How to Read Your Webstats – Part 5 – Search Engine Referrals

My final post in my weeklong blog on using your NetSource hosting webstats.  By now you’re probably picking up on how the webstats program works and following through with the logic flow outlined in my earlier posts.  The section of the webstats program I want to talk about today is probably the most exciting to me as this is looking at what search engines are referring visitors to your site and what keywords they typed in to find your site.

In previous postings I gave you a screenshot of the graph I was referring to, but I am not in this case as screenshots would identify a website they are associated with – this data is very specific to the website or an industry in general.  However, if you are logged into your stats program, the graphs will be located towards the bottom of the main screen.  On the “Connect to site from” graph, the first half of the graph specifically outlines how my visitors have come to your site from various search engines for the selected month.  Google, for the most part, will commonly dominate this stat, because, well, they’re Google and they dominate the world right now.  The second part of the graph is more unique from site to site as it will show you top links to your website from other websites (external links) that have chosen to link to you (or directory sites that you have submitted your website to for display).  If you have a lot of search engine and external links referring traffic to you, you probably have a site that has been live for over 6 months, have good content and your site is well optimized.  If your site is still new, note that it takes the search engines a while until they start taking your site seriously.  The simple fact is that search engines proceed with caution on new sites, but after you have been online for awhile they’ll start warming up to you.

The “Search Keyphrases (Top 10)” graph shows you the top keyword phrases someone typed into a search engine that lead them to your website.  It is interesting to see as sometimes you’ll find visitors are typing in search phrases you never thought they would use.  Using this data can be good at evaluating your keywords and finding out if re-optimization is needed.  Just make sure you have at least a few months of data that accurately reflects consistent trends.

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