Improve Your Website Performance: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Is Equal to Google Analytics?

Photo at blog from webmaster - 27/10/2010 - 07:14

In my website conformance checklist I present SEO (Search Engine Optimization) best practices. A client of mine, exploiting 500+ websites for freelance professionals, invited me to discuss the website conformance checklist.

In their view I had found myself a nice little marketing niche instrument to make myself a some money. They, professional experts, considered it nonsense. A website gets traffic, or it does not. And websites do not sell anything. You create a website solely for your image. So it is a cost center. And if you want to measure your website results, install Google Analytics! It is free!
And that is all there is to it.

Now I like this type of discussions. People with 'experience based' opinions seldom have their facts right. This can easily be verified by asking a few simple questions:

  • When are you satisfied with your website?
    Some examples: Reduction of customer contact operation costs, increase of the number of sales leads, or another business requirement.
  • How do you measure your website management process operation?
    Without measurements you will never know whether you are successful. Also, you do not know when to improve your website performance.
  • How do you know what action to undertake when you see the results of the previous question?
    Without knowing how to put measurement results into action you will never be able to improve your website business performance.

These questions my bate. All you need to do now is to sit back, remain silent, and smile. Because they do not have the slightest idea what the answers are to these questions. To be able to answer them you need knowledge, competence and experience.

Now back to the users of a website. What the goal of your website is, you need to measure a few facts. What the best tool is to use for measurement? There is no best tool: All have their merits, and all have drawbacks. Google Analytics is a good and free choice for the client side. There are also good free web-server side tools available like AWStats and Webalizer.

And what topics do you want to measure:

  • Unique visitors
    Because you want to know how may people visited the website.
  • Time on site
    Because you want to know much time they have spent reading your wonderful content.
  • Page visits
    Because you want to know which pages they liked most, and which pages they never looked into. Ever thought of having the page visits (or the time on site, for that matter), grouped to per visit, per source, per keyword, or per campaign?

If you already gather these basic figures, I can congratulate you. You are among the few professionals who care about their site in terms of business performance.

One remark though: Knowledge is measurement, if you know what you measure. 2 seemly contra-dictionary examples:

  1. If you run an e-Commerce site, you want to spend your visitors as short a time on your site as possible: Buy and go.
  2. If your goal is to provide information, you probably want the opposite: The visitor should stay as long as possible, and visit all your valuable pages.

So be careful.

We want to hear from you! What are your web analytics best practices? What do you measure? How does your steering process look like? Contact Hans Lodder, and invite him to help you improve your website operational process. Improve your website ROI!

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