Most SEO actions are simple and obvious: make the site clear, easy to read, provide plenty of content, use recent web site standards code. But there are a few things beyond this that are important.
Tools I use to measure and track traffic:
RAVEN sitening SEO tools
Internal Site Log Files
SEO has become a confusing business enterprise where there are many firms and individuals offering legitimate services to make an existing or new web site SEO effective. There are also SEO "tricks" being sold that can backfire or produce no real result at all.
"Content is king," is the short hand way to understand SEO. Search engine spiders crawl through web sites cataloging what's there. They number the words and phrases and put together a profile of what the page is about. The more content there is, the better, and the clearer it is presented (via modern code standards) also the better. But that's not all there is to it.
Most SEO work is common sense: clarity and sticking to the subject. A search engine "thinks" your site page is valuable because you're thorough and cover the topic in a complete fashion. You offer information in quantity. You gain links from other sites that appreciate the quality of density of information. You use social networking web sites which help promote your site: facebook, twitter, myspace, etc. As a better bonus, your site is cited as a reference on the wikipedia site on the subject you're concentrating on. All of this is free or at almost no cost to you, and all of it drives traffic and attention.
SEO effectiveness equals page rank with the main search engines (google, yahoo, bing).
I use tracking software each week to map the progress of web sites I work with. Measured results mean we can see the progress of a site, or a particular page, as it climbs up through page rank and becomes more visable on the world wide web.
If you would like to talk about your own project, please contact me for a free consultation.
[Below: Example of tracking of keywords pertaining to a particular web site]