I own several traditional brick and mortar businesses and spend a lot of time online. Since last month, I have spent a lot of time working on this blog and repositioning myself on the internet.
So every morning I let my four dogs out, have a cup of coffee, toast a bagel, and then run upstairs and turn on my computer. Some days I need to leave the house at 9:00 am to go somewhere, some days I just have time. Either way, I will do three things every morning after checking my email. First, I will publish an article on five different article websites. This ensures the constant flow of new one-way links to the site.
Then I went to my RSS reader to browse forums and blogs for a while to see what happened. I put a notebook next to the computer and wrote down everything I thought I could use in the future. Then I’ll get into the most interesting and important part of the morning, and move on to my awstats page.
Awstats is a basic site log analysis program that comes with most hosting accounts. I’ve always wondered how accurate hit counts and other numbers are, but it doesn’t matter because I’m not looking for counts, but trends.
Viewing and understanding your website traffic logs can help you earn more money by customizing your website to meet the needs of your visitors.
The first place I stopped was my average number of pages per day per week. I noticed on AffiliateBlog that the traffic on Monday started to get strong and ended on Wednesday, then started to weaken. There was a little spike on Saturday morning, but other than that it was a classic bell curve. What does it mean? This means that if I have something that I think will be popular, I will try to post it on Sunday and complete my ping on Monday. I also noticed that my RSS Feed subscription follows the same pattern. This all makes sense, because people are strong at the beginning of the week and tired at the end, including me.
I quickly crossed the country and noticed the flag because I thought it was cool. Next, I stopped at the section where the robot visited the site. I make sure that everyone has been there recently (especially Google) and I will pay attention to whether there is a problem. I recently realized that one of the smaller robots had never visited, so I went to the website and submitted a list. If you are curious about all the robots there, visit Robotstxt.com and check it out. Make sure the top bots on the list have visited your website in the last month. If not, you must take them there. I noticed that MSN, Yahoo, and Google (in this order) are the most frequent visitors to my website. You should visit the bot on a regular basis to make sure your latest content is indexed and available to potential visitors.
Now we come to the interesting part, the list of the most viewed pages. This will tell you which content people are most interested in and which content is not cool. The most popular post on AffiliateBlog is Commission Junction’s top ten payment plans this week. Interestingly, a similar post on Shareasale is at the back of the list, which means that people want to learn about the highest paid projects, but they also want to learn about Commission Junction. I’m always looking for posts that appear quickly, and always pay attention to them to consider another item that my visitors might like.
I get some search engine traffic, but not a lot, so I look at the keywords. Judging from the keywords that appear there, this part is not very accurate.
Are you still there? Okay, listen. Here, you can really increase traffic, find some compatriots to work with, and gain insights into what your visitors think. Scroll down to the section that shows the external website people come from. Understand that this is where your visitors see information about you and click on it.
View the entire list. I look for blog sites, websites, social bookmarking sites (such as del.icio.us), and forums that have never appeared before or are growing rapidly. I click on the link to see where it takes me. Then I will see the context in which my website appears.
Just like I did with those who cited my blog (reference on their blog), I clicked on each link, got an email address, and then quickly emailed that person thanking them. Take the time to mention my website. Nothing special, just thanks quick.
The response I got was excellent. I mean most of them (maybe 80%) are surprised that I take the time to admit to their behavior. But why don’t I do it? If someone takes the time to recommend you, you can at least acknowledge the recommendation and appreciate it.
I like the list of sites because I found something very interesting. For example, when they bought Writely, my references to Google blogs appeared on the Google blog page and brought me some traffic. I stayed on the cover of del.icio.us for a while to get a few clicks this way. It is so much fun and so much fun. Sigh, I’m a fool.
One last observation: I noticed that the people who bookmarked my page are oscillating between 7 and 10%, which is not bad. My list of RSS feeds on Feedburner stayed in roughly the same rank throughout