Tracking your web pages so you know what's working
The most important element of any system is the feedback loop. This is how a feedback loop works.
The Feedback Loop
1 You do something
2 You gauge what effect this something has had
3 You make changes to get you closer to your goal
This process brings you ever closer to your goal. In the case of your website your goal is to make money. So what do you do? You now have to track your website to figure out what is working and what is not working.
To do this effectively you have to ask questions. Here are some of the questions you need to ask:
What do people like about my site? What pages are they visiting?
Luckily we can figure this out without spending any money. There is a simple way to do this. You should put a small piece of tracking code on every page of your site.
Free Tracking Software
With the free software (Just a small snipper you put on each page) you can track the traffic of up to 100 webpages. This is some powerful software and it will give you reports that you can break down in a number of ways. You can see total traffic to your site or you can see which pages are most popular. You can also track where they are coming from. There are a lot of ways you can view the information and I recommend you get very familiar with the tools offered.
Once you start accumulating some hits you can see which pages people like and you can make adjustments. Beef up the pages that people like and rewrite the pages that they never visit. In particular you need to rewrite the links that point to pages that are never visitied.
People may not be visiting certain pages for a reason. Examine your site and the pages and links. Do they not visit a page because the information doesn't interest them? Or is it because the links to that page are hard to find? Do the links adequately describe what's on the unvisited page?
Make changes and experiment with all of these factors. Then recheck your stats to see what is working and what is not working.
Continue this process of making changes and checking your effectiveness. This is the feedback loop.
Let's continue on and learn how to refine the mechanics of our website to get better search engine results. One small change to your website design can have a dramatic impact in how search engines see your website.