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Web Site Statistics

It is vital that you know who visits your website, where they come from, which pages they visit, when they leave etc. This article covers the reasons why, and how to get the most from your web site statistics using webtrends, web trends, web stats, web analysis, website analysis, surveys, polls, link tracking etc.

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Web Site Statistics

Just WHO visits your website?

How did they get to your site?

And did they find what they were looking for?

All of these questions are simple to ask, but may prove much more difficult to answer! And if promoting your website is important for you, it is vital that you have the answers so you are better able to get what you want from your visitors and they are able to get what they want from your website.

Read that last sentence again, it's important.

If you can answer questions like above, you will quite literally be able to improve your website promotion results, and convert more visitors into customers or leads (that is the reason why you want to promote your website, isn't it?).

Answering these questions in the long term will show you what promotion methods work best, and on which medium. And above all, these answers will be able to tell you just how targeted your website traffic is, and how well you put your message across.

(Ultimately, getting millions of visitors is pointless, if all these visitors do is make a quick exit elsewhere!)

There are various ways to understand who your visitor is, and where s/he comes from. These include asking for feedback, link-tracking, understanding your website stats (web logfiles - see below), using cookies, personalization of your website, and running online surveys.

As I keep saying, this is a basic website promotion guide, so I shall only cover a few of these topics briefly. There is always further reading, if you want more!

Website Analysis

When people visit your website they usually leave a trace in your web logfiles. You can analyse these logfiles via your web hosting package and tools like Webalizer or Awstats, or you can install 3rd party stat tools like Webtrends, hitbox and Statcounter.

Basically, whatever method you choose to use, you need to look out for the following metrics:

  • unique visits - identified by cookie, perhaps, in a set time-frame (usually 24 hours)
  • return visits - as above
  • pageviews - number of pages visited, as opposed to
  • 'hits' - number of files downloaded (e.g. images, javascript, html pages etc.)
  • exit/entry pages
  • referrers - includes search engines, web sites and even other pages on your website

There is a strong relationship between the success of a website and the understanding you have of the above metrics. If you ignore these web site statistics, then you are probably ignoring your site visitors and your business profits!


Link-tracking means tracking links to your website on other sites as well as tracking the links that site visitors click on your website. A good stats package or logfile analysis package will be able to track links clicked whilst on your site, so I shall simply discuss the other type of link-tracking (both link-tracking solutions come as standard benefits of building your site with Site Build It! by the way!).

There are many services or programs on the Internet that will allow you to track your links. This means that instead of providing a link like


on your website, or in your newsletter or advertisement, you can provide a link like

  • or

depending on which type of solution you choose.

You simply examine your logfiles, or check with the link-tracking service, to see how many times a particular link has been clicked. And using link-tracking also provides you with the following benefits:

  • You can keep links short. Useful for ezine advertising, say, or with your email signature
  • You can simply hide your links

The following sites offer services that do all of the above

Surveys and Online Polls

Survey your website visitors.

Find out what they want!

Makes sense, doesn't it?

If you make your surveys fun, you will have more chance of people filling them in, and may even provide yet another reason for people to visit your site! You can find an excellent free Perl/CGI script to create your own survey at Bignosebird, but my recommended resource is Willmaster's Perl/CGI program Master Quiz

And finally...

It's vital that you understand just who is visiting your website, where they come from, and they are looking for. This information - accessible using a combination of free and paid-for resources - will allow you to improve your website promotion efforts, and to convert more visitors into customers.

Whichever method you choose, you should learn to love web site statistics. It could well be the difference between website success or failure. Really.


Reminder: This page is about using website statistics to know your visitor and to know about the popularity (or otherwise) of your website -- please share this page


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