Hansel & Gretel Left a Breadcrumb Trail.....So do Your Website Guests!

Written by Merle

So, who's been visiting your website lately? What do you mean you don't know? How can you tell what's working if you don't have some sort of tracking in place? Measuring website traffic, also known as "stats," is how you know who's visiting your site, where they're coming from, how long they stay, entry and exit pages and more.

You need this information to make informed decisions about your site. You can use it to understand your guests' buying patterns and to measurerepparttar effectiveness of your marketing and promotional strategies. It can also be used to show you which areas of your site arerepparttar 133621 most popular andrepparttar 133622 pages no one seems to visit. You can use this information to redesign your site and play-uprepparttar 133623 popular pages while eliminatingrepparttar 133624 ones no one views.

So how do you get this valuable information? There are a number of ways to collect stats on your website. You can:

1) Purchase Software 2) Use a Free Online Service 3) Use a Paid Online Service/ Third Party Auditors 4) Use your own Web Host

Let's take each option one by one. First inrepparttar 133625 group of choices is buying stats software. The problem with this option isrepparttar 133626 hefty price tag. Most of repparttar 133627 good ones don't come cheap.

Webtrends.com - http://www.webtrends.com

The leader in stats software, they offer a variety of solutions for everyone fromrepparttar 133628 small business owner to large corporations. Prepare to shell out some big bucks depending on your needs. Visitrepparttar 133629 site and download a trial copy.

Websitereporter.com - http://www.websitereporter.com

Professional website stats software with many options. Website Reporter 3.0 offers a free demo and runs on Unix or NT and only costs between 50 to 75.00. Tracks total hits, maximum hits and date, report traffic, top entry and exit pages and much more.

Fast Stats - http://www.mach5.com/fast/

At only 99.00, this one is in everyone's price range. Tells you who's visiting your site and does it very quickly. Includes a hyperlinked tree view report that graphically shows how visitors are moving through your site. Runs only on Win 95,98, or NT, but can analyze log files generated by Unix servers.

Openwebscope.com - http://www.openwebscope.com

Free to download and 69.00 to register. Easy to read charts and graphs tell you in an instant what visitors are doing on your site. View sample reports atrepparttar 133630 site to get a feel for whatrepparttar 133631 software can do.

Now let's take a look at your options when it comes to free stats. Many sites offer free stats in exchange for placing a small banner or button on your pages. Many of them are really good if you don't mindrepparttar 133632 small graphic.

Unlocking the Keys to Your Web Site Traffic - Web site promotion and search engine strategies

Written by Philippa Gamse


It is estimated that up to 60% of new traffic to your Web site will come from search engines. This means that unless you are already so well known that people will be using your name to search for your site, you need a search engine strategy. Thousands of new Web sites are created daily, sorepparttar axiom "Build it, and they will come" does not apply.

Effective Web site promotion requires a serious and continuing investment of time and resources, whether you do it yourself, or hire a professional. It is not a one-shot deal, but an ongoing process, meaning you should evaluaterepparttar 133620 return on your investment. You can collect a vast amount of crucial information about your traffic, and make strategic business development decisions, in ways that are unprecedented inrepparttar 133621 real world.

Setting your goals

We've all metrepparttar 133622 person who boasts of "thousands of hits a day" on his Web site, and maybe we felt a little envious. But let's debunkrepparttar 133623 hype . . . .

It's important to distinguish between individual visitors, and "hits". The latter refers to every piece of your site that is downloaded, and this includes all graphics files separately. Thus, one visitor viewing your home page, which contains text and four images, will generate five "hits". If that visitor explores your site further, he or she will generate more hits, but it's stillrepparttar 133624 same user.

You want to ask yourself whether you want every visitor that you can get - which could be thousands of indiscriminate, unqualified people, or whether you would prefer 20 highly qualified decision makers per day, looking for exactly what you provide?

There are no right or wrong answers, but you should have goals forrepparttar 133625 volume and quality of traffic that you would like, so you can measure results (more on this later!)

Designing keywords

The next step is to identify some keywords and key phrases that will differentiate you. Imagine if we all used "professional speaker" as our main key phrase. How many of us would show up on top ofrepparttar 133626 search engines?

Furthermore, there are too many results forrepparttar 133627 typical search. So, visitors will be combining "professional speaker" with something that narrows down what they are looking for - perhaps "customer service" and "banking", or maybe a location, such as "teambuilding" and "Chicago". You will discoverrepparttar 133628 keywords that work best for you when you run a log analysis - for now, make your best guess.

Think aboutrepparttar 133629 topics you offer, which industries you specialize in, which locations you serve, and anything else that sets you apart. Make sure that your keywords are inrepparttar 133630 language that your clients use, and not industry jargon - I have never seenrepparttar 133631 phrase "keynote speaker" in actual searches.

Then, build these into a set of keywords and phrases. Because ofrepparttar 133632 frequency of most single words, phrases often work better in narrowing a search. Include your name, common misspellings of your name, and any other key element of your site. Use both singular and plural forms, and mix capital with lower case letters, except for proper names (some search engines are case sensitive and will exclude lower case searches for words that you have capitalized).

As an example, here arerepparttar 133633 key words and phrases for my site:

Philippa Gamse, Phillipa, Games, CyberSpeaker, internet speaker, internet seminars, Internet marketing programs, internet marketing speakers, search engines, online marketing strategies, Web site promotion, traffic logs, internet consultant

Not an exhaustive list, but a good start ;-)

When you haverepparttar 133634 keywords and phrases, use those to build:

1. a page title containing your most significant keywords. It doesn't matter ifrepparttar 133635 title doesn't read well - it'srepparttar 133636 piece that appears inrepparttar 133637 colored bar ofrepparttar 133638 browser atrepparttar 133639 top, and very few people see it. Contrary to popular belief, titles are for search engines, not people!

2. a brief "knock their sox off" description. This will be displayed inrepparttar 133640 search engine results, and will attract visitors to come to you. Most search engines display 2 lines or less, so wording such as

"Welcome to My Company - a full service provider of . . ." is probably most of what you'll get - and you haven't said anything yet! So keep it pithy, and includerepparttar 133641 keywords.

Now - do this for every significant page of your site!

Your site is (or should be) more than your home page. The spider search engines that index every word on a page allow you to submit multiple pages. So do it! This increases by many times your exposure, andrepparttar 133642 angles that you can use to promote yourself.

For example, I have an article on my site about choosing an Internet Service Provider (if you want to read it, check out my list of articles). Many people searching for this topic find this piece as their entry point to my site. If they want to find out more about me, they can followrepparttar 133643 navigation aids back to get more information.

Reviewing and updating your pages

When you have your keywords, key phrases, titles and descriptions ready, it's time to insert them into every significant page of your site. You may need help from your Web designer to do this.

First, you need to incorporate these elements intorepparttar 133644 header record for each page - in special places called "meta tags". These tags, which aren't visible to visitors, are used heavily by several ofrepparttar 133645 major search engines.

As an example,repparttar 133646 header record for my home page looks like this:

Internet speaker, Internet marketing speaker, internet seminars, online marketing programs

Also, make sure thatrepparttar 133647 text of each page includesrepparttar 133648 main keywords again - but don't spam - that is, repeat them incessantly. At best,repparttar 133649 search engines will ignore more than about 7 occurrences of each word, at worst they may even exclude your site.

While you are reviewing your Web site pages, look for any hidden roadblocks forrepparttar 133650 search engines that your Web designer may have unwittingly introduced. These can include:

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