Free website reporting tools are used to check not only the number of hits that you get, but also the “reach” that your posts are getting through social media and other internet sources. These free website reporting tools are the ones we use to measure how well our clients blog sites are doing.
One thing to remember though, is your audience. If you are talking about healthy eating or gluten free recipes like our FitNuts, you will see a higher ranking and broader reach than if you are selling something like Denver bookkeeping services which has a much smaller target audience.
Free Website Reporting Tools
Website Grader is a good utility tool to check how well your website is set up and how much content there is that has been indexed by the search engines.
They check things like:
- Does your site have a blog
- How often your posts are shared on social media
- How many indexed pages your site has
- What reading level your content is written for (I don’t believe in dumbing it down to the 5th grade reading level as common wisdom suggests, write how you talk and people will like you more!)
- Is your metadata like your title tags and keywords written correctly and different for each page or post
- Do you use header tags
- Are there too many images on your site (my sites ALWAYS have too many images!)
- How old is your domain and how long until it expires (the search engines like knowing that you will be around for a while)
- How many backlinks you have
- Whether you have a mobile version of your site available
If you have a new site (under a year old), there is nothing that you can do about some of these things but give it some time and make sure everything else is set up solidly.
Okay, I know what you are thinking, EVERYONE says to use Google Analytics! Yep, because it is world class reporting for FREE! Back in the day, we paid hundreds of dollars a month to get the information that you get from analytics for free. That having been said, I use it for normal things (like seeing how many hits I get), but also for seeing which pages to optimize on my website and where to place ads to get the best possible return.
What to use Google for:
- Check how may web hits you get – duh!
- See what your bounce rate is. Having a high bounce rate means that people are coming to your site and then leaving quickly (common wisdom says within 10 seconds). If your bounce rate is high, consider optimizing your site for faster speed or lose some of those lovely pictures.
- Check your content to see which pages or posts are visited most often. I found by doing this that almost 75 percent of my traffic goes to about 10 pages and my home page is not one of them! This is where I place targeted ads for products or services that I want to sell.
- See when people come to your site. I get VERY little traffic to my site on the weekend. I checked to see if this was a self fulfilling prophecy by writing rockstar posts on a Saturday and still nothing. SO, in my world, writing during the week will increase who gets to see my posts. You should also see WHEN people come to your site. If your traffic comes from another time zone, it may be worth posting when they are reading (morning, lunch time and after work).
- I obsessively check my sources to see where I am getting traffic from. Because I am a marketing speaker, I get lots of direct traffic (meaning they typed the name of my website directly into the address bar). I also check to see if I am getting links from other websites or social media. One good way to know where to buy advertising is to see where traffic comes from and then ask if they will let you put an ad on their site.
Okay, there are a million posts about using Google Analytics free website reporting tool so I won’t go on and on, just know that this is bees knees for hard core detailed information about your site.
This one was new to me, but I have fallen in love with it. While you can put anything into the search bar, we use it to track the reach of blog posts. Simply put your website url into the search bar and it will return a list of the places that your site has been posted or shared.
Some of the places they track are:
- When someone tweets or re-tweets your page or post
- If a page has been linked to as a reference in another page or post
- If someone has used a tool like ClipMarks to save your page for later
- Links from video sites
- Search engine links
- I even had a listing from Plurk (I don’t know what a plurk is but I still liked it!)
So what can you do with this? Check and see which topics get shared the most and write about them more. See who was nice enough to share your content and thank them. See if you should be focusing more on social media, bookmarking or some other area.
Notes About Using These Free Website Reporting Tools
The reason I did the research to find these tools was so that we could have good (free) reporting tools to let our clients see how their blogging was working. I also like to see how MY site is doing.
What I did to make it more manageable was to set up my tools and then bookmark them (I have both my website reporting and my social media reporting tools under the colorful folder title of “tara reporting”). Then when I want to see what is going on, I simply run down the bunch of them and take a peek.
When you start this, you are going to be tempted to look every day, don’t do that. Checking that often will just cause you to make decisions based on very limited data (never a good idea). Instead, check once a week and then once a month do an in depth analysis and formulate your plan for the upcoming month.
:: If you would like to find out how we use these free website reporting tools to help our clients succeed, check out our small business marketing services! ::
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