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.

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Using your web site statistics

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Fine-tuning 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.

Some simple 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 Portal

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:

  • How 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.
  • Through 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.
  • How 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.
  • Number 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.
  • Visitors' 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.
  • Visits 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.
  • Where 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.

These are 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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