I’m not a web expert (that would be Lori and Lisa). I know just enough to go to a few websites and figure out things like my rankings and grade. If this is all foreign to you, read further. I didn’t know anything about websites, SEO, optimization, etc., when I first started out. I still don’t know a lot! Probably just enough to be dangerous.
Here is what I advise author friends and clients to look at. Let’s deconstruct.
Alexa Ranking: Type in any the URL (web address) of your site (i.e., my business site is http://BadRedheadMedia.com). You’ll see a global ranking and a U.S. ranking (or enter your country). I like this site because it’s free, the data is helpful and easy to understand, and is well-respected as a valid measurement. You want to be under 500K US, under 1 Million for Global (here’s mine for BadRedheadMedia: 306,120 Global, 178,42).
The give you some great other info, like how long someone is on your site, demographics, and more. Look at my business site stats here. Then go ahead and enter your own (website is better than blog). While it’s fun to find out this information, it’s also very useful. This helps you know how people are finding you, your ranking, and what’s resonating.
Most importantly, this helps me provide traffic information to prospective clients (‘walk the walk’ and all that), and most importantly, to people who may be interested in advertising on my site (I offer a limited number of spots for authors and their books).
If your ranking is very high (not so good), it’s okay. We all have to start somewhere!
Website Grader: I use Hubspot’s Free website grader tool. My latest grade for BadRedheadMedia is 88 (out of 100). It’s a good idea to check in at least once a month or so, or at least once per quarter. You want to have as high a grade as possible. They look at blogging, social media, SEO, lead generation, and mobile. All need to be high in order to strengthen your score.
Google: Don’t forget the Big Daddy of search engines. Type in your name…what comes up? Here’s what I get when I type in my name only ‘Rachel Thompson.’ The first listing is my author website RachelintheOC.com — yay! Feel free to check other smaller yet still important search engines like bing, also.
I’m sure Lisa and Lori have many more options to test things like this, but for the purposes of having some idea of your SEO ranking and grade without having to go to grad school, these are easy free tools to give you (or your web person) some insights into your optimization or lack thereof.
Got questions? Ask below!