Traffic and SEO are interrelated. The very purpose of SEO is to boost traffic: to increase the number of visitors who land on your site by performing a natural search in any search engine.
Most of the web users rely on Google, Yahoo! and MSN to perform searches. But Excite and Mamma have their users too. An SEO professional will advise that you don’t ignore the less important search engines, as you’ll need traffic from all to maximize conversions.
Traffic should be constantly monitored, preferably with a proficient tool that will reveal exactly how a web visitor has landed on your pages, which terms she/he was searching for, how many pages she/he browsed and how long she/he spent browsing your site.
For those of you who don’t want to spend money on traffic monitoring tools, Google Analytics is the best choice. Although it was created to monitor AdWords campaigns, this toll provides enough relevant data even if you don’t have any PPC campaigns on the role.
Anti-Google advocates will find other free tools useful. ShinyStat offers a very effective free tool: it shows you how many visits your site received and how many page views, it has a live hit counter, and reveals other important data such as country of origin, referrer sites, search engines and top 100 search terms. This tool is enough for beginners or for those who are just curious about their stats. For professional use I’d recommend that you upgrade to ShinyStat Pro or purchase a different software.