Using Your Visitor Logs

Experiment with your user logs to measure how successful your site is at adding new readers and retaining your regular customers. Any good business has to know who its regular customers are and how the new customers are getting their information. From this research, you can then build lasting relationships and form new ones for long-term website growth!

If you are like most webmasters or bloggers, you are constantly searching for fresh ideas to add content to your website. You are already well aware that adding more pages to your site will enhance your search engine rankings. You realize that you require more keyword phrases to find their way into searches. The question arises as to where to find ideas that appeal to your visitor traffic. The answer may lie in your own visitor traffic logs.

Hidden in the pages of those ubiquitous, but often overlooked features of every website, are some gems waiting to be mined. Keywords used to find your website are one of the most ignored, yet very valuable prizes found in your visitor logs. By using those keywords, in a manner consistent with the main theme of your website, you can gain additional search engine referrals.

Visitor logs also provide useful information on the activities of your visitors that can helpful in adding fresh content to your site and in improving conversion rates from tire kicker to customer status.

{mospagebreak title=Visitor Logs are Keyword Mines}

When a Internet search engine user enters keyword phrases into the search box, you want them to find your website high on the search results. It logically follows that the more keyword rich content is found on your site, the more searchers will find you. Occasionally, they find your site through very unusual searches.

Your visitor traffic logs will normally contain a list of the keywords and keyword phrases that led an Internet searcher to your website. Some of those phrases ranked highly enough on a search engine result to cause the user to click on the link to your site. As you check through your visitor logs, you will see several patterns in them.

Regular Keyword Searches

First of all, you will see the regular keyword searches that you expect to find. They will be your main important keyword phrases. As expected, your visitors found you through them. If a phrase is heavily targeted, and many users discover your site by searching that phrase, you will know that to be an important keyword phrase for Internet searchers. Be certain to use those key phrases early and often as you build new content pages, or freshen up the content on existing ones.

Secondly, there are your secondary keyword phrases and combinations. Not being your main focus, these keyword phrases are often overlooked in favor of the more heavily targeted search terms. As secondary terms, they may even be sources of better quality Internet traffic, as they are the result of more specialized and deeper searches. As you analyze these terms, be sure to include them prominently in newly added content pages. The pages where they brought traffic to your site can be revamped as well, giving the keywords more strategic placement and usage.

The third set of keywords, found in your visitor logs, are the very unusual and occasionally downright hilarious ones. Before you spend your entire day laughing at them, study them carefully. Look for recurring words and phrases within the unorthodox searches, keeping in mind that the search engines equate those terms with your site.

Should any of the search terms prove useful, and on topic in any way for your website, their inclusion in added content pages might bring some unexpected bonus visitor traffic. Keep in mind that many of these unique discoveries may be exactly that. They may be one time events, and never repeated. They may have little long term value for your site. Before dismissing them all, however, make certain that you are not tossing away some real Internet gold.

{mospagebreak title=Length of Stay and Making it Pay}

Visitor traffic logs normally maintain a record of the length of stay for each visitor. Keep in mind that you are tracking unique visitors. As you search through your records, you will discover that many visitors arrive, stay only a few moments and leave. What they found at your site was not to their liking and did not solve their problem.

Short Time Visitors

If you have a large number of short time stay visitors, check the pages at which they entered your site. If the pages in question are not content rich, there is no need for visitors to remain on your site. Their needs were not met. If some entry pages are showing fast exits from your website, it’s time to revamp those pages with some new content.

It is also a good idea to have links to other pages on your site prominently displayed as alternatives for the visitors. If you can solve their needs on other pages, your traffic may remain longer on your site. Longer stays mean higher proportions of conversions to customers, whether at the present time or in the future. The raw number of visitors is not as important as the conversion rate of visitors to paying customers.

New Visitors for Old

Every website needs a steady influx of new visitor traffic, whether from search engines or from links on other sites. To enable visitor traffic growth, new visitors are constantly required. At the same time, a webmaster must retain already existing visitors and customers. The previously acquired traffic forms a base for new arrivals to build upon, increasing the traffic levels overall.

In your visitor logs, there will be records of new visitors and of returning traffic. Be certain to determine the percentage of your traffic that is new, against the percentage of previously existing visitors. A large drop in new visitors could indicate that your keywords are not ranking very highly in the search engines. Your links perhaps are not being clicked, or your other website promotional activities are not as effective as they were in the past. It is necessary to take some action to remedy the situation.

In the case of your visitor logs, you possess the data to make the needed changes. If you are not ranking well in the search engines, it would be time to do some website optimization. The best place to begin is by adding more keyword rich content. More pages of content will also help your site toward potentially becoming an authority site in your area. Combining that activity with an active linking program to increase your Google PageRank and incoming links can help as well.

{mospagebreak title=Returning Visitors}

If the number of returning visitors begins to fall in proportion to the new traffic, it is time to create some new content as well. If the regular visitors find no updating of information at your site, there will be no real incentive for their return. They may turn to a competitor’s website instead. That should provide enough reason to create some new and informative content. As a bonus, the fresh content will help in the search engines, gaining more new visitor traffic.

Once a visitor arrives at your website for the first time, it is important to keep them there and to have them return over and over again. As a visitor becomes more familiar with you, your site information, and your products, that individual is much more likely to become a paying customer or client.

Traffic Flows Within Your Site

Another helpful feature of your visitor logs, are the records of the pages accessed by surfers. If any one page is receiving very heavy usage, it makes sense to examine that page carefully to see why it works so well. With close study, that page’s success can be duplicated, on other pages throughout your website.

Be certain to have each web page optimized for its main keyword theme only, to maximize its power in the search engines. It doesn’t matter which page is your visitor’s entry page. What really matters is whether they move freely around your site, with possible action taken toward becoming customers, either now or in the future.

Tracking your visitors, as they navigate around your site, can also help determine if your site architecture is visitor friendly. If your site is difficult to move around, requiring many clicks to get anywhere, the visitor’s next click will be out of your site. Make certain your page menus are easy to read, understand, and follow. Be sure they take the visitor somewhere helpful as well.

{mospagebreak title=Conclusion}

Your website visitor traffic logs are a veritable goldmine of information, helping to attract and keep visitors at your site.

The search terms users enter into the search box, that wind up finding your site, can provide you with ideas to add new pages of fresh content. The search terms and phrases include your main targeted keywords, your secondary and less fully developed keywords, and those phrases that you never thought were important. All of the searches provide ideas for adding new pages of additional information.

By tracing the proportion of new visitors to returning traffic, you can determine if your site is successful at adding new readers, and in retaining your regular customers. Should there be a dramatic change in the percentages, you can investigate the reasons. If positive, you can emphasize those factors more. If negative, you can make changes to prevent major traffic dips.

The visitor logs can also help in keeping your site easy to navigate and visitor friendly. Knowing which pages are popular, and which ones receive little surfer activity, can assist you in revamping your site to be more useful for visitors.

Your visitor traffic logs are there for your benefit. Mine them for gold today.

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