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What search terms FAIL to bring visitors to our site, when they should?

My web log files, with careful analysis, tell me what search terms brought people to our pages. But what I would really like is to find commonly searched terms which should bring people to us, but do not ... so that I can optimise the site for them. And of course there's nothing in the log files to tell you what these underrated/unrated terms are - or so you might have thought.

With the combined log file format, the Referer string includes the query that the user made (encoded) and also a parameter showing the start point in the results set. Without that parameter inthe referer, you are loking at the start of the result set ... with that parameter, you have a user who has moved on from the first page to a later page of results.

Here are a couple of analyses from yesterday:

4 arrival(s) to /resources/ex.php4?item=h110/mcheck.php
  1 - php select radio
  1 - php radio exemple
  1 - php template for radio
  1 - php select from (page starts 10)


That's three users who came to the page in question because their search presented our site on the first page, and one who searched for "php selelct from" who wasn't satisfied with what (s)he found on the first page, and moved on to the second page.

6 arrival(s) to /resources/ex.php4?item=j907/index.jsp
  2 - shopping cart jsp
  1 - jsp source code for online shop (page starts 30)
  1 - shopping cart example jsp
  1 - download sample code for shopping cart in jsp
  1 - shopping cart jsp example


And that's a page which our patient user, searching for "jsp source code for online shop", didn't reach until the fourth page.

This page start information is a huge clue to lost traffic. With only 4% of our visits being as result of our links being found on 2nd or subsequent pages (see here), we're been shown the tip of an iceberg - and we could do well to trawl through all our second (and later) page arrivals and see if we should be making more effective use of the words that were used in them.

If you're interested in what subjects users have found recently that are not on the first page, look here for Python - Perl - PHP - MySQL - Tcl - Ruby - Lua - Java - Tomcat - Apache - Linux - Shell - Expect - Database - Unix and other topics
(written 2009-08-05, updated 2009-08-06)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G911 - Well House Consultants - Search Engine Optimisation
  [4121] Has your Twitter feed stopped working? Switching to their new API - (2013-06-23)
  [3746] Google Analytics and the new UK Cookie law - (2012-06-02)
  [3670] Reading Google Analytics results, based on the relative populations of countries - (2012-03-24)
  [2748] Monitoring the success and traffic of your web site - (2010-05-01)
  [2686] Freedom of Information - consideration for web site designers - (2010-03-20)
  [2562] Tuning the web site for sailing on through this year - (2010-01-03)
  [2552] Web site traffic - real users, or just noise? - (2009-12-26)
  [2428] Diluting History - (2009-09-27)
  [2330] Update - Automatic feeds to Twitter - (2009-08-09)
  [2137] Reaching the right people with your web site - (2009-04-23)
  [2107] How to tweet automatically from a blog - (2009-03-28)
  [2106] Learning to Twitter / what is Twitter? - (2009-03-28)
  [2065] Static mirroring through HTTrack, wget and others - (2009-03-03)
  [2045] Does robots.txt actually work? - (2009-02-16)
  [2019] Baby Caleb and Fortune City in your web logs? - (2009-01-31)
  [2000] 2000th article - Remember the background and basics - (2009-01-18)
  [1984] Site24x7 prowls uninvited - (2009-01-10)
  [1982] Cooking bodies and URLs - (2009-01-08)
  [1971] Telling Google which country your business trades in - (2009-01-02)
  [1969] Search Engines. Getting the right pages seen. - (2009-01-01)
  [1793] Which country does a search engine think you are located in? - (2008-09-11)
  [1344] Catching up on indexing our resources - (2007-09-10)
  [1029] Our search engine placement is dropping. - (2007-01-11)
  [1015] Search engine placement - long term strategy and success - (2006-12-30)
  [427] The Melksham train - a button is pushed - (2005-08-28)
  [165] Implementing an effective site search engine - (2005-01-01)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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