Title: Web Analytics and SEO Word Count: 453 Summary: The main goal of any good SEO/SEM is to determine how a particular target audience searches and browses for information in a given market. Web Analytics comes into play when needing to monitor user activity and trends. Keywords: web analytics, web analysis, web statistics, online business optimization Article Body: By Jose Nuñez As an SEM Specialist, I must understand the different algorithms search engines use in their work. I also need to have an understanding of how my client's target audience searches these engines. Analytical tools and their test results offer the most valuable information about visitors searching and browsing behavior. The resulting traffic changes and most frequent keyword phrases that appear in these web analytics reports are the Site Catalyst of any SEO campaign. This helps one understand the information retrieval algorithms and heuristics process that takes place when search engines qualify a web page for a particular keyword phrase. That is why in order for a web page to be considered relevant, its content organization must accommodate a wide variety of direct and semi-direct search behavior, which is mostly disclosed by its own metrics, in a given time period. Part of the important information web analysis provides is the amount of words and phrases people type into search queries to find a particular web page, and it is equally important to include this information in order to receive targeted search engine traffic. That is just one of the aspects in the existing relation between web analytics and SEO: understanding how visitors search and browse websites. In a similar fashion, search engine generated traffic is reported by a web analytics tool, including the phrases entered into the search engine that were used to find a website. By separating the paid traffic generated by SEM from the total traffic that was referred by search engines, you can monitor the effectiveness of SEO efforts. Higher-end analytic tools break out organic search engines into a separate report. Another area where this statistical data is used for SEO benefits is in copywriting. Understanding how to write for the target audience of a website is key. Finding the right terms to use semantically within the copy of a web page is one of the main components of all successful SEO efforts. A SEM should always consider what each web page communicates to site visitors and search engines. This content should not only help achieve top search engine rankings, but it should also encourage searchers to visit the website. To improve positioning on search engine results pages, you need to be able to measure effectiveness. These tools make measuring your improvement on search engines easy, but it is really important to know is if the improvement affects traffic and sales. By monitoring and tracking this information frequently, a SEO can make recommendations, prove these recommendations work, and accurately report on the true effectiveness of these changes. Web analytic helps shorten the gap between what you think your visitors are searching for, and what they actually are.