So you’ve developed your new website and set it live for the entire world to see. What do you do now? How do you know if anyone is visiting and if so, who are they? That’s where your website statistics come in. At first glance they can be kind of daunting. What’s the difference between unique visitors and hits? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve made this no-nonsense explanation of your websites stats so you can see what’s working and not working on your website.
Here are some of the more important statistics to look at:
Unique Visitors –This is one of the more important statistics to look at. The unique visitor’s statistic counts every IP address (we’ll say, computer) that visits your website. That means that if a user visits your site more than once (from the same computer) they will still only be counted once. There is a drawback to this statistic though. If someone visits your site from two different computers, the same user will be counted twice. Here’s an example, let’s say a user visits your site from their work computer, then goes home and visits your site from there, that user will be counted twice even though it’s the same user because they used two different computers with different IP addresses. Even so, this statistic gives you the most accurate count of how many people are actually visiting your website than any other statistic.
Number of Visitors –This is the total number of visits made by all visitors during the past month.
Visits/Visitor –The total number of visits divided by the total number of visitors which will show you about how many times your visitors revisited your website during the past month.
Pages –This statistic counts all pages visited on your site, but does not count graphics and other non-page files like hits does.
Pages/Visit –Pages per visit is an average reading of how many pages are viewed by each user when on each visit to your site. This, along with visits duration which we’ll discuss later, is a good example of how good your site is at keeping people interested.
Hits –This statistic counts every single file that’s accessed on your website. Each image, page, script, etc. will be counted as a hit. This figure is often read as how many people are visiting your site. If you’re looking for the answer to that, look to unique visitors to give you a better idea. Let’s say you have a page with ten images on it. Every time a visitor refreshes that page on your website those images and the page will be downloaded again, that’s 11 hits each time the page is refreshed.
Bandwidth –For most websites you don’t really have to worry about this statistic unless it skyrockets unexpectedly. This is a reading of the total number of bytes downloaded, which includes all graphics, pages, and downloadable files accessed by users. If this reading does increase unexpectedly a good thing to check for is outside (offsite) linking of files or images which can be seen by reading the Links section of your stats program.
Visits Duration –We spoke about this statistic earlier. This statistic tracks how long visitors stayed on your site before leaving. If you notice that most of your visitors are leaving in the 30-60 second range, don’t worry, that’s not unusual as most people online are more impatient than they are in. Another possibility is that they could have found the information they needed quickly, which means your website is working. If, however, you notice that no one is staying longer than 60 seconds you may need to reevaluate your website.
Entry Page –This statistic tracks the number of visitors who entered your site on each page. The highest number is usually the “/” directory, your root directory, or your index page which means that the visitor most likely came in through your normal domain name.
Exit Page –The Exit Page statistic tracks the number of visitors who left your site after viewing a particular page. This can let you know where your problem pages are. Most of the time the highest figure on this statistic will be the home page or root directory just like your entry page stats due to impulsive visitors.
Links –Links found in this section show the number of visitors who found your site by clicking on outside links or links from other websites to yours. These are usually broken down into search engines and websites so you can see which sites are helping deliver the traffic you need to be successful.
Search Keyphrases and Keywords–These two sections list the phrases and individual words that visitors used in search engines to find your site. This can be helpful in learning what people visiting your site are most interested in. Beware though, due to spam bots exploiting this technology you may receive some strange phrases and words.
Now that you know what your statistics mean you can tell how your site is working to fulfill your goals. If you’re site isn’t working for you, Integrated Webworks can help you get the traffic you need. Check out our Internet Marketing section to find out how.