Compare web metrics and decode the data to become a player in any market you take on. Understanding key metrics allows you to assess the quality, value and growth of your websites, and lay plans to boost your rankings with targeted content.

Number of Referring Domains

Search engines gather huge chunks of information from the referring domains pointing to a website. Google sniffs the air for sites getting a lot of links from few referring domains. If links emanate from a small number of referring websites, Google gets curious about their origin. Search engines like Google punish shady link building efforts.

While backlinks are of limited importance, the quantity of referring domains linking back to you is of key import. You want referring domains of authority in your target niche linking back to you. Part of sound market research is identifying the niche of the effective referring domains you are after.

Link Velocity and Spikes

Your website’s link velocity chart provides a clear view of link building strategies, an important metric. Look at the link velocity chart to find patterns that report on the effectiveness of a sites content strategy.

Check for spikes, as Google takes notice and they could lead to an unwelcome penalty. Use market research to craft content to build relevant, quality backlinks. Creating relevant content is an ongoing process that can benefit from incorporating information from the link velocity chart.

Alexa Traffic Growth

Gathering data from Alexa gives you an estimate of your website’s rank. You can compare you standing with other sites both local and global. Alexa looks at number of website visits and which pages get the most hits (unique visits and page views). The lower your number on the Alexa Chart, the better.

Drive Your Social Visibility

These metric reports which social media and content strategies are effectively delivering your message. What are your total number of shares from social media leaders Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus? Can you synchronize your social visibility metric with Alexa Chart traffic growth? Master the social visibility metric and forge ahead knowing how your readers react to content strategy and where they go for it.

Tracking SEO Visibility

Compare competitors in various markets and identify Google penalties using the SEO Visibility metric. Use the Searchmetrics tool to see the SEO visibility of almost any website, as well as data on top keywords. Test how different websites rank on particular keywords, and which keywords pack maximum punch.

Site History Tools

Take a ride in the Wayback Machine to get a glimpse of a website since its first day. Don’t forget to visit, the site recording actions at the domain level, for example a domain’s ownership history.

There it is. Improve your SEO ranking and results, study a niche or dig up the skinny on competitors. These tools and metrics give you a leg up on the job. You’ll see both the muscle and soft spots of competitors. You’ll have the information at your fingertips to craft content and marketing strategies that work with your target audience.