Check on Your Competition – ANYTIME
(It takes just five seconds…)
By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.
If you ever wanted to know “at a glance” how you’re doing against your local competitors, I have a super-quick and easy way for you to find out. (And it’s only a tiny bit “techie,” so even if you’re a little “computer-phobic,” you can handle this in a snap.) And it’s also totally FREE, so let’s grab it while we can, shall we?
I’m referring to a great little company out there called Alexa that specializes in analyzing internet and website statistics. If you go to their website, you can download a free “page rank” status monitor that will instantly tell you the worldwide popularity of any website you visit. (I recommend you load it as a status bar, not as a toolbar.) Then, when you go to a website, you’ll see a little “traffic monitor” in the lower right-hand corner of your screen that looks just like this:
The example above (which happens to be for Pool Corp.) tells us that the Pool Corp. website is currently the 171,688(th) most popular website in the world. (By sample comparison, Google is #1 most popular, Facebook is #2, and Fox News is #169.) The squiggly line to the left of the number shows us the daily ranking over the last six months.
In the two examples below, you can see how the popularity (or more accurately, the website traffic) of the U.S. House of Congress and Lady Gaga both spiked at various times in the past six months:
So how do you use this? Simple. Just take a look at any of your competitors’ websites, and see what their current ranking looks like. Compare that to your own website, and you’ll instantly know whether you can be confident, or might have reason to worry.
To help you further appreciate your Alexa ranking, let me share with you some generalizations I’ve made based on looking at literally hundreds of pool builder websites all over the world:
- Most pool builder websites rank higher than (above) the one million mark. If you’re ranked under one million, then Congratulations! You are rare indeed! (Or you’re a chain/franchise, in multiple locations.)
- If you’re under 3 million, then once again, Congratulations! Chances are you’re beating most of your local competition.
- If you’re above 6 million, then most likely you’ve got several competitors ahead of you.
- If you’re above 10 million, then the cold truth is that not very many people are looking at your website. You are either in a very small market (such as Christchurch, New Zealand), or you probably have some fairly serious search engine issues, and/or you’ve never done anything to optimize or drive traffic to your website.
- If you’re above 20 million, then my guess is that you and your employees are the only ones looking at your website. You need help!
Alexa stops tracking websites that are beyond 30 million, so if you see this little “kiss of death” status message when you look at your website:
…that means there are at least 30 million other websites in the world that are more popular than yours. Not good.
If your website rankings aren’t where you want them to be, here are three suggestions that should help you:
- Make sure you have Google Analytics loaded on your website. (More information about how to get and use Google Analytics for FREE, as explained on my blog post here.)
- Run this FREE and comprehensive “SEO Site Check-up” analysis on your website. It will immediately tell you what you’re doing right, and what you’re doing wrong.
- If you’re still not where you want to be, you might consider professional SEO help. (My clients have been getting killer results with the MYM Austin SEO program, getting page 1 rankings on many of the keywords in just a few months. More info on that here.)
Meanwhile, for a little more insight into these traffic rankings, you might have a quick look at how some of your international competitors and compatriots are currently ranked in global web traffic popularity:
- APSP – 488,451
- Aquatech – 2,632,961
- Blue Haven Pools – 489,546
- Carecraft – 772,824
- Champagne Pool and Spa (Orlando FL) – 1,414,829
- Genesis 3 – 10,550,144
- MYM Austin (Hey, I can brag, can’t I?) – 716,215
- Ocean Quest Pools by Lew Akins – 1,589,479
- Pool and Spa News – 706,106
I’ve found this nifty little Alexa ranking tool to be immensely useful in monitoring the status of various websites. I hope you get some use out of it also.
To your success,
PS – When you install the Alexa page ranking tool, you have a choice of installing it as a “toolbar” (at the top) or as a much smaller “status bar” at the bottom. Personally, I prefer the status bar, which is what I’ve shown in all the screenshots above.