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How to increase search engine traffic

    If you have a web site and you want to increase increase search engine traffic, this article is for you. After you learn about the methods described below, you will probably be able to solve this incredible task again and again. Resources for such increases really exist because the number of Internet users is constantly growing. If you do not attract them, your competitors will.

    There are a lot of ways to increase the number of visitors, but the most promising one is drawing traffic from search engines. As a rule, people coming to your site from Google or Yahoo belong to your target group and they are not just an army of surfers roaming the Internet.

    How to make search engines "like" you? How to calculate the percentage of visitors coming to your site from popular search engines? AlterWind Log Analyzer Professional, a program with fantastic features for creating all kinds of reports, can answer these and other questions. Today we will try to employ hidden resources of search traffic that can be discovered with the help of the "Pages Not Visited from Search Engines" report.

    First, you should specify the time period for analyzing log files. This period can vary a lot depending on the topics covered by the site and on the number of visitors. For instance, a popular site dealing with general topics needs two or three days to collect a reliable database of search queries, while a specialized resource may need more than two or three weeks.

    Use the "General" template to analyze your log files in AlterWind Log Analyzer Professional. This template allows you to get as much information as possible out of your log files. Note that if the site contains a lot of pages or other data, you should increase the limit for generating the reports you are interested in - only first 300 lines are included in them by default.

    Currently we are interested in the "Pages Not Visited from Search Engines" report located in the "Access Statistics" folder. It contains the list of pages that had no hits from search engines for the period in question. The list is sorted by the number of visitors - the more people viewed a certain page, the closer it is to the top. The question is why such popular pages do not attract visitors from search engines.

    Study the list as thoroughly as you can. It is sure to include some auxiliary pages that have no information interesting for visitors from search engines. That is normal. But if you find some key pages of your site there, it is time to raise alarm! The same applies to pages at the very bottom of the "Entry Resources from Search Engines" list. Let us write them down and do some research.

    The reason may be as easy as that: search engines just do not know about the page. Probably, there are no links referring to it from both your and other sites? If you are sure that it is not the case, you should check them because they can be invalid (for example, due to the webmaster's error) or they can just remain unnoticed by search spiders (for example, they are located in complicated menus written in JavaScript).

    Let us get some help from AlterWind Log Analyzer Professional and see if search spiders visit the page. You can do it with the help of filters - an indispensable tool for professional analysis of various aspects in the work of the site. Create a new template, add a filter of the "Include" type and select "Spiders" from the drop down list on the "Filters" page. Now you should add the string to filter search spiders by. We are interested in Google in the first place that is why you should add the "Googlebot" string to the filter (that is the name of the spider from this search engine). By the way, if you are initially interested in some particular search engine, you can add some simple rules in order to exclude hits from other search engines to the previous "General" report. You can do it by enabling the "Hits with specific referring URLS" filter of the "Exclude" type and adding a string for each search engine you want to exclude from the analysis, e.g. **, **, etc.

    After AlterWind Log Analyzer Professional processes the log files applying the specified filters, the "General Statistics" page will show you general data: the number of spider's visits, the average time of viewing pages, total traffic. Let us find out which pages Googlebot visited - they will be listed on the "Pages" page of the "Access Statistics" folder. Here we will need the previously made list of key pages with no hits from search engines - compare it to what you see now. If the "Pages" report contains pages without hits, it means that the spider knows about them, but indexes their content incorrectly. We will dwell on this case a bit later in the article.

    You can make the analysis yet narrower if you also enable the "Hits that requested specific resources" filter for a certain page. Then the reports of the "Activity Statistics" folder will allow you to find out when the spider visited this page for the first time, how often it explores its content, when it requested it last time.

    If you find out that spiders ignore some pages of your site, it will not be easy to discover the true reasons. Here are only some possible explanations:

  • Invalid links to the page - check them at
  • The search spider cannot detect links (for example, if they are located in a menu written in JavaScript)
  • The page is located too deep in the structure of the site.
  • It is forbidden to index the page/link (the file robots.txt in the root directory, special tags like rel="nofollow", etc.)
  • The page is too large

    The other case is more common: spiders know that the page exists and explore its content on a regular basis, but search engines do not display it among the results of search queries.

    One of the reasons for it can be invalid coding that prevents spiders from indexing the content of the page correctly. That is why you should use an HTML code validation service to validate the site. It can be an online service (e.g. or a stand-alone utility (e.g. free software from Validation may discover some serious errors that are not visible when you are viewing the page in the browser, but that interfere with the work of the search spider.

    Another reason is neglecting SEO principles while making up the text and the source code of pages. Two main factors influence the ranking of a page in search engines: the number of external links to the page and the content of the page. Here we will analyze the second factor and learn how to optimize the text of pages in order to draw maximum traffic from search engines taking into account reports from Site Content Analyzer.

    First of all, you should determine key phrases that your prospects will use in their search queries. Make a list of them and analyze the pages of the site with Site Content Analyzer in order to see the results of your optimization later.

    The main parameters influencing the position of a page in the results of a certain search query are the weight and the density of the key phrase in the text of the page. Weight is an integral indicator showing how significant a keyword or a key phrase is for this page. It is based on various parameters whose calculation algorithms also vary so it is impossible to find some "absolute" value.

    Density is a relative value showing how frequently this particular word or phrase occurs on this page relative to other words. The more frequent this word on the page is displayed and the less words the page contains, the higher its density is and vice versa. Usually, the density of a keyword on a page is from 2% to 15% because smaller values are too insignificant to consider it as a keyword while greater values may lead to the page being regarded as a spam attempt by search engines.

    The greater weight a word has or a phrase is, the more relevant your page will be if this phrase is used in a search query. So, the essence of optimization is to increase the weight of your key phrases. Use the following simple tips that can increase their weight.

    The most important thing is to use the key word as often as possible, but do not abuse it because search engines may think it is spam. The key phrase must be present in the title of the page (the TITLE tag), in the description and among keywords (the DESCRIPTION and KEYWORDS meta tags), it is recommended to use it in headers (the H1, H2, : tags), in alternative text for images (the ALT tag) and in the text of links.

    Making key phrases italic or bold in the main text also helps to increase their weight. If your content management system (CMS) allows you to specify any URLs, include key words in the URL of this page, e.g.

    After you optimize your pages, analyze the site with Site Content Analyzer once again. Look at the new values of the weight and density of your key phrases and words - they are sure to have increased! Now these pages will become more attractive for search engines. We hope that the pages that have had no hits from search engines so far will become the leaders in the "Entry Resources from Search Engines" report!

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