If you’re still obsessed with your page rank, it’s time to get over that and onto the metrics that matter. It’s an outdated metric that some link builders still swear by. However, there are many more important metrics a webmaster or SEO needs to look at.
For example, let’s take a look at a small eCommerce site that sells cases for iPhone 4s, TheBuyFly.com. A page rank of 0 would be pretty abysmal if that metric mattered. However, if you begin to look at SEMRushs traffic estimate, they seem to have anywhere between 14 and 24 thousand visitors a month. For an eCommerce site, a conversion rate above 1% is considered good. Not bad for a page rank 0.
So if page rank doesn’t matter, what does?
Well for the most part, a point of a website is to provide valuable content, make the webmaster some money, or provide a combination of both. For these sites, it becomes more important to look at the following:
- Bounce Rate
- Conversion Rate
- Total Traffic
Bounce Rate is particular important for eCommerce sites. The goal for an eCommerce site is to get that user into a customer. A high bounce rate is going typically mean your prospective customers aren’t even staying long enough to browse. It’s the equivalent of owning a storefront and the customer walking in and leaving within a few seconds. There is also the theory that the bounce rate in your Google Analytics account impacts search engine results. The higher the bounce rate, the worse the site will do in search. I haven’t seen any evidence this myself but it is out there.
Click through rate (CTR) is important for any site. Just venture over to your Google Webmaster tools and take a look at your search queries and CTR. I would consider anything over 1% good for an eCommerce site. Sometimes, it could be higher if within the top 3 results. This metric is also believed to be used in search engine rankings by some.
Conversion rate is by far the most important metric you need to be looking at. The average eCommerce site has about a 1% conversion rate, i.e. for every 100 people that come to your site, 1 will fill out that lead form or checkout through that shopping cart. Which would you rather have? A page rank 4 site with 300 visitors a month or a page rank 1 with over 1000 visitors?
Total traffic is important when selling a site. Even if you’re conversion rate is .1%, if you have thousands of visitors a month, you have a valuable site. Someone will almost always be willing to purchase the site and put it through some rigorous for conversion rate optimization (CRO) tests.
Any comments, ideas, suggestions or harsh disagreements? I’d love to hear them!
Joe runs an eCommerce site, TheBuyFly, which caters to iPhone 4 cases as well as tablet cases. He also frequently writes at Entrepreneur Addict, a site he recently started to aid others in their entrepreneur endeavors. He enjoys eCommerce, general business and hockey. Occassionally, he acts as a freelance SEO to non-profits such as the Blechman Foundation for Parkinson’s Research