A Message to our Readers
We launched two months ago in August and are ahead of schedule.
The long-term goal for the site is to get to 2,000 registered community members with 60,000 unique visitors a month by the end of the first year of operations. This site was launched on August 25th, 2008 - two months ago. Obviously, at that time we had zero readers, zero registered users, zero comments and zero blogs within the site and were invisible to search engines like Google.
We have made a great start towards reaching our goals and thus creating an active community discussion where all stakeholders in the New Rochelle community get a level playing field upon which they can raise issues of interest to them.
In the two months since launch, Talk of the Sound has had 2,937 unique visitors most of whom have been very active readers of the site. The average length per visit ("dwell time") has been an astonishing 3 minutes and 4 seconds per visit; most web sites measure dwell time in seconds not minutes so that is a very high number. The reason that number is so high is that visitors are reading several pages on each visit. The total number of page views for the site since launch is 17,331 which means that the average visitor is reading more than 6 pages of the site on each visit, also unusually high.
What these figures suggest is that people are now starting to find their site on their own (through Google searches and the like) and once they find the site they are very interested in the content.
Another measure of success is where the site falls within Google. As most folks know, Google is the dominant search engine. Most people use search engines to surf the web and the vast majority of those use Google. So, where a site stands in Google is a very important measure of success.
A major goal of this site is to get into the Top 10 Search Results for "New Rochelle" as well as certain important search phrases based on the word "New Rochelle". A related long-term goal is to get a Page Rank of 5. There is an index that Google uses in determining how to order search results called Google Page Rank. We want to increase our Google Page Rank which, in turn, raises where we show up in search results. Being in the Top 10 is important because 99% of search users only look at the first page of search results which, by default, shows the first 10 results. In other words, if you are not in the Top 10 you are nearly invisible to most users. On the other hand, once a site gets into the Top 10, the site gets the benefit of all those extra views and Google Page Rank starts to climb significantly.
We began with a Google Page Rank of zero and were behind 4.4 million entries for the word "New Rochelle" and other phrases that use New Rochelle. Page Rank moves very, very slowly and right now we are still at zero where we expect to be for quite a while. Search results is an entirely different matter where we have had tremendous success.
The more important measure is where our site shows up based on the keyword "New Rochelle". We are currently #63 which means we have jumped over 4.4 million spots in just two months. Here is more complete list based on some of the topics from the site:
New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound Placement in Search Results by Keyword
"New Rochelle" - ranked #63
"New Rochelle Special Education" - ranked #36
"New Rochelle School" - ranked #26
"New Rochelle Dog" - ranked #24
"New Rochelle Trinity School" - ranked #20
"New Rochelle School Inequality" - ranked #11
"New Rochelle Ward Acres" - ranked #8
"New Rochelle Sycamore Park" - ranked #4
We are also showing up high for some phrases without the keyword "New Rochelle"
"Richard Organisciak" - ranked #40
"Noam Bramson" - ranked #92
While those who are not up on these sort of things may not realize it, these are staggering numbers. What they mean is that in just a few short of weeks our site has gone from non-existant, to nearly invisible to Top 100 results for every keyword covered on our site. What these results suggest is that at our one year anniversary we will be among the top ten search results which is a very, very strong position.
It also means something else. Once we are in the Top 10, any mentions of any new keywords will get the benefit of our high rank. Our covering a story will automatically proper that story into the top 10 results by keyword. This is all very good news.