Search engine optimization can be one of the hardest and most rewarding tools in your business arsenal. It helps with marketing, advertising and selling your products or services. Because it is a wide category, there are plenty of places where you can go wrong with it. Here are just five of them.

Under-Using Your Website – Optimizing your website involves every aspect of your site. Most people think that the only important part is the content. Optimizing content is only one piece of the pie. When you concentrate on content and not on leveraging all areas of your site, you are robbing your own pockets.

You will get visitors if your content is on point, but the search engines can rank you even higher if you used keywords in other places. Articles have titles, pages have headlines and pictures have captions. Learn to use them all to your advantage.

Keyword Overload – Search engine bots are smarter than most people give them credit for. Using keywords too much will cause them to just skip over your content and thus give you a lower ranking for those keywords. It seems like you could use as many as you wanted in an article and that would make you more visible but it’s not true.

Search engines recognize when people are cheating by overstuffing their articles with keywords. Content that is well written will stay within the allowable keyword density. And, those keywords will show up naturally throughout the article so it doesn’t sound like it was thrown together just for the keywords.

Keyword Density – You can have too few keywords as well as too many. Some people write their content without even thinking about keywords. You might have a strong article that talks about cutting edge information but without something to help the search engines look upon you favorably; no one will ever read it. Using the word once or twice in an article is not going to cut it.

No Variety – For better optimization, a website doesn’t use just one keyword. If you started with the word “chocolate”, your entire website wouldn’t be based on it. People use a variety of similar words alone or in combination to find what they are looking for with search engines. If you make and sell chocolate fudge, there are better words to use: fudge, Candace’s fudge, how to make fudge, etc. it’s like throwing all your eggs in one basket if you don’t diversify your keywords.

Reciprocal Links – While it is true that backlinks can increase your search engine ranking, all links are not equal. And search engines like organic links better than simply offering reciprocal link sharing. You want others to link to you because they like your product and what your website presents to others. Using quality content on your site, in article directories and on social bookmarking sites can increase your quality inbound links for higher ranking.

Start out on solid footing with SEO. Learn how to avoid common mistakes that first-timers make.


Why do some websites do well and others just crest for a while and then sink under the surf? It could be the big picture view. Website statistics can teach you a lot about how your online business is doing. Take a minute and look at those stats.

Getting Set Up

When you roll out your website, it is going to be important to monitor your progress. You can’t visit the site every day. You may want to but there are other tasks to tend to. Besides, if you automate most everything, your site will be able to run itself with very little interference from you except for site upkeep and adding new content and products.

This will require a well thought out plan on your part. Basic to that plan is a way to measure what goes on during the course of a day on your site. People visit, read articles, click on ads, view products and use the shopping cart. Each of these activities will help you to determine how your business will proceed in the months and years ahead.

You can add files to your web page yourself to capture certain stats. An easier step would be to get involved with a website stats program to do the work for you. Choose something like Google Analytics. If you already use other Google services to help promote your business then you are already familiar with the variety of tools they can offer you.

Google Analytics lets you analyze several things:
  • Traffic
  • Marketing strategies (ads)
  • Keywords
  • Conversion rates
This is only a sampling. You sign up and the program will walk you through the rest of what you need to get be ready for business.
Making Changes
Now that you have a way to track changes on your website, it’s time to see how they can help you over not using anything at all.
  • Improve Keyword Optimization – The keywords that you decided to use may all not perform well. Using stats on page views and visitors, you can tell which of your keywords is bringing in the most traffic. For the ones that are not, consider exchanging keywords on that web page and see how that might improve sales.
  • Improve your Content Offerings – The low number of page views for a specific page could signify that people aren’t finding your content on the first page of search engine results. Take another look at your content. Is your keyword density within the right range? Are you using too many? Search engines don’t look kindly to keyword stuffing and will not rank your work favorably. With content, provide useful information using only as many words as you need to get your point across.
What are your site stats telling you? Remember to change one parameter at a time to find the right mix that will help your website succeed.

A website can be more than just your window on the cyber world. It is your base of operations and can also be a source of rich information about your business. Use site stats to help you improve how you run your business.

What to Look For

There are lots of website stats for you to look at to improve your rankings with the search engines. Each one can tell you something useful about how your business is currently doing.

1. Page views – How many people look at each page of your website? You can check page views on a monthly basis to see what portion of your website is the most popular. Maybe certain pages are more popular at different times of the year due to seasonal product offerings. You can also learn what items are doing well and which ones are dragging down the bottom line.

2. Unique visitors – Your site may get many visitors each day but they could be the same person coming back more than once. Unique visitors are first time visitors to your site and not repeat ones. The more unique visits you get the more potential customers you are coming in contact with.

3. Links – These can be outgoing links. If someone clicks on your Digg icon to bookmark one of your articles or blog posts, you can find that out as long as you have the right software set up on each page of your site. Any ads you post can also be tracked to see who clicks them. Programs like Google AdWords will track those stats for you so you can get paid.

4. Sales – You can track how well your shopping cart does each month. See when sales do down or up and see how many people used the shopping cart but didn’t make the sale. Compare statistics to track product buying trends to predict future sales.

5. Keyword analysis – Each page can be dedicated to one or two keywords. By looking at page views you can analyze how well your keywords are working. Using a different page for different keywords also allows you to know which ones are underperforming for you so you can try a new tactic.

Google Analytics is a free program that you can use to measure these and other website stats. Having so much information at your fingertips can help you rise to the top of your business niche and stay there. 

When you start planning your business, you have a business plan that will help map out where you see your sales going from one year to the next. With online businesses you can do this through website statistics. These are measurements of various activities on your website that directly relate to your business.

Site Statistics
One of the things that you want is traffic. Without traffic you won’t get any sales and your business won’t grow. Your marketing plan outlines how you will proceed with getting that traffic. But, it is not foolproof.
You won’t know if your efforts are working unless you measure it. That is where statistics come in. What do you measure? Here are a few examples:
  • Unique visitors (how many different people visit your site)
  • Keyword analysis (which keywords bring in traffic and which don’t)
  • Conversion rates (how many visitors go from reading to buying items)
  • Web page analysis (where visitors go when they are on your site)
  • Page views (how many people visit each unique page on your website)
These are just a few of the stats that you will be interested in knowing. When you first begin marketing your site, statistics can help you find out if you are on the right page. Do the keywords you use drive traffic?
Statistics are gathered on a monthly basis but it can take a few months to see trends. Trends are a measure of the way that your current plan is taking shape. Because of the lag time, it’s not wise to make changes to your plan for several months to give it time to work or not work. When a business is in start-up mode, it will take that long to get an accurate measure of sales.
Site stats give you a starting point. Without some way to measure your business efforts it is like shooting in the dark – you don’t know if you’ve hit or miss. Looking at all the statistics together gives you a better idea of what to change first in an attempt to improve your business.
So, if you have not instituted a way to measure vital information pertaining to your website business, it is time to do so. There are software tools (both free and paid) that can help you compile these statistics. You can also hire companies to measure that information for you and analyze the data to anticipate the next more that you need to make. But, for small businesses, using software to compile the data and your own brain to analyze it will suffice.