Tuesday, 7 February 2012

SEO Monitoring and Tracking

The long-term key to success on Google is to measure and monitor the performance
and success your web site over time, modify your efforts, test, and repeat. This
means you need to regularly monitor different metrics of your website.

Monitoring Your Site Traffic

This is a must-do activity. If you are not viewing and analyzing your site traffic and
visitor statistics over time, you are essentially flying blind. This would be akin to a
retail store not tracking how many customers come into their store, what they buy,
and on which days.

You should first take advantage of the free statistics or “stats” program that most
Web hosting companies offer in their packages. These work by reading the contents
of the server log file for your site. Such programs are also called log file analyzers.
More often than not, such programs don’t provide the information you need or they
present it in poorly-organized, hard-to decipher reports. As such, I highly recommend
you use a third-party program or service to obtain the information you need to track
your site. You can often customize the of reports you want to view and download
them into Excel.

You have two choices – use a different log analyzer program, which runs either on
the server or on your desktop computer, or sign up for a monthly service that
monitors real-time traffic for you. There are pros and cons to each as follows:

Using a Log-file Analyzer

Log-file analyzers can be installed on the server or on your desktop computer.
Unless your log files are really large, I recommend the latter. However, getting your
Web host to install and configure a different log-file analyzer than the default one
they offer can be a frustrating experience. Regardless, make sure the referrer option
is enabled for your site (it is usually disabled by default), otherwise you’ll be reading
IP addresses instead of domain names to figure out where your traffic is coming.

One issue with log-file analyzers is the information isn’t shown in real time – the data
is a day old. This usually isn’t a problem. One of the more popular analyzers is
Urchin, which Google now owns. Two free log-file analyzers that are worthwhile
include Funnel Web Analyzer ( and
AWStats (

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