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Tips on optimizing your images for the search engines:

 

1. Keep the size of your images small. Large image files will increase your page load time -- does not go very well with some search engines.
2. Give appropriate filename for your images. Just by reading the filename, you should be able to tell what the image is all about. For example: red_travel_bag.gif
3. Use standard <img src=""> path, instead of JavaScript.
4. Use an appropriate ALT attribute with the keyword in the img tag. Use keywords here if possible.
5. Use an appropriate TITLE attribute with the img tag. Use keywords here is possible.
6. The content surrounding the image should be related to what the image is all about. By reading the alt tag, the image filename, search engines may be capable of rating such page better if your content next to the image is relevant to the image.
7. Use hyphens while naming your images. This separates keywords, thus making them easier to identify. For example: red-travel-bag.gif.
8. Do not stuff the ALT and TITLE tag. You may to get penalized by a search engine for spamming with too many keywords crammed into a tag. Be "honest" while naming images and creating ALT tags.

 

Tips on getting listed in the DMOZ directory (Open Directory Project):

 

1. Find the right category for your site. You need to do thorough research in locating the right directory. Selecting the wrong category will either get you rejected or send you irrelevant traffic. Look at all the subcategories and determine which one is best for you. One trick you can try is by checking other sites in that category and determine if they are the similar to your site/business. If you find your competitors here, you can safely assume you have the right category.
2. Submit your site to DMOZ: Once you have identified your category, submit your URL to the directory by clicking on the "add URL" link. Make sure you read the instructions carefully before submitting. Submit your URL just once and do not try to include other pages in other categories as that would be considered as spamming and your submission to the directory will get rejected.
3. Do not use automated software for submitting to the open directory project. DMOZ will reject all automatically submitted URL's as this is against the directory's policy. Always submit to the directory manually.
4. Describe your website objectively. Avoid using words that are biased like "best", "the greatest". Do not try to stuff too many keywords in the description. Write something crisp and unique about your site. Do not offer any opinion. An honest description about your site with its features and its benefits to the users would be a good bet.
5. Checking and Making notes: Make sure you do not have any errors, typos in the description. Also, make doubly sure that your website is complete in all ways and have no "broken links" or "page under construction". In short, ensure that your site is ready for prime time and not "being developed". Ensure that your category is correct. Make a note of the category name and the editor contact details of the category (if available). You may need this later to correspond with them.
6. After the submission: Your submission may take anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months. Do not submit again in this time frame as that would go against you and you may be pushed back in the queue and this will increase your waiting period even more. If your site does not get listed for a few months, you may want to check with the editors through the feedback link. You can even post a question in the DMOZ public forum. You will need to register for free to post a question.

 

Tips for building Inbound Links:


1. Make sure you have very high quality content on your site.
2. Directories: Spend a lot of time looking for directories to add your site to. Search on Google for "add url", "add link", "directory", "web directory". Also look at big directories like ODP, Zeal and Yahoo for categories that fit your site.
2. Keep a "Link to this page" button on each web page of your site.
3. Write quality content with your links on it. Submit to various related sites for free use by visitors.
4. Look for Hubs..try to have back link from the hub
5. Create an Article (pdf or html form) publish it and submit it in other sites. Have your site description in it.
6. Give out press release of your site content or new article.
7. Give away software, service or advice.
8. Create Articles and allow people to copy it's content as long as they give credit to original source.
9. Pay sometimes to be listed in niche directories.
10. Start with reciprocal linking become some authority and prepare unique content. Be Original and Unique in the content.

Tips for Web Tracking, Reporting and Analytics Platform


The Freebies

Analog - One of the oldest web analytic packages available. Analog is free, and runs off of your log files. It can require quite a bit of customization, and is pretty cut and dry for what it offers.

 

AWStats - An improvement on Analog, but still a logfile-based solution. There are a few nice things about logfile packages, such as the fact that they work with users who have javascript or cookies disabled. However, the storing of logfiles can take up a lot of disk space, requires that you manage the files, and the analytics package takes usually can take time to analyze large files. AWStats is an improvement on some other options, it provides some graphs, and it’s nice that it also can do streaming and email statistics from their log files.

 

Clicktracks Appetizer - A newer edition to the Clicktracks suite of products, Appetizer is a limited but free “appetizer” of the full-featured Clicktracks products. It gives a great taste of the different workflow and visual way of looking at statistics that Clicktracks has pioneered.

 

Clicky - While not a huge revolution in analytics, it’s definitely a clean Web 2.0 interface, RSS reports, and a “Spy” feature that works just like Digg Spy except you’re watching your site visitors in real-time. You can also choose to make your site statistics public if you’re open about these things. They’ve also integrated the Google Maps API so you can view your visitors on a Google Map.

 

Google Analytics - After a rough start, Google Analytics has solidified into the most full-featured free web analytics solution. As long as you’re comfortable with Google holding your data, the amount of statistics they provide in a free hosted service is amazing when you look back at the industry before they made their move to free. Before Google made the move to free, the free solutions were all packages you download yourself and host your code and data. They all also lacked ecommerce statistics which Google provides, and not to mention the handy tie-in Google Analytics can do with Google Adwords for Adwords advertisers.

 

MapSurface - I did a full review of MapSurface in September of 2006, and my thoughts remain the same. It doesn’t have a ton of stats, but it’s really handy to be looking at a page on your site and just hit Alt-X to popup the floating window and see the primary basic stats for that page, without having to login and remember a password. The stats update pretty quickly making it a really fast way to check in on recent blog posts to see if they are getting any links or traction.

 

phpMyVisits - Available in 29 languages, this is a free and easy to use open source web analytics application. Open source has it’s advantages in that you can change and hack the code as you please, but sometimes open source projects also don’t innovate as fast as they could or provide the necessary support. But for free, it’s a good deal.

 

Tracewatch - Another free PHP application that you download and host yourself. It has a very powerful busy dashboard interface which I think some people would love, and some would hate. There is a lot of information all on the main page so you can get a lot done in one space, but it can be overwhelming as well. It is done without javascript code, and provides real-time reporting.

 

StatCounter - A free solution that’s strength is that it works in real-time and shows details on the last 100 page loads. It is limited though in it’s lifetime data beyond the last 100 page loads, although for some low fees depending on traffic you can buy more lifetime detail. The free version is also monetized by StatCounter with Google Adsense ads around the interface. It is easier to use than options like Google Analytics and has a good set of stats though.

 

SiteMeter - A popular solution for bloggers and small websites, Sitemeter has a free version that just requires you put their colorful logo at the bottom of your site. If you leave your data open, others can click to see your stats. This has some cool social aspects to it, and for those selling advertising it can be helpful. Overall, the application seems pretty old at this point, and doesn’t provide a wealth of data in the free version. However, it is a simpler solution than Google Analytics, and you don’t have to mess with logfiles.

 

Webalizer - Similar to AWStats and Analog, Webalizer is a logfile analysis solution that is free. It has some customizable charts and provides all the basics, but it really measures up to the ease of use of Google Analytics or Sitemeter.

 

Blog Specific Solutions

Feedburner/Blogbeat - Back in mid-July Feedburner announced the acquisition of Blogbeat. They quickly integrated Blogbeat’s analytics into Feedburner’s Analyze interface for their feeds so they now provide a good set of basic web analytics stats as well. The stats are simple, but big and easy to read and provide enough for the majority of bloggers. It’s a pretty killer combination because if you’re using Feedburner to manage your RSS feeds, it’s handy to have web analytics in the same interface.

 

Mint - Perhaps the first analytics application aimed at blogs, Mint is a one man show run by Shaun Inman. Don’t let the low employee count fool you, Mint is a nice application. It has a cost of $30 per site, but that’s not too spendy if you care about your stats. The interface is very AJAXy and cool, and you host the data on your own instead of giving it over to a third party like with most analytics applications. It also has an API so developers can build on it, very cool. One problem though, is you need to be able to host it on a server running Apache, PHP, and mySQL. A great application though from a one-man army.

 

MeasureMap - MeasureMap was once the darling of the blog analytics space with lots of buzz throughout their private

beta/alpha period. Before they even launched they were acquired by Google. MeasureMap was originally developed by a four-person team from information architecture/visual design powerhouse Adaptive Path. It’s definitely pretty and smooth, and it’s very blog-focused with post stats, referrals, links out, and comment stats. What’s odd is that MeasureMap has still not ever opened to the public, and I’m not aware of any integration that’s taken place with any other Google tool or service. What does the future hold for it? I don’t know.

 

MyBlogLog - Snapped up by Yahoo in January, MyBlogLog is more than just web analytics as it’s a hybrid social blog network widget that also has web analytics built in. For free you get some basic stats that should satisfy your average blogger, but for $3 a month you can get slightly more detailed statistics over a longer period of time. It’s convenient to have the analytics right there with their other services in one interface, but they aren’t really full-featured enough for an analytics junkie.

 

Low Cost Solutions

If you’ve got a serious small business web site, but don’t want to go the free route with something like Google Analytics, you might consider one of these low cost solutions. They are on par or better than Google Analytics, and your data is safe from Google, and because you pay you get support and near real time data.

 

Hitbox Professional - The lighter version of analytics application HBX (profiled below), Hitbox is an affordable solution at around $26.95 a month depending on volume, and it gets you most of the basic to intermediate stats a user would want, from an analytics leader in public company WebsideStory.

 

Hitslink - A stats app that’s been around a while from Net Applications. Hitslink is a solid mix of a typical web analytics application with simplicity and some more advanced stats like ecommerce and setting conversion goals. It’s not flashy, but it gets the job done at an economical price. A 30-day trial is available and installation was very easy for me. I keep find myself going back to Hitslink and actually paying for it when ecommerce is a need.

 

IndexTools Web Analytics 9.0 - An enterprise-level product that’s a bit cheaper in pricing, IndexTools has a strong set of features in a clean interface. It’s especially strong for ecommerce with merchandising reports, CPC cost analysis, and custom segmentation of users. It comes in a cheaper E-business edition as well as a more full-featured Enterprise edition. There is a free trial and then a set monthly fee with the option to purchase additional page views in bulk.

 

Nedstat Pro - Based in Europe and thus available in many languages, Nedstat Pro is aimed at the small business market and simplifies everything into seven easy reports. It has a four week free trial and moderate pricing.

 

OpenTracker - A fair priced application that focuses on realtime statistics of live visitor profiles and clickstreams. It has a four week free trial, and looks easy to implement. One notable fact is that it’s available in 15 languages.

 

Unica Netracker - Aimed at small to medium size businesses, Netracker allows you to create ad-hoc reports with unique drag and drop functionality. It also has the flexibility to use javascript page tags or log files, and you can store the data yourself to integrate with other data warehouses. They have a free trial but I couldn’t find any pricing on the site.VisiStat - Another moderately-priced tool aimed at small to medium-sized businesses, VisiStat has a nice interface and some cool features like click-fraud analysis and their live streaming reports that update in real time as you watch. You can also pick a user and track them throughout their site visit.

 

Visitorville - This is one of the most unique analytics solutions available. It’s best described as web analytics meets the Sims. It has a 3D and 2D world where your analytics are mapped to an interface like you’re in a Sims-like video game. For very visual people this is a really fun way to check out your stats, and it has some great realtime features where when a visitor arrives to your site they arrive to the building (page) in a bus (the referrer). So, you see someone arrive to a building via a Google bus if it’s a Google search referral.

It also has ecommerce stats and page overlay features, making it a pretty darn complete application. The price is cheap, so if you think you’d be into a very visual view of your stats, give it a shot.

 

The Big Guns

If you’ve got a serious web business, you need serious data. When you’re making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month from your web presence you’re losing money by NOT using one of these applications to know exactly how your users are behaving on your site. These applications can really be used to test and improve your site, but you’ll have to pay for their superior features and support.

 

Clicktracks - The originator of the “page overlay” analytics technique, Clicktracks has always had a different user interface and style delivering analytics data to it’s user. For some people their interface style is a huge favorite, for others such as myself I just couldn’t get into it that much. I can see how some would love it, but perhaps my years of standard analytics interfaces lead me to want something else.

I do like how they offer both a hosted ASP solution and a software solution if you want to keep the data on your own server(s). Pricing is spendier then the low-cost solutions, but it’s also cheaper than the most of the other big gun analytics providers.

E-commerce data is a big part of the mix if you want it to be, so I think Clicktracks fits well as a user-friendly small business ecommerce solution.

 

Coremetrics - A long time player who I’ve never had the chance to use. I demo’d it years ago, so I can’t really say much as I’m sure they’ve iterated quite a bit since then. They have a lot of big clients, and their feature list looks very powerful. Pricing isn’t cheap, and is usually negotiable but comes from a baseline of usage.

 

Deepmetrix - Purchased by Microsoft in 2006, it’s believed that Deepmetrix has been rolled into the upcoming Microsoft analytics product codenamed Gatineau. According to this post from Microsoft’s Ian Thomas, Gatineau will be aimed at a similar audience as Google Analytics.

 

Fireclick - Another full-powered application I haven’t had the chance to use. Like Coremetrics they have an impressive client list and have a nice looking feature set. The Fireclick Index is a report that features a dozen key performance indicators to track your key metrics all from one report. They also feature an Excel plugin and a site overlay tool to see your data while viewing your site. Pricing is not listed and most likely negotiable.

 

HBX - A superpower web analytics application from public company WebsideStory. One of the leaders in all kinds of types of analytics reporting. HBX was one of the first to implement setting up custom funnels to track conversion on goals, they’ve had a site overlay for a long time, have a great plugin with Excel called ReportBuilder, introduced user segmentation early on, integration with PPC advertising, and have been using AJAX and other “web 2.0″ technologies before the term even existed.

They have an impressive client list, and I’ve also had the pleasure of attending their user forum where they did a great job educating and also talking to their customers to get help on where to take their product. Pricing isn’t cheap, and is negotiable.

 

Instadia - A Danish company that was one of the leaders in Europe, Instadia was acquired by Omniture in early 2007 to bolster Omniture’s business in Europe.

 

Intellitracker Enterprise - A UK enterprise product, but I couldn’t find much about them because the website is mostly text with nothing about features, a trial, a demo, or screenshots.

 

Omniture - A web analytics company based out of Utah that’s been on fire over the past couple of years signing big clients like eBay and AOL. I haven’t used Omniture, but have heard very good things about their SiteCatalyst solution for it’s power in user segmentation and ecommerce statistics. They also have a Data Warehousing feature that allows real time reporting combined with the flexibility of having good access to old data. Pricing isn’t cheap, and once again is negotiated with a salesperson.

 

Sitestat - Made by Netstat and based in Europe and thus available in many languages, Sitestat is aimed at larger businesses and focuses on three main areas. Those areas are Campaign, Content, and Conversion.

 

Unica’s Affinium NetInsight - The big brother of their NetTracker, they pitch it as a solution for tracking marketing programs across multiple marketing channels. The strength appears to be their focus on flexibility and their drag and drop interface.

 

Visual Sciences - A web analytics company that’s been in “stealth” mode for a long time, they’ve long been talked about as having a disruptive technology compared to their competitors. They were just purchased by WebSideStory which should make for a very interesting application in the future as they make HBX and Visual Sciences merge or work together somehow.

 

Webtrends - The granddaddy of serious web applications, Webtrends has been around forever and been sold a few times along the way. Their now on their 8th version of their application, and they boast a big client list. Some new features include a conversion view from five points, bookmarking and sharing of analytics, a unique first-party cookie solution, and more. Unlike some of the other power applications, they do offer a free trial, but pricing isn’t cheap.

 

RSS Analytics Solutions

Most of the web applications aren’t tracking RSS feeds (yet). A couple of quality RSS companies that provide a number of services also provide RSS analytics.

Feedburner - Feedburner reports on a few basic feed stats for free like your total feed circulation, and for just a few dollars a month you can update to the Pro stats package to get more stats like what RSS items were viewed, how much, and what ones got clicks to your site. You can also see what feed readers people are using.

Pheedo - Pheedo’s stats are more aimed at RSS advertising, but you can get stats on your feed circulation and how much revenue you’re generating from your ads.

 

 

 

 

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