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Who’s been looking at MY site? SEO via Server Logs

Posted by Stickyweb in SEO | 0 comments

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew where your site visitors came from & what they were looking for? Well you do – any hosting provider worth their salt will have logs listing all traffic to your site … if they don’t or won’t pass on the details to you … You’re hosting at the wrong place!

The logs initially don’t make a very interesting read. For example:

[15/Jun/2010:09:57:42 -0500]GET /stories/op/storiesView/sid/37/tid/13/ HTTP/1.1″ 302 260 “http://www.google.ca/search?q=gifts+for+husbands+on+wedding+day&hl=en&meta=” “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows NT 4.0)”

As I said, not very interesting, BUT notice the bold text … This shows this visitor has accessed the site via the Google search engine looking for information on ‘Wedding Day gifts for Husbands‘.  Now if analysis of your log files shows that lots of people are searching for Wedding Day Gifts for Husbands, you know what you need to do – Publish MORE articles on possible gifts, link to stores offering gifts (And maybe score a commission!), become THE internet resource for that particular topic.

Scouring server logs isn’t particularly sexy … isn’t there a better way?
It depends on just how much information you are after and if you are willing to pay. But there are excellent FREE resources available. Google Analytics is great once you’ve set it up and learned to decipher the information – it’s probably a lot more complicated than the average website owner needs, but the price is right!  Try searching for ‘free website analytics’ and you’ll get thousands of options – just don’t get tricked by any that claim to be free & then hit you up for a monthly subscription when you get used to them.

With all of the graphs, charts, maps & data don’t forget why you’re analysing in the first place – to pinpoint what your visitors are looking for.

How much will it cost for Search Engine Optimization?

Posted by Stickyweb in SEO | 0 comments

Search Engine Optimization Cost – The inevitable question … and a fair one at that … but I prefer to turn it around to ‘How much should I spend?’  For that calculation you need to know your average customer value. If you don’t know that – you should! Once you know your customer value you can determine what you can spend on aquisition.

Customer Value

For instance:
Roger the widget retailer has 500 customers and averages $50,000 in sales per annum – so he’s determined that the average customer value is $100 p.a. Without knowing his other costs, it might be reasonable to assume that Roger can spend 10% – or $10 to acquire a new customer.
If Roger also knows that he has a 10% conversion rate, i.e. 1 in 10 people visiting his site or viewing his ad go on to buy, then we know he can afford to spend $1 per potential customer in acquisition costs.

Now we have some idea of what should be spent attracting new customers. Roger may decide to spend it all on Adsense and knows that $1 per click should be his budget. (Or more if he has a strategy for decreasing click costs over time – but that’s for a different post). If Roger decides to concentrate on building backlinks then he can afford $1,000.00 to bring in 1000 potential customers.

Of course, real world examples are a lot more complicated but it all starts with a very important piece of information – your average customer value. So what’s yours?