The ultimate goal of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to drive traffic to your site. Many people donít know why, but they arenít achieving this goal. The key is staying current and evolving with the times. Way back in the good old days, SEO was a lot easier and we saw results quickly. What do I mean ďwe saw resultsĒ? We ran a ranking report and we were able to see what words held what positions in the various engines. And admit it now, when you received your ranking reports, you promptly pulled up Google or Yahoo and did a search, waiting with baited breath to see your results right there in the top 20. Ahhh, the good old days. Now, you get a ranking report and you donít see all those wonderful rankings you have seen in the past. Competition is fierce and even though your site deserves to be on top, it may take a while to work its way up there. So, what do you do? You call your SEO Firm, you complain, you work on a strategy to get the results you want. The missing piece here is called Analytics. A well optimized site will bring traffic from many engines, for various keywords that are related to your site. Those keywords may not be on your "approved keyword list" Ė however they are words people are looking for and they are driving traffic to your site. Many people donít give credit to their SEO company for these words Ė however they are mistaken. The fact that your site was properly optimized and content was added is what made the site get noticed by the engines, so the optimization is directly responsible for these ďbonusĒ keywords that are driving traffic to your site. Because most people donít understand this, and they donít give credit to their SEO Firm, many SEO Firms donít bother looking at or sharing Analytics information with their clients. They simply care about rankings for the keyword list. Additionally your SEO Firm should look at the other information in your web stats. We can figure out what pages people are spending time on, what pages people are leaving quickly, we can see what interestís people and what drives people away. Having someone prepare that information for you and deliver it to you in any easy to comprehend manner is invaluable. That information becomes your blueprint for web site improvement which means increased conversions, which means more sales, which means more money, which means you are one happy camper! Imagine, rather than guessing at what to tweak on your site to improve results you can take our analysis and suggested changes and use that as a guide to improving your traffic and conversions. Then you monitor the response to your tweaks to ensure your traffic and conversions are growing because the competition isnít sitting idle and what worked yesterday doesnít necessarily work tomorrow. Web stats or Analytics isnít new Ė itís been around forever. However most people donít know how to interpret their stats, they often donít have time to gather the data and SEO Firms typically do not tie this information into a SEO campaign. Case Study: One of our sites has: ē Top rankings for the phrases "phoenix homes" (generic phrase) and "historical homes in phoenix" (specific phrase) Analytics tells us: ē "phoenix homes" brings traffic but has only a 0.82% conversion rate. ē "historical homes in phoenix" brings less traffic but has a 6.67% conversion rate. The Lesson Learned: ē Add up the traffic from all your "minor" specific phrases -- all with high conversions and compare it to the major traffic and low conversions from your generic phrases - you can learn where to focus your attention -- on the phrases that convert! (Note: We wouldn't even know about the specific phrase without Analytics) ē We can add content for the phrase that converts higher, and drive more traffic from that phrase. We can also use that information to guide us in creating marketing material. About the Author: Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing and co-owner of www.EcomBuffet.com. Jenniferís vision and concepts are behind all in-house marketing campaigns. Additionally, over the past 8 years Jenniferís expertise in online marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients increase revenue and achieve their business goals. Jennifer has written a downloadable book on Search Engine Optimization and has been published in many SEO and marketing publications. Jennifer can be reached at Jennifer@ecombuffet.com.