Many clients request these days search engine optimization (SEO) along with their site redesign. It strikes me as odd that they assume SEO is just another technical add-on. It couldn’t be further from the truth – good SEO starts with
- your site concept,
- your choice of keywords,
- how these keywords are integrated throughout the headings and copy
Only then can an experienced designer/coder take over. For most clients, the road to SEO ends here – unwilling to make the ongoing commitment to improve their site. Why?
One reason could be the lack of measuring the usability and effectiveness of your site. However, a number of new tools for tracking site visitors are raising the bar for website statistics tools. Particularly, instead of tracking the flat lists of usage and showing you illegible user paths, the next generation of site trackers is focused on giving you the insights on how people use a site. Alex Iskold discusses how you can use Crazyegg for a very visual way of measuring and displaying these metrics.
Taking a step back, traditional site tracking tools offer you a ton of information, including popular pages, entry pages, exit pages, where they came from, visitor paths through your site, visit length and more.
“Ironically, it is not possible to use this information to understand what users actually do on the page. Hence, these volumes of information are practically useless in deciding what is wrong with your web site and how you can improve it,” says Iskold. “The creators of CrazyEgg saw this gap and realized there is a big opportunity to help companies assess the effectiveness of each web page. Once you look at the problem from this point of view, it becomes obvious how important it is to measure and visualize the hot spots on each web page.”