tracking software required, but it's pretty easy to come by. for a quick/easy/free way to get started, I'd use extreme tracking [extreme-dm.com], but there are others out there.
We use Accrue as our tracking software, but I was told we couldn't get the information of what people put into the search to search. I wasn't sure if that sort of thing was possible. Sounds like I need to figure out how to get this software to do it.
I find extreme tracking very thorough - but sometimes a little slow.
A word of warning though - the free version is open for anyone to view your stats. If your competitors come across your site using this tracker they can click on the tracker symbol and view your stats, keywords, referring URLs etc (unless its a paid tracker).
This can be quite a useful tool for you to use. Do a search on AV using link:extreme-dm.com and XXXX where XXXX is one of your keywords. This will bring up a list of competing sites using extreme tracking for you to examine. It's a popular tracker.
>the free version is open for anyone to view your stats
actually, once you have traffic, that can be an advantage in marketing your site. since these tracking packages are not under the site owner's direct control, they provide a great way to provide an "audit" of your traffic.
>but sometimes a little slow
you are very kind in your understatement. lately, they are often very slow, but worth the wait.
RCJordan <they provide a great way to provide an "audit" of your traffic.>
That's a good point.
I agree the speed has become a problem - to the extent that I switched over to hitbox. I ran both on the same site for a few weeks and hitbox registered stats that extreme didn't. I started to wonder if extreme was so slow that some visitors just didn't register.
I sent a polite email to extreme about the performance asking if they had a date when the server upgrades would be finished but never got a reply.
Anyone got any info on this - I must admit to a preference for the way extreme displays referral URL's over hitbox.
grnidone, referral string reading is a bit of an art. It does depend upon you tracking software. I would not use any of the freebie counters on the net. I've tested and tested side-by-side and most have methodology problems.
If your host can provide you with raw apache log files with referral strings, this is the best. If not, a good local counter like AXS or Traxis is the next best.
>I would not use any of the freebie counters on the net. I've tested and tested side-by-side and most have methodology problems.
I disagree. I think they (freebie counters) have a place, but anyone using them probably should not count on incredible accuracy. But they are useful in getting a quick trendline or the major search terms. I know, for instance, that uniques are undercounted, but they still provide a comparison for the day or week before.