Search Engine Optimization Essentials For Monitoring A Website

Clive Lobo

When launching a new site there are some essential things you need to configure to ensure you’ll have all of the right information at your finger tips.

Consider the following free items:

  1. Install an analytics program (Google Analytics is free)
  2. Produce an XML sitemap ( is free)
  3. Integrate the webmaster tools for Google, MSN (beta) and Yahoo! and provide them your XML sitemap.
  4. Write a Robots.txt file and be sure to include your sitemap for auto discovery.

The first four are all free services you can configure. If you want to spend a little money we recommend the following:

  1. ClickTale or CrazyEgg. ClickTale and CrazyEgg both offer a free version but limit the number of visits you can track per month. Paid plans start as low as $9/month . Each provides a level of user behaviour recording hard to find elsewhere!
  2. WhoCalled? for call tracking. If you’re trying to track the conversions on your site then call tracking is important because you’ll be able to attribute each call to a particular marketing effort. WhoCalled? is only $10 / month for each 800 number and .12 cents a minute for the long distance.
  3. Web Site Monitoring. We like to use ServiceUpTime – it’s very affordable and allows you to monitor the uptime of a site from different geographic locations around the world and starts as low as ~$6 / month. In fact, there is a free version you can use to try out the service with.

So there you have it. A set of free configurations which will allow you to fully understand how the search engines are interacting with your site (web master tools) and what your visitors are doing (analytics). For the more adventurous you can spend a little bit of money each month to really track conversions, understand user behaviour and ensure you’re aware of when your site goes to down so you can bring it back as soon as possible!

If you know of any items which should really make it to this list please let us know. We’ll add them to the list and reward you with a followed link to you and you’re recomenndation service!

Clive Lobo

Spark’s resident boss man, Clive possesses the very nature of an entrepreneurial spirit.

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