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Intro to Popularity

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Group: Site

What Is Popularity?

Popularity: How important a site is to people.

Popularity is measured based on the amount of traffic that a website gets. Traffic, in this case, refers to how many people visit the website. The popularity of a site could change daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on how large the site is.

The internet is just one big popularity contest. With so many websites existing on the world wide web and dozens being created every day, there is no way they all emerge at the top of the heap.

Currently, the top 10 most popular sites in the US are Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Wikipedia, Reddit, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and eBay.

The more visitors a website gets, the more popular it becomes, entailing a rise in the rankings. Subsequently, a decrease in visitors means a decline in popularity, and a drop when it comes to rankings.

Time on site, also known as dwell time also plays a role when it comes to popularity. Dwell-time is the amount of time a user spends on a particular site.

Every time a user enters a site, they begin a session that lasts until they exit the site, regardless of if they visit one page in this session or 100.

However, pages per session still have an impact on popularity as the consensus is that if people like your site, they will spend a lot of time on it and explore multiple pages.

Other factors that impact popularity include external links, social signals, PR articles, etc.

Traffic is divided into five types:

  • Direct (people typing in the website directly into the address bar)
  • Organic visitors (people visiting the site through search results on the map or SERP)
  • Paid (people visiting the site through search ads)
  • Social (people visiting from social media sites)
  • Referral (people visiting through a backlink or link from another site)

An increase in visitors means that more people are attracted to the website.

One way to assess popularity and SEO performance is to find out the monthly organic visitors and compare them to the organic visitors from the previous month.

These are also known as traffic sources or channels.

Another stat to be aware of is the bounce rate (BR), which is the percentage of users that left the site without going to another page.

Bounce Rate = (Number of visitors that left without going to another page on the site/Total number of page visitors) x 100

If a page got 250 visitors and 66 of them remained interested and didn’t immediately click out, then the bounce rate is roughly 26.4%. Rates between 26-40% are pretty good.

Then, there’s click-through rate (CTR), which is the percentage of users that clicked into and entered the site as compared to how many saw it.

Click-Through Rate = (Number of people who clicked on your search result/Number of times your site was displayed in the search results) x 100

This is also expressed as (Clicks/Impressions) x 100

Let’s say a site was on the results 390 times and got clicked on 13 times. In this case, the CTR would be 3.33%.

A CTR of 2.5% or higher is pretty good.

Visitors can either be returning or new.

New visitors are those coming to the site for the first time while returning visitors have been there before. 

A site needs to retain your existing visitors while also growing and attracting new ones.

Popularity is a cycle. Websites that attract a lot of visitors indicate to Google that the website is important, thus pushing it up in the rankings. This increases the website’s visibility which means more users visit the website, and the cycle repeats.

On the other hand, those with barely any visitors tend to keep dropping in the rankings until they’re almost nowhere to be seen on the search results.

Recommended Tools 

Alexa – Measure how popular a website is

Similar Web – Website traffic detector and popularity ranker

Ahrefs – Website traffic research tool

Google Analytics – Analyze a site’s existing traffic. This can also be integrated into DigitalBull GO.

DigitalBull GO – The world’s #1 GMB audit and optimization tool!

For more on Popularity, read our article for Optimizing Popularity.

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