search queries you should get targeted alerts whereas * represents brand or year and you should leave * as it is.

Monitoring Twitter

You can use Google Alerts to monitor Twitter as well. For example:

inurl:twitter.com "cheap laptops"

Now every time tweets about certain subject, you will be let known.

Monitor your competition

If you hate respect your competition as I do…then you gotta monitor and spy on them. As a search query use competing website’s quoted URL without www, for example:

google.com
facebook.com
webmagz.net (you'd better not be my competitor)

Now every time someone mentions your competitor, tell them there is better solution for given problem.

Another way to monitor your competition is search by site parameter. For example:

site:webmagz.net

will send you an alert every time competing site publish a new post, video or some other media file.

As you can see, Google Alerts is one of these things that shouldn’t be overlooked as traffic from Google Images as well.

11 Methods to Lower your Bounce rate (almost) in Seconds

You made a website with the goal. Most likely, your goal is to get readers and subscribers in the first place. You want to get known and get to heard out.

But you have a problem – instead of readers you are getting visitors only. You get traffic but most visitors close the page as soon as they come or they take a quick look and then exit the website. When a visitor leaves a website right after viewing entry page, it means the visitor isn’t showing any interest in reading more of your fantastic posts and this phenomenon we call – a (high) bounce rate.

Average bounce rate is 50%.(You can check your bounce rate through implementing Google Analytics or Piwik in your website/blog.) The lower your bounce rate is, the more visitors you persuade into reading your content and the better are chances they will come back. If your bounce rate is higher than 80% I think you need to do something about it in order to make it lower. Much lower.

But don’t worry, that’s solvable and I’ll tell you how.

Write catchy titles

If you are able to write catchy and alluring titles, you already did half of the job. Most readers can’t resist to read if the title is alluring and winsome. But that’s not all..You should:

Persuade people into reading whole post as well

That’s a bit hard, I know. You need to persuade people into reading whole post. Experienced internet marketers know this and if a visitor read content from entry page, most likely same visitor will continue browsing through website right afterwards. You need to write an interesting intro (first 2-3 sentences) as much as possible. Your writing style shouldn’t be dull (especially at the very beginning) and don’t make the other side feel like the robot is talking to him.

As you would talk to your friends, you should write (talk) to your readers the same way as well. Act like you are talking to your old friend at the coffee shop. Your readers will find you friendly, interesting and they will want to know more about you.

Grab attention fast

Remember you only have a second or two to grab someone’s attention. During these seconds, visitor judges you, your website, your design and everything on the website. Make sure your website design is simple and there is some ratio between images and text. Don’t just paste wall of text on your website, add an image here and there.

Write great content

Write interesting, useful, alluring, popular and worth reading content.

Tell your readers to check out other posts too

Don’t sustain of telling readers to check out posts. Usually at the end of every post you should tell them what they should do or read next. Most likely they will do what you recommend them.

Link a lot

Interlink a lot. When writing a post, add a link here and there to your older posts. On every 100 words or so, include a link to your other posts. Your readers most likely will check out these posts too.

Add list of your most popular posts in a sidebar

Make a list of your most popular posts and add a HTML widget in your sidebar. If you have too many widgets in your sidebar, the lesser are chance a reader will notice your list of most popular posts. I’d recommend to you not having more than 2 or 3 widgets on your sidebar.

Design should be simple

Design should be simple. Use same color for links on every part of your page. Your readers shouldn’t be overhelmed and your color scheme shouldn’t be rainbow-like.

Take care of your navigation

Your navigation (bar) should be easy to find, simple and catchy. Readers who are showing some interest most likely will navigate through your website in order to find more awesomeness on your website.

Font size and font style

In my humble opinion, font size should be at least 14. Likewise, your font should be easily seen and easy to read.

Results of this experiment proved once again that the font should be clear and distinct. The more your font is distorted, the better is likelihood of loosing potential (and loyal) reader. Still don’t believe me font size doesn’t matter? Let me remind you how many facebook users complained about text size being too small.

 

“What should I do now?”

That’s what usually every reader think of after reading a post. You should install a plugin which shows related posts at the end of every post you publish on your blog. On that way you will indirectly say to your visitor – this is what you should do (read) next.

So what YOU should do next? Comment, tweet or even subscribe, but in the first place implement these tips I just gave you.

How to Recover from Google Updates [Penguin, Panda, EMD…]

Earlier this year Google announced major updates of their search engine. So far, between April and October many updates were released and many websites were affected. Sometimes it’s hard to identify the problem but I think the first thing you should do is to – identify your problem. It’s hard to tell whether your site were hit by Panda, Penguin or by some other update but I’ll try to explain what could cause penalizing or devaluing your website on the SERP.

 

Identifying the problem

Since it’s your site, you can give best answer – whether your site were hit by Penguin, Panda or EMD update. Penguin and Panda updates are not same. By Google webmaster resources Panda is:

This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.

and Panda update is:

In the next few days, we’re launching an important algorithm change targeted at webspam. The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content.

 

Now your site might be of high quality but reason why your website were affected by one of these updates is webspam or in other words – using link schemes  in order to gain better SERP positions or vice versa – your site might be devauled because it’s low quality and you have been used keyword stuffing methods or hosted spun content on your website.

Another reason why your website were hit is EMD update. However, in my opinon, you shouldn’t notice huge drop in rankings unless your website were hit by one of these two updates from above.

Improving user experience

In case that your website were hit by Penguin (algo update targeting low quality sites) your chances to recover from this update are quite big. Sites that were hit are mostly of the nature I will mention in those next few bullets:

  • Small websites. If your website is made of 5 or less pages, most likely your website were hit by Penguin algo update. Google is devaluing websites with small number of pages, poor content, spun content and finally, Google is devaluing websites that are custom HTML coded or in other words, Google is giving less attention to static websites, but in same time giving more attention and better rankings to blogs (such as blogs hosted on WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. ). I know because I had a website with around 5 pages, custom coded. Its SERP positions dropped like a rock. If you are planning to make a website, make it blog-like and avoid static websites or at least – add as much content as you can – content which is in the first place valuable and well-written.
  • This update is targeting poor content websites. Many webmasters are sustaining to write posts longer than 500 words. That’s a big mistake. You should write long and valuable content.
  • Enrich your website with media such as embedded YouTube videos, add images and PDF files. On that way user will get better information on certain topic, and as a way to say thanks, Google should improve your rankings.
  • Over-optimizing is another possibly reason why your website was affected by this algorithm update. Many webmasters are trying to maximally optimize their websites in order to gain better rankings. Many webmasters are forcing optimization and stuffing keywords. You shouldn’t do that. Keyword density by my opinion at least, shouldn’t be higher than 1%.

By Rand Fishkin this is “perfectly” optimized website:

  • Title your pages properly. For example if you are targeting for “Chocolate dounuts”, title should be “How to make chocolate donuts” rather than just “Chocolate donuts”
  • Don’t sustain of linking internally and externally. Link to internal pages related to the topic you are writing about and link to externally resources such as YouTube, BBC, CNET and others resources you find valuable and useful for your readers.
  • Add Policy, Contact and Terms of Service pages to your website.
  • Don’t place too much ads above the fold. Find a balance between ads and content.
  • Implement author tag in order to get recognized and known among readers and other writers as well.
  • Implement Facebook fan page box on your website and make a Facebook fan page.
  • Make Twitter account and Google Plus as well.

Webspam & Link building

If you have used aggressive link building methods, most likely your website were hit due to link building strategies that Google doesn’t like. Here are some changes you should apply to your link building methods in order to get quality backlinks:

  • Many webmasters are applying black hat methods of gaining backlinks. Some webmasters are creating web 2.0’s in order to get backlink but on that way, they are leaving footprints.
  • Don’t leave footprints such as writing 20 spun 400-wordish articles and then spreading them all over the Internet
  • Write quality and original content for link building
  • Write articles longer than 500 words, optimally 600-1000 words
  • Many webmasters are creating one-page blogs using free services (such as WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Typepad etc.) in order to gain backlinks which is wrong. Such Web 2.0 is easy to spot since the main goal of these blogs is to provide free backlinks to money site.
  • Don’t use aggressive link building methods and don’t create backlinks a day more than you have daily unique visits on your site
  • Focus on gaining real FB likes, +1’s and tweets
  • Don’t create link wheels
  • Don’t leave thousands of comments on blogs
  • Don’t backlink from blogs that have more than 100 OBL (outbound links)
  • Don’t backlink from spammy and spunt content
  • Avoid link farms
  • Don’t buy links
  • Don’t use blog farms/networks
  • Don’t submit your website to hundreds of directories. Submit your site to eventually 10-20 quality web directories with decent PR and authority.
  • Many websites were affected by latest updates due to aggressive link building methods and link schemes.
  • And at end, don’t use risky link building strategies unless you know what you are doing.
  • Use naked and natural anchor texts. Instead of “your keyword”, as anchor use such examples: http://example.com/some_page.html(aka naked URL), click here, visit my page, here is my blog …. etc.

“Should I start all over again?”

In case that your website were hit by those updates, it’s not everything lost but most likely, your website will be penalized for 6 months. You have those options:

  • Buy a new domain and start all over again but hopefully, this time you are going to make it properly
  • Add content to existing website and remove spammy and fishy backlinks. However, it’s not guaranteed your website will ever gain rankings as it had before the algo update.

I’d recommend adding and improving your site in case that it has a lot of content and it’s somewhat useful for your readers. But in case your website is worthless with poor content and lack of quality backlinks, you might consider creating a new website. I’d suggest you to focus on creating quality content, gaining traffic from social networks or eventually traffic from YouTube (which is sometimes great source of traffic).

Matt Cutts:0.7% of English queries noticeably affected by update on October 10th

I bet that even Barry Schwartz lost the count of these Google updates but let Matt Cutts talks instead of me:


By Cutts (head of the Google webspam team), this update is on page layout algorithm improvement. Since Google is trying to improve their user experience, they are going to devalue websites with too much ads above the fold.

Google on their blog, on this topic said:

We understand that placing ads above-the-fold is quite common for many websites; these ads often perform well and help publishers monetize online content. This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page.

 

So I’d recommend to you to watch out and to not place too much ads above the fold. This is considered as small update but it’s still very noticeable.

Google Latest Updates (September&October)

Google announced a couple of updates this and previous month. First one occurred on September 28th.

0.6% of (low) quality EMD domains were hit by this update. By SEOmoz this was quite big update:

Then another one happened between September 28th and October 5th which resulted in massive algo and SERP changes.

This was another quite big update and many webmasters were confused did they were hit by EMD or algo update. Another update happened October 8th. This is latest Penguin update:

Latest update (so far) occurred today:

 

So in total, I think that at least 1.6% of English queries were hit. That’s minimal because we don’t know how much queries were hit in total by Penguin.

Piwik Is Better Than Google Analytics!

If you have a website and you are tracking and monitoring traffic stats, you probably installed Google analytics. Most people nowadays use Google analytics. Anyways, I wanted to give a try to another software  – so I picked up Piwik.

Counter shows that this software has been downloaded so far:

To be honest, I was skeptic in the first place but after I saw what I installed and how it looks like, I installed Piwik right away on my other sites too.

This post will be on Piwik vs Google Analytics and I hope I’ll help you make a decision.

Installing

First you should know that Piwik is opensource and you need to host your own copy of this software. You can’t just go to their site (which is by the way: http://piwik.org/) and generate a code, you need a hosting to host your own tracking software.

That might be tricky, especially if you need to track millions of pageviews every day. Here is recommendation on requirments directly from Piwik Team:

  • PHP version 5.1.3 or greater
  • MySQL version 4.1 or greater
  • 4Gb memory being the minimum recommended for Piwik to process reports on large websites
  • It is recommended to use light web servers such as Nginx or lighttpd which can be faster and more efficient alternatives to Apache or IIS

You can find more information on requirments here:

http://piwik.org/docs/optimize/

http://piwik.org/faq/new-to-piwik/#faq_137

But if you don’t have high traffic website, just a usual web hosting /shared hosting should do it.

If you don’t know how to install Piwik click here:

http://piwik.org/docs/installation/

 

Ease of use

To use Piwik is very easy, even easier than to use Google Analytics. Here is screenshot I took to show you how dashboard looks like:

To keep this review more informative I’ll write here list of boxes (widgets) that are shown right away after user log in:

  • Lasts visit graph
  • List of keywords
  • Visitors in real time
  • List of external websites
  • Visitor countries (world map)
  • Visitor browsers
  • Best search engines
  • Visits by server time
  • .. and you can see below latests posts from Piwik.org blog

I really like dashboard and that’s what got me right away, it’s very clear and immediately after you log in, you are able to see visits, worldmap, keywords etc.

Here is lists of widgets available for using but I didn’t try these yet:

  • Visits Summary
  • Live!
  • Visitors
  • Visitor Settings
  • Actions
  • Referrers
  • Goals
  • SEO
  • Example Widgets

As you can see, Piwik offers a lot of options and widgets to users.

Another feature I really like is that Piwik distinguish traffic from Google (search engine) and from Google Images.

Accuracy

Probably most important to you is accuracy. Some users reported that Piwik is more accurate than GA.

Many users from DigitalPoint forum reported that Piwik is much more accurate.

 

Importing and exporting data

You are able to import data from other services such as Google Analytics but also to export data is very easy. You can export traffic even as an image or as excel sheet. But at end, only you have access to traffic data and you aren’t sharing your data with 3rd party (or even 4th or 5th) services as it possibly could happen if you use GA or some other service.

Goals

To setup goals is much easier than in Google Analytics. You can setup goals (for example if you want to track number of downloads or percent of visits to given URL.

The mostly were pro’s, now something about con’s.

The truth is that Google Analytics does offer more in-depth analysis of traffic.

Another con’s is that you need to install software on your server.

Conclusion

Piwik is great free alternative to Google Analytics but I think they are going to improve this software even more and it’s definitely worth checking out. Which tracking software you use?