Friday, May 06, 2005

Check Your Site Logs for Keyword Clues

One of the "secrets" of professional search optimization specialists is to check the log files of a website. Often SEO specialists do this after their work is done to measure their own results.

But this analysis also works for pre-SEO work. You can learn a lot about how visitors are finding your site based on information from your site logs.

Your site logs can tell you what search terms are bringing people to your site. Often the answers can surprise you but also reveal new opportunities.

Check Your Stats for Clues
One of the best web stats software is AWStats. AWStats is a popular web stats program often included as part of your hosting. You can simply log into your hosting account to check your web stats.

Check your stats for search terms and entry and exit pages. The search terms can often surprise you.

Look for the top search terms that bring visitors to your website. Pay attention to the search phrases, not single search words. Searchers search online in phrases and not single word terms.

Optimize or Create New Pages
Once you have reviewed the top 10 search terms that bring visitors to your site, look for opportunities to optimize pages for those terms.

Not all of the information will be worth value to you. Keep everything in perspective and realize that not all search terms that brought traffic to your site are useful. Look for the terms that you can actually use on your website.
  • You can optimize your current content copy to reflect the search terms. For example, if you find that your website name is the highest referral term, you may want to optimize your page copy for your website name or web address.
  • You can create new pages & optimize for those terms. Some terms may be better optimized as a new page. For example, if you sell natural hair care products and you find that visitors get to you by searching for "natural hair care locks", you may want to create a separate page talking about natural haire care products for hair locks.
  • Some terms may surprise you - if they are useful for your site, either optimize for those terms or create new pages. Any excuse to create new pages that are useful to your visitors is good. It helps build up your site size and it helps make you seem like an authority.
With your web stats, you can find clues and learn how to better service your visitors and what their behavior is like. Ultimately, you will also find clues to help build and improve your site to increase your business.


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