BTM7014-8, STATISTICS WEEK 8
BTM7014-8, STATISTICS WEEK 8 BTM7014-8
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Date Created: 04/09/16
NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY ASSIGNMENT COVER SHEET Student: THIS FORM MUST BE COMPLETELY FILLED IN Follow these procedures: If requested by your instructor, please include an assignment cover sheet. This will become the first page of your assignment. In addition, your assignment header should include your last name, first initial, course code, dash, and assignment number. This should be left justified, with the page number right justified. For example: Save a copy of your assignments: You may need to resubmit an assignment at your instructor’s request. Make sure you save your files in accessible location. Academic integrity: All work submitted in each course must be your own original work. This includes all assignments, exams, term papers, and other projects required by your instructor. Knowingly submitting another person’s work as your own, without properly citing the source of the work, is considered plagiarism. This will result in an unsatisfactory grade for the work submitted or for the entire course. It may also result in academic dismissal from the University. BTM701488 Garrett Fox, PhD Statistics Assignment 8 Faculty Use Only <Faculty comments here> <Faculty Name> <Grade Earned> <Date Graded> 2 Abstract Understanding how to not only create an online business but how to effectively market it is key to creating a successful business. By understanding which actions best effect the overall success of a business will develop the strategy in how it moves forward. Learning the struggles and processes that others have utilized will first help to define a strategy. Once a company’s strategy is defined, a trial and error method can be used to see what works best for the company’s niche. By utilizing the ideas and strategies that others have tried, it will help minimize the time to find success. Their strategies will also form a stepping stone to build the framework of a future online business. One of the concepts that other entrepreneurs have utilized in the past is standing on the shoulders of giants. By taking a bit out of their guidebook and applying it to the current situation, a new online business owner can apply those strategies to their own business one at a time. This will help to move that business into a positive cash flow much more quickly than if the business owner were to start from scratch. This paper will a unique concept each week and will analyze the effectiveness of each strategy. Keywords: Search engine optimization, website optimization, travel blog, travel 3 Introduction The purpose of the final assignment is to design a study and analyze it using statistics learned throughout course BTM71048. Within this study Microsoft Excel will be used to conduct statistical analysis of various data sets. The study’s topic of discussion is an analysis on the impact of marketing a website by integrating Search Engine Optimization (SEO), increased traffic, as well as several other factors. By changing one factor each week, the value of those changes can assist a new business owner by measuring areas that will help the website progress. The site that will be evaluated in this study is Traveltillyoudrop.com. In addition to studying the first set of data and applying the appropriate one change each week, a second study will be conducted on a broader data set. This second part of the study will incorporate the top 40 blogs that exist in the travel blog market. By identifying the movement of the top 40 blogs, in various categories, a determination of how quickly ranking changes within particular keyword search can be identified. As an understanding of how frequently websites move on the top of the list will help a marketer determine the amount of time and level of input that will be required to make it to the first page of results. By getting to the first page of a Google search, a company can be significantly more effective at marketing products and producing a larger income based upon the sheer increase in website traffic. The value of this information is The analysis report will include the following: 1) research study description, 2) hypothesis, 3) list and explain the variables collected in this study 4) data set creation, 5) descriptive data analysis, 6) interpretation of descriptive data analysis, 7) statistical testing, 8) findings interpretation Research Study Description This research study that is located within the paper herein is in regards to search engine 4 optimization and the level of impact that it holds for an online business. Until recently SEO was a foreign concept and building an online presence was but a thing of luck. Understanding how important SEO is when building a company’s brand is vital concept to understand in the online world. It is becoming a little known fact that our world is moving further and further into the world of online commerce and away from the typical brick and mortar environment. We are becoming connected to the world one keystroke at a time. The information that is placed on the web will define our businesses and what the world knows about our company. A company has to learn to take control of its own fate and not only control the content that is placed on the web about the business but also push traffic to the site. By effectively controlling the content about the company on the web will help a company to control its own reputation. If people are able to type in a keyword and locate your business on the first page of the results, your business will do a significantly larger amount of sales. In addition, if people aren’t able to locate your business on the first page you are harming your chances of sales. It is a common fact that most people will not scroll past the first page of results to dig in to find you or your page. Scott (2015) gives a good description of how to describe SEO. Take for instance the old print phonebook and in the section of A’s, you have A auto repair, AA Auto Repair, and AAA Auto Repair. The one that will rank higher is alphabetically first. People have been trying to game the system for years and generally it’s the one that shows up first that gets the most calls. Search engine optimization has taken the lead amongst the other types of marketing on the web representing an estimated $24 billion in sales in 2016 (Clarke and Clarke, 2014). The two primary strategies used are pay per click and cost per click. Pay per click is when a person is on a site and clicks on an add that pops up. The site is then paid for each click it receives. On 5 the other hand, the cost per click is when a company has to pay each time a person clicks on the ad. It does so because the search engine is advertising their business under a certain keyword. According to Goodwin (2012) and a sample size of 1.4 billion searches, the rate of clicks was 94% to 6 % organic versus paid ad. This would go to show that by building out SEO for a webpage is extremely effective. According to Rijkenberg (2014) a strategy of SEO is to “define the keywords the company wants to be known for and ensure that these keywords have a density of between 2°/o and 5°/o. No higher and no lower. This is because Google has penalty filters in place for sites that abuse this strategy. If a site does go beyond the boundaries, it can have the opposite effect on a webpage and Google will punish the website for doing so. It does this by not allowing the site to show up in search results. The opposite effect can occur If an individual or a company decides to attempt to game the system by using “Black Hat” processes. If the search engine detects use of these types of processes which violate policy, it can harm the result or could even get the website banned from the search engine altogether Malaga (2008). Thurow (2015) discusses 10 of the most important steps to optimize documents. They are as follows: 1) Conduct keyword research to ensure you label your document appropriately, 2) Use appropriate document titles, 3) Use similar content headings and subheadings, 4) Use natural language, 5) Communicate what the content is about up front, 6) Format every entry as if it could be the point of entry, 7) Make sure site is accessible, short and descriptive, 8) Clear information architecture and site navigation, 9) Content validation, 10) Accommodate known searcher behaviors. By understanding and incorporating each of the key points, a webpage will have a significant chance of being found. 6 Hypothesis The level of SEO and how a site is marketed affects how well a business performs online. It would be logical to say that by having effective SEO and a well thought out marketing strategy, a business can increase subscribers by 10% in the period of 1 month. The hypothesis is in regards to the number of subscribers a site receives each month. The hypothesis is that a site can influence the number of subscribers by 10% in a month by using effective SEO and marketing strategies (subscribers are = or >10%). The null hypothesis is that the SEO and marketing strategies defined in this paper are not effective (subscribers are <10%). By changing one thing each week and keeping all of the other variables the same (content and two hours of promotion on social media) the effectiveness of the strategy will be proven positive or false. The study that will be conducted on a newly developed travel blog, located within the travel blog niche and its position in Google results. The blog chosen for the case study is www.traveltillyoudrop.com. By changing one factor at a time, a determination on which strategy or strategies are most effective for blog promotion. To prove the hypothesis true, the result will have to show a subscriber increase by 10% in the period of 1 month. The purpose of doing this, is to understand how quickly the blog moves to the top positions. The higher the position in Google, the higher the probability of a positive cash flow. The case study will and how well it ranks within Google. The baseline shows that after the initial 3month startup period, Travel Till You Drop ranks as number 32 within the keyword search “travel till you drop”. Among the key word searches, “travel blog and adventure travel blog”, it did not show up at all. In part one of the study, the goal will be to find ways to begin to rank on in the top levels for these key word 7 searches. This study will take place over a period of 4 weeks where SEO and other marketing strategies are being incorporated. The second portion of the study will take a look at the top 40 search results in Google for the same keywords. Each week, an analysis of how much or little a particular site moved in the results will show how volatile the results for a particular key word is and how easily it will be to move into the top levels. List and explain the variables collected in this study The variables collected are as follows: global website ranking, subscriber numbers, website uptime, and bounce rate. There will be three pieces of software that will be used each week to monitor the status of weekly changes and their effectiveness. The first program that will be used to identify total subscribers will be the WordPress User tab on the blog itself. The second program that will be utilized to determine bounce rate, uptime, and overall global ranking will be www.Alexa.com. The third program will be a bit different. This site is located at www.serps.com and will be used to provide the current rank of the top 40 websites that fall under the three main keyword searches. Those three search are travel, travel blog, and travel till you drop. By determining where this site falls in relation to the various keyword searches will help identify how quickly the site can be known under each heading. It also will determine how quickly and how regularly websites actually move under each heading to help determine the strength of the other sites under those keywords. By understanding this information, additional changes can be made to make the largest impact. In the end, this information is vital to becoming a highly searched for site, which will allow for a profitable online business. Week 1 (Baseline) 8 As of September 20, 2015, current metrics as of show that the 3month old website, Travel Till You Drop, ranks as number 12,225,999 in global websites as show on www.alexa.com. The number of subscribers equates to 486 subscribers. The website’s promotion and SEO are limited and are basic at best. The first week the only additional change that will be made is to identify and add keywords to the website, optimizing it for relevant terms. Week 2 During week 2, the one change that will be made is creating and posting list posts. These types of posts are ones that essentially list out the top X of that item. The purpose of this concept is to draw people in and get them to click on the posts and give them sharable content. After researching this concept, it appears this is one of the ways to create a post that is more likely to go viral and by going viral, more traffic will hit the site and rankings will increase. This week was focused on getting four list posts out on the blog as well as on all the normal broadcasting and publicizing channels. The SEO items that were added in week one were continued into week two. While list posting is the major change this week, a Twitter account will be a small addition for this blog. Week 3 During week 3, the one major change that was made was the procurement of website traffic. The purchase was made for $47.25 and it was a guarantee that within the first 3 days, website traffic would increase. They seller stated that traffic would either meet or exceed 100,000 people during the course of the month. By significantly increasing the number of people driven to the website one would believe that the increase of subscribers should be significant ensuring the 10% increase is made. 9 Week 4 During Week 4, the one major change that will be made is that there will be two blog posts rather than one, created each day that will be promoted in the same standard designation methods. The blog posts are the same type and quality of posts made previously. The concept behind this strategy is that the more quality posts that are submitted and promoted, one could infer that there would be more subscribers. In addition, the minor change to be added will be to open an Instagram account for the blog. Data set creation The data set for evaluation involves 40 travel sites and their rankings within the travel blog niche. Descriptive data analysis The descriptive data analysis will revolve around the movement of each of the 40 travel sites and their weekly changes in ranking. Appendix A shows a measure of central tendency, the average position movement in overall period of 1 month. The average change in position for keyword travel blog was 1.67 places, 3.75 positions for keyword travel till you drop, and 4.66 positions for adventure travel. The measure of dispersion is shown below in Figure 1.1. Figure 1.1 0 a measure of dispersion do a bar chart of each week’s movement.. a chart of movement of each (vertical axis) and week (horizontal axis). Statistical Testing 10 Week 1 Week one’s results show that the global rank is of 8,994,093 a decrease of 7,771,494 places in ranking based upon the one change of adding keywords to the site. There was an increase of 41 to total 527 subscribers. The number of page views are 570 unique views. 99.41% uptime, with a bounce rate of 94.96%. Week 2 In week two the total ranking went to 8,449,622. This was a decrease in position by 544,471 positions. Total users went from 527 subscribers to 544 subscribers a difference of 17 subscribers. The uptime increased to 99.80%, an increase of .39% from the previous week. The unique page views were down 60.53% to 225 unique views. The most significant reason for this was one article based on finding cheaper airfare that was created by a guest blogger. This week’s bounce rate was 73%. This is a decrease of 21.96%. This means that almost 22% of people that are visiting Travel Till You Drop are clicking on more than one article. The idea bounce rate is as close to 0% as one can get. On important item to note was that this week, the site moved up 1 slot from 32 to 31 in ranking for the keyword travel till you drop. Week 3 In week three, the total ranking decreased to 6,131,953 which accounts for a decrease of 2,317,669 places this week. The number of users increased to 551. A total increase of only 7 subscribers. There are two reasons this decrease of subscribers took place. One was that the subscriber form that had been used was removed with the install of a widget. This was realized two days prior to the end of the week. In addition, the number of blog posts decreased due to the overwhelming amount of homework being completed this week. Even with this decrease in new 11 blog posts, the promotion remained the same, and the increase in traffic was significant. With the significant increase, and one would expect that the subscriber increase would have also been significant. The test for the week on the purchase of the traffic shows that this method is not effective and won’t be used in the future. The types of traffic from the purchased link ended up only increasing the bounce rate. The bounce rate increased from 73% from the week prior to 99.14% since the traffic that is being brought to the site is not focused and quality. This was an increased percentage of 26.14% and is in no way a positive change. The number of visitors increased from 225 visitors to 9,805 visitors. A significant increase of 13,331%. Overall the increased traffic is certainly making it to the site, but they bounced out almost as quick as they clicked. The website’s uptime was 99.95%. The prior week was 99.80%, which shows an increase of site uptime by .15%. In week 3 the site moved up 3 slots to number 28 in the rankings for the keyword, travel till you drop. Also, there was also an important discovery. By creating a Twitter account for Travel Till You Drop, the Twitter account moved up into position #2 for this keyword. Week 4 In week four, the bounce rate was down .48%. This represented a decrease from 99.15% to 99.62%. The website’s uptime decreased from 99.95% to 98.26%. An overall decrease of .15% change. This week the site’s global ranking moved from 6,131,953 to 5,571,450 which accounts for a decrease of 560,503 places this week. The number of subscribers increased from 551 to 569. A total increase of 18 subscribers. The total chance in subscriptions for the period of 1 month was only 7.38%. 12 Overall Results of Part 1 of the Study Minhoe, Songwon, Hongtae, Sungzoon and Cho (2015) discuss the impact of setting key words. It is appropriate to select keywords and ensure they are placed within your site to ensure your site can be located. They recommend utilizing the Google Adwords Tool to do so. After completing this step, it was clear that my site was not set up to be found with any keyword that I selected. The site, Travel Till You Drop popped up up on under keywords associated with flying into Denver and sites associated with purchasing flights to Denver. As one can tell, this is certainly not an effective marketing strategy for a worldwide travel site. Smith (2013) adds to the conversation a piece on optimizing video that is posted or embedded into the website. To do so, you must not only place the relevant keywords into the video title, but use an appropriate flash player, as well as incorporate keywords and hashtags in the description to make it visible to the search engines. This is one of the issues with videos previously posted. There is very little traffic going to the site. This will be another variable that will be incorporated into the next three weeks to determine the impact for driving traffic. Over the course of the last four weeks, the goal was to increase the number of subscribers to Travel Till You Drop by 10%. In order to do this, a variety of methods were incorporated and analyzed. While there are initial expenses to develop and promote a blog, the end result will be a list of subscribers. Upon having a list of subscribers and a subsequent product can be created and marketed to them. The initial up front investment of time, energy, and money, will ultimately lead to a site that is easily found, that has great content, and the ability to market and sell products. The specific results for the study conducted are located in Appendix A. This chart 13 depicts the raw data acquired within this fourweek study. This results show that the first part of the study shows a total increase of uptime by 1.69%. It shows an increase in bounce rate by . 48%. There’s a total decrease of the global rankings by 6,654,549 and a total increase in the global rankings by 54%. Overall the results found throughout the study shows that the study’s hypothesis of being able to acquire a 10% increase in subscribers in 1 month was proved false and was rejected while the null hypothesis is accepted. Findings interpretation Dou, Lim, Su, Zhou, and Cui (2010) conducted two studies involving three various brands of backpacks, all known but one as it was fictitious. Sixtythree people were asked to utilize a search for the best heavy duty backpack in the first experiment and sixtyone in the second. On the first experiment, the fictitious brand was placed first and on the second experiment it was placed fourth in the results. Of the 63 people in the first, 33 people recognized the fictitious brand. In the second test only 18 of the 61 people recognized thee brand. By moving the fictitious brand within the results, the experimenters were able to influence not only recognition of the brand but were able to associate the fictitious brand with one of the best heavy duty backpacks. Their recognition results are as follows “The recognition proportion in condition 1 is significantly higher than that in condition 2 (52.4 percent versus 29.5 percent, z = 2.59, p < . 01), indicating strong support of H1a (Dou, Lim, Su, Zhou, and Cui, 2010). The same concept can be applied to the study at hand. Here the results of the second part of the study will be shown. The study incorporates the amount of movement within the top 40 sites for each keyword that the blog should fall into. After reviewing the data, it is shown that 14 movement on average equates to1.67 for keyword travel blog 3.75 for keyword adventure travel, and 4.66 for adventure travel blog. A quick note on keyword adventure travel blog was an additional keyword search beginning in week 2. The question marks depicted in the data show that a website moved off of the top 40 and was not able to be tracked for average movement. By removing the item from the data set, a clearer average can be created. From week 1 to 2, sites under the keyword search “travel blog” moved on average by 2 positions, from week 2 to 3 by 2 positions and week 3 to 4 by 1 position. This was an overall change in position for a onemonth period of 1.67%. Appendix B shows the keyword search “travel till you drop” moved on average by 4 positions, from week 2 to 3 by 4 positions and week 3 to 4 by 2 positions. This was an overall change in position for a onemonth period of 3.75%. Appendix c shows the keyword “adventure travel blog” moved on average by13 positions, from week 2 to 3 by 13 positions and week 3 to 4 by 1 position. This was an overall change in position for a onemonth period of 4.66%. By utilizing a regression analysis can make a determination that each week on average a website moves by ___ positions. By calculating a ___ % change each week, we can calculate it will take approximately ___ weeks to move into the 1 page of Google with keyword travel, ___ for keyword travel blog, and ____ for keyword travel till you drop. Now that it was proven that 10% is a reasonable goal for subscriber increase with the described updates, we can calculate a timeline for making it to 10,000 subscribers. In addition, the second part of the analysis that is needed is to calculate how long it will take to make it into st the 1 page of Google (top 12 slots). For the purposes of testing and predicting how long it will 15 take to make into those top 12 slots, a regression analysis will be conducted. This type of study fits best with this study since the goal is to determine how long it will take to get to the 1 page with what is currently being done to the website. The data that will be used is the __ ???? of movement by Travel Till You Drop’s website for Chart A will be the increase of subscribers each week versus the total number of weeks. Appendix D will show how long it will take to move up in global rankings for each keyword to slot #12. By analyzing the movement on the top 40 sites, one can see that movement as it gets considerably less than up in the global ranks of 8 12 million. The percentage for Travel Till You Drop for movement is currently ___ % per week. The level of movement for the top 40 on average is ___ places. So as one can see, the closer to the top slots a website gets the slower it rises in position. Logic also goes to show that by increasing subscribers, the faster a company will move to the top ranks. By increasing subscribers, the more advertising a company will receive, thus increasing at an average rate of rise, until a point. At this point, based on the data that currently exists the length of time to move into the top 12 slots is around ___ weeks. Of course, any number of things could influence the amount of time to the top, either by negatively or positively influencing the outcome. But if one were to continue at a __% the rate, it should take __ weeks to rank as #12 for keyword travel till you drop, ___weeks for travel blog, and ___ weeks for travel. Conclusion The purpose of the final assignment was to design a fictitious study and analyze it using statistics learned throughout course BTM71048. Within this study Microsoft Excel will be used to conduct analysis as well as manual calculations. The study’s topic of discussion is an analysis on the impact of marketing a website by integrating Search Engine Optimization (SEO), 16 increased traffic, as well as several other factors will show the impact marketing can make in an online business. The value of optimization of websites and the affect of changing one item throughout the course of a week to measure progress will help identify effective promotion methods. In addition to altering one item each week, this study will also incorporate a study the top 40 blogs that exist in the travel blog market. By identifying the movement of the top 40 blogs, in various categories, a determination of how quickly ranking changes within particular keyword search. The analysis report will include the following: 1) research study description, 2) hypothesis, 3) list and explain the variables collected in this study 4) data set creation, 5) descriptive data analysis, 6) interpretation of descriptive data analysis, 7) statistical testing, 8) findings interpretation Within this assignment it was found that the most effective change in marketing strategies was by publishing 2 articles a day for the week By continually focusing on one change each week, one can determine how quickly a particular blog can make it to the front page of search engine results. As expected and shown with Travel Till You Drop, a niche site can certainly move more quickly to the front of keyword search results among the specific words. On the other hand, the study has shown that to get to the front page of results for the keyword, travel or travel blog, will take a number of years and a significant amount of effort. The overall results showed the hypothesis of being able to increase subscriptions in a onemonth period by 10% is possible. In addition, a second part to the test was conducted and an approximate timeline to get to the first page of results were significant different between a broad keyword and a specific niche. 17 18 Appendix A Weekly Statistics for Travel Till You Drop Covering the Period of September 20October 18, 2015 st Left align 1 para indent 2 19 Appendix B Weekly Results for Keyword Travel Blog 20 Appendix C Weekly Results for Keyword Travel Till You Drop 21 Appendix D Weekly Results for Keyword Adventure Travel Blog 22 Appendix E Regression Analysis for Keyword Travel Blog 23 Appendix E Regression Analysis for Keyword Travel Blog 24 Appendix F Regression Analysis for Keyword Travel Till You Drop 25 Appendix E Regression Analysis for Keyword Travel Blog 26 Appendix E Regression Analysis for Adventure Travel Blog 27 References Charpia, J. (2015). Travel Till You Drop. Retrieved October 11, 2015 from www.traveltillyoudrop.com Clarke, T. B., & Clarke, I. (2014). A competitive and experiential assignment in search engine optimization strategy. Marketing Education Review, 24(1), 2530. doi:10.2753/MER10528008240104 Dou, W., Lim, K. H., Su, C., Zhou, N., & Cui, N. (2010). Brand positioning strategy using search engine marketing. MIS Quarterly, 34(2), 261A4 Malaga, R. A. (2008). Worst practices in search engine optimization. Communications of the ACM, 51(12), 147150. doi:10.1145/1409360.1409388 Minhoe, H., Songwon, H., Hongtae, K., & Sungzoon Cho. (2015). Selecting optimal set of keywords for search engine advertising. International Journal of Industrial Engineering, 22(1), 6279 Rijkenberg, W. (2014). Practical SEO tips for international websites. Multilingual, 25(7), 4448 Scott, N. (2015). SEO: 10 things every leader should know. Director, 68(10), 5659 Smith, J. J. (2013). The search for successful video SEO. Streaming Media, 5258 Thurow, S. (2015). To optimize search, optimize the searcher. Online Searcher, 39(4), 4448
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