Owning a business website can be a nightmare if you don't know how to manage it. One secret to a successful website is knowing how to measure its effectiveness and where to find the right tools. 1. Has Your Website Been Indexed ? The key to online success is getting good with the search engines.
So you first need to determine whether your website has been indexed or not. Concentrating on the three main search engines of Google, Yahoo and MSN type "site:www.yoururl.com" into the search bar of each, without the quotes, and see the results.
If they return with no match then you'll need to submit your website. There are two ways you can do this: manually or by using automated submission software. There are numerous websites on the internet that'll let you submit your website for free.
Just type "free search engine submission" into Google and take your pick. If you're going to go the manual route direct your browser to www.google.
com/addurl.html for Google and http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html for Yahoo.
2. Have You Opened Your Google Account Yet ? Part of being successful on the internet involves constantly monitoring your website. A few questions you should be asking yourself are: * Is my website set up properly ? * Can search engines reach my website OK, if not, why not ? One good way to answer these questions is to open a Google account. Registration is free and straightforward.
Just point your browser to www.google.com, click on the "sign in" link (or similar) and then click on the "create account" link (or something similar).
One of the wonderful tools that come with a Google account are the Webmaster Tools. Once you have registered your website (and you can register as many as you like) you'll find a couple of useful tools to help you monitor it. These include: * Web Crawl Stats indicating any errors Google encountered when crawling and indexing your site.
* A "robots.txt" analysis tool. This is a file indicating to search engines how to access your site (e.g. if you have any folders you do not wish indexed indicate that here).
* A "Sitemap submission tool". A sitemap is a web page containing links to the most important sections of your website. It not only assists your visitors when navigating your website but also helps search engines while indexing it.
3. Analyzing Your Site Stats Analysing your site stats needn't be a chore and they can reveal interesting insights into how your website is being used and consequently where improvements can be made. One program I use myself is Awstats (one of the better known ones if I'm not mistaken) which not only shows pretty graphics but provides a convenient, easy to use, one page summary for you to look over. In any case most shared hosting packages will come with similar sofwtare. When analysing my own site stats I find it particularly interesting to look at: * The number of unique visitors * Hours of the day people like to visit the most * Countries people visit from (this is particularly interesting and sometimes surprising) Perhaps more important elements to look out for include: * Which browsers visitors use to access your site ( eg.
Internet Explorer, Firefox) * Which search terms visitors have used to arrive at your website * Which search engines referred them to your website * Which websites they've been referred from * Which search engines crawl your website and how often * The number of errors encountered on your website and of which type (eg. 404 Page Not Found) There are many ways you can keep check on your website and the list above is by no means exhaustive. In fact, I venture to say, there as many ways of doing so as there are website owners. To a certain degree this all depends on individual creativity.
William Alldred runs Websites On Steroids, dedicated to helping YOU succeed on the internet. For WINNING EDGE INSIGHTS visit: http://www.websitesonsteroids.com/blog. For a FREE WEBSITE EVALUATION visit: http://www.websitesonsteroids.com/contact.htm#quotes