Analytics are an important aspect of search engine optimization. You can use analytics in developing a brand new site or you can use it to assess performance of an existing site and figure out what changes need to be made to improve the standing of the site. Some of the analytical data at your disposal, often available using free tools but at least cheaply includes:
- Web Traffic Statistics – Traffic and keyword analysis. Whether you use a custom, proprietary package or Google Analytics, just remember that they give you great trending information, but they may not be comparable data points because they may use different methodologies, e.g. cookies based tracking vs. IP address look up, to arrive at their reports.
- Text analysis – this includes keyword extraction from your curent web page to see for which keywords your page does well, and assessing term targeting, ie how well does your site perform against your important keywords
- Crawl test – ie how does a search engine see your site
- Indexed pages – are there pages missing that shoudl be indexed by a search engine. Here a sitemap and robot.txt file can alleviate any problems
- Rank Tracker – software that tells you whether your site ranks anywhere near the first page of search results for specific keywords
- Back links – get a report on how many sites and who links to your site. Linking strategies can be an important part of achieving high search engine rankings.
- W3C validation – the World Wide Web Consortium is the standards organization for the web. It offers several free validation tools such as HTML validator designed to help you determine whether your site meets international standards.