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The bread-crumb trail not only helps users return to a previous page in the navigational path; it also
makes it easier for a web crawler to fully examine your site. Because crawlers follow every link on
your page, this is an internal link structure that leads crawlers to individual pages that you want to
have included in search engine results.
Choosing an Analytics Program
A
n important element in any SEO plan is analytics — the method by which you monitor the effec-
tiveness of your web site. Analytics are the metrics that show you how pages, links, keywords,
and other elements of your web site are performing. If your web host hasn’t provided you with an
analytics program, find one. Not having an analytics program is like walking around in the dark,
hoping you won’t bump into a wall.
Many web-site owners shy away from analytics packages because they appear to be complicated as
well as expensive. However, they don’t always have to be. You can find a good analytics program
that’s not only easy to use but is also inexpensive or even free. But use caution about making ease
and low cost the deciding factors when selecting an analytics program.
The program will give you the power to see and control how your web site performs against your
goals and expectations. You want it to show you everything you need to know, so here are some con-
siderations when you’re evaluating analytics programs:
What reports are included in the tools you’re examining, and how will you use those
reports?
How do you gather the information used to create the metrics you need?
How often are your reports updated?
How much training is necessary to understand your application and the reports provided?
Do you get software installation or is the product provided strictly as a web-based service?
What is the total cost of ownership?
What types of support are available?
What is the typical contract length?
Many analytics programs are available to you. Google Analytics, AW Stats, JayFlowers, ClickTracks,
and dozens of others all offer something different at a different price tag. If “free” is what you can
afford, don’t assume you’ll get a terrible package. Google Analytics is one of the free packages avail-
able; it’s an excellent program and is based on what used to be the Urchin Analytics package (which
was quite costly). Other programs cost anywhere from $30 to $300 a month, depending on the
capabilities you’re purchasing.
The cost is not the most important factor, however. Ultimately, your consideration should be how the
analytics package can help you improve your business.
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Building Your Site for SEO
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