Designing and building your site is only half the battle when it comes to web site production. Once you have the site built, you need to drive traffic to it. We are going to explore the world of web analytics, SEO and SEM this semester. Some consider this side of things to be the most important part of web design.
Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. It is not only a tool for measuring web traffic but can be used for business and market research. For instance, it can be used to measure if web traffic increased after the launch of ad campaigns.
Web analytics provides data on the number of visitors, page views, and more, which give you the chance to gauge traffic and popularity trends.
This semester, we will be working with Google Analytics, a free service that will enable you to see the traffic to a site that you have built.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is when you improve the visibility of a website or web page in search engines using organic or unpaid search engine results. We will be applying several SEO techniques to your sites this semester in order to increase the number of times people visit them.
In general, if your site appears in the first page or so of a search engine results page (SERP), the more likely someone is to click to see it. There are some fairly simple steps we will be taking to help your sites’ chances improve: introducing keywords, including robot.txt files, and validating your html all improve the indexability of your sites.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a form of internet marketing that involves promoting websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results using paid placement, contextual advertising and paid inclusion. It has become a huge industry, with heavy hitters like Google and Yahoo raking in millions of dollars in revenue. Search Engine Marketing is growing faster than traditional advertising, and even outstrips other forms of online marketing in sales.
- PPC (Pay-per-Click) or CPC (Cost-per-Click): this is the name for when an advertiser is charged a set amount of money each time someone clicks on their ad
The Dark Side of SEO
Black hat SEO or spamdexing is a practice in which search results are manipulated using less-than-reputable methods: link farming, keyword stuffing, and article spinning are a few that we will cover later in the semester.