First published April 22, 2008
Now that your website is up and running, you will want to monitor traffic to the website. Here are four free tools you can use to analyze your website’s traffic — where it’s coming from, how many people are coming, and what they like about the site. You will want to use a variety of diagnostic tools as analytic algorithms are changing constantly and no one tool is complete and comprehensive.
Alexa is a web-based tool that allows you to rank your website in comparison to others. For ten years, Alexa used an embedded toolbar on websites to establish their site rankings. This tended to skew their rankings in favor of tech-savvy blogs read by tech-savvy users. Just this month Alexa changed their ranking system to include more sources of website traffic data, making it a well rounded tool for analyzing your traffic and history. With Alexa, the lower your ranking, the better. Check it out at http://www.alexa.com/.Technorati
Technorati( http://www.technorati.com/) is a blog ranking tool that compares your blog to every other blog, regardless of niche. Like Alexa, sites are rated numerically and monitoring your ranking is a good way to gauge your progress.
With Technorati, there are two scores — your rank and your authority. Your rank is where you stand in relation to other blogs — if your rank is 100,000 than there are 99,999 blogs ahead of you. Your authority is your perceived value in the blogosphere and its primary metric is inbound links.
The greater the number and variety of links to your site, the higher your Technorati authority will be. With Technorati, you want your authority to be a high number and your rank to be a low one.
Website Grader by HubSpot is a relatively new tool that analyzes both the external and internal factors that contribute to your website’s health as a whole. You can input the keywords you’d like your site to rank for and see how well you’re ranking, as well as comparing your site’s rank with competitors in your niche.
It gives a numerical value to your site based on dozens of factors. Site ranking is a numerical score from 0 to 100 – the higher the better. The algorithm uses a proprietary blend of over 50 different variables, including search engine data, website structure, approximate traffic, site performance, and others. The tool also has historical rankings, so you can see how your site and your competitors’ sites have improved over time.
Important note: Website Grader reports include references to meta tag data. Even when that data is either pulled in by the search engines in another manner (like descriptions) or is of zero relevance (like keyword meta tags), it tells you that the information is absent and the weight of that absence (their opinion of how important it is) is reflected in your "grade". However, don't worry about this, as meta data is fast becoming old hat in the quickly changing world of web development and search engine optimization. The search engines are catching on, but these "tools" sometimes don't catch on as quickly. What's more important is your site's reach.
With these tools you can get a well rounded view of how your site is doing, both independently and compared to your competitors. They will help you fine tune your SEO strategies and increase qualified traffic to your website.