Google Sitemaps & Web Analytics | LunaMetrics Blog

Google Sitemaps and web analytics

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I’ve been pushing all my customers to validate their sites with Google Sitemaps, especially now that the initial buzz is over and there’s no waiting list. Since this is a long post, I’m going to skip all the great ways Google Sitemaps shows you whether they are reading all your pages, and just talk about the analytics provided once you’ve validated that you’re the site owner or webmaster.

Lots of people don’t have web analytics but need them. I can’t tell you how many customer engagements start with me asking the customer to please install web analytics so that we can actually achieve something. Once you establish yourself and your site with Google Sitemaps (and they are so good about walking you through the validation step by step that I won’t do that here), you get some immediate analytics. They call them stats. There are two sets of stats that are very interesting, Query Stats and Page Analysis.

Query stats. Sitemaps includes two kinds of query stats: 1) Which search terms most often brought up your site in the Search Engine Response Pages, and 2) Which search terms both brought up your site and people clicked on them. For both of those metrics, they tell you where you rank on the page. So this is a mini tool for Search Engine Optimization, and the most interesting part about it is what is not there. For example, if I didn’t have web analytics and I weren’t using Google SiteMap, I might think that my site ranks well in Google for website conversion rate, the way it does in MSN and Yahoo! In fact, I’m still buried for that term in Google.

Page Analysis is incredibly interesting. It shows keyword density for your entire site. For example, here are the “Common Words” for my company’s website:

lunametrics
search
conversion
rate
email
software
marketing
analytics
visitors
engine
business
analytic
keyword
customers
pay
package
engines
phrase
privacy
guarantee

They don’t say that the words are in order of density, but it seems to be that way. And if so, I just learned something really important – we don’t use the word “analytics” enough. BTW, there are a number of free tools that do this kind of analysis, too, but you don’t get to do the entire site with one swoop.

Page Analysis also shows how words are used in the links to one’s site. Here are mine:

lunametrics
www
com
http
luna
metrics
consulting
website
analytic
conversion
rates
company
improve
your

This is important information to me because I want to know whether my links use more than just my company name. I’ll get more “credit” in the search engines for the word conversion if it’s in a link. Sure, I get credit for the word LunaMetrics when it’s in the link, but my site will always come up #1 for a search on “LunaMetrics.”

I hope.

Robbin Steif, CEO
LunaMetrics

Our owner and CEO, Robbin Steif, started LunaMetrics twelve years ago. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Digital Analytics Association. Robbin is a winner of a BusinessWomen First award, as well as a recent Diamond Award for business leadership. You should read her letter before you decide to work with us.

  • Rob

    Thanks for posting this. I found out that Google has been ignoring my sitemap.

    Oops. Now that’s corrected, and maybe I won’t be ignored by Google so much.

    Whether that helps is another matter.

    Rob of UnSpace

  • Dave @ SiteSpect A/B Split Testing

    Hi Robbin,

    besides Google’s own SiteMap, another (great) tool you might try for keyword ranking is Digital Point’s free keyword and backlink tracker. It lets you track organic rankings for any number of keywords on Google, Yahoo and MSN. Highly recommended for SEO work.

    cheers
    Dave @ SiteSpect

  • Nat

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been trying to find out how my website ranked organically by keyword in Google, but all the other websites I went to suggested paid subscriptions. I really should have known that the solution lay back at source 🙂

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