jonathan lackman

MCSE, MCSA, Project Management, SEO, Web Design

Start Measuring your SEO efforts

autor; Jonathan Lackman

Someone I know once said, in the business context; "you cannot raise the bar until you measure the bar". The idea here is that you really cannot tell what is working, what is not working, what needs work, or if things are improving unless you MEASURE.

You are likely all hopped up and ready to start buying PPC, doing organic SEO, do it ALL, do it ALL AT ONCE, do it NOW!  Well, here is a vote for caution. Before you spend one calorie of effort or one dollar, you should first ensure that you can measure current state, or current performance. Without this knowledge,  you won't know what is working.

How do you do this?  Well, if you have a hosted site now, almost every hosting plan includes free log review programs that show a huge amount of detail related to visits, page hits, bandwidth, top referrers, top search terms, and lots more. I have hosting accounts at Bluehost, Hostgator, Godaddy, and Freehostia, and they all offer good, usable log reporting. For example, my Hostgator console offers two major stat programs; Webalizer, and AWstats, plus other capabilities. See screenshot below. You have to get familiar with these tools, and become very familiar with how your site is performing NOW, prior to any work. This is measuring the bar, so that you can attempt to raise the bar by quality SEO and PPC work.

Once you are certain you have a good reporting tool in place, and know how to use it, only then should you start doing SEO and PPC. Then you can verify and confirm your work by actually SEEING the impact your changes are making.

After you get really familiar with SEO, (10 years) you will be able to build pages that are very SEO optimized from scratch. In the beginning, however, having good reporting in place will save lots of time, energy, calories, hair, liquor, and money.

Good Luck!

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