Do Your Site Statistics Mean, Anyway?
The purpose of analyzing your web site statistics is to look for
trends and to research the success level of your marketing campaigns.
The numbers themselves can be misleading, as statistical packages
count hits in different ways. If someone visits a page
on your site doesnt mean that they read it completely.
The idea with web site statistics, then, is to look for trends.
Instead of looking at the numbers a concrete items, look at them
over time to see if theyre increasing or decreasing. For example,
if you do an internet marketing campaign, then look at your web
site statistics to see if the campaign increased the number of hits
to your site.
With that said, here are some numbers you should look at:
There are three areas that are important to review each month and
during each marketing campaign. The number of unique visitors will
help you to determine whether your site is receiving more or less
visitors each month.
The location tells you what country, and sometimes what State,
the visitors are coming from. This is important if youre concerned
about your global reach to other countries, or if youve done
a marketing campaign in other States. Note that this is the State
of the ISP where they connected to the Internet. Because AOL is
in Virginia, you will have an inordinate amount of Virginia visitors,
even though these people are actually all over the USA.
An important distinction is the concept of visitors
versus hits. Each person who visits your site is considered
a visitor. Each time a visitor looks at a page, that
page and its contents are accessed, including the graphics on the
page. As example, say that your home page has two graphics on it,
plus some text. That is considered THREE elements on the page. When
a visitor visits that page once, your statistics will show ONE visitor
and THREE hits.
Time of Day Activity
This area of your statistics helps you to determine which days
of the week have the most activity, and which time of day is the
most active. This can be helpful to know when to schedule chats
and teleclasses. For instance, if Wednesdays at 3PM are popular
times for your site, they may be popular times for teleclasses.
Its important to note here that one of the most popular times
for people to search the web is weekdays after lunch. (People are
at work and having a sugar low after digesting their lunch and are
surfing the net instead of working.) If this is a popular time for
people to be surfing the net, then this might also be a popular
time for an internet chat on your web site.
This section of your statistics will tell you who is sending people
to your web site. It lists which search engines people use, as well
as which keywords or key phrases people use to find your site. In
addition, this section will also list what other sites are linking
from their site to your site. (When someone links from their site
to your site, its called an inbound link or incoming
This section of your statistics will help you to determine which
pages are visited most often, how long people stay on a page (presumably
to read it), and which page people exit your site from. Again, trends
matter here more than the concrete numbers. Are certain pages more
popular than others? Are people only spending 5 seconds on a page
that should take 3 minutes to read?
This section tells you where people had problems accessing your
site. If people try to access a certain page and cant, it
will be recorded here. If your site has been unavailable, youll
see these numbers rise.
For a list of all internet error message numbers and theyre
corresponding meaning, check out this website:
As you can see, there are many number to look at in your statistics,
and many ways to interpret them. If you pay more attention to trends
and problems, and less attention to actual numbers, youll
be ahead of the game!
About the Author
© 2004 Karyn Greenstreet.
Karyn Greenstreet is a Self Employment expert and small business
coach. She shares tips, techniques and strategies with self-employed
people to create and grow their businesses, stay focused and motivated,
and perform at their peak. Visit her website at www.PassionForBusiness.com
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