Website Traffic & Popularity — Assignment Support Page

Be sure your paper is 100% complete (and saved as PDF) BEFORE you upload it to Canvas!  When TurnItIn is enabled, you can’t easily re-upload. If your re-upload is late, the paper is late and your grade will be reduced. Extra Credit: Provide a link at the end of your paper to your paper hosted at SlideShare.net, Scribd, — or any other publicly accessible web location — for 2 extra credit points!


Tips for higher scores

  • To earn a high grade, you must incorporate information from class, and you must fully explain how you reach your conclusions. 
  • Be sure that you properly cite sources (follow guidelines provided in the Canvas module Library Resources / Citing / Articles — then scroll down to “Magazines” / Online without DOI tab). 
  • Plagiarism results in an F. Do not copy and paste information from another source and present it in your paper without attribution (properly citing). If you do use information from a source, you must explain how that information supports your ideas. A quote from a source alone, with no explanation, and no support, cannot explain your thoughts and observations. 
  • Be sure to include the charts shown. How? Watch this: https://app.vidgrid.com/embed/JPv2Zb1oOVzH
  • Be sure to include screenshots to support your observations, but not to replace them. 

Here’s a video showing an easy way to take a screenshot on a PC:

https://app.vidgrid.com/embed/steKOn7Rq2Zf

Here’s a video showing the simplest way to screenshot on a Mac:

https://app.vidgrid.com/embed/kNGQjn0PFmBD.++++++++ Your Paper Outline Begins Here  ++++++++

The site you’re analyzing  is SneakerBarDetroit.com. The company is Sneaker Bar Detroit (3 words, each capitalized).  After first reference, you can use SBD.  

Industry Overview 

The idea in these two sections is to learn about, and write about, your website and its general industry. You need to understand why your site exists, what it sells (if anything), and how it is different from similar services. 

Read and use these each of these sources, but BUT DO NOT COPY PASTE from them. Use your own words.  Papers that don’t use content from these sources will have poorer grades.

Company Information

  • Look through SneakerBarDetroit.com.
  • Take notes when you meet Caesar!
    • Afrikan Caesar will help you understand SBD and the sneaker industry. You’ll also learn the Caesar’s level of expertise, which will help you in the “Brand Trust & Authority” section.
  • As you complete the next sections, you’ll learn how SBD compares with other sneaker news websites. So, be sure to come back to this section of your paper as you learn more!

Brand Trust & Authority

Competing Site
You’ve been given a competing site: KicksOnFire.com

Learning about a similar site will give you context when you analyze your own site. You’re not doing a complete analysis of the competing site, but you are trying to understand the site enough so that you can compare and contrast the two websites.

The more time you spend understanding your competition, the better you’ll do on this and future papers!

  • Look through the site to determine how similar the content is to SBD. Check overall content coverage, but also look at some specific sneaker release items to compare with your site. Are the two sites covering the exact same sneaker release news, or is KicksOnFire doing something different?
  • Finding “behind-the-scenes” information about this site is not easy, so I’m providing you the following sources. Use these sources, but feel free to investigate on your own, as well!
  • Did you find KicksOnFire listed in any of the news sources above? Your answer should be “yes!”, so you should be including some of that information here, too. (I’m referring to the “trusted news sources” section, above.)

Quality Content Assessment

Content Overview: Assess your site’s content by:

    • Looking at all of the key sections/pages of your website.
    • Write about the types of content most used on the site (text, images, videos, etc.).
    • Posts about sneaker releases are the core of this site, so be sure to count how many release posts tend to be added every day — count many days, and look for trends: How many sneaker-release posts per day? Per week? Per month? 
    • Analyze and write about specific areas where there is a lot of content and specific areas where there is not much content.
    • Point out anything interesting you find, but stay focused just on contentdo not analyze design or user experience.

Credible Content: Focus just on ” unique content” for your paper (but all other topics will be on your exam!)

    • To understand SBD’s content, we have to look at “unique content”, so follow your class notes and be sure your paper clearly explains what “unique” means.
    • Remember: This section is NOT an assessment of design or user experience. Just focus on “unique” content.
    • As I mentioned in class, there are many tools that can help you discover if your site is guilty of posting “duplicate content” (which is the flip side / opposite of “unique” content). Those tools are listed here and you are welcome to try them out, but they will frustrate you. 
    • So, your paper should indicate that the research presented in class indicates that your site posts duplicate content. Your job will be to find some examples. You should use the technique I showed in class, which is to copy a sizeable chunk of content and search for it (in quotes) in Google. Screenshot the search results that show a number of other websites that use the exact same content. 
    • If you want a reminder of how to do this, watch this video.
    • Here are some “unique content checker” tools that may or may not work for you:
      • Use Copyscape.com for nifty, highlighted words that may be duplicated across several sites.
      • Try to use the SEO Review Tool’s site to check for “unique” content. This tool has been spotty lately, so it may not work properly.
        • It’s likely that only SBD will appear in the results; SneakerNews.com may not show any results. 
      • Also use SEO Small Tools plagiarism checker for more results. 
        • Remember: We care about “unique” content, but sometimes these free tools call this “plagiarism”. The concept is very similar, but web publishers have their own specific reasons to not copy/paste.

  1
TRAFFIC ANALYSIS
Note: In all of your traffic analysis, be sure that you clearly note the duration of your traffic data. Most traffic figures are reported by the month — be clear. You do NOT want to simply write “My site gets 45,000 unique visitors.”  This sentence provides no indication as to whether those visitors came during one day, one week, one month or one year. So, be clear about the time frame of your visit data! Follow class notes to access and analyze the data required for your paper.
Visit and Engagement Data is all from one source:

  • SEMrush — You’ll need this source for traffic data. You only get one free query a day, so after you make an account, click this link to go directly to the query you need. If you can’t access SEMrush, use the backup sources below, or use the data from this screenshot.
    • Definitions: Define each term using class notes and explain why the metric is important. 
    • Comparisons: Compare your metrics with your competing site, and come to some conclusions about the differences. This means you’ll have to speculate as to why each site has the metrics they have. Be sure to look at the trend date — are the numbers going up or down for your site? For competing site? The more time you spent learning about the industry, your site and the competing site, the more this will make sense to you, and the more you’ll have to write about/analyze.
      • Note: In SEMrush, you’ll only have access to the most recent month’s data. Please disregard any references to a 3-month trend — you do not have access to that data.
    • Returning Visitors: In this section, use your “Visits Per Unique Visitor” metric to determine how many visits each visitor produces per month. This gives you a hint as to the number of visitors that return to the site. Use your knowledge of the site’s content and purpose to analyze that number: Do you think your site visitors returning? And, is your answer good for the site or bad for the site? How does it compare with your competing site?

Backup sources:

    • Other free traffic sources:
      • SimilarWeb.com – You’ll get most of what you need without even making an account. But, you won’t get unique visitors. 
      • Quantcast.com — You can get basic information without an account. Sign up for a free account first, then run a query. 


Here’s the Bounce Rate By Industry infographic page

Here are other web averages:

Avg.  Pageviews = 4.6

Avg. Session Duration = 190 seconds or 3.1 minutesxValue Content & Engagement Improvement Recommendation Now that you know your industry (collectible sneakers), your website and a competing site, you’re ready to recommend an improvement to YOUR site that will increase the site’s value and its engagement.    Whatever your idea, be sure to FULLY describe it. If your explanation is along the lines of: “I think they should add some sort of…”, you’re probably not explaining. YOU decide what you want to include, so don’t recommend “something like”. You need to be precise, explain exactly what your recommendation is, and then show how you think it will look. You can do that by using screenshots of other, unrelated content that you mark up to make your own.  You can also sketch your concepts, take a clear and bright photo of it, and embed it in your paper.    If you choose to recommend adding  something like sneaker reviews by users, for example, you will need to explain the details of how your reviews will work, where they will appear on a page, and how they may function (Will they be sortable? If so, how? Will they relate to a specific product? To just the brand or the line of shoes?  These are the types of details you should consider.) Even though your site is not a true e-commerce site, it does depend on affiliate sales for revenue, so much of  this report should be used to justify your recommendation.   x   POPULARITY ANALYSIS     Use these sources for link data:

  • Use Neil Patel’s backlink checker for both sites.
    • This is your main source, but you need Majestic for the restricted domain data.
    • Be sure you analyze both the quantity and the quality of links. Use each link’s Domain Authority and Page Authority as primary indicators of link quality. But also use brand recognition and restricted domain knowledge.  
    • For quality analysis, use your class notes and cover the topics we covered in class. Be sure you incorporate ahref’s Domain Rating and URL Rating.
    • Trouble accessing report? You can use this PDF for SBD and this PDF for KOF. You won’t be able to click the URLs, though.
  • Majestic.com — Use this as a quick source for restricted domain link data.  
    • Be sure you explain the value of restricted domains in your Link Quality analysis.
    • Be sure to screenshot your results in case this source disappears!
    • Here are direct links for you: 

Additional backlink sources (you can see more referring links and domains here!):

Be sure your paper is 100% complete (and saved as PDF) BEFORE you upload it to Canvas!  When TurnItIn is enabled, you can’t easily re-upload. If your re-upload is late, the paper is late and your grade will be reduced. Extra Credit: Provide a link at the end of your paper to your paper hosted at SlideShare.net, Scribd, — or any other publicly accessible web location — for 2 extra credit points!


Tips for higher scores

  • To earn a high grade, you must incorporate information from class, and you must fully explain how you reach your conclusions. 
  • Be sure that you properly cite sources (follow guidelines provided in the Canvas module Library Resources / Citing / Articles — then scroll down to “Magazines” / Online without DOI tab). 
  • Plagiarism results in an F. Do not copy and paste information from another source and present it in your paper without attribution (properly citing). If you do use information from a source, you must explain how that information supports your ideas. A quote from a source alone, with no explanation, and no support, cannot explain your thoughts and observations. 
  • Be sure to include the charts shown. How? Watch this: https://app.vidgrid.com/embed/JPv2Zb1oOVzH
  • Be sure to include screenshots to support your observations, but not to replace them. 

Here’s a video showing an easy way to take a screenshot on a PC:

https://app.vidgrid.com/embed/steKOn7Rq2Zf

Here’s a video showing the simplest way to screenshot on a Mac:

https://app.vidgrid.com/embed/kNGQjn0PFmBD.++++++++ Your Paper Outline Begins Here  ++++++++

The site you’re analyzing  is SneakerBarDetroit.com. The company is Sneaker Bar Detroit (3 words, each capitalized).  After first reference, you can use SBD.  

Industry Overview 

The idea in these two sections is to learn about, and write about, your website and its general industry. You need to understand why your site exists, what it sells (if anything), and how it is different from similar services. 

Read and use these each of these sources, but BUT DO NOT COPY PASTE from them. Use your own words.  Papers that don’t use content from these sources will have poorer grades.

Company Information

  • Look through SneakerBarDetroit.com.
  • Take notes when you meet Caesar!
    • Afrikan Caesar will help you understand SBD and the sneaker industry. You’ll also learn the Caesar’s level of expertise, which will help you in the “Brand Trust & Authority” section.
  • As you complete the next sections, you’ll learn how SBD compares with other sneaker news websites. So, be sure to come back to this section of your paper as you learn more!

Brand Trust & Authority

Competing Site
You’ve been given a competing site: KicksOnFire.com

Learning about a similar site will give you context when you analyze your own site. You’re not doing a complete analysis of the competing site, but you are trying to understand the site enough so that you can compare and contrast the two websites.

The more time you spend understanding your competition, the better you’ll do on this and future papers!

  • Look through the site to determine how similar the content is to SBD. Check overall content coverage, but also look at some specific sneaker release items to compare with your site. Are the two sites covering the exact same sneaker release news, or is KicksOnFire doing something different?
  • Finding “behind-the-scenes” information about this site is not easy, so I’m providing you the following sources. Use these sources, but feel free to investigate on your own, as well!
  • Did you find KicksOnFire listed in any of the news sources above? Your answer should be “yes!”, so you should be including some of that information here, too. (I’m referring to the “trusted news sources” section, above.)

Quality Content Assessment

Content Overview: Assess your site’s content by:

    • Looking at all of the key sections/pages of your website.
    • Write about the types of content most used on the site (text, images, videos, etc.).
    • Posts about sneaker releases are the core of this site, so be sure to count how many release posts tend to be added every day — count many days, and look for trends: How many sneaker-release posts per day? Per week? Per month? 
    • Analyze and write about specific areas where there is a lot of content and specific areas where there is not much content.
    • Point out anything interesting you find, but stay focused just on contentdo not analyze design or user experience.

Credible Content: Focus just on ” unique content” for your paper (but all other topics will be on your exam!)

    • To understand SBD’s content, we have to look at “unique content”, so follow your class notes and be sure your paper clearly explains what “unique” means.
    • Remember: This section is NOT an assessment of design or user experience. Just focus on “unique” content.
    • As I mentioned in class, there are many tools that can help you discover if your site is guilty of posting “duplicate content” (which is the flip side / opposite of “unique” content). Those tools are listed here and you are welcome to try them out, but they will frustrate you. 
    • So, your paper should indicate that the research presented in class indicates that your site posts duplicate content. Your job will be to find some examples. You should use the technique I showed in class, which is to copy a sizeable chunk of content and search for it (in quotes) in Google. Screenshot the search results that show a number of other websites that use the exact same content. 
    • If you want a reminder of how to do this, watch this video.
    • Here are some “unique content checker” tools that may or may not work for you:
      • Use Copyscape.com for nifty, highlighted words that may be duplicated across several sites.
      • Try to use the SEO Review Tool’s site to check for “unique” content. This tool has been spotty lately, so it may not work properly.
        • It’s likely that only SBD will appear in the results; SneakerNews.com may not show any results. 
      • Also use SEO Small Tools plagiarism checker for more results. 
        • Remember: We care about “unique” content, but sometimes these free tools call this “plagiarism”. The concept is very similar, but web publishers have their own specific reasons to not copy/paste.

  1
TRAFFIC ANALYSIS
Note: In all of your traffic analysis, be sure that you clearly note the duration of your traffic data. Most traffic figures are reported by the month — be clear. You do NOT want to simply write “My site gets 45,000 unique visitors.”  This sentence provides no indication as to whether those visitors came during one day, one week, one month or one year. So, be clear about the time frame of your visit data! Follow class notes to access and analyze the data required for your paper.
Visit and Engagement Data is all from one source:

  • SEMrush — You’ll need this source for traffic data. You only get one free query a day, so after you make an account, click this link to go directly to the query you need. If you can’t access SEMrush, use the backup sources below, or use the data from this screenshot.
    • Definitions: Define each term using class notes and explain why the metric is important. 
    • Comparisons: Compare your metrics with your competing site, and come to some conclusions about the differences. This means you’ll have to speculate as to why each site has the metrics they have. Be sure to look at the trend date — are the numbers going up or down for your site? For competing site? The more time you spent learning about the industry, your site and the competing site, the more this will make sense to you, and the more you’ll have to write about/analyze.
      • Note: In SEMrush, you’ll only have access to the most recent month’s data. Please disregard any references to a 3-month trend — you do not have access to that data.
    • Returning Visitors: In this section, use your “Visits Per Unique Visitor” metric to determine how many visits each visitor produces per month. This gives you a hint as to the number of visitors that return to the site. Use your knowledge of the site’s content and purpose to analyze that number: Do you think your site visitors returning? And, is your answer good for the site or bad for the site? How does it compare with your competing site?

Backup sources:

    • Other free traffic sources:
      • SimilarWeb.com – You’ll get most of what you need without even making an account. But, you won’t get unique visitors. 
      • Quantcast.com — You can get basic information without an account. Sign up for a free account first, then run a query. 


Here’s the Bounce Rate By Industry infographic page

Here are other web averages:

Avg.  Pageviews = 4.6

Avg. Session Duration = 190 seconds or 3.1 minutesxValue Content & Engagement Improvement Recommendation Now that you know your industry (collectible sneakers), your website and a competing site, you’re ready to recommend an improvement to YOUR site that will increase the site’s value and its engagement.    Whatever your idea, be sure to FULLY describe it. If your explanation is along the lines of: “I think they should add some sort of…”, you’re probably not explaining. YOU decide what you want to include, so don’t recommend “something like”. You need to be precise, explain exactly what your recommendation is, and then show how you think it will look. You can do that by using screenshots of other, unrelated content that you mark up to make your own.  You can also sketch your concepts, take a clear and bright photo of it, and embed it in your paper.    If you choose to recommend adding  something like sneaker reviews by users, for example, you will need to explain the details of how your reviews will work, where they will appear on a page, and how they may function (Will they be sortable? If so, how? Will they relate to a specific product? To just the brand or the line of shoes?  These are the types of details you should consider.) Even though your site is not a true e-commerce site, it does depend on affiliate sales for revenue, so much of  this report should be used to justify your recommendation.   x   POPULARITY ANALYSIS     Use these sources for link data:

  • Use Neil Patel’s backlink checker for both sites.
    • This is your main source, but you need Majestic for the restricted domain data.
    • Be sure you analyze both the quantity and the quality of links. Use each link’s Domain Authority and Page Authority as primary indicators of link quality. But also use brand recognition and restricted domain knowledge.  
    • For quality analysis, use your class notes and cover the topics we covered in class. Be sure you incorporate ahref’s Domain Rating and URL Rating.
    • Trouble accessing report? You can use this PDF for SBD and this PDF for KOF. You won’t be able to click the URLs, though.
  • Majestic.com — Use this as a quick source for restricted domain link data.  
    • Be sure you explain the value of restricted domains in your Link Quality analysis.
    • Be sure to screenshot your results in case this source disappears!
    • Here are direct links for you: 

Additional backlink sources (you can see more referring links and domains here!):