Tracking Data is Your Key To Success Read On »
By Tyler Dewitt March 6, 2008

Tracking a websites data is highly important in the search marketing (Pay Per Click) or optimization (Organic Traffic) world. When you track data you have a more realistic view of whats going on which granted we all have our own ways of tracking data rather it being through analytics or just something we have figured up on our own, but most generally we would use some type of analytics to track traffic count.

What are the best ways to track traffic?

Personally if you ask me the best ways to track your traffic is with Google Analytics. Out of all honesty from my experience analytics returns the most accurate measurements. Google breaks things down way better then programs such as AwStat, which don’t take me wrong at “one time” aw stat was considered a good program to use, but now days its useless if you ask me.

The reason I say its useless for is because it does not return accurate measurements by any means compared to analytics. when I first start using analytics software I used awstat and the measurement it was giving me was totally out of this world it was saying I was getting around 130 uniques a day from search engines when I was actually only getting 13 uniques a day this was when I first got involved with search marketing, so thats been years ago, but the bottom line is I wouldn’t use software such as Awstat use analytics and get the most accurate returns on your website.

Also please be advised to check out Google Analytics vs AwStats.

How to do a competitor analysis?

Running a competitor analysis can be tricky and I think a lot of people get confused on how its actually done well depends on what there doing for example an older domain can out rank a new domain due the trust rank and a lot of people over look that having old domains is like major credibility toward the search engines (big time).

Anyways lets say you have the same age domain as someone else for example 1998, but your your thinking to your self how can I out rank this competitor the method I’m going to give you is simple and requires nothing else, but what I’m going to tell you to do.

Do a link count on your competitor use your Yahoo search engine to do a link count for example go to http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=linkdomain:www.creditcards.com%20-site:www.creditcards.com now this will give you the results for creditcards.com now you see the link count where it says 5,490 don’t get confused with that the reason being is because it counts all links including site wide links and site wide links give you no more credibility towards the search engine then what a one way unique link does, but what you can do is get an actual measurement of how many links this site has pointing to it.

In this case it looks like its around ~1,000 links (flip through the pages and you’ll see it stops at 10) the down fall about this is that its not an actual result, but it gives you an idea and also keep in mind for some odd reason Yahoo will only give you 1000 results for the links, so in other words if a site has more then 1000 links pointing to it they won’t show them all which I think is quite ridiculous out of all honesty, but hey the Yahoo linkdomain command gives you an idea of what your working with.

The site I just referred to was creditcards.com, but let me tell you something if the site is showing over 1000 links go down your search result until you hit a site that does not show 1000 links for example the yahoo back link checker might be showing 500 links for a particular site in position 10, so what does that mean?

That means you need to get around ~500 links to get up into that position maybe even less who knows that site could have numerous anchor text its using, so you could possibly out rank that site with ~100 links on that given keyword for that search result so if your doing a search result for credit cards and the position 10 site has around ~500 links and you get ~100 links using the anchor text credit cards you might be right up there in the top 10.

Which don’t take these measurements as an accurate reading, but if you set down and start researching this type of stuff it can give you a very good idea on what you need to do to out rank the other site and I will tell you this if your going up against an old domain that is dated back in 1997 and your domain is 2007 your going to have to get a ton of links to out rank them other sites trust me on that.

Also keep in mind page rank is not a big deal which you want to try to get links with some what page rank, but don’t get caught up on the whole fact that you need 10 pr 8 links to rank high because quite honestly if you have an older domain with a hand full of half decent links maybe coming from pr2 websites they will work a lot better then one silly higher page rank website for example you could get ~200 permanent links with different anchor text a lot easier and faster then compared to a pr8 link and better yet rank better on the pr2 links because you got more of them (even with different anchor text) that page rank is not everything your page rank bar only goes so high then it stops.

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