So far, you’ve polished your website-design mettle and learned how to build sleek and sophisticated pages. Now it’s time to shift to an entirely different role, that of website promoter.
One of the best ways to attract new visitors to your site is to turn up as a result in a web search. For that to happen, the leading search engines (that’s Google, Yahoo, and Bing) need to know about your site, and they need to think it’s important enough to rank as a search result. For example, if you’re hawking fried delicacies at www.sweetsaltysweets.com, you want your website to turn up when someone searches for “chocolate-covered potato chips.” And ideally, that result will be among the first few listed, or at least on the first page of results, which greatly increases your odds of getting noticed.
In this chapter, you’ll see how search engines work. You’ll learn how to make sure they regularly index your site, capture the right information, and expose your brilliance to the world. (Later, in Chapter 11, you’ll continue this journey and learn more promotion strategies, all of which can help you work your way up the search results rankings.)
Lastly, you’ll learn to gauge the success of your site with visitor tracking. You’ll use a powerful, free service called Google Analytics to discover some of your visitors’ deepest secrets—like where they live, what browsers they use, and which of your web pages they find absolutely unbearable. With this information, ...