I know from my own experiences, people are obsessed with traffic, statistics, looking at other sites – tracking their stats and so on. And if there is enough demand, of course there are sites to satisfy you.

I wanted to put those sites and tools in one list together, because at least for me this field was really unclear – I didn’t know what  Google Pagerank, Alexa, Compete, Technorati rankings and  so on meant.

I must say not always these stats are precise, but they give at least an overview, how popular the certain page is, how many visitors that sites gets – and if you compare those stats with your site statistics, you can get pretty precise results then.

I also use several FireFox and Chrome add-ons to track website traffic, so I don’t have to type and go to statistic related webpages to get the results.

Results actually came to me in this way, allowing me comfortably browse, explore and compare sites I visit.

Now I am so used to living with these toolbars, I can’t imagine my browsing life without them.  And just a thought – can you imagine how useful marketing information is to have about your competitors?? I just love Internet world :). Okay, now let’s get to the actual article.

I will start with actual FireFox plugins (just google the same for Chrome) I use.

This article is all about tracking your website’s traffic and how to increase it. Check the table of contents and see what interests you.

Table of Contents:

  1. What Are The Best Ways To Track Website Traffic And Spy on Competitors
  2. Things And Tools To Consider When Analyzing Competitors
  3. 10 Efficient Ways to Build Quality Links to Your Website
  4. Traffic Building Tools And Websites
  5. More Link and traffic building resources
  6. Build Your Own  Visitor Tracking System

What Are The Best Ways To Track Website Traffic And Spy on Competitors in 2016?

If you want to know where the traffic is coming from and possibly see where the competitors get their traffic these tools are going to make that happen. These tools are also going to get you insights into your traffic volume and more. Let’s start.

Editors Choice: SimilarWeb

But before I start, I wanted to mention SimilarWeb, it is a newcomer, but it has gained huge popularity over the years. Nowadays I just use this website to spy on competitors and then I check Alexa rankings to compare how I am doing against others.

Check Website Traffic With SimilarWeb

If I could recommend one traffic checking tool, I would recommend SimilarWeb.

Also check SimilarWeb preview video to see how much it actually can do, it has been used by top marketers in industry..to even spy on competitor best performing ads and traffic sources.

1. SearchStatus

I couldn’t live without this useful plugin, which tracks Alexa, compete ranking and Google LivePageRank. If you didn’t know Alexa and Compete sites are the most popular and trustworthy sites letting you track statistics about sites worldwide, compare them and so on. And who hasn’t heard about this popular Google ranking system? If you haven’t, check out Google official blog to find out more.

You can download this add-on here.

searchstatus

2. Compete Toolbar + Compete Site

compete

compete-toolbar

3. Google Analytics

analytics

4. Alexa

alexa

Get Alexa Toolbar here / Visit Homepage

5. Quarkbase

quarkbase

6. QuantCast

quantcast-site

7. PopUri.us

popuri

8. Website Grader

website-garden

9. BuySellAds

buysellads

I could continue, but I thought for statistics with these sites should be already more than enough. Enjoy the list to help you in marketing, SEO or just to satisfy your curiosity about other site statistics.

Now let’s take a look at how Google Analytics can help you drive traffic to your website.

Things And Tools To Consider When Analyzing Competitors

Being secured in your online business is not all about setting up your defenses but also by analyzing your competitors. Keeping track of what services they offer work for them and how they bring people into their site will provide a good overview of how to improve your business. No matter how they hide their trails, there will always be tools that will let you analyze and track your competitors.

1. Identify Your Competitors

First thing to do is to identify your competitors. I find SimilarSites.com accurate and one of the most simplest tool to use.

It has a voting system for every result if it is similar or not and SimilarSites also gives you a view of what your competitors are good at: www.example.com is rank 1 in WordPress tutorial, 13 in Photoshop tutorial, 2 in web resources, etc.

2. Search Engine Ranking

It is important that you know Page Rank. Google ranks websites according to their popularity, and obviously it gives you an idea on how competitors use their resources effectively.

An alternative to Google Page Rank is SEOmoz.com. Free registration and you are good to go with their Trifecta Tool Report. They have their own ranking system which I fancy, reading “44% – Somewhat Important”. Better to top all rankings instead of just one, right? However, regular members can only run one report per day.

3. Traffic is good for business

Analyzing your competitors’ traffic gives you an idea on the number of visitors they get. Google Trends, Alexa, GetClicky are good tools to compare statistics, they let you see on what regions the website is doing great as well as what search terms prospect visitors might search for. It is also good to note competitors that are not doing well in order to avoid being like them, more like a grave example.

The next thing to know, after learning what websites have good traffic, is how effective their keywords and link building is.

4. Importance of Keywords

It all comes down to keywords, it tells search engines the content of your site. Wrong keyword means no traffic. A successful competitor knows full well what keywords to use to harvest visitors to their site.

A tool to see good keywords in your niche is SEOdigger.com.

It provides a list of domains with common keywords and shows the position of the site for the search query in Google and what among them brings more traffic. It gives you enough facility to compare several competitors’ performance in SEO.

There are many instances when a higher PR website is outmatched by those with lower PRs, this is due to careful manipulation and good use of keywords. Thankfully you can see what keywords your competitors are using and which of them has the biggest impact. That’s what I call handy.

I almost forgot to mention Google Wonder Wheel. It provides relevant terms of your search query of what is gaining popularity among searchers. Neat, eh?

5. Backlinks

Backlinks do two things to help promote your site if done correctly. First it serves as a tunnel from a website to yours, if the referring website is of high standing the better. Second it boosts your keywords. Have I not said that it’s all about keywords?

Knowing who the promoters are of sites within your niche is like learning some of the enemy’s strategies. This may serve you well in terms of knowing what direction your linkbuilding should go. It will be a good thing if the website that links to your competitor will take interest in you as well. Remember that good competitors have good backlinks.

6. Social Networks

Facebook is aiming to be the web’s standard for everything you do online. With its Open Graph, websites will customize themselves based on their users’ interests through the Like button. Imagine logging in to Amazon and finding all of the things that interests you neatly arranged on their home page without even having to search for it. Just thinking about it makes me shiver! It is predicted that in the very near future, Facebook will be the one to drive more traffic on websites, the blood of e-commerce! And most likely other major networking sites will follow this lead.

Consider following your competitors on Twitter and subscribe to their newsletter and blog. You may also want to  search Twitter and see what people are posting about your search query and know how they’re feeling about it.

Other tools to use:

There are more than a hundred tools in the web for analyzing competition, below are some of the easiest to use:

Alexa

Estimates global traffic for websites. It is pretty flexible. You may compare statistics on the spot,  who the audience is,  worldwide traffic rank, and many more.

Visible.net

It boasts 4 main tools  in running reports for good estimate of site analysis, performance, and general recommendation.

SEOprofiler.com

Provides most of the information you need about backlinks.

GetClicky

Another great tool to track web traffic.  Boasts analytics in real-time.

Google Alerts

If you feel like spying and be alerted whenever your competitors appear in the web then Google Alerts is right for you. It is pretty flexible and fast too. I remember using it to keep track of Harry Potter and in just a day almost 300  blogs, videos, news, and everything appeared about my search term! People are broadcasting about this fantastic website? Be alerted and see why.

These are free tools that you can use to analyze your website and competitors. There are a lot of paid tools out there but most have the same usage as the tools above.

Everywhere you go, information and correct execution leads to success. Good luck to all!

The next few sections will be reserved for backlink and traffic building. If you are starting something new or maybe you already have a blog and want to get noticed and gain higher traffic and Google ranking, you just have to read these. Ready? Ok, let’s start.

10 Efficient Ways to Build Quality Links to Your Website

Link building is the most difficult task in SEO, no doubt. Why? Because it is time-consuming, and requires careful research, and the results of which are not guaranteed. For the same reason, many SEOs either outsource the work or go for quick link building campaigns like softwares or simply ignore the whole thing focusing on onsite optimization – which is by far a more comfortable task.

I strongly believe that (and I have my experience to back it up) without link building your SEO campaign is not complete. You can tweak your template and rework on your content but if they don’t get a proper link building backup, you’re not going anywhere.

Before we start, let me list a few guidelines on effective link building.

Guidelines to Effective Link Building

1. Link building should not be a quick fix process.

Because Google knows what’s happening under the hood, it’s never recommended to boost up your link profile immediately or in any unnatural time frame. 1000 links in three months? Sounds made up right? And Google knows it. So, link building always has to be gradual and “natural”.

2. Do not try to game the system.

Technically, we might be trying to game the system, but make sure it’s not aggressively stupid. You need to research what your natural niche is and leverage it. For example, if you have a website about “Red Apples” you need to stick to building backlinks on Apples and Red Apples not Oranges or Green Apples.

3. Link Building should go hand in hand with other SEO efforts.

There is no problem if it is otherwise, but  link building works most effectively when you also do other SEO like content building and on site optimization.

4. Relevancy should be the key factor.

Make sure you have enough content on your website that when found or discovered through your new links compliments to your anchor texts and article. This might sound like very general advice but this is extremely important. Make sure your anchor texts are carefully drafted and the content they link to are optimized well.

10 Efficient ways to build quality backlinks to your website

1. Clever use of guest posts is the easiest way to get quality backlinks

SEO experts will agree that in link building, more than the number of links you make it’s the contextual nature of the links that matters most to search engines. For example, imagine you have a website design studio, and you’re on a link building spree. Instead of getting random links from web directories it makes sense to get a couple of links from related domains like web design blogs or web design software websites. So, scout for opportunities to write content for such websites. Many web design software studios have their blog and accept content from their users. Make use of it. Now, this doesn’t mean that you can write a ten line paragraph and expect them to feature you on the blog. No. Make sure its a win-win situation and write something that they will benefit from as well. Like a nice tutorial on how to use their design software for web design, or how you used the software on one of your projects. This way, they would be encouraged to post your content on their blog and possibly give back a quality backlink to your website.Think about it.

2. Want links in big numbers? Try directory submissions

Even when we talk about quality, its important that we also build links in good quantity. Because quantity really matters as well. And talking about quantity, the best way to build links in bulk is to go for directory submissions. But here’s the catch. When you go for directory submissions, there are lots of services that promise the sun and the moon. Research well, before taking the plunge. A good web design or a good sales page may not mean a good service. Check out the forums or even ask for recommendations on social media, and figure out if they are reliable services. And my recommendation is that you go for “themes directory submissions”. What are they?

Well, themed directory submissions are link building via directories based on a theme. For example, if you have a website designing service, you might want to submit your website to all those directories who list web design/design services rather than general categories. Google values such themed (contextual) links more than general links. But this doesn’t mean that they are the best contextual links you can get.

3. Testimonials

Testimonials are a good way to build relevant and high quality backlinks. You’ve seen it on all the product showcases, websites, apps everywhere. Hunt for newly launched web services or products and offer them a good testimonial. This requires you to try out the service and give a credible recommendation. Now, you’ve also got to make sure that your you have a good reputation to hold on to. Because, those companies are looking for credible and influential folks to testify for them, not everyone. So make sure you have a decent profile.

4. Press Releases are your friend when it comes to link building

Press Releases, without doubt are an easy (and expensive) way to build links to a website. And, the plus is that you have perfect control over the copy, content and the backlink. Sending press releases can be an expensive affair, but doing it once in a while will only help you with your link building methods. At the same time, please do not consider them as replacements to your link building strategy. They are only bonuses, because links from press release websites are only given little importance by Google. They probably realize that they are paid links, so people with more money could manipulate the search engine system with these links so they see them that way. However, what I like most in press releases are the fact that you have control over what backlink and anchor text to select while going for it. Make use of it, as you’re paying for it.

5. Article Submissions

They are just like guest blogs, but more generic and are submitted through article marketing directories. The good thing about article submissions is that they can be controlled and can be submitted to appropriate contextual directories. At the same time, there is a problem with article submission, that they are less relevant in importance. Since there are many articles submitted and most of them are primarily written for link building, article submissions are not valued much by Google. The fix (well almost) to this problem is that you can go for reputed article writers than just about anybody. Reputed article writers will have a legacy to carry and their articles are promoted more than the average article. So make use of it.

6. Infographics

Infographics are the new way of marketing. It’s the perfect combination of social media and SEO. They have two advantages. One, they being visually amazing, can be a super hit on social media if done properly. Two, they can be an amazing link building tool. There are several infographic designers available these days, so hiring one would be the best way to go about. With your company’s content in place, what you got to do is figure out how it can be manipulated to make it social media savvy. This requires some amount of thinking and brainstorming, but once you figure it out, it should be say integrating it to a design. Once the design is ready, make sure you plug it into your blog with the necessary HTML code snippet that allows people to embed it on their websites. When they do, you should be getting a backlink. And obviously, you know how to edit the code so that your required anchor text is plugged in.

7. Social Media and Bookmarking

There is a reason why I combined both. Social Media is very generic. In my opinion, for anything to be worth the time on social media, it has to go viral or become popular. And this means creating viral content. Content that will be duplicated on other websites and blogs. A lot of it will be copied without attribution but around 10% will be attributed. And with attribution you get the backlinks. So whenever you create content on social media, make sure it is linkable and shareable. A good way to crack this is to seed the content on various social media bookmarking websites. Once they get popular on those websites, it gets the attention it needs from people who would gladly republish the content to their websites. Some of the most prominent websites are Digg, Reddit, Delicious.com, StumbleUpon, and others. Each of them have a different way of working, and requires separate strategies to make it to the top (and lot of luck), but if you can reach the front page then you are on your way to success.

8. Offer giveaways

An amazing way to build links and add the buzz is to go for free giveaways. People love free stuff and they would do anything for it. Now, depending upon how amazing your giveaway is, there shall be more interest. Haven’t you seen the free iPhone give away scam? A lot of people fell for it. But that’s not the point. It was a scam. But if you have a good product to giveaway, there’s always people listening. So make sure you have a good product/gift/software to give away first. You can get this done by either buying them or arranging a partnership with the owners. They too wouldn’t mind some buzz. While giving away, also make sure that you ask people to review your site or your product, there by increasing their chances to win. Also make sure that you have planned enough time frame planned in advance so you get the most of excitement. A well designed giveaway never fails.

9. Buying Links

As a white hat SEO, I’d never recommend it. However, if you know how to spot a good quality potential website that can give you a link, don’t miss the chance. Buying links in my opinion is tricky. The first law is not to encourage blind offers that come to you offering links. Chances are that those guys are link vendors who’ve been doing it for long time now and would most likely have accrued black points from Google. So avoid anything mainstream. Instead go scout yourself for potential good linkers and buy from them. It’s always safe and better.

10. Develop a free theme

This works well with bloggers. Bloggers love new themes and design packs. Design something incredibly useful and give it away with proper credits in place. Make sure you use your required anchor texts in place. A theme is a good choice because not only will you receive reviews on your theme, but people who will actually use the theme on the websites will link back to you as well.

Bonus: Get link from scrapers

Now, that’s not something you hear often, is it? Well, the thing is everything matters. This probably only appears to popular blogs and websites but hey, you never know. What happens is that for popular blogs, there are often scrapers copying content. They copy the RSS feed and automatically copy content from the site as they are published. There is no particularly effective way to stop this but there is something you can do to your benefit. Add links in your content to yourself. There are different ways to do it or you could use a plugin to get it done. Anyways,make sure you have a good link on your content and footer (of the RSS feed) so that who ever scrapes your content is forced to link back to you. ;)

These are the most efficient ways to build backlinks, but be careful with buying links, it’s really not recommended by SEO experts. The next section will be about techniques for building backlinks.

Traffic Building Tools And Websites: Social Marketing And Link Building For Designers

A lot has changed now and social media is changing rapidly. This article will help you see hidden gold mines you can discover to build a lot of back links, bring huge social media traffic and enjoy the whole process along the way.

I participate in social media mainly because I need traffic, but I also enjoy that I am able to communicate with a lot of people, find good articles I would never find otherwise and learn a lot of stuff all the time! And this skill always comes handy whenever you deal with the Internet – everybody needs more traffic, more buyers, more visibility and good brand built online!

In this section you won’t find advanced explanations how to use each of the services, just basic tips, you’ll get a glimpse of everything. I am creating this article for my own one stop place while doing promotion.

Work hard on bigger networks and submit your links to small social sharing sites, submit news and in the end you’ll get good back links, good visibility and social traffic! My own 1stWebDesigner success is built through these websites, which allowed me to get 50,000 unique visitors to my site in its first month of existence. Now I have developed my skills and I am giving you tools and sites which work today (however I also added comments on sites, which are popular but are hard to master, be aware of these too).

1. Twitter

Twitter-websites-promote-articles-social

Twitter, undoubtedly is the largest source of visitors for many blogs and websites nowadays. Do it the right way and you’ll see how the conversion rate rises. Twitter can be a big waste of time so check out some of the tools I recommend to automate some of the tasks and spend your precious time just on things that really matter and produce the greatest benefit to your company.

There are some great tools to use to effectively automate your account and easily follow up conversations.
My top picks are:

BufferApp

This online application will help you in your daily browsing by allowing you to schedule your posts to Twitter any time you visit a worthy link, article, picture, video – and the best thing is this app will analyze your Twitter followers and will schedule tweets at times when your audience is the most responsive and active. I tried several apps for tweet scheduling, but this is by far the best I’ve found so far!

Bufferapp social media promotion tool

Dlvr.it

If you own the blog as I do you will want to promote your articles on Twitter, Facebook and more with ease. Dlvr.it automates this process by tweeting and posting articles on Facebook automatically once they are published. Small app is a huge time saver! This site also has a lot more built in features such as analysis, automatically adding a hash tag and more. Irreplaceable tool in your social media promotion toolbox.

Dlvr it social media promotion tool

Tweetdeck

Since Twitter purchased Tweetdeck they have released a new version together with the new Twitter. The new version of Tweetdeck is stripped down, but for me it still fulfills my needs and if Twitter owns it I am sure they will maintain top quality and fix any bugs it might have. I love Tweetdeck’s multiple columns, the previous version wasn’t running smoothly on Mac, but this one certainly is!

My suggestion is to use Tweetdeck for closer communication with your followers and getting to know more people.  Be sure to also check @ replies to thank you for retweets and engage in conversations you started.

Tweetdeck social media promotion tool

Triberr

This is a lovely ‘invite only’ community which is built all around the concept of tribes. The basic idea is to become a part of a like-minded tribe, where everybody is interested in a particular topic. There you just add your RSS feed and other people in your tribe will see your updates and will tweet your posts if they find them interesting. It’s like a link exchange service, only you choose what to promote, of course you need to be in the right tribe with people who don’t just spam their users, but search for value – and these people actually will help you the most if they choose to tweet your article! Friendly community and it was the most buzzed about Twitter community project a few months ago. Worth a shot.

Ask on Twitter for invites or ask me.
Tribber social media promotion tool

2. Facebook

Facebook-websites-promote-articles-social
Facebook, the other social giant, and specifically Facebook pages are definitely a great way to promote your content. Note that FB is different from Twitter, for example, you need to post here just 1-2 times daily and here you need to work much harder to get attention and drive traffic. Focus on high quality – I usually curate Twitter tweets from BufferApp and post the top performing tweets on Facebook.

Also try to mix these updates with questions, ask your visitors opinions about trendy topics, create contests there – provide value! Ah and by the way I am using Dlvr.it for 1WD Facebook page to automatically post new 1WD articles there.

3. StumbleUpon

Stumbleupon-websites-promote-articles-social
StumbleUpon was a serious traffic source before Twitter and Facebook flourished and I believe it will be back on track after the redesign.

Here are some quick tips on how to gain friends, get more shares and traffic in result.

You cannot get anywhere with friends that are interested in the same topic you are and would want to exchange stumbles between each other. One way to increase your profile visibility would be just to stumble like crazy, leave reviews on another similar websites and hope you will be noticed, but I suggest you to take the  smarter route. Reach all the people directly, find the ones who are active and are interested in the same niche – approach them, explain how you can both benefit from being friends and if you’re lucky – you’ll get your first SU friend! Repeat this process until you are happy and you have enough people in your circle.

The second step is to actually fulfill your promises – stumble what your friends are sharing from the bookmarklet SU provides and ask the same back! However don’t go crazy, only promote really good stuff and remember that SU people have short attention spans – so focus on images or video instead of long text articles! Sharing is clunky, you need to click one by one to each person you want to share your website with, but you’ll get your rewards. Just be consistent and SU can be beautiful first traffic and ongoing traffic forever!

To let you dig deeper, here is a beautiful SU traffic guide.

4. Digg

Ah, there were good Digg days, when it was possible to get really good traffic easily here, remember the famous Digg effect and traffic spikes? Well, now everything has changed and if you’re super smart and knowledgeable, you can try Digg, but for most of us it is just a big waste of time.

Not recommended anymore for easy traffic – Twitter, Facebook, SU are much better ways to build your brand and together with it, drive traffic. With Digg mostly it was just about traffic, but now even that’s lost – they don’t have much traffic anymore even if you get on the front page, and believe me it’s super hard to get there anyway. I was a Digg power user and still 1WD only made it to the front page a few times where twice it was quickly buried and twice we got really good traffic, but it was very a small amount for the amount of effort we put in to get there in the first place.
Digg-websites-promote-articles-social
Of course, despite all the bad luck with redesigns Digg is still a significant player in the game of social promoting if you really know how to play that game.

5. Designbump

Designbump-websites-promote-articles-social
Although it has become a little neglected Designbump still is a useful library to find tons of design related news around the web. I suggest this one especially for building links, you need to get 9-10 votes to get on the front page, but even if you don’t, you still show up in their database.

The traffic building tips on Designbump are the same as SU, write personal messages to like-minded, active people and work on exchanging votes. Do not waste too much here though, because traffic isn’t that great.

6. Google+

Yet not reached it’s potential till now, Google+ is a powerful social network the largest bloggers are already using actively. Google+ is the newest player in the social media field, but it’s been growing quickly and it is predicted it will reach 200 million users in 2012.

Here it’s all about the people and the circles you establish – if you can build up a strong following, you will get great rewards!
Google+-websites-promote-articles-social

7. Reddit

Reddit is tough one, because it is a very strong and private community which neglects outside promoters who just want to build traffic. My suggestion is – if you cannot blend in with the community and mix up your submissions and activity with promotion, don’t even start here. You’ll get burned quickly. But however if you love a geeky community and would enjoy spending free time there anyway, you can get high rewards, most of Digg’s traffic went to Reddit after it’s redesign, remember that!
Reddit-websites-promote-articles-social

8. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is changing all the time and actually improving, I’ve tried using their forums and promoted my articles through there and surprisingly got some traffic easily. But basically all you need to do is to provide value, be active and make use of that community! The same way as all other social networks: you need to communicate and approach many people to gain attention, nothing will come if you don’t ask for it and actually initiate the first step.

Here is good article explaining how to use the new LinkedIn company pages.
Linkedin social media promotion tool

9. Ffffound

Ffffound-websites-promote-articles-social
Ffffound is another image bookmarking service where you can submit your inspiration related content.

12. Designm.ag

Design-mag-websites-promote-articles-social
The community news is one of the major sections of DesignM.ag. All submissions will be moderated yet they’re charging a review fee of $2.99 so that may hold lot of people back.

13. Designflavr

Designflavr-websites-promote-articles-social

14. Fuel network

Fuel-websites-promote-articles-social
Fuel network consists of 9 websites. Anyone can submit links with a short description which will then appear in the sidebar.

15. 10steps

10steps-websites-promote-articles-social

17. Desizntech

Desiznertech-websites-promote-articles-social

18. Instantshift

Instantshift-websites-promote-articles-social

19. Fubiz

Fubiz-websites-promote-articles-social
Fubiz is a superb place to find inspiration and they’ve got a quick link feed in the sidebar where you can submit your links.

22. CSS Drive

Cssdrive-websites-promote-articles-social

23. Designrfix

Designrfix-websites-promote-articles-social

25. Dzone

Dzone-websites-promote-articles-social

27. Tutorial9

Tutorial9 used to be a big Photoshop tutorial site, but David Legget decided to change it all and  now it’s more of a design article curation site with a growing community. Submit your best design related content here.

Tutorial9 social media promotion tool

28. Zootool

Zootool-websites-promote-articles-social
Bookmarking services with search feature like Zootool can be a great way to attract new readers.

More Link and traffic building resources:

It wouldn’t be fair just to leave you with simple list right? That’s why I found and included several more articles, which I found outstanding and super valuable to read for anybody interested in link building and social media marketing! Here you go..

  • Viperchill SEO and Social media categories – SEO, link building and tips how to attract traffic. Learn how to do keyword research, learn powerful link building techniques. On social media page you’ll get a lot of social media traffic building tips and different look on everything – switch on stealth mode and be ready to be educated!
  • 5 Ways to Use Google+ to Improve Your Search Engine Optimization – behind Google+ is Google which means you will leverage a lot in search results if you use this service, learn how to do it!
  • Top 20 Social Media Blogs 2012 – SocialMediaExaminer is searching for top social media blogs and each site here has amazing articles, if you want to be social media guru, you need to improve all the time. Check these blogs and subscribe to your favorites for daily social media tips and inspiration!
  • 30 Brilliant Social Media Marketing Tips From 2011 – in this article you’ll discover 30 tips from all the most known websites in this niche! A lot of ideas you should consider in your own social media promotion.
  • Backlinks Checker Tool – See all sites where are backlink to your site.
  • SEO PowerSuite – Turn your website into an unshakable search engine leader with the only world-standard SEO software. (See video)
  • Knowem – Allows you to check for the use of your brand, product, personal name or username instantly on over 400 popular and emerging social media websites.
  • Link Exchange Directory – Gain only one-way inbound links.
  • Kwmap – A keyword map for the whole internet.
  • Google Adwords – Shows similar and searched keywords.
  • Keyword density check – This tool parse the most frequently keyword of a website and calculates his percentage share.
  • KeywordDifficultyTool – Get data on any keyword term / phrase including Keyword Difficulty scores & Google AdWords search volume.
  • SEO for Firefox – Pulls useful market research data right into Google’s and Yahoo!’s search results.
  • Alexa Ranks – Alexa page rank.
  • Raven Internet Marketing Tools – Manage your SEO and Social Media, Research and track keywords and competitors.
  • Backlink Builder – Building quality backlinks.
  • Linkvalue and Linkprice calculator – The linkprice calculator reckon the link value per month of a entered website. This link value is calculated from many search engines important factors.
  • Ahrefs position explorer – check where you stand in Google.
  • Rank Checker – Rank checking tool allows you to check your rankings in Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft Live search results.
  • URL rewriting tool – Rewrites ugly url to SEO friendly.
  • Title And Meta Tags Generator – Helps to choose title and meta tags.
  • Different Data Page Rank – With the Multi PageRank Check you can check the PageRank from different google data centers.
  • Google Gadgets – These allow you to make SEO tools conveniently available anywhere.
  • and a big list of other SEO tools,
  • … and here too.

Okay and finally I wanted to ask what are your favorite social media and content marketing techniques and back link building tools, you use? Don’t be greedy – share them with us so we all can improve, it won’t hurt anybody!

Next thing up will be a few tips on how to increase traffic to your website.

Build Your Own  Visitor Tracking System

If you want a personalized visit tracker that shows you only what you need? This is the right place to be! In this tutorial we will show you how to build your own small tracking system! If you have a website, you are probably interested in knowing who visits you site. You might want to know the number of visitors, where are they from, how did they get to your site, etc. There are some online tracking options available, like google analytics or if you are using a hosting service they might offer some statistics.

Today We Are Building Your Own Visit Tracker

Updated: April 23, 2013

I’ll show you how to build a small tracking system with this small tracker php script that saves the following information about your visitors in a database: their ip address, their location (country and city) based on their ip, the date and time of their visit, some information about the browser they used and their operating system, the referer (if they clicked on a link on another site to get to yours, you will know which site referred them) and the query string they searched for in case they were referred by a search engine. I will also show you how to check if the visitor was a bot (these are software applications that run automated tasks over the Internet). I’ll show you how to write this small script and also a page with some statistics from the database.

You can download the source code here. You can also see a live demonstration here.

First, we need a table in the database to hold the information about the visitors. We’ll call it “tracker”.

We’ll need the following columns in the table: id, date, time, ip, country, city, query_string, http_referer, http_user_agent, isbot (this will hold the value 1 is the user is a bot and 0 otherwise).

Here’s the sql command needed to create the table:


CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS `tracker` (
`id` int(11) NOT NULL auto_increment,
`date` date NOT NULL,
`time` time NOT NULL,
`ip` text NOT NULL,
`country` text NOT NULL,
`city` text NOT NULL,
`query_string` text NOT NULL,
`http_referer` text NOT NULL,
`http_user_agent` text NOT NULL,
`isbot` int(11) NOT NULL,
PRIMARY KEY (`id`)
);

Next, we’ll need a small php script that finds out all the needed info and inserts it into the database.

Here are the things we will need to do:

  • Get the necessary info from the server
  • Find the location based on the ip address
  • Check if the visitor is a bot
  • Insert everything into the database

Here’s the code to retrieve the information from the server:


$ip = $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];
$query_string = $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'];
$http_referer = $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'];
$http_user_agent = $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'];

$_SERVER is an array containing information such as headers, paths, and script locations. The entries in this array are created by the web server. We will save the ip of the visitor ($_SERVER[‘REMOTE_ADDR’]), the referrer ($_SERVER[‘HTTP_REFERER’]), the query string user to search ($_SERVER[‘QUERY_STRING’]) and the data about the visitors browser and operating system (SERVER[‘HTTP_USER_AGENT’]).

The function to check if a visitor is a bot looks like this:


function is_bot()
{
$botlist = array("Teoma", "alexa", "froogle", "Gigabot", "inktomi",
"looksmart", "URL_Spider_SQL", "Firefly", "NationalDirectory",
"Ask Jeeves", "TECNOSEEK", "InfoSeek", "WebFindBot", "girafabot",
"crawler", "www.galaxy.com", "Googlebot", "Scooter", "Slurp",
"msnbot", "appie", "FAST", "WebBug", "Spade", "ZyBorg", "rabaz",
"Baiduspider", "Feedfetcher-Google", "TechnoratiSnoop", "Rankivabot",
"Mediapartners-Google", "Sogou web spider", "WebAlta Crawler","TweetmemeBot",
"Butterfly","Twitturls","Me.dium","Twiceler");
foreach($botlist as $bot)
{
if(strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], $bot) !== false)
return true;
}
return false;
}

I have found a list of bots. To check is a visitor is a bot, we need to check the $_SERVER[‘HTTP_USER_AGENT’] variable.

Finding out the location details using the ip address is a bit more difficult. We will need to make a request to a server that finds this sort of information, get the result from the server, parse the result and get the country and city names. We will be using the API from ipinfodb.com. To be able to use their service, you will need to request a free API key. You can find more info about how to get one and how to use their service on their site.

The php code we need looks like this:

include('ip2locationlite.class.php');
//Load the class
$ipLite = new ip2location_lite;
$ipLite->setKey('ADD_API_KEY_HERE');

//Get errors and locations
$locations = $ipLite->getCity($ip);
$errors = $ipLite->getError();

//Getting the result
if (!empty($locations) && is_array($locations)) {
foreach ($locations as $field => $val) {
if ($field == 'countryName')
$country = $val;
if ($field == 'cityName')
$city = $val;
}
}

The php class is provided by ipinfodb to make it easier for us to use the service. Make sure to set the API key in the code. All this code does is to call the getCity() method from their API to get the location info and check in the result for the values we want (city and country names).

We set the $isbot variable to 1 if the visitor is a bot and 0 otherwise. We will save this variable in the database.



if (is_bot())
$isbot = 1;
else
$isbot = 0;

We’ll get the system date and time


$date = date("Y-m-d");
$time = date("H:i:s");

We’ve retrieved all the information we wanted! Next, we will have to add all the information into the database.

We need to set the database server, database name, user name and password, then connect to the database server and the database.


$server = "SERVER NAME";
$username = "USER NAME";
$password = "PASSWORD";
$database = "DATABASE NAME";
$connId = mysql_connect($server,$username,$password) or die("Cannot connect to server");
$selectDb = mysql_select_db($database,$connId) or die("Cannot connect to database");

Another thing we have to be careful about is preventing any sql injection attacks. For this, we will have to apply the method mysql_real_escape_string() to all values before inserting them into the database.

Then, we run the query to insert the information into the tracker table.


$query = "insert into `tracker` (`country`,`city`,`date`, `time`, `ip`, `query_string`, `http_referer`, `http_user_agent`, `isbot`)
values ('$country','$city','$date', '$time', '$ip', '$query_string', '$http_referer' ,'$http_user_agent' , $isbot)";
$result = mysql_query($query);

All the information we wanted is now saved in the database!

All we need to do now is include this script in the main page of the site and we can track the visitors! We could also add this script to the other pages of the site, add another variable to hold the page name and insert this in the database as well. This way, we will know exactly what pages did the user browse on the site.

I’ll also show you how to create a page to view some statistics. There are loads of statistics that you may want to view using the information from the database. I’ll show you a small example, which will do the following:

  • show the number of unique visitors
  • show a table with all the visitors

The code for this is shown below.

<html>

<head>
<title>Statistics</title>
</head>

<body>

<h1>Statistics</h1>

<br/><br/>

The number of unique visitors is:
<?php
// connect to the database

// fill in your databasa data here!
$server = "SERVER NAME";
$username = "USER NAME";
$password = "PASSWORD";
$database = "DATABASE NAME";

$connId = mysql_connect($server,$username,$password) or die("Cannot connect to server");
$selectDb = mysql_select_db($database,$connId) or die("Cannot connect to database");

// get the number of unique visitors
$query = "select distinct ip from tracker";
$result = mysql_query($query);
$number = mysql_num_rows($result);

// show the number
echo $number;
?>

<br/><br/>

Site's visitors:
<br/><br/>
<table border="1">
<tr>
<th>Id</th>
<th>IP</th>
<th>Country</th>
<th>City</th>
<th>Referer</th>
<th>Is a bot?</th>
</tr>
<?php
// get the list of visitors
$query = "select * from tracker";
$result = mysql_query($query);
while ($row = mysql_fetch_array($result))
{
?>
<tr>
<td><?php echo $row['id'];?></td>
<td><?php echo $row['ip'];?></td>
<td><?php echo $row['country'];?></td>
<td><?php echo $row['city'];?></td>
<td><?php echo $row['http_referer'];?></td>
<td><?php if ($row['isbot']==1) echo "yes"; else echo "no";?></td>
</tr>
<?php
}
?>
</table>

</body>

</html>

What we’ve done was to retrieve the information from the database using the appropriate sql queries and print the information on the screen.

And that’s about it! We now have a visitor tracker!

If you have questions, comments or need further details on something, please let me know. I’d be happy to help!

Conclusion

As you can see there is a big number of tools, websites, and techniques to track traffic and build backlinks. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you to do your job better and enjoy the ride along the way. Tell us what you think and what are you using to build traffic and backlinks?

Editorial Team

Written by Editorial Team

66 Comments

  1. Wow now that’s what I call a complete list there Vikas! Pretty much everything you need to learn and implement seo on your own site. Another keyword tracking tool that I love using is ahrefs. It gives you super in-depth keyword and link data about your site that you don’t see on other trackers.

    Reply

  2. Great list of tools!
    I’d like to add Clickback WEB, a website visitor tracking tool, that can not only track website visits but also identify what companies are visiting your site so you can generate more leads – quickly!

    Reply

  3. This is an excellent list of tools to track traffic.
    I use semrush and its pretty accurate for any website. Semrush is deserved to be added in that list.

    Reply

  4. You totally nailed it! Some tools are quiet new to me and I think I should give them a try. I also bookmarked this page so I can check it again whenever I need them. :)

    Reply

    1. Dainis Graveris April 15, 2016 at 05:40

      Thanks Jeric! :)

      Reply

  5. This is an excellent list of tools to track traffic.
    I use semrush and its pretty accurate for any website. Semrush is deserved to be added in that list.

    Reply

  6. I think Alexa is the best to track traffic and popular statistics

    Reply

  7. Could you suggest some good wordpress plugins for tracking SEo stats..

    Reply

  8. My website has a PR1 and I am determined to make it at least PR2. Do I need to enroll myself to all those statistics related sites? Which of them is the best, aside from Alexa and Google analytics?

    Reply

  9. Thanks for the list, but can anyone give me the link to compete analytics where I can get the tracking code for my website. I’m not finding it anywhere on their page.

    Reply

  10. hi, all above all the tools are owesome and specially google analytics is very finest tool in the internet worldwide.

    Reply

  11. Thank you for the tips! These were useful. I think I’ll stick to Google Analytics.

    Reply

  12. I have to thank you for the fantastic work for items that you write.
    I am a regular reader of your site and always tell friends to visit your thousand. Once again thanks:)

    Reply

  13. Lots of free tips, thanks

    Reply

  14. Lately for some reason histat is not providing the actual data.

    Reply

  15. Does anyone know of a tool that allows you to track visits in realtime and display them on your site?

    Reply

    1. Rean John Uehara July 17, 2011 at 02:24

      There is GetClicky which tracks everything in real-time but I’m not sure if it has an app for displaying things on your site.

      Reply

  16. good list of options. as alexa plug in cant effectively apply at all site.

    Reply

  17. Just the link we need! We’ve wanted to use more tracking tools especially those that can help us compare our site with other sites that provide article writing services :) Thanks for this!

    Reply

  18. Very good article. Thanks a lot. Till now I have used only alexa and google analytics. Will use these tools too

    Reply

  19. Nice list. I want also to suggest opensiteexplorer.org. This is a powerful backlink watch tool. First you must register for an account. Then you will gain free access to backlink reports Up to 1,000 links. It’s a useful site with lot of interesting metrics.

    Reply

  20. great article. thanks for the tips:)

    Reply

  21. thanks…that was quite a handful of good websites :)

    Reply

  22. Very informative and nice post. I think google analytics is the best in all these sites. I look forward to see some more posts like this in future from you.

    Reply

  23. Great article! I’ve been looking for tools to track web traffic other than google analytics

    Reply

  24. Excellent post, very helpful…

    Reply

  25. Nice Share….awesome post…I like your excellent articles……this is very helpful for us….. I m sharing this post in my group……

    Reply

  26. I like this friend. So cool

    Reply

  27. I’m looking for a good solution for comparing the pageviews for multiple websites on 1 page.

    Do you know of any widgets or sites that allow you to embed pageview info in a blog and then update that info in realtime?

    Thanks for your post and for your help.

    Josh

    Reply

  28. Anyone tried ? It’s really cool.

    Reply

  29. Thanks so much for a great list. I love the Alexa feature and will use it to promote my
    Please keep these useful resources, links and help coming.
    Thanks again

    Reply

  30. Good tools-
    Best-

    Wayne

    Reply

  31. Nice article. By the way I will add to this list one of my favorite site – http://www.surcentro.com – It will provide Alexa, Compete ranks and graph, unique visitors per day and other extra information about keyword.

    Reply

  32. One always wants to drive traffic to their website or blog on a daily basis. This is normally achieved by performing various SEO traffic techniques that help in driving traffic by either doing it yourself or hiring an expert. In the former case, you will end up spending too much time doing it yourself as the processes are time consuming and cumbersome while in the latter case you will save on time but end up spending a lot of money to the provider.

    Want Web Traffic Click Here

    Reply

  33. BSA is really nice way to get it to work.

    I use to valuate it more.

    Reply

  34. I personaly use some of those methods.Quant cast is my favorite as I can use it to determine the demographic of my market at a glance. I also use GetClicky which is very user friendly. But whats the use of tracking traffic if you don’t have any. Go to Web Traffic Genius to get access to one of the most powerful tool for generating pure targeted traffic.

    Reply

  35. Hi Dainis,

    Just discovered your site. I love it and could read all night but have to get to bed. Saw you were from Riga Latvia. I had friends in Klaipeda, Lithuania and I’ve always wanted to visit the Baltic states. I’ll be back often to read your great posts. Loved quarkbase.com.

    Thanks,
    Brian

    Reply

  36. Thanks for these list of services! I use google adwords for quite some time, but does it make sense to use an other service in addition? If yes, which one?

    Reply

  37. Hi! a great site valuation tool is http://www.estimix.com . It provides competitive analysis for free and it seems to use the Alexa traffic information quite well.

    Reply

  38. Another useful estimator for the value of each website is http://www.estimix.com . The estimation provided is the result of a complex analysis based on factors like: the age of the website, the demographic structure of the traffic, the countries where the website is popular and sources of the traffic. It provides trusted information, helpful for an objective human analysis.

    Reply

  39. thanks all the information about traffic was very helpful, and also Website Grader was helpful, thank you for information.

    Reply

  40. I use only Google analytics and am very happy with it :)

    But thanks for sharing some great sites for traffic analysis.

    Jahangirs last blog post : Free Islamic Icons

    Reply

  41. I am using Google Analytics, Sitemeter and whoas.amung.us to track my visitors. Will only look into other tools once i have more articles and visitors. Thanks Dainix!

    Dickys last blog post : 10 WordPress Plugins That Will Increase Your Search Engine Ranking

    Reply

  42. Hi..
    Nice list,I have been using Google analytic for all of my traffic purpose, But have nit used all of them mentioned in your article, would surely try out some of them mentioned.
    Anyways nice post.
    Thanks..
    John..

    Reply

  43. I like the visual that is google….Proved to compare

    Ruas last blog post : Comentario de El Forajido de Bolueta por Hasta nunca Windows Vista

    Reply

  44. Nice info thanks.

    HirenModis last blog post : Comment by website design

    Reply

  45. iDevelopThings February 9, 2009 at 03:33

    Thanks for the post.. helpful!

    Reply

  46. Nice list

    Like Google Analytics, but what about Woopra? It’a also very good ;)

    Jays last blog post : Virtual Manager PSD fil

    Reply

  47. I like this list. Thanks for sharing it Dainis :D

    Johnson Kohs last blog post : 40 High Quality PSD Downloads

    Reply

  48. I’m another Google Analytics user, but it’s nice to know there are so many other options.

    Thanks.

    Geoservs last blog post : Recover A Linux Password

    Reply

  49. wow ! it’s really good stuff u gave here.

    Thanx.

    Hiren Modis last blog post : Enjoy Would Be Engineering Students

    Reply

  50. Thomas | Santhos Webdesign January 15, 2009 at 00:30

    Veru usefull post! SearchStatus is a great tool which I didn’t know already but I’m now using it!

    You might wanna check out ‘Seo for Firefox’. Another great plugin which adds some useful information to the Google search results!

    Great post!

    Reply

  51. I find compete to be the most accurate out of the whole lot of them.

    Pinny Cohens last blog post : 4 Steps To Stop Procrastinating And Start Acting

    Reply

  52. @ Dainis Google Analytics does have option of heatmaps.. Didn’t tried the accuracy or usefulness, but it does have option.

    Reply

  53. Dainis Graveris January 13, 2009 at 13:20

    @Raymond I agree, I yesterday looked at that website too, but thought it somehow don’t belongs here, although pretty unique feature to get application on computer :)

    @GDevelop happy to help – even better if it’s useful! :)

    @Software thanks for share, very useful – however I have a little bit different article telling how to track other people statistics, but this list is very promising. I’ll check it out! :)

    Reply

  54. Thanks for this collection to analytic sites.

    I will try out at least two new tools i didn’t know about:
    Quarkbase and Website Grader

    Reply

  55. Thanks for these links! they are jewels for the web people especially those that are curious and particular when it comes to stats.

    Pastelss last blog post : UFC 93 Franklin vs Henderson Fight Video Trailer

    Reply

  56. Nice list. Woopra is also good.

    Reply

  57. very useful tools thank you Dainis

    joyoge designers’ bookmarks last blog post : Walt Disneys Wonderful World and its Roots in European Art

    Reply

  58. Dainis Graveris January 13, 2009 at 00:39

    @Nicholi only one thing I think google analytics misses is heatmap :)

    Reply

  59. [email protected] January 12, 2009 at 23:55
  60. Dainis Graveris January 12, 2009 at 23:24

    @Dee Langdon thanks for good words, use them well:))

    @Trond Google analytics is great tool for just Your site statistics, but I am talking about other ranking systems and how to compare and get to know Your competitors too.!

    Reply

  61. I have not tested everyone, but so far i’m in love with Google Analytics..!

    Reply

  62. Here’s another list on Web Analytics Tools:
    1. Piwik
    2. FireStats
    3. Snoop
    4. Yahoo! Web Analytics
    5. BBClone
    6. Woopra
    7. JAWStats
    8. 4Q
    9. MochiBot
    10. Grape Web Statistics

    From:
    http://sixrevisions.com/usabilityaccessibility/10-promising-free-web-analytics-tools/

    Reply

  63. Dee Langdon - BloggerNewbie January 12, 2009 at 21:32

    Woo! Thanks for all the stat software. I like to use a few to compare and check and balance!

    Dee Langdon – BloggerNewbies last blog post : EntreCard – Yes, No or Maybe?

    Reply

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