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Web Position Gold Vs. Click Track & Others


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24 replies to this topic

#1 RisaBB

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 08:26 PM

Hello,

My biggest client wants me to optimize his site so he ranks higher on search engines, and is "paying me for my education." I told him that this will be a first for me.

I'd like to provide him with website statistics, so I am new to detailed web statistics. I currently have his home page tracked through reinvigorate.net, but I want more.

I've read about Web Position Gold and downloaded the trial but never used it. I thought I read that Jill uses this. Which is a good program for a newbie at this?

Thanks for your great newsletter and any advice.

Risa

#2 qwerty

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 09:30 PM

Risa, WPG isn't really for checking a site's statistics. What it does is generate reports on various pages' rankings on the SEs for the keyword phrases you tell it to look for.

If you're looking for a tool that will go through your server logs and give you a lot of information on user activity, spiders, etc., then you want to look into applications like ClickTracks or NetTracker (my personal favorite). But be warned, I don't know how deep your client's pockets are, but they're both pretty expensive.

By the way, I'm rather fond of Reinvigorate. It doesn't give you a lot of information, but it can be quite useful. It's so nice to hear those little beeps every time someone hits your home page :manybounce:

#3 Scottie

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Posted 02 August 2003 - 10:14 PM

AW Stats is an open source stats program loaded on my host's server. Gives some nice breakdowns and reports.

I just found out the other day that it is freeware so you may want to check it out!

#4 Matt B

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 02:23 PM

As Bob pointed out, WPG is not for stats, but is used to check rankings across various search engines. If you're under a budget, you can do without it.

Your host should have a stats program available for you, as most do. You may want to make sure it is up-to-date. Some hosts still run old versions of Webtrends that won't give the most accurate information that you could have. Webtrends and a few other stats are run on the server level, and your host should set you up with a login to view your monthly stats.

The "big view" stats programs like Webalizer, Analog, Webtrends, Clicktracks, etc. can give you the basic numbers to evaluate your optimization efforts. Be sure you have access to Unique Visitors, Visitor Sessions, Search Engine Referrals, and Top Search Phrases. These are the basics you'll need to start measuring success.


Best of Luck!



Matt

#5 mcanerin

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 09:27 PM

I've been using Analog for some time now and it's fairly simple (and FREE!). They bill themselves as the worlds most popular log anayzer.

I like the fact it's very customizable, and you can download the logs to your own computer then run it (useful if your client isn't hosted by you). A lot (actually most) log analyzers do this but it's a "must have" feature if you want to do this for a living and are not just a one client SEO. Don't get an analyzer that doesnt do it, IMHO.

The only gotcha is that in the spirit of most open source software, it can be hard to get up and running if scripts scare you, and it's power comes from the fact that it's so customizable it can get confusing. Works on IIS and Apache, windows and *nix.

They have great user based support and lots of plugins, templates, etc. If you like to tinker and customize it's great, but if you like fire and forget, forget it :D

I offer my clients ongoing monthly reports (for a small monthly fee) that include stats and SE positioning. Popular with information junkies, and any source of regular income (no matter how small) is good for poor starving SEO's like myself...

Ian

#6 viz

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Posted 03 August 2003 - 11:23 PM

RisaBB - as others have said WPG is not a traffic tracking or logfile analyzer. However I think what you're referring to is the Hitslink traffic stats service which WPG users get at a discounted rate.

It's a hosted service that uses JavaScript code snippets you insert into pages you want tracked. Comes in several flavours - Professional & Enterprise. The latter provides eCommerce tracking capability kind of like ConversionRuler discussed elsewhere on this forum.

I use Hitslink for some clients and is pretty cost effective although I have to say I've found their customer support pretty hit and miss. I think they may also still offer a free version if you're prepared to have a visible Hitslink image on your pages.

#7 Vermont

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 11:16 AM

Because the internet is a stateless protocol, there is only so much info you can get from your server logs. Website Statisitic programs often attempt, for example, to report the number of unique visitors to you. The fact is, they cannot accurately do this.

Here is an example: run your server logs through several web stat programs. Try Webalizer, AWStats, and Webtrends.

The results: you will get 3-different sets of numbers!

#8 Jill

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 12:09 PM

Because the internet is a stateless protocol, there is only so much info you can get from your server logs. Website Statisitic programs often attempt, for example, to report the number of unique visitors to you. The fact is, they cannot accurately do this.


That really doesn't make sense to me.

The programs are all reading from the same log files on your server, and therefore, are extracting the same information.

It's true that they may report it back differently to you, but that's more likely a setting that's different. Your logs are your logs. How they are analyzed is a whole other matter.

I do believe that good analyzers can indeed report to you the number of unique visitors to your site, as long as you know how to read and interpret what the logs tell you.

Some analyzers are better than others are correctly interpretting the results.

Jill

#9 Matt B

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Posted 04 August 2003 - 12:38 PM

Here is an example: run your server logs through several web stat programs.  Try Webalizer, AWStats, and Webtrends.

The results: you will get 3-different sets of numbers!

Depending upon the age of some stats programs, bots are counted in the user sessions. Some count Googlebot as a search engine referral and not a spider visit. Some do not even report SE referrals and break them down by engine. Early versions of Webtrends cannot track unique visitors, just user sessions.

That is usually the interpretation rules contained in the software, rather then a fault with the log files. Updated filters make a large difference in reporting various stats. The variations are simply a matter of the filters that are established to read the log file information and what is interpreted as a unique visitor, search engine visitor, etc.

Opinion Alert!
Typically the numbers aren't as important as the consistency in reporting. Having the precise numbers of unique visitors or search engine referrals is not the end all issue; the most important tracking method is evaluating the trends that emerge from day to day, week to week, and month to month. As long as the reporting method is consistent, the trends wil be correct.

#10 elmo

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 10:02 AM

Funnel Web Analayser (free version available) will cover basic stats, NetTracker is my personal favorite for in-depth analaysis on sessions by referrer, by keyword...

#11 Jill

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Posted 06 August 2003 - 10:05 AM

Welcome, Elmo! :applause:

Thanks for the info.

Jill

#12 Rizla

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 01:35 AM

I use both WPG 2 (Pro) and ClickTracks... They are excellent at what they do and they are my best wepons in my SEO business.

Incidently I did hop onto the Smart Page idea briefly, they were listed very quickly and ranked well but after the Google 'hip hop' they soon fell off the ranks all to gether. The WPG pages rank extreemly well so I am sticking with WPG

#13 Jill

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 09:51 AM

Welcome, Rizla! :lmao:

Jill

#14 Matt B

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 10:34 AM

Incidently I did hop onto the Smart Page idea briefly, they were listed very quickly and ranked well but after the Google 'hip hop' they soon fell off the ranks all to gether. The WPG pages rank extreemly well so I am sticking with WPG

What do you mean by the WPG pages ranking well?

#15 Jill

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 10:40 AM

What do you mean by the WPG pages ranking well?



I believe Rizla is referring to pages they created using WPG's page generator.

Jill




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