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Statistics - Improve Search Engine Positions

EngNet Newsletter 2 of 6 : Statistics - Improve Search Engine Positions

Seeing good results from your effort is one of the most satisfying things in life. When do you know if your efforts have been successful?

I remember the days when I started EngNet and there weren't that many visitors. I'll be honest with you, for the first 18 months it was the longest, most pain staking process I have ever experienced. I found I was putting in effort and more effort with very little return. Then one day we started receiving some referrals from search engines and the number of visitors to our website began to increase, slowly at first, but it was a start. For 2 years we had been advertising in paper-based trade publications that target engineering users and we were getting some result, but we needed a whole lot more for our engineering directory to give companies the results they needed.

We knew from our statistics that we were not getting enough search engine referrals so we began targeting that area of our marketing strategy. After a few weeks I was ecstatic to see that we were starting to receive 20 referrals a day consistently from search engines. First thing every morning I would receive the latest stats report for our website and I was ecstatic when we began receiving 50 referrals a day. From the report we could see which search engines were directing the traffic, and from our internal EngNet stats we could see what pages the search engines were referring the users to. So we began tweaking and studying the pages to enhance our search engine positioning. Nowadays when I receive my statistics in the morning I'm less than satisfied if we have received just 800 referrals for that day.

EngNet has an advanced statistics system installed which enables us to analyze just about every aspect within EngNet. We know what will get a website traffic and what doesn't (and it doesn't always follow common sense). What I'm trying to say is that "If you can't measure it, you can't control it!". With a good stats system, you can assess what is working and what is not as well as what areas need adjustment. You will need to have a little patience as an allowance of 3 months is needed in order for you to see the benefits of your changes. After one month of receiving statistics on your website you will be able to establish what is working for your website and what is not.

Secondly, use the following statistics report to determine search engine activity:

a) Keywords by Search Engine.

From this one report you can see which search engines your referrals are coming from and what keywords were used. [Go to for a sample report]. The main search engines that provide traffic are Google, Yahoo, MSN, Looksmart, Alta Vista, Overture, Excite & Lycos.

b) Get more referrals : From here you can see which search engines are providing referrals, target the search engines that don't appear on the report and improve on those where figures are low.

c) Study keywords used : The report will define which keywords are used to find your site, make sure they are relevant and try to enhance your website to include the keywords that are missing.

If you are receiving no referrals or little to your website from search engines there are three main reasons.

1) Incorrect Keywords:

Using the correct keywords is important because that is what visitors will use to find your products on the search engines. I have found keyword research interesting as to what people use to search for products. For example, on the Overture search engine (formerly GoTo) the keywords "Structural Steel Fabricators" receive no searches each month, but "Structural Steel Fabrication" receives 160 searches a month. There are a number of methods to find out what keywords are used, the Overture search engine provides a useful facility.

2) Poor website structure and page format.

The aim of every search engine is to provide users with accurate search results. In addition, search engines work to ensure that they are directing users to good website content. Their algorithms are programmed to find websites with good website and page structures. This means a page with a relevant title, heading, text and links in a well structured format is rated highly. Links to a page should also preferably include the same keywords of the title it is pointing to. 

3) Search Engines don't know about you.

Firstly, it is important to submit your website to search engines. Secondly, gain as many additional links as you can to your website. External links to your site enables the search engine spiders to locate your website more effectively thereby increasing your rating within the search results.

Next week we will discuss in further detail how to use your statistics to improve your websites design.

If you don't have a statistics system go to


Kind Regards
Michael Cooney
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