SEO – What to do First

In our last segment, we ended with a discouraging point. Keywords are vital, but they are not an end-all to good search engine optimization. Without good SEO, a website is banished to the far reaches of the internet where sane men seldom travel. In this segment we will discuss some of the quick actions that you can perform to start getting your website visibility.

Submit your website to Search Engines

You may have already done this; if you haven’t, it’s possible that the omnipresent ‘Googlebot’ and other spiders have found your website anyway. Don’t rely on chance where search engine submission is concerned. You can do all the right things with your website, but if the search engines aren’t indexing it, then the site will remain undiscovered.
Submitting your website to search engines doesn’t have to be hard. First, do a web search for “free search engine submission.” At the time of this writing there were approximately 18,700,000 results in Google. You can wade through the 18 million results and pick one you like; or click on one of the links below to use one of our picks:

Don’t be surprised if any or all of these sites try to sell you professional SEO services; they need to make money too.
Follow the onscreen instructions to submit your site. Some submissions will require that you verify via email. Make sure you give them a valid email and check it and follow the link to validate your website submission.
That’s it, you have submitted your website, but don’t expect your site to show up immediately. The submission process can take up to weeks before the spiders come crawling.

Set up analytics

Analytics is one of the most important first steps that you can take in your SEO campaign. How will you know how your website is doing without at least checking periodically to see how many people are visiting your website? Analytics tools give you this information and a lot more.
Google analytics is perhaps the quickest way to start tracking and understanding what’s happening on your website. Go here to signup:
It’s pretty easy to setup your account; the hardest part is putting the tracking code on your website. The tracking code is used to keep track of what pages are visited, how long visits last, where people are coming from, and a whole lot of other stuff too!
Google analytics is not the only tool that you should use to track your SEO campaigns. Nearly all website hosting accounts have some kind of statistics program included. Sometimes you don’t even need to turn them on; they just start gathering information as soon as your website is setup. I can’t tell you exactly where this is located on all hosting companies, but many use a tool called Cpanel.
In Cpanel you can find statistics about a third of the way down the page, in the fourth segment titled ‘Logs’. I like AWSTATS, click on it and then the domain you want to view. Wow! Look at all the information. For now we will concern ourselves with just a few bites, of course feel free to eat the whole thing if you like (analyze away).

Here are a few things you can find:

Unique Visitors – the number of individual IP addresses that visited your website.
Total Visitors – This differs from unique visitors in that a single visitor may have visited many times!
Daily Visitors – The number of visits you have on any given day of the month.
Top 25 visiting countries – That’s right, you’ve gone global.
Robots and spiders – Sounds kind of creepy, but this is where you can see if Google and friends are actually seeing your website.
Keywords – This is the word or phrase that people have used to find your site.
And there’s more, including: keywords used to find your site, top visited urls…etc., etc.

Now that you have these nifty stats and you’re certain your website has the attention of Google et al, you might be wondering what to do with all the information. We will cover that in the next segment, for now it suffices to know that you are actually getting traffic to your website, and that the search engines know you exist.

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