Q and A: How can I track visitors coming to my website?

QuestionHi Kalena,

How would I find that how many users are visiting my site? Is that possible to have it as a report? i.e. daily, weekly etc.Question


Dear Baskar

The two word answer to your question is “web analytics”. Web analytics software will not only help you to track the number of visitors coming to your website, but would tell you where they came from, the amount of time they spent on your website, pages they visited, and a whole lot of other data pertaining to your website.

The data from your web analytics software is extremely useful in helping you fine tune your website and is a must have for anyone who owns a website or a blog. There is a plethora of web analytic software, both free and paid, which you can use to get all the data you are looking for. The only challenge you are likely to face is converting this raw data into information which can be acted upon.

Personally I prefer Google Analytics and I have various reasons to do so. It is free to use and will supply you with all the data that you need, at least at beginner and intermediate level. On top of this, it is simple to use and intuitive. Your can generate reports based on various dimensions, customize it, and export them in various formats. You could not ask for more from free-to-use software.

The installation process is simple. All you need to do is sign up for Google analytics (you can use an existing Google account), grab a tracking code and insert it in webpages you want to track – job done. Google will start tracking your website’s activities in the next 24-48 hours. You can refer to Google Analytics Installation Guide for step by step instructions.


Pay for Performance Search Marketing

Q and A: Why can’t I see my Alt Img tags?

QuestionHi Kalena

I have been practising on my own site.  When I add an alt img tag I still cannot see the text when I scroll over the image.  I don’t understand this, could you please help? My URL is [URL removed for privacy reasons]. There is no alt img tag at present (I took it out because it didn’t seem to work).

Thanks in advance and regards,



Hi Barry

If you’re using Firefox, you won’t see alt tags when you mouseover. But if you right click on the image with your mouse and view *properties*, you should see your alt text in the alt field.

Or you could just view your site in Internet Explorer where the mouseovers should work fine.

Regardless of which browser you use, search engines will be able to index your alt tags. Plus text to speech software will be able to read them for visually-impaired visitors, so you should include them wherever possible for site usability purposes.

Q and A: How do I rank well for a term like ‘apartments’ ?

QuestionDear Kalena…

I’m on the verge of starting an apartment mega site mixed with social networking kind of like Rent.com meets Myspace, where people can list property for rent, etc.

I need tons of traffic and was going to start this off strong by targeting the keyword “apartments”. I have heard from many people to go more targeted but I need the massive traffic as I will be running Adsense as well. What would be the perfect way to tackle this?

I currently have someone writing 1,000+ articles with the keyword and derivative of it so I’m set in that arena.

Thanks again and any help would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Cathy,

The first challenge any SEO faces isn’t how to improve the rankings of a website, but more-so how to manage the clients expectations.

While I acknowledge the need for massive amounts of traffic for your website to work effectively, it’s also important to remember that taking-on very generic keywords and wanting to compete with highly authoritative websites will take a lot of time and money. There is no cheap or easy way to accomplish this and if you don’t have a substantial (and really, that’s my polite way of saying HUGE) marketing budget covering a mix of both online and offline advertising along with the patience of a Tibetan Monk, you’d better stop reading here.

At the time of composing this post, there are roughly 181,000,000 sites indexed by Google.com for the word apartments. Rent.com has over 9,000,000 inbound links. The number one site ranked for the term ‘apartments’ has over 11,000,000 inbound links and the sites in the other top 5 each have well over 100,000 inbound links (all according to Yahoo’s Site Explorer).

So the first challenge will be finding a way to attract over 100,000 good quality links.

The next challenge will be the age of your website – each of the top sites in this niche have been around for over 10 years. Google looks at the age of a site as a sign of trust and authority, so if you setup a brand new website on a brand new domain name, it could take years before Google even considers your site in the same league as the sites you’re targeting.

Google’s Traffic Estimator tool suggests that advertisers are paying up to $3 per click for the word ‘apartments’ and the recommended daily budget (as suggested by Google) to achieve the maximum number of clicks through their PPC system would be approximately $39,820. This would bring you anywhere between 21,819 – 27,364 click every day.

So if that’s the amount of traffic you’re hoping for – it’s simply a matter of putting aside $1,200,000 a month on Adwords.

Now the Yahoo! and Google data above is bound to change and should only be used as a guide, but based on this information, it clearly indicates that a few thousand keyword-rich articles and a well optimised site isn’t going to cut it.

My advice would be to focus on more specific keywords (perhaps targeting different locations), try and create a range of viral/linkbait articles that will help generate slightly higher-than-normal link quantity while building relationships with other prominent (and industry-relevant) sites to get the link quality in there. To utilise social media effectively, you should also start to build an online profile within some of major networks and start creating genuine connections with people through comments, guest blogging, submitting other great articles (not written by you) etc.

Be prepared to pay for some online advertising through systems like Adwords and banner advertising or sponsorship deals with other high-volume sites. And although I probably shouldn’t be endorsing offline advertising on an SEO blog, you should also use mainstream media to gain greater exposure for your brand.

If you consistently roll-out great content, focus on managable keywords, form the right partnerships with the right websites, be prepared to put in the time-and-effort with social media and embrace the old adage “you have to spend money to make money”… in a few years time, you might be in a better position to try and tackle the major players.

If all this seems like too much hard work… maybe making money online isn’t for you.

Hope this helps!

Peter Newsome
SiteMost SEO Brisbane

Q and A: What’s the difference between a Doorway Page and a Landing Page?


Hi Kalena,

We’re having a debate here – what’s the difference between a (bad) doorway page and a (good) landing page? Is hosting an informative 1 page on a topic (eg:www.bluewidgets.com) and having that point to multiple pages on a related, parent site (e.: www.widgetes.com) frowned upon by Google, and does that technique fall under the landing or doorway page title?

Thanks for your help!


An excellent question Cindy.

At their extremes, the differences between a spammy doorway page and a good landing page are usually pretty obvious to us humans. A “doorway” page has been designed specifically to appeal to search engines and rank well for a particular keyword phrase (or phrases) is typically stuffed with keywords, makes little real sense when you read it, and adds no real value to the user experience, whereas a “landing page” has been optimised for search rankings, but also aims to be useful and appealing to human visitors, and encourage them to take an appropriate call to action.

It can be much more difficult to determine the difference between a well crafted doorway page and an over-optimised landing page – not only for humans- but also for Google.

Google has to algorithmically determine the difference between these types of pages and uses a whole variety of factors to decide whether or not a particular page deserves a good ranking or a penalty. The types of factors taken into account could include – keyword density, duplicate content, inbound and outbound links, number of similar pages,

Ultimately the difference is probably a matter of intent – If a page has been created to be useful to visitors it will probably be treated by Google as a landing page, if the page has been over-optimised to a point that it becomes of little real benefit to users, then it will be treated by Google accordingly. This is one of the dangers associated with over-optimising a page or even an entire site. Even though it may have started out with a clear and useful purpose, over-optimisation could result in reduced rankings.

In the example you’ve provided I think the important word is “informative”. It is quite legitimate (and in fact encouraged) to link from a useful page on one site to relevant pages on another site.

Hope that helps.

Andy Henderson
WebConsulting Web Optimisation & Design

Article: Conversational Marketing With Twitter

Remember last month I mentioned I was writing a major article about how businesses use Twitter and I asked you all to take a couple of 10 second polls?

Well I’m happy to say the article has finally been published in the July edition of Website Magazine. If you’re not a subscriber to the hard copy OR online version, you can download this PDF version of the article: Conversational Marketing With Twitter.

Speaking of Website Magazine, did you know you can get a free subscription? That’s how I became interested in writing for them actually. I signed up for the 4 free issues and was both impressed with the quality of the articles and pleasantly surprised to see some familiar faces authoring them. So I got in touch with the Editor and suggested a story about Twitter.

Thanks to everyone for your help with the research and the great feedback on the article – I’ve had a surprising amount of feedback actually. My only regret is that editorial staff slashed my article by about 30 percent but I guess that’s to be expected with an offline magazine where space is at a premium. They also didn’t use the neat graphical polls I’d created using Twtpoll, but you can still catch those below:

1) Which of the following US companies do you follow on Twitter?

2) Have you ever communicated directly with a company via Twitter?

3) If you represent a business using Twitter, what is your/their *main* reason for doing so?

I’m hoping to publish the unedited version of the article with poll graphics on SiteProNews later this month so I’ll blog the URL when its live.

So did my article resonate with you? Is your business using Twitter in any of the ways mentioned in the article? I’d love your feedback in the comments below, thanks.