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#1 peter_d

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 05:29 PM

Here's a simple technique for those interested in getting more leads from search engines.

LOG MINING

Once your site has been live for a while, gather your log files and look at your keyword referral data. You will require a statistics package that will show you all your keyword referrals, not just the top ten.

Examine the keyword terms that you didn't optimise for. Chances are you'll spot a term that occurs more than once.

Write another page covering this term. Optimise as usual. This is an iterative approach to SEO. It's using your own log file as a personalised wordtracker.

CASE STUDY:

I have an affiliate site that features a wide range of products, and is filled with promotional text.

I noticed one term that I hadn't heard of before. I looked at my site and found that term appeared in an obscure product comparison study, however it was attracting visitors.

I looked up that term in Wordtracker. It existed, but showed very low traffic levels.

I built a page dedicated to this product.

This page sits in the top three results on various search engines and has no other direct competition. The page attracts an average of 30 search visitors per day, and converts at 10%. There is no one else selling this product under these keyword term derivatives. It's green-field territory.

The advantage of this approach is that you'll be able to cover terms that most others miss. It works best on sites that have a lot of text content which will produce an adequate data sample.

#2 BillSlawski

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 09:27 PM

Thanks, Peter.

I've been doing something very similar, and it does have a big impact. Looking through log files has given me some great ideas for blog posts.


You will require a statistics package that will show you all your keyword referrals, not just the top ten.


It is possible to look at log files in a spread sheet, too. Not quite as easy to do as it is to use a good stats package, but it is something that you can do. What's important is that you have access to log files in the first place.

If you don't, inquire with your host. Chances are that they will put them somewhere that you can reach with ftp.

#3 wayne h

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 08:58 PM

I use the technique of mining the visitor logs for blog post ideas all the time.

I have also recommended it to my blog readers more than once.

It is a really powerful idea. :)

Wayne Hurlbert

#4 peter_d

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 03:32 AM

Nice one, Bill. I like using WordTracker and the log files as editorial directives.

It's user centric. Bottom up, not top down.

#5 BillSlawski

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 06:47 AM

Each of them can be very helpful. Combining the two is a good idea.

Just to go into a little more depth there, I often see phrases that were search results found from words mixed from different parts of a page.

If that phrase is something that people seem to be looking for, I'd consider a post on the subject.

If the phrase is completely unrelated to the site, and that happens sometimes, I don't make changes on a blog page. But I'd think about it on a non blog page. Some dissatisfied visitors may be unwanted.

#6 Such Great Heights

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 04:04 PM

I actually started here as I am a big fan of stats.

I looked at the top traffic keyphrases our site would get traffic from and optimized for those first so we could get even more. Plus the page was already getting results for its particular keyphrase, so there wasn't much that needed to be done.

and the keyphrases we were only getting a couple visits for we'd optimize for next. it only makes sense.

good tip. :)

#7 dragonlady7

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 04:26 PM

Heh. So far, I mostly notice the bizarre search terms. (I actually get my logs emailed to me and simply scroll through them every morning over a cup of tea or something and just see the search engine links sticking out in the raw logs. My logs aren't big because my site's not too high-traffic.) It's entertaining.
But I have been known to write the odd article in response to them, and the few referrals i get from my website tend to come from people who've stumbled onto those articles. It's very simple and very direct.

#8 Grumpus

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 06:32 PM

This thread can probably be related to the "Creating an Emotional Response" thread for some interesting discussion, as well. That thread started out as "using copywriting" to elicit that response - and true, that is addressed there, but we've also gone into quite a bit about understanding the customer.

As I explained in one of my posts in that other thread, you can use your logs to find out what you customer is looking for by keeping an eye on that "third word" or qualifying word within the search term. That third word is great at letting you know what they are really looking for - and it gives you valuable clues as to what you should be presenting them.

You may not end up needing a new page optimized for the third word - that search term may just help you arrange your current page in a way that your customer sees what they are looking for when they first get to your page.

G.



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