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February 15, 2012

How Much Do Clicks and Article Popularity Mean?

There are so many statistics available to the person who is submitting articles that it can be a little confusing as to what the purpose is and how to measure your progress.

There are a couple of really obvious stats that it may be tempting to pay too much attention to. They are clicks on the link in your resource box and the number of times each article is viewed on an article directory.

It’s always gratifying to see that people are clicking the links in your resource box. That’s one of the purposes for the link in the resource box, and it lets you know that at least some people have read your article, looked at your resource box, and have been inspired by what you said to the point where they want to visit your website.

That’s great, and it may give you an indication that you’ve done a good job in writing a helpful article and in creating a compelling resource box. How many people click the link in your resource box is not, however, an indication of your progress or success with article marketing.

It’s a similar situation with article popularity – the number of times your article is viewed on a particular article directory. It’s always great to see that an article has a lot of people viewing it, and if you look at your list of articles on that directory and notice that there are some articles that have vastly more views than the others, you can take some things away from that which can help you write more popular articles.

Maybe the subject matter that you covered in those super popular articles is more in demand, and you can figure out a way to cover that topic in more detail in future articles.

Perhaps it was the title that drew people in. Maybe it was a title that was in the form of a question, or a title that had your keywords at the beginning, or a title that gives a command or one that indicates that the article is a “how to” article. Whatever type of title you had, it might be worth your effort to use that same format again.

The article popularity can be helpful in letting you know when a topic has “struck home” with your readers and to help you know which topics to explore further, but again, the popularity of an article is not a good way to determine your article marketing success.

What is then?

The absolute definitive way to measure your progress with article marketing is to keep track of where your website is ranking in Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. for specific keyword terms that are associated with your niche.

Obviously in order to track this, you first need to figure out what your keyword terms are. This actually isn’t as hard as it may sound. You can use a free tool to research keywords like the one that Google offers, or you can use a paid service. When you’re doing your keyword research you’ll be looking for two things: the supply and the demand.

The demand is how many searches are being done for a particular phrase each month. You can find this information by using a keyword research tool.

The supply is how many web pages are competing for that particular keyword term. Your keyword research tool may provide this info, but if it doesn’t it’s easy enough to find it on your own. Just type the keyword phrase into Google’s search box, and it will tell you how many results are listed. The number of results are the number of web pages that are competing for that term.

You have to consider if the supply and demand for the term is worth your effort in trying to compete. For example, there may be a very large demand for a certain term, but if there are already loads of web pages competing for the term, the phrase may be already saturated and not worth your effort. The more saturated a phrase is, the more competition. The more competition, the more challenging it will be to rank highly for that phrase. You just have to weigh the potential reward against the effort you’d have to invest.

Compile a list of keyword phrases that are related to your niche, and you might also want to make a note of the traffic potential – that would be the demand for that keyword term. Do a search for each of those key phrases and make a note of where your own website is ranked. Update this every month to keep track of where your site is positioned in the rankings. This is the primary statistic that you’ll keep track of when measuring your progress with article marketing.

I hope this helps explain what to look for when trying to determine your article marketing success. I know it’s tempting to look to the articles for validation. The stats that the articles provide can be very helpful to you in creating new articles, but really the definitive measurement of progress is your website ranking for your keyword terms.

The ultimate goal is for your website to reach the #1 spot. The closer you get to that goal, the more targeted traffic will be funneled into your website from the search engines.

Steve Shaw is a content syndication specialist. Do you own a blog? Need content? Join thousands of other blogs and get free high-quality, niche-focused, human-reviewed content from quality authors sent on auto-pilot – and it’s all 100% free! Go to for more information.