Analyze or Else

Analyze or Else

Subject Line: TWM Release – Analyze or Else

The Write Market Release
Vol 2. Issue 7
Analyze or Else

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CONTENTS IN THIS ISSUE

1. Editor’s Remarks – Yahoo! We’re in Yahoo!
2. Getting Ranks in the Search Engines – Part V
a) Analyze or Else
b) How can I Track my Visitors?
c) How can I Track my Ranks?
d) How do I Analyze?
e) NBCi (Snap)
3. What’s New at The Write Market
4. Get Your Ad in TWM’s Release!
5. Administrative Information

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EDITOR’S REMARKS

I couldn’t wait to tell you about Yahoo! Last month, I told you that we paid $199 for Yahoo Business Express. You may also recall that paying this money is not a guarantee that you will be listed in Yahoo. You are paying to have your site “reviewed” but the hopeful outcome is that your site would be listed, as well.

In our case, it worked! We paid our $199 and we were listed! Was it worth it? For complete information – how we did it, was it worth it, and other stuff about Yahoo – go here: http://www.thewritemarket.com In the spirit of this issue, I provide a lot of information on that page about analyzing the worth of our Yahoo listing.

This month, we’re going to stress the importance of learning how to analyze your search engine traffic. Hey, if you don’t analyze your traffic, how will you know if all your efforts to rank in search engines is paying off?

Next month will be our last issue on search engine rankings. We’re going to cover how to find a good SEO (Search Optimization Specialist) and compare doing it yourself to hiring someone.

Hey, this newsletter is for YOU! If you have any wants or needs for specific information, please don’t hesitate to email us your suggestions. I can’t guarantee that we will cover it, but we will certainly consider it. We’re starting a new tutorial in January – we haven’t nailed down a topic yet, let me know your thoughts!

Here’s a couple great contests put on by MCNN ezines:

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Have a cool November!

Write on,
Renee Kennedy
[email protected]

PS. For the most part, we do not make any money off of the many sites, programs, tools and contests that we mention or promote in this newsletter. However, due to current debates on “editorial integrity,” I need to clarify that we do make a commission off of WebPosition Gold.

But let me qualify that. We highly recommend WebPosition Gold, BECAUSE we use it; I love it; I’m addicted to it. Besides, you get a free trial before you pay for it, so you can make your own decision about buying it. Comments? mailto:[email protected]

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ANALYZE OR ELSE

If you are new here, you’re jumping in on one of the last segments of our tutorial, “How to Rank in the Search Engines.” You might want to go and read: http://www.thewritemarket.com/intro.shtml, to get an idea of what we’ve already covered.

In order to find out if search engines are doing anything for your website, the least you will need to know is:

1. how many unique visitors that you get each week.
2. which search engines are sending you traffic.
3. how many hits each search engine is sending you.
4. which keywords people use to find your site.
5. what your ranks are for certain keywords.
6. sales/week.

The articles that follow will tell you how to gather statistics for your website and how to use those statistics in order to determine if your promotion campaigns are working.

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HOW DO I TRACK MY VISITORS?

A unique visitor is one person that has visited your site. When you start to analyze the data, you will see a lot of numbers, make sure that you are not getting the “total hits” on your site, total hits can be anything from hits on every page to hits on every page and every graphic (total accesses). You need: “number of unique visitors.”

In order to figure out how many unique visitors that you get each week and also some of the other information in the list above, you will need some way to track your traffic.

A. The cheapest route is to find a host that also provides a “usage” log. Also, be sure that you request “referrer logs.” These logs will provide you with a lot of information about how much traffic you are getting. It will break down that information by page. It will also provide you with a very general idea of where some of this traffic is coming from. However, usage and referrer logs will not give you information about search engines in a very easy to understand format.

B. A more expensive route is to purchase a “tool” that will organize the information in a way that you can easily understand. There are several such tools on the market. I will cover a few of these here:

1. WebPosition Gold: Price $149
http://www.webposition.com/cgi-local/index.pl?DS1=RP&DS2;=CYO-555E
I’m a moron when it comes to cgi, programming, parsing, all that junk. WebPosition Gold is easy to use; even I figured it out! It’s a good tool for an amateur SEO. (Hey, even the professionals use it.) WebPosition Gold provides you with all that you will need to increase your ranks, including tools that analyzes your pages for appropriate keyword density for specific search engines. WPG covers all the major SE’s and directories.

2. WebTrends: Price varies according to traffic. Starts at $25/month.
http://www.webtrendslive.com
Web Trends provides you with TONS of data. Demographic data, search engine data, keywords… and lots of colorful charts and percentages. A little too much information for my uses, but if you are going to implement a heavy duty marketing campaign and you need all the nitty gritty statistics, you’ll probably get the most bang for your buck with Web Trends.

3. HitBox: It’s free if you don’t mind a little button on your pages. Otherwise, like WebTrends, price varies according to traffic. Starts at 19.95/month.
http://www.get.hitbox.com
Like WebTrends, provides you with oogles of information about your visitors.

4. Extreme Tracker: Like HitBox, it’s free if you don’t mind little button. Otherwise, price varies according to traffic. Starts at $5/month.
http://www.extreme-dm.com/tracking/
They’re cheap. They’re OK, you get the information you need in order to track your visitors and see if search engines are sending you traffic. This one might be good to get your feet wet with. However, if you’re serious about SE promotion, you’ll soon want to move to a tracking system with a little bit more oomph!

Marketing v. SE promotion:
If you are looking to launch a marketing campaign and you need serious statistics, then you want to go with WebTrends or HitBox. If you’re interested more in SE promotion, I say, stick with WebPosition Gold. WPG is going to give you tools other than just statistics, they provide a lot of help to learn SE promotion.

How do these tools work?
All four of these tools will have you place invisible “code” on each individual web page. The code will track visitors. It is the most accurate way to track visitors.

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HOW DO I TRACK MY RANKS?

There are several ways to track your ranks.

A. Go to each search engine and type in your keywords and see where you end up in the listing. (Not recommended)

B. Use a tool to track your ranks.

1. WebPosition Gold: $149
http://www.webposition.com/cgi-local/index.pl?DS1=RP&DS2;=CYO-555E
– Analyze your ranks and provides a history of your ranks.
– Analyzes keywords and keyword density and compares you to the competition.
– Includes doorway page generator.
– Supports major search engines.
– Supports unlimited domains in the Pro version. (more expensive) only supports 10 in the standard version.
– Also has a tracking tool.

2. TopDog: $149
http://www.topdog.com
– Supports more engines for analyzing ranks than WPG.
– Supports unlimited domains in the standard version.
– Does not include keyword analyzer and doorway page generator.
(Have not used this – would welcome an article on this program.)

3. ADDWEB: $69 – $299
http://www.addweb.com
– Supports major search engines.
– Supports link popularity ratings.
– Analyze your ranks and provides a history of your ranks.
– Analyzes keywords and keyword density and compares you to the competition.
– Includes doorway page generator.
– Supports 3 domains for $69 and 10 for $149.
(Have not used this – would welcome an article on this program.)

4. Cliff’s Search Engine PositionAnalyzer
http://www.shavenferret.com/scripts/
Free cgi script which you can download and install on your website. The only thing it does is tells you ranks in search engines for one keyword at a time.

5. A couple scripts set up that are free to use, but they only check one keyword for one page:
a. SearchEnginePositionAnalysis – JimWorld – lots of engines: http://www.jimtools.com/position.html
b. Geek Village offers a tool like Cliff’s all set up, it’s free: http://www.geekvillage.com/webmaster_tools.htm

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HOW DO I ANALYZE?

Now you’ve got some statistics to play with. What do you do with them? You do not have to be a statistician to understand if you are reaching your goals.

Here is where I need to stress some important points.
#1. All the logs, tools and whatnot are not going to be perfectly accurate due to the nature of domains, servers, hosts, browsers, etc. However, these numbers are useful to give you a general idea of trends that you will see in your traffic over time. The most accurate method are the tools that place code directly on each webpage.

#2. The only thing that is truly accurate, is the bottom line – sales that you are achieving off the site.

#3. Your primary goal in SE promotion is to increase traffic.

#4. Your secondary goal in SE promotion may be to increase sales or get some sales leads.

#5. When you start getting a good amount of traffic (500 uniques a week) you will start to get a feeling that the keyword phrases that people type into the engines are wide and varied. If you optimize for many keywords (say 10 phrases), you will notice that you’re getting traffic from search engines on phrases that you never thought of. The essence of a good SE promotion campaign is that you see a nice spread of traffic from ALL engines and directories and that you see a nice spread of keywords. Look at our keywords over the week of 10/20 – 10/27 – you will see that we are getting hits from every engine (except Webcrawler) on a wide variety of words: http://www.thewritemarket.com/directories/10-20.htm

The best way I can explain how to analyze traffic is to provide a real life example. I wanted to figure out if getting a listing on Yahoo generated any increase in traffic, and if so, what the approximate percentage of increase it was.

First, I generated the following data (using WPG):

Unique visitors before listing/ four weeks = 5589
Unique visitors after listing/ four weeks = 7263

Then I use the following equations:

7263 – 5589 = 1674

What percent of 7263 = 1674 ?

1674 / 7263 = .23 or 23 percent

So, I determined that there was approximately a 23 percent increase in traffic after the listing in Yahoo. Doesn’t necessarily mean it was due to the Yahoo listing.

I also wanted to figure out more accurately the percentage of search engine/directory traffic that Yahoo was now accounting for.

2006 = total hits from search engines/directories before listing.
2883 = total hits after listing
568 = total hits only from Yahoo listing.

What percent of 2883 = 568
568 / 2883 = approximately .20 = 20 percent

Now, since I was not doing any other search engine promotion during the 4 weeks prior to the Yahoo listing and the 4 weeks after the Yahoo listing, I’m also thinking that perhaps the Yahoo listing is affecting our ranks in other search engines. This can be true because many of the search engines will collect links from the directories. So, I wanted to know:

2883 – 2006 = 877
What percent of 2883 = 877
877 / 2883 = 30 percent

What do all these percentages tell me? That the Yahoo listing has increased our traffic APPROXIMATELY 20-30 percent

Now, what if the reverse is happening? What if you’ve optimized and you’ve gathered your data and found that your optimization has not improved your traffic? Do the following:

1. examine your keywords, do you have a nice spread of words bringing hits throughout all engines? Do those words accurately reflect your site?
http://www.thewritemarket.com/search/findkeywords.htm
2. think about link popularity.
http://www.thewritemarket.com/search/popularity.htm
3. are you even in the search engines? Meaning, are you in the database?
http://www.thewritemarket.com/search/spiders.htm
4. It is important to be in all databases.
http://www.thewritemarket.com/search/inbreeding.htm

Traffic, is all well and good. However, what it really comes down to is SALES. Are your SE promotion efforts increasing your sales? If your sales increase due to a promotion campaign, then your promotion campaign has worked. However, the percent of sale to visitor is also important to recognize. This will help you determine which promotion campaigns work better and what you should concentrate on in the future.

If you have 50 sales and 1,000 visitors, your percent of Sale / Visitor = 5 percent. That’s pretty good! I’ve seen people quote averages anywhere from .1 percent to 10 percent. I’ve heard and tend to agree that anything over 1 percent is fair and average.

What does this mean? It means you gotta get a TON of traffic in order to sell anything.

So….. Get Cracking and Good Luck!

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NBCi (Snap)

If you don’t know it, yet, the “Snap” directory has changed it’s name and web address to NBCi. http://www.nbci.com/ NBC is putting on a major ad campaign to let everyone know that Snap has changed its name.

Have you ever submitted your website to Snap or NBCi? If you haven’t – now is a GREAT time to do it. It’s still free!! Besides, it is so rewarding to submit your website here, because you get instantaneous results. I submitted a website to NBCi and two days later, it was listed. They even sent me an email to tell me that it was listed! Talk about service!

Anyway, submitting to NBCi, is very similar to submitting to Yahoo or Dmoz. You need to go and browse the directory to find the appropriate category. You will need to write a good description – a couple sentences that describe your website (try to think of something that is unique about your site.)

Another nice thing about NBCi is that you can write a title that is not necessarily the name of your site. When I submitted www.NutriCounter.net – I submitted it with the title, “Electronic Diet Calculator,” rather than “NutriCounter.”

Now, so far, we haven’t seen a lot of traffic from NBCi, in other words, it’s not one of the “major” directories, yet. However, we cannot underestimate the power of TV – and NBC has mega TV advertising capability. I’ve seen a lot of commercials for their website already. Get listed, it only takes about 1/2 hour to do it right, and it may not pay off immediately, but I’d watch it to pay off in the long run.

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WHAT’S NEW AT THE WRITE MARKET

If you haven’t checked out MCNN in a while, now is a a GREAT OPPORTUNITY we’ve added some new ezines:
http://www.thewritemarket.com/newsletter.shtml

More new articles:
http://www.thewritemarket.com/articles.shtml

More resources:
http://www.thewritemarket.com/resources.shtml

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