December 2015 Website Journey – all things pretty!
It’s been a quiet month, so I took the opportunity to claim this website on Alexa.com and change my Pinterest layout:
1. What’s Alexa?
Alexa.com, a subsidiary of Amazon, uses data such as the number of visitors and pages viewed per visitor to rank each website’s authority and traffic reach. However, if a website doesn’t have an Alexa meta tag to provide direct traffic data, the figures provided are unreliable estimates and don’t give a true indication of traffic or popularity.
For instance, Alexa ranks the most popular website (Google) as “1”, with other websites being ranked “2”, “3” etc all the way down to the millions. Those numbered in the millions are not necessarily just those with few visitors but, without an Alexa meta tag, there’s no reliable data to use.
What’s interesting is that a month or so after having started this website, when I first found out about Alexa on 1 August 2015, my ranking was 5,617,821. This was before having installed Alexa’s meta tag by claiming my website. At the end of November/beginning of December 2015, having now claimed my website
so it could directly track the visitor numbers [UPDATE: see EDIT note below], Alexa estimated my website’s rank as 9,825,420, and within a month it had improved to 6,855,022. By February 2016, it was 1,390,052, and by April 2016 it was 551,525!
Even if you certify your website, it doesn’t guarantee a better ranking, it just ensures a more accurate reading…. which may or may not be an improvement.
EDIT: I’ve updated this post and Alexa tutorial having now realised that claiming and certifying your website with Alexa are two separate features. Claiming your website doesn’t provide accurate ranking data, it simply “claims your website” allowing you to edit your website description/contact details and run website comparisons. To have accurate ranking, you need to have a paid subscription for Alexa to certify your website. My rank is estimated (as I haven’t yet certified my website) and it must only have improved based on other’s data panel information, eg the Alexa Toolbar. To a certain extent the estimated ranking is a good indication as it’s based on other people’s use of your website logged by the data panel.
2. Pinterest Boards and Rich Pins
I noticed that some people’s Pinterest boards had a main photo specific to their board title, rather than just a random pin like mine.
I hadn’t realised that Pinterest allows you to:
- select which pin you’d like to use for each cover board
- re-order the boards as required
- upload pins direct from your pc rather than the internet
- delete pins in bulk
I found out what to do, and decided to make those changes to my Pinterest account.
Changing your Pinterest cover board
Each selection of pins that you’ve named, is called a board. For instance, the boards shown in the image below are “Products reviewed”, “Motivate & Inspire” etc. The large, first pin that people see when looking at each of your boards on Pinterest, is called a cover board. That cover board pin should represent and be familiar to your brand as an eye-catching way of showing the types of pins it contains and the topics covered.
My plan was to create all the cover boards in a similar style, as they used to be quite random like this:
I designed each cover board using Canva and re-organised the boards’ order on Pinterest, so that it now looks like this:
To be honest, although it’s easier to see what each board relates to, it’s perhaps too bland. What do you think?
Changing from a Plain Pin to a Rich Pin
I also learned about Pinterest Rich Pins. These are pins that automatically bring current information, such as pricing, author details and image description from your website, depending on the type of Rich Pin chosen.
I chose to use the article Rich Pin, but there are six types of Rich Pin available: app, movie, recipe, article, product and place. You should choose whichever Rich Pin best suits your website, as it uses dynamic information specific to your website images.
Using the Rich Pins made me realise that it’s important how to label each image’s alt text, as Pinterest automatically includes the alt text when someone pins your Rich Pin from the website. Of course, they could overtype the text to make it more relevant, but it’s helpful to make the text relevant in the first place.
Rather than just using lots of keywords in the image alt text, instead write a sentence which naturally includes the keywords.
I’m going to work back through this website and update all my image alt text, but in the meantime you may have to overtype some of my descriptions when you pin!
What’s been learned?
- even if you don’t have a “good” Alexa ranking, you may as well help it be as accurate as possible seeing as it’s considered a rating standard
- make Pinterest boards stand out by personalising your board covers
- organise Pinterest boards and use Rich Pins to stand out with relevant information
- use correct image Alt Text whenever you upload an image
Honest stats – December 2015
Monthly website traffic has been quiet without improving on last month’s traffic figure.
Affiliate revenue – as mentioned last month, I’ve stopped monitoring affiliate revenue and concentrated on reviewing products. Until it picks up, I’ll leave this section out of future Website Diary updates.
I thought it’d be helpful to include tutorials of the topics mentioned in my Website Diary. I’ll post the Website Diary at the end of each month with tutorials during the following month. Subscribe to my website and I’ll let you know when the tutorials are live.
So, that’s my update for December 2015. Let me know if you have any comments or questions, as I’d love to hear from you.
Note: This article is intended to be a general resource only and is not intended to be professional advice.
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