Your Site Logs Can Help You Get A Tone
Your Site Logs can help you make a lot of money
I’m a busy guy. I own several traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, and I spend a lot of time online. Since last month I spent a lot of time working on this blog and oriented myself on the Net.
So every morning I left my four dogs out, grabbed a cup of coffee and grilled a bagel, then ran upstairs and climbed onto my computer. Some days I have to be out of the house at 9am to get somewhere, and some days I have nothing but time. Anyway, there are three things I do every morning after watching my emails. First I go to an article to five different article sites. This ensures that a steady stream of new one-way links to this site is produced.
Then I go to my RSS reader and try for a while on the forums and blogs to see what’s going on. I keep a notebook next to my computer and write down anything I think I can use later. Then I come to the most interesting and important part of the morning, I go to my awstats page.
Awstats is a basic log analysis program that comes with most host accounts. I’ve always wondered how accurate the hit numbers and other numbers are, but it doesn’t matter, because I’m not looking for scores. I’m looking for trends.
By reviewing and understanding your website’s traffic logs, you can earn more money by customizing your website to meet the needs of your visitors.
The first place I stop is my average pages per day of the week. On Affiliate Blog, I noticed that traffic started strongly on Monday, building on Wednesday, and then ending. There is a little spike on Saturday morning, but it’s a classic bell curve differently. What does it mean? That means if I have something that I think will be well received, I try to publish it on Sunday and finish my ping for Monday. I’ve also noticed that my RSS entry follows the same pattern. All this makes sense, because people start the week strong and end it tired, including me.
I blow through the fields and watch the flags because I think it’s cool. Next I stop at the section that shows the robots to the site. I’m sure everyone’s been there recently (especially Google), and I make a note if something looks right. I recently realized that one of the small robots had never visited, so I went to the site and submitted a listing. If you are curious about all the robots out there, go to Robotstxt.com and watch. Make sure the big robots on the list have visited your website in the past month. If not, get them there. I noticed that MSN, Yahoo and Google (in that order) visit my site the most. You need regular robot visits to ensure that your latest content is indexed and available to prospective visitors.
Now we come to the fun part listing the most viewed pages. It tells you which content people are most interested in, and what content doesn’t really matter. The most popular post on Affiliate Blog is the Ten Top Payment Programs at Commission Junction This Week. Oddly enough, a similar report on Shareasale is much further in the list, which means people want to hear about the best paid programs, but they also want to hear about the Commission Junction. I always look at posts that are fast on the line, and I always take note of them to think of another entry that my visitors would like to think about.
I get search traffic, but not much, so I look at the keywords. Judging from some of the keywords that appear, this section is not very accurate.
Still there? Okay list up. Here, where you can really increase your traffic, find some compatriots to work with and gain lots of insights into the minds of your visitors. Move to the section showing the external sites that people come from. Understand this is where your visitors have seen and clicked on you.
Go through this whole list. I am looking for blogs, websites, social bookmarking sites (such as del.icio.us) and forums that haven’t appeared before or quickly emerged. I click on the link and see where it leads. Then I see the context in which my website appears.
Just as I do for people who find my blog (refer to it in their blog), I follow every link, get an email address, and send a quick email to the person they thank for the time around me website. Nothing fancy just a quick thank you good.
The answers I get back are great. I would say that a large majority (80% probably) are responded with surprise that I will take the time to acknowledge their actions. But why shouldn’t I? If someone takes the time to recommend you, the least you can do is acknowledge and grateful.
I love the list of sites, because I find some very interesting things. For example, my feedback to Google’s blog when they bought Writely was actually listed on the Google blog page and brought me some traffic. And I was on the cover of del.icio.us for a little while long enough to get such hits as well. It’s very interesting, and it’s really fun to go through. Sigh I’m a dork.
One last observation I noticed that people who bookmark my page are between 7 – 10%, which is not bad. My RSS feed list at Feedburner hangs around the same range throughout the month, which means more people are recording the site as a bookmark as RSS feeds. I’ve been considering it all month, and I decided that a large majority of my visitors do not regularly use RSS. That’s why the new scarlet box at the top of my blog pages appeared today. I compiled an email version of my RSS feed in digestive form that I will make available weekly.
So there is a lot of information out there in that log file that you just need to think about and think carefully.