You have created the most spectacular web site on the Internet that downloads in less than 2.3 seconds on a 9600-baud modem (yes there are probably still a few of them out there). You have set up your Meta Tags and registered all your web pages with over 2000 search engines and indexes. You must now have the most popular site on the Internet!
How popular is your site? How do you know how many people are visiting it and just who are your visitors? How effective are your marketing efforts? Which ads are working and which are expensive flops? Has someone added a link to your site that generates almost half your visitors? Why does it work so well for you and what would happen if they removed the link?
Promoting your site means marketing and half of marketing is knowledge of who, what, where and why. The most basic requirement when promoting your web site is access to a good Web Site visitor analysis program. Without one you are whistling in the dark. There would simply be no way to know how well your site and your site promotion efforts are doing.
Just about everyone has access to site analysis software. If you are running a commercial site on a Windows NT or Unix host or have your own server, you may find that your system already includes access to a site analysis program. The two most popular that I am aware of are Web Trends and Analogue. The former is a commercial product that includes excellent Visual Feedback. The latter is a freeware program with access to most of the same information although you may have to do a little of your own analysis to understand the data.
The information you can gather with your analysis program is extensive and can be invaluable in your promotion effort. It will list the number of Hits, User Sessions, Page Views, Referring Sites, Referring URL's, Most Accessed Page, Least Accessed Page, Top Referring Search Engine, Search Keywords, Search Phrases and much more. With a little knowledge you can add codes to your links to get even more feedback about your promotion efforts.
Next week I will interpret the information that you can expect to find in you stats program. What is relevant? What does it mean? How can you use it? And tricks to help you get more feedback on your promotion efforts.
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