Our first module demonstrated that statistics are collected about our own website by various other third party websites. And though we may or may not like the idea, the activity does return informative results about our website which we can then use to our benefit.
What you may not know is that there is an extended wealth of information that can be exchanged between servers each time your web browser makes the request. As an Administrator, this is an open door invitation to track and gather statistics. If only there were an SEO tool available to enable the lay person access to such statistical tracking. And there is.
StatCounter.com provide a free comprehensive counter-tracker that harvests exact and relevant information on various data groups. Because the data collected is so intimate to the administrator's website, he is able to postulate and implement scenarios and view their timely results with ease.
The driver behind this event is statistics. This is really the domain of the SEM / SEA, but it behooves any SEO to know something regarding the interpretation of statistics.
And first and foremost rule to learn is that a statistic is a by-gone event which means nothing on it's own. It is a statement of the past and can only portend a possible future. And most of all, it must be compared against another statistic or another datum before any sane inference can be made.
The following example of two statements will demonstrate how a single datum can give a totally false impression unless it is measured against a second relevant datum. The second statement tells us that a perfect 10 is actually a lousy score in this scenario.
Interpreting Statistics Example: Which statement gives the clearer picture?
a) He scored a perfect 10
b) He scored a perfect 10 from a possible 992,128 ¾
The reason statistics play such an important role in SEO is that they allow us to entertain probabilities in regard to future trends or isolate areas that require attention.
We look for figures which seem at odds when compared with each other or do not meet our envisioned projections.
Eg. Our website gets 300 hits for capricosa pizza but only 5 hits for napolitana pizza. Without stat-tracking, it may never have come to our attention that we forgot to link napolitana from our menu or that we have mis-spelled the item which has then resulted in missed web site traffic from search engines looking for that exact item.
What search engine phrases drive customers to my website?
Which of my downloads or products are popular with visitors?
Are my visitors using FireFox or Chrome?
How many unique visitors did i get last month?
Do my visitors use Google, Scroogle or Yahoo to find my site?
Do Canadians or Swedes visit my site?
These are but a few questions an SEO might want to be able to easily evaluate and which are all answered if you are using stat-counter to keep record of your web site traffic.