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I've been improving questions mainly to improve the site's placement in search engines OR to improve the likelihood that a question would be clicked (more traffic.)

I've been doing:

  • Cleanup for spelling and grammar
  • Getting rid of all caps titles so they're easier to read
  • Formatting them so they're easier to read (breaking up large paragraphs, inserting bullet points.) This would really improve the amount of time a reader would stay on the page.
  • Include chemical names (I've been seeing others edit a question to include the name of a chemical that was otherwise not mentioned = phenomenal idea for improved searchability.)

What some other ways the site could be improved so that it could be a resource people are able to reach from search engines?

I know that removing content that could be found elsewhere online (ie. homework questions found on Chegg or Ask.com) would really help as duplicate content can kill a site in search engines, but this would be difficult to do.

Finally, how do we see the fruits of our labor? Are there traffic stats that we can look at to sort of give us a pat on the back for our work?

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As far as traffic stats go, users with >25k rep have access to site analytics (see the help centre page). As of today (18 Nov '16), only ron, Klaus Warzecha, Ben Norris, DavePhD, and the moderators have access to that.

There is a lot of data there and simply dumping the data for all to see is neither encouraged (the help centre explicitly says: "Since this is a restricted privilege, we'd prefer you not share the raw data."), nor helpful. As such the best way to go about this is probably for you to specify what kind of stuff you might want to look at, and then we can pick out the relevant numbers. It's probably not easy to figure out what timescale to collect data over. However traffic has definitely increased over time.

As for editing, please put in useful titles. A lot of questions have poor titles right now and when I see them on Google (I occasionally come across SE questions while searching for stuff), I'm never sure if "this is what I want". Refer to my answer here to see what I mean. Right now far too many titles are non-descriptive, generic, and unhelpful. (Don't bother with low-quality homework posts that are closed. Those get automatically deleted after a few days so they don't matter.)

In general one should think along the lines of:

If I had this question, what phrase would I Google?

The title should probably mimic the search query closely and the body should include any other keywords that might be relevant.

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    $\begingroup$ I second Ortho's sentiment on the traffic data. Let us know what you want to know. Otherwise, I might just summarize the weekly and seasonal patterns, or tell you most of our traffic comes from Google (should not be surprising). $\endgroup$ – Ben Norris Nov 19 '16 at 3:42

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