Using your web site statistics
your site by understanding your visitors
If you run your own web site, then you will know how important it is to at least be able to tell how many visitors visit your site. Understanding what information is available from your website log, and how to access it, is vital marketing information.
free visitor and page counter services are available, and you see these
all over the Web: "You are visitor number 1056".
But all reputable web space providers will produce regular (daily or weekly)
web site logs which contain an enormous amount of raw data about who has
been looking at your site, how long they spent and so forth. And there
are many pieces of software which can interpret this information in a
meaningful way. If you need such software (some is free, some costs hundreds
of dollars), have a look through some of the sites on our Software
Here's some of the information you can get from your web site log - and
how you can use it to fine-tune your site:
often each page is viewed: Can often produce surprises. Use some
frequently viewed pages to put important sales messages on - preferably
near the top of the page.
which pages visitors enter your site: Often this will be your home
page, but by no means always. They may find your site through a search
engine key word, which points to pages other than your home page. Again,
use messages on such pages to get sales information over - and to encourage
such visitors to visit other parts of your site.
many pages visitors look at: Often this is expressed as an average
for the period in question. Use this as a measure of how successful
you are in persuading people to explore all the information on your
site. "Average time spent on site" is another measurement statistic.
of errors, or pages not completely loaded: Start to get worried
if this is more than just a few per cent. It may indicate that your
pages are taking too long to load, and people just hit the browser stop
button and go away.
countries: You can never get a completely accurate picture, but
there can be some good indications. The web site log will show the domain
name of many of your visitors. If you are, for example, hoping to sell
to Australia, and you find that you are getting few visitors from that
country, you may need to try some targeted Internet marketing to get
your site linked from more Australian sites.
by day of week: Seemingly not important. But, if you update your
site regularly, and your log shows that you are getting peak visitors
regularly on one day of the week, make your updates the day before that
peak, so that more people will be seeing fresh information.
your visitors found your site:
If your raw log contains "REFERRER" information, it will show you often
how visitors found your site - search engines, from their own bookmarks,
links from another site, and so on. This information can help you to
fine-tune the marketing of your site, and increase the number of visitors.
just a few tips. But do you
have any more useful tips on interpreting web site statistics? There are
plenty more ideas! Let us know and we'll add them to the list (with full
credit to you, of course).
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