Hittail, A Peek Behind The Curtain

I actually was using Hittail for quite some time before Mary at RSS Pieces mentioned it in her Top 10 Best SEO Web Tools.   There are a lot of good tools mentioned on that post.   I have used some of them and I’ve bookmarked that post and go back to it often.

I imagine that most of us do not utilize 1/10th of the functionality of the hardware and software we use.   There are features we never use and some are so trusted we feel we counldn’t live without them.   I use Hittail for one feature only.   The rest are nice but the “Search Hits” tab is the only reason this window is never closed on my computer.

This feature lets me peek behind the curtain and see how, when, and from where, people came to our website and blog.   Want to peek with me?

Hittail image

What are we looking at.  

  • First the date and time, this time is two hours ahead of Arizona time.  
  • The red x is so I can delete this and move it to an archive.
  • The Peak behind the curtain.

Look at this, I can see the search engine or site origin of the search and the phrase they searched on when they came to the site or blog.   Better yet, I can click in that URL and it takes me to the very search they used to come to us.   I can tell where we ranked on that search, were we on the first page, or number 50.

I’ve learned that we are number one in google for some search phrases I didn’t even know about, but do now.   So lets do a quick analysis of this single set of results.   There are 15 results to a page. They are from bottom to top in time and the way you should analyze these pages.  

Here is a brief description of what I learn about each of these results.

  1.  google search, la encantada snow,   Post 15 minutes of magic at La Encantada
    page 1, position 2, posted on Dec 10, result on Dec 18.
  2. zillow website, this is a listing we put on zillow and when we click the URL it tells me which listing they came to our site from.   So I know that listing was seen.
  3. Google Reader, someone has our blog in a reader and they viewed it.   Good.
  4. Blogsearch Google for Retirement Communities result Heritage Highlands a Gated Golf Community  Page 1, Postion 9 Notice this doesn’t even contain Tucson in the search.
  5. Yahoo Search Winterhaven Tucson   result Winterhaven Subdivision Photos  Page 1  Position 9 This page is on our web site. There is a festival of lights there each winter and lot of people go there for horse drawn rides through the neighborhood.   We get a lot of hits on this one.
  6. Yahoo Search u of a tucson real estate   This one is gone, it shows it was on page 1, but not today.
  7. online real estate listings, A directory website some one clicked on our website from there.
  8. Google.ca search Tucson Golf Course Condos   Page 1, Position 3, Our website home page.
  9. Google search Gladden Farm Page 1  Position 4 and 5   The first one to the blog post on Gladden Farm free water for Landscaping   The second to our webpage with search of the Tucson MLS for Gladden Farms listings. The blog feeds the Web site, the website feeds the blog, the search engine sees both.
  10. Google search Tucson Housing Price 2005 Page 1 Position 3 Blog Homepage
  11. Someone was reading our Realty Times newsletter and clicked the link to our web site.
  12. Yahoo Search Barbara Lasky Page 1, All Positions, Nice someone knew to look for her name.
  13. Google Search Tuscon Slump Block Homes Page 1 Position 6 Page Tucson Ranch Homes  on our web site.   Notice Tucson is spelled wrong we have that spelling as a keyword in our metatags. The page it found isn’t about slump block but the words are found on that page.
  14. Google Search is water running out Page 6 Position 50, today position 76 Blog post Is Tucson Running out of Water   Two things, again no mention of Tucson and someone actually was on page 6 at the bottom and clicked on our tucson link.
  15. Zillow website same listing 3 1/2 hours later clicked through to our web site.   Two conclusions, First, “They’re back” someone is taking a second look at this house. Second, someone else has just looked at this same listing on Zillow and clicked on our website listing, either way we are getting interest in that listing and traffic to our web site.

This is just one page of Hittail Search Results.

Can you see what a great tool this is for analyzing your web site or blog.  

Quickly here is what you do:

  1. Go to  Hittail and register for an account.
  2. When you do you will enter the url of the site to track
  3. A single line of javascript will be provided for you to paste in each webpage or blog post.*
  4. Once this is done login to your Hittail Account and click on the search hits tab.

We have our blogs and website all hosted on the same hosting account and all under the main website so all traffic comes through on this one account.   If you have separate locations you can set them up accordingly.

*How do I get this code on every page?

For the web pages, I use Dreamweaver and do a search and replace for the entire site since the javascript code goes in just above the close body tag /body   I searched on that and replaced it with the javascript and itself.

For the blogs I placed the javascript code in the Template Footer just above the /body tag.   It will be at the bottom of every post.

Hittails is a great tool to have in your box.  

1.   It helps me to pick the next blog post title or keywords.  

2.   It helps me decided the next webpages to develop for the site.  

I’ll be adding more subdivisions and communities to the site now that I know they do get searched.

Like I said at the beginning, this is just one function of Hittail.   Check out the first tab and see the Long Tails to your site or blog, the tail will grow with time, and be more meaningful.   I can’t say enough about Hittail, I love this tool and what it is doing for us.

I’ll take a peek behind the curtain to a shot in the dark anytime.



  1. Thanks for your explanation. I’ve been wanting to add this tool to my multiple websites and you’ve helped me get going on doing this. One down, 4 to go!

  2. Judy,

    I’m glad I could be of help. You have certainly helped many others.

    Thanks for dropping by the lab.