If all you really need to know is where your web site appears in search rankings, you can use the
search engines and directories that you’re targeting to do a keyword search. That keyword search
should show you where your site is ranking. It won’t show you much more than that, but it does
help you to monitor your position so you know if your efforts are working or not. Just don’t base
your decision on a single search. Search for your keywords daily over a period of time to make
sure your rank on any given day isn’t just an anomaly.
If you’re using this method of analyzing your success, you’ll need a historical view of where your
site appeared in search rankings before you began your SEO efforts. With this measurement, you
can compare your current rankings to see if your listing is climbing or falling. Without historical
data, you should, at the very least, take stock of where your site appears in rankings on the first
day of your SEO campaign. This won’t tell you the average ranking for your site, but it will give
you a good idea of where you should start.
Analyzing web stats
Most web-site hosting companies now provide some form of web statistics program. But this may
be limited to basic measurements like the number of hits, number of unique visitors, search terms
used to find your site, IP address accessing your site, and locations of people accessing your site.
Even this basic information will help you to learn where your visitors are coming from, but you
might want to add to those metrics by expanding your web-stats package.
If you’re looking for a web-stats package that’s more comprehensive, there are a few available online
for free. Most notably, Google Analytics will provide most of the measurements you’ll need, including
keyword tracking for AdWords and for other PPC applications. There are also numerous paid ver-
sions of web statistics software, some hosted online and some that are hosted on your own computer.
Find the package that’s right for your needs, and you’ll have all of the measurements you need to ana-
lyze how successful your SEO efforts are in terms of driving targeted, converting traffic to your site.
When you’re analyzing your web statistics, there are a few principles you should keep in mind.
These principles will help you understand your metrics and how they correlate with your SEO
Baseline statistics are the measurements that you collect before you begin to implement changes to
your site, like the changes you’ll make as you’re optimizing your web site. Record statistics such
as the average number of visitors to your site each day. You can later compare this number to sta-
tistics that you collect after your SEO strategies have been implemented, to see the results of your
efforts. If your numbers aren’t improving as you would expect them to, given the changes you’ve
made, then you may not have done something right, or there may be some factor that needs to be
adjusted. Your baseline measurements will help you to see (over time) where you stand.
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