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The Art of SEO, 2nd Edition by Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge

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Measuring Search Traffic

Classic web analytics data is an incredible asset to SEO. Here are some examples of ways to utilize this data for SEO purposes:

  • Look at your daily referral reports to detect newly received inbound links (the great majority of webmasters click on a link after implementing it, to make sure it works).

  • Look at the search terms people use to come to your site to spot long-tail search opportunities.

  • Measure the results of your campaigns by tracking the increase in conversions you are driving over time.

  • Try to find missed opportunities—that is, search terms and phrases that people used to come to your site that did not result in a conversion.

Web analytics are a must-have for any web publisher.

Basic Overview

Your hosting company most likely provides a free web analytics solution, such as AWStats, Webalizer, or something similar. Although these tools provide valuable data, they are very limited in scope, and other tools out there provide significantly more data. Here are some of the best-known options:

Web analytics platforms track your site’s traffic in two major ways. The older of the two methodologies is to use software that analyzes your web server logfiles, which contain detailed information of all the traffic on your website. Setting up this type of solution ...

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