Website Statistics – The Basics

Question:
How do you know how successful your website is if you don't measure?
Why play cricket without bothering to keep the score?

Did you realize you can discover...(?)

Where your visitors are coming from - geographically.

What time of day or night they visited you.

Who referred them to your site.

What search words they used to find you.

How many times those keywords were used to find you

Which pages they looked at.

Which Pages they left your site

Whether they come back later or not.

Which browser they are using.

Loads, Loads More...

You see, virtually all site-owners have just a vague idea of how many visitors they
have on (say) a daily basis.

That's a bit like just having one gauge on your car - just to measure the temperature for example.

Once you know at least the basics of website analytics, you can really start to
increase the conversion of your site - often for zero or little cost - just by adjusting a few words here or links there!

So, Lets Clear up Some Confusion.
Here's a few terms...

Visitors

A 'visit' is a single visit to your website by one person. Forget how many pages of
your site they view - its still just one visit.
If that person comes back a day later - that's another visit. If you have just one
person (the same person) looking at your website each day for a month
- that'd be 30 visits - but just one visit.
Generally the more unique visitors the better and loads of plain visits mean people
keep coming back...

Hits
This is subject to a lot of confusion! Also, rules vary here but this will serve for this primer.
A hit occurs every time a file is downloaded from your website. So, If you have a
website with loads of images and stuff - that represents loads of hits - even if the
visitor just visits one page.

Say they just visit the home-page - (which itself is a file), which has say 3 different
graphics - that's a total of 4 hits. Make sense?
Other files could be backround sounds, FLASH movies, audio - etc etc.

Page Views
These simply how many pages were ‘viewed’ by unique visitors.
Scenario: your site has 5 pages and 2 different people look at the site.
Person 1 looks at 4 pages.
Person 2 gets bored and just looks at the homepage.

thus, Total Page views = 5.
This can be a measure of how interesting or 'Sticky' your site is.
One visitor may generate ten page views and another may generate five page views
– in which case your two unique visitors generated a total of fifteen page views.

Tip of The Iceberg

Website Analytics can be a heavy subject and this is just the very tip of the iceberg.

However, you should get a primer on the basics or get someone to manage it for you
- otherwise you'll never, ever get the most 'Bang for your Buck'.

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