There are several powerful and extremely useful free tools available to monitor website performance that every online business should use routinely. Data provided by these tools informs search enigne optimization strategies, website design and commercial decisions in relation to product promotions.
Google Webmaster Central is an essential resource for webmaster analytics. Peruse it to see what it can provide for you in terms of statistics and website analytics. It is important to submit your sitemap.xml to it for improved spidering of your site. You should also ‘verify’ your site for enhanced analytics – see site for details. This is a tool you will continue to use regularly.
Free site statistics are also available from Webstat. While they provide a paid upgrade service that is undoubetedly comprehensive, I have found that the free version is adequate for routine monitoring purposes. You are then able to monitor which keywords and which search engines are sending traffic to your site, along with numbers of new and repeat visitors. You can also check which pages are being visited and the countries where your visitors reside. You can arrange for your own visits to your websites to be ignored by the system and you can monitor as many of your websites as you wish.
Google Analytics is also a comprehensive, fast and free site statistics service.
Such monitoring is essential. This information, coupled with your conversion statistics from your affiliate networks allows you to monitor the success or otherwise of keyword campaigns. Unfortunately, the keywords that convert most effectively tend to be the most competitive keywords. That does not mean that niche markets should be ignored. They are the lifeblood of the affiliate.