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What is the best/safest way to calculate the traffic? I need to know unique visits to the site. I'm not sure whether I should rely on logs in case they may have been tampered with (our hosting co also routinely lose months logs).
Is there any good 3rd party system that both customer and I can use to see how effective our SEO has been so we both know what is owed? To be able to see referrers and filter out our own IP addresses, and to avoid link clicking robots and the like would be good for customer confidence.
From there you can track just about anything and everything you'd ever want to know about a visitor. If you have a few bucks, you can even get a solution that will automatically pull your cost per click from both google adwords and overture. A true marketers dream come true!
Let me know what you are hoping to track, and how much you are willing to spend on this tracking. Decent ones start at $15 per month and others in the $$$thousands. Depending the depth of cost per clicking is the money issue. If you need in depth stats, then you can do this pretty cheap.
Rather than having to look through rough log files and lots of junk, these solutions simply make it organized and searchable. Definitely worth the money.
Let me know if you need help, or sticky me.
I need to track where users came from and what search terms they used so that I can furtehr optimise the site. I will be billing monthly based on cost per click per keyword so will need to know exactly how many unique visitors we've had. Ideally if they come back, we recognise them too. As logfiles are just text and *could* be tampered with, I don't think its fair to base it on that. We could be talking £1000's of pounds a month and both want to know figures are accurate (especially if these are not turning into sales!)
I've been looking at Deep Metrix and also Web Trends.
Any recommendations appreciated.
Are you really intending on breaking out every single search term and putting a cost to it? Just the idea of updating the cost alone on a monthly or weekly basis makes my head swim.
Furthermore, I doubt you are going to get an off the shelf solution that will list every single keyword that was used to reach the site. Typically they only display the top 20 or 50 or so.
I would suggest taking a weighted average of a sampling of keywords (high volume and low volume, expensive and inexpensive) to get an approximate average cost per visitor. Then just multiple this by how many visitors you brought in.
A simple report of the top keywords used by visitors should be enough to validate that your approximated calculations are still on target, thus validating your pricing.
I agree: the approach I'm planning to take is to take the average AdWords/Sitematch value and halve it. I don't want a mainetnance nightmare. Maybe I should do this monthly or every X months?
Poor stats mean arguments with the client - so, in the end, we developed our own stats package and agency/client interface allowing clients to remove phrases they don't like from billing, giving good word overrides, installing abuse filtering etc., etc.
Not a lot of use to you as we don't sell it to third parties but it does indicate that the model can work very well indeed for both the SEM and the client, provided both parties have full confidence in the system.
>It's incredibly easy to get loads of clicks..
I think what we are referring to here is sending highly relevant traffic - a little more sophisticated than just sending click-throughs.
What I need for the CPC, as quite rightly highlighted, is a third party stats counter that will filter spoofed/automated clicks, certain IP addresses (such as mine and customers) and generally give us both piece of mind that we trust the figures.
Thanks for the refs to date. Still interested in more recommendations and reviews of webtrends or deepmetrix for these purposes.
Again, just a clarification that might help you achieve a better price for yourself. You mentioned you would take the average of the PPC price. However, I still suggest a weighted average.
The reason being that most of the higher priced terms are also the higher volume terms. If you simply average those bids with lower ones, it will be lower than the Cost per Click that Adwords or Overture would give you. Simple example:
200 searches for "widgets A" @ $1.00 / click
50 searches for "widgets b" @ @0.10 / click
If you average those bids, you would get $0.55 as your price per visitor.
Whereas if you take the weighted average, you would have [(200 * 1) + (50 * 0.1)] / 250...$0.82 per click.
If you assume the client bid on those, and achieved all the clicks, that is exactly what they would pay - $0.82 per visitor.
I believe that is the most fair way to calculate the number, for both parties. I do agree with the enticement to the client though of offering 25% off that price; effectively making it cheaper than the traffic achieved through PPC.
We've used this numerous times. Prospects who understand it, love it. Prospects who don't understand it...need more help than it might be worth anyway!