Having a kick-ass website is only the first step on your road to overnight success - Kevin Costner's adage "If you build it, they will come" doesn't apply to the Internet. Extra care is needed to make sure your new website is the one that stands out from the thousands of others when the search engines, webspiders, and robots come knocking.
<META> Tags: The process of getting your website noticed begins with the site development process. Nestled in the HTML of your webpages are hidden tags called META tags that contain information vital to automated search engines. Keywords (what people use to search for webpages) and descriptions relating to your site are carefully optimized to increase your ranking in the many search engines.

META tags alone won't work alone, however. Webpages are indexed by them, sure, but other factors play important roles in getting a website more exposure. The very text used in the body of your website is scanned and used for rankings. ALT tags, "alt"ternate text for images when they are loading or have been turned off, also provide important ranking information. Even the file names and titles of each page of your website are used to claw and bite your way to the tops of the searches.

Statistics: Once your site is listed with the search engines and you start receiving visitors, you'll want to get feedback on your site's performance. There are 3 ways to get this information:

NetConsole Logs: Included with every hosting account is a versatile online control panel. With the NetConsole, you have full control over email, CGI scripts, and site statistics. These basic logs can give you an idea of your website's traffic and the general flow of visitors.

WebTrends: This report generates an incredibly detailed log of your website's traffic - how many people visited, where they came from, where they went after their visit, and how long they stayed are just some of the records WebTrends generates.

Web Positioning Report: The previous 2 reports gave you an idea of the internal activity of your website. To learn where the site ranks in the search engines, you need a Web Positioning Report. It searches through the popular search engines using designated keywords, returning where your site is ranked according to each keyword combination. It's invaluable when attempting to increase site exposure.

Site statistics and tracking are a key element to the success of your site; Netsations recommends you take advantage of these services regularly, as they are invaluable to the ongoing optimization of your online business strategy.

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