Most people don’t see the need for comprehensive website statistics. After all, isn’t the most important statistic just the number of visitors to a website? And if that is the case, wouldn’t a simple visitor counter suffice?
If you answered yes to the previous questions, then it is imperative that you read on. In addition to determining how many people are visiting your website, statistics can also give you a lot of other valuable information about your visitors such as where they live, what they like, and if they ever come back to revisit your website.
Below are five important statistics that will help you to gauge the effectiveness of your website and make improvements:
1. Number of Visitors:
In addition to letting you know how popular your website is, this website statistics usually lets you know if your visitors return, and if so, how often. Most website statistics packages not only tell you the number of visits, but they also tell you the number of unique visitors.
Total Visits counts the total number of visits to your website. On the other hand, Unique Visitors only counts the total number of visitors. So unlike the previous statistic, repeat visitors are not counted.
By comparing these two website statistics, you can determine if visitors are returning to your website. If you have a lot of regulars, for example, you will notice that total visits will be significantly higher than unique visitors.
2. Popular Pages
Website statistics can also tell you what your visitors like. By viewing the statistics on a page-by-page basis, you can see which pages are the most popular, receive the most inbound links from other websites, and serve as entry points for traffic from search engines. This will help you do deliver more of what your visitors are looking for.
3. Visitor Demographics
One of the most interesting website statistics are those that tell you about your visitors. Depending on what website statistics package you decide to use, you can get any of the following demographical information:
- Geographical location
- Internet browser
- Marital status and age
- Internet connection speed
- Level of education
- Computer platform
This information is very valuable. It can help you to determine if you are reaching your target audience, and it can also help you to optimize your website for your visitors.
4. Browsing Behavior
Another statistic that can help you to improve your website is browsing behavior. This tells you the path that users take through your website as well as the time spent on a page. By analyzing this statistic, you can determine the effectiveness of your website’s navigation and if users are finding what they are looking for.
Finally, it is good to know where your traffic is coming from, especially if you have a marketing plan. This will help you to gauge its effectiveness and determine if changes should be made.
Get A Statistics Application Now!
Clearly, website statistics can help you to improve the effectiveness of your website. So if you don’t already use a website statistics program, you should consider getting one right away.
What is Website Statistics ?
Website statistics are essential while marketing a website since advertisers and people who use that website need to know how well it is doing or how many hits that site is generating. In short, they need to know whether they are generating revenues or not. What is desired is an effective program to conclude how well a particular website is doing.
Learning the way to check website statistics can assist you to develop your web site for visitors, measure if your promotional strategies are working, and find new possibilities to boost your online business.
How can you measure your website statistics?
There are two common ways to measure this essential information.
One is with software that analyzes the server log files. Every time someone visits your site the server stores precise information about the visitor and what they did on your website. With software like Webalyzer or AWStats of website statistics that information is kept in a form which is easily understandable. Several website hosts give this software installed in advance on their servers and available to clients through a cPanel or Plesk administrative area.
You may want to integrate both techniques to get a best overall picture of who is visiting your website and what they’re doing.
What do the terms mean in website statistics?
Each request for a file from a server is calculated as a hit in website statistics. This is an often get the wrong idea about the term. It actually doesn’t mean you’ve had 5,000 people visit your site if you have had 5,000 hits. If your page has one html file and five images on it, then each time a visitor loads the page it would count as six hits.
How many times a “page” as defined in log analysis has been loaded. This is more precise than hits because it will only add the.html or.php files rather of every image on a page.
A unique visitor is the most essential information in website statistics than hits or page views. It tracks number of different computers have visited your website.
Number of Visits:
In website statistics, number of visits means how many unique sessions was logged in. If a person visits your site today and then again in a week, that would be counted as two visits.
Various tracking/analysis softwares are able to show you which “spiders” from search engines visited your site. This is an easy way to see if your site is being indexed by various search engines. Manage and track visits by robots, spiders and crawlers to your website. Identify which spiders visited, when they visited, and what pages they indexed.
Top Pages are the most popular of the website. Look for the top pages section of your website statistics to see what visitors are most interested in.
Connect to Site From or Search Phrases Used:
Depending upon different softwares or analyzer you are using but most will include a section allowing you to see how visitors found you. It will show if they’ve been subsequent to a link from other website, a search engine, or typed in your URL directly.
HTTP Status Codes:
Your analyzer may also show you if your visitors got 404 or other errors. Watch this section to see if you’ve got a broken link or other problem somewhere on your website that you need to fix.
What metrics should you watch for website statistics?
Some of the elementary things you want to watch website statistics are:
What % of visitors to a sales page made purchases? There is enough of facts and information accessible on how to optimize sales pages for excellent conversion rates. Once you have a base measurement of your current conversion rate, start making little changes to your copy, headlines, and other page elements then see for a change in the conversion rate to see if changes helped.
Page views per visit:
How many pages does each visitor look at? If this number is very low – one or two – then visitors aren’t being engaged enough or discover what they were looking for.
Monthly unique visitors:
Is the number growing over time? Your traffic should be going up! If it’s not, time to review your promotional tactics and strategies to see where you can focus on improving.
What can you do with all that information?
Website statistics offer you a wealth of information — use it to your advantage!
Here are some easy ways to use your website statistics to build your business:
- Contact sites that refer visitors/link to your site and send them a thank you note.
- By giving priority notice Offer sites who have published your articles for future articles you release for reprint. Take permission; and then email your articles straight to the influenced sites so your articles are easier for them to publish.
- See the best popular pages of your website then focus on building and developing those pages with improved copywriting, promote affiliate products, etc.
- Look for trends in the type of websites that are referring visitors to your site and use it to better target your marketing efforts.
As there are different ways to examine your website statistics, and numerous ways to interpret them. If you pay enough attention to trends and difficulties, and less regard to actual numbers, you’ll be ahead of the game in website statistics!
Analyzing your site traffic to know your visitors
Using a web site statistics tool is an absolute must for all those of you you are serious about site promotion and Internet marketing. You need a reliable traffic analysis tool to know what are your total hits, how many visitors are coming to your site, where they are coming from, and other important visitor information.
Lets see how web site statistics can help us. We have explained some important terms that you will come across while analyzing your statistics and how you can use them to understand your traffic.
- Visitor/Unique: A visitor is a unique person that visits your site. He/She may travel through many pages in your site but will be counted as only one person. E.g. After reading this article you may choose to click on some of our other articles on web site promotion. Whether you read only this article or many articles, our statistics will show you as one visitor.
- Hit or Page View: The number of times your web site has been hit i.e. Each time a page is viewed on your web site it is a counted as a hit or a page view. E.g. Every time you click on one of our links our hits will increase by one.This information is very useful and needs to be tracked on a regular basis to see if your hits and visitors are increasing, decreasing or remaining stagnant. At one glance you will be able see if your promotion efforts are paying off or not (If your visitors and hits are continuously increasing it is fantastic).
You should also check if your page views are proportionately much higher than your visitors. If it is, its good news! This means that your visitors are interested in what your site has to offer and are moving around the site. If it is almost the same or just double then it means visitors are only viewing one or two pages and then clicking out of your site. Tip: Make sure you have a good navigation system so that visitors can easily find what they are looking for.
- Referrer Domain: This is the URL through which your visitors come to your site. It could be a search engine, directory or just another site that has linked to you. Using referrer information you can find out where your visitors are coming from and where you are getting the most traffic from. It is also a useful way to find out if you are indexed and ranked high on a particular search engine. As soon as you see visitors coming to your site through a particular search engine you know that you are indexed and ranked pretty high. If you find that even after 2-3 months you aren’t getting visitors from certain search engines, it probably means you are either not indexed in their database or are not ranked high.
- Stats by monitored page: This tells you the hits for each of your pages. Through these stats you will be able to tell which are your most popular pages and which pages are not being visit. Use your popular pages to draw visitors within the site. Give them a special offer or put cool links to get them to visit the rest of your site. Resubmit or work on the pages that are not getting hits.
- Meta tags
The first and most important step is to create relevant meta tags after studying your competition and coming up with the most important keywords for you site. All the pages in your web site must have the relevant keywords, title and description.
- Keywords in your Content
The keywords used in your meta tags should be repeated in your content – specially in the heading and the first paragraph.
- Alt Tags
Put your keywords in the image alt tags. Some search engines index the alt tags.
The golden rule for effective search engine submission is that all your important keywords should appear in your title, description, content and alt tags of your web page. This increases your keyword density and helps in boosting your ranking with the search engines.
- Create Doorway Pages
Create doorway pages for your most important keywords. These keyword specific pages will rank higher in the search engines and can be used as a doorway to your site.
- Site Readiness
Directory submissions are reviewed by people, so make sure your site is 100% complete before submitting it.
- No special Symbols in your URL
Don’t put any special symbols in your URL (e.g. &, %,=, $ ,? ). Search engines cannot recognize these symbols.
- Don’t Spam
Try to stay in the search engines’ good books by not spamming. Spamming includes excessive keyword repetition, machine generated doorway pages with little or no content and pages that contain invisible text.
- Submit to the Major Search Engines and Directories
Make sure you have submitted your web site to the 10 big search engines and directories. Most of your traffic will be generated from these search engines. Keep checking to see if your web site is indexed. Dmoz, Direct Hit and Inktomi seem to be gaining a lot of importance so make sure that you are listed in these sites. Their results are used by a number of other important search engines.
- Don’t change the URL of your pages after submission
Never change the path of any of your web pages after submitting your web site. Don’t rename a file or change the file extension. This can really hurt your promotion efforts because it will show up as a dead link in the search results page.
- Be Patient
Don’t expect miracles overnight. It may take anywhere from 2 weeks to 5 months to be indexed in the big search engines and directories. Keep checking every week and be patient. Continue to add quality content to your site. That will be a sure winner.
Your key to high search engine ranking
It seems like more and more search engines are using link popularity as a part of their ranking process. Google certainly follows this method and uses it as its most important factor for ranking sites. Other big search engines like Altavista, Hotbot, MSN, Lycos, Northern Light, Inktomi, Excite are following by using link popularity as part of their their ranking algorithms.
What is Link Popularity?
Literally speaking, link popularity means the number of sites linking to your site. However, this does not mean that you should aim at getting thousands of sites linking to yours. However, if you are aiming to get a high ranking in the search engines, you need to know that the quality of links is more important that the quantity of links. If your site is linked to many popular sites then you are sure to get a higher ranking than if it is linked to hundreds of unpopular sites. The idea behind link popularity is that other sites will link to you only if you are a quality site offering quality resources. So, if many sites link to you it follows that you are a popular site and therefore deserve a high ranking.
Look at link popularity as a way of getting more traffic to your site. So, by getting other sites linking to you, you are not only ranked higher in the search engines, you also have a large volume of targeted traffic coming to your site.
With the competition increasing daily, getting a good ranking in the search engines is of utmost importance. If you really want a high ranking with the search engines, you need to follow a focussed linking strategy.
Let’s look at some of the linking strategies you can adopt:
- Writing articles on your area of expertise
Writing quality articles is a sure way of attracting visitors to your site. What could be easier than writing what you know about? So write a great article, find sites that are related to your area of service and submit your article to all those sites. If it’s a quality article it’s a sure bet. For e.g. we offer free website design and promotion tutorials on our site.
- Reciprocal Links
Asking webmasters of other sites to link to you is a good way of getting links to your site. Politely ask the webmaster (preferably using their name) to add your link to their site. You could tell them that you have added their link to your site, give them a brief description of what your site is about and how it will fit into their site. If you have a good site most probably other sites will want to link to you.
Tip: A great way to find people who may be willing to link to you is to check your competition’s link popularity through a search engine
Google seems to be rapidly becoming the most popular search engine. Submitting, getting listed and getting a high ranking in Google can get you a lot of traffic, usually even more than Yahoo. Google uses link popularity while ranking web sites which results in quality search results therefore making it a favorite among most web searchers.
Submitting to Google
You need to only submit your homepage to Google. It will automatically index the entire site. Don’t submit individual pages of your site.
- Getting Listed in Google
Getting listed in Google is usually very fast. We got listed within 2 weeks and all our new pages are usually listed within a month. The time frame depends on their crawl schedule and how many other web sites are in queue to be indexed before ours. In our experience, Google usually lists a site within a month.
- Tip: Make sure your web site is ready before you submit it to be listed. Google will index your entire site, content and all. It takes keywords from the metatags as well as the content. You’ll find that Google will send you the maximum amount of traffic (in our case it is triple of what Yahoo send us – and Yahoo is supposed to be the #1 Search Engine), so time well spent on your web site will pay off in the long run.
- Tip: Google usually indexes sites during the 2nd week and lists new content during the first few days of the next month. We usually see our new content added on the 2nd or 3rd of the month. A safe bet is to wait for a month to see new pages listed.
- Ranking in Google
Getting listed in Google is pretty easy but what really matters is your ranking. The best way to get a high ranking in Google is to have many sites linking to your site. As Google uses link popularity as its most important factor in ranking web sites, getting many sites to link to you is your best bet in getting a high ranking. Get quality links and increased visitor traffic with only minutes of submission efforts!
- Tip: Try to develop quality content which is different from what other sites are offering and you’re guaranteed to get a high ranking in Google. Think of specialized keywords instead of using generic terms. Using generic keywords would usually land you in the 30th or 40th page whereas using specialized, or a combination of keywords would get you in the 1st or 2nd page of search results. Think of writing articles that others have not written and you’re sure to come up in the first 10 search results. E.g If we were to write an article on web design we would probably come up in the 100th page of search results, whereas if we were to write on ‘Creating Swap Images in Fireworks’ we would probably come up in the first 10 search results.
Google Tips ‘n Tricks
Make sure all your important keywords should appear in your title, description, content and alt tags of your web page. This increases your keyword density and helps in boosting your ranking.
Write articles, give away freebies and make your site a quality site with fresh content. Sites will automatically link to you thus increasing your link popularity.
One of the most common complaints that I hear from bloggers is the fact that no matter how hard they try, they can’t grow their blogs past 100 or so daily page vies. Those early days are indeed the hardest, because you need to put hard work in without the certainty of achieving results.
If you are in that same situation, here is a simple strategy that will certainly increase your blog traffic and make you break the 1,000 daily page views mark. In fact, the strategy could be used even if your are already over that number but have reached a traffic plateau lately.
Just make sure to execute the 4 steps as planned and to spend the two hours and a half every day (obviously if you have more time available you can expand the time spent on each of the four steps proportionally).
First Step: Killer Articles (1 hour per day)
Spend one hour brainstorming, researching and writing killer articles (also called linkbaits, pillar articles and so on).
Notice that your goal is to release one killer article every week. If that is not possible aim for one every 15 days. So the one hour that you will spend every day will be dedicated to the same piece. In other words, expect killers articles to take from 5 up to 10 hours of work.
If you are not familiar with the term, a killer article is nothing more than a long and structured article that has the goal of delivering a huge amount of value to potential visitors. If you have a web design blog, for example, you could write an article with “100 Free Resources for Designers”. Here are some ideas for killer articles:
- create a giant list of resources,
- write a detailed tutorial teaching people how to do something,
- find a solution for a common problem in your niche and write about it, or
- write a deep analysis on a topic where people have only talked superficially
When visitors come across your killer article, you want them to have the following reaction: “Holy crap! This is awesome. I better bookmark it. Heck, I better even mention this on my site and on my Twitter account, to let my readers and friends know about it.”
Second Step: Networking (30 minutes per day)
Networking is essential, especially when you are just getting started. The 30 minutes that you will dedicate to it every day could be split among:
- commenting on other blogs in your niche,
- linking to the posts of bloggers in your niche, and
- interacting with the bloggers in your niche via email, IM or Twitter.
Remember that your goal is to build genuine relationships, so don’t approach people just because you think they can help to promote your blog. Approach them because you respect their work and because you think the two of you could grow together.
Third Step: Promotion (30 minutes per day)
The first activity here is the promotion of your killer articles. Whenever you publish one of them, you should push it in any way you can. Examples include:
- letting the people in your network know about it (don’t beg for a link though),
- letting bloggers and webmasters in relevant niches know about it,
- getting some friends to submit the article to social bookmarking sites,
- getting some friends to Twitter the article, and
- posting about the article in online forums and/or newsgroups.
If there is time left, spend it with search engine optimization, social media marketing and activities to promote your blog as whole. Those can range from keyword research to promoting your blog on Facebook and guest blogging.
Fourth Step: Normal Posts (30 minutes per day)
Just like a man does not live by bread alone, a blog does not live by killer articles alone. Normal posts are the ones that you will publish routinely in your blog, between the killer articles. For example, you could publish a killer article every Monday and normal posts from Tuesday through Friday. Here are some ideas for normal posts:
- a post linking to an article on another blog and containing your opinion about it
- a post informing your readers about a news in your niche
- a post asking a question to your readers and aiming to initiate a discussion
- a post highlighting a new resource or trick that you discovered and that would be useful to your readers
While killers articles are essential to promote your blog and bring new readers aboard, normal posts are the ones that will create diversity in your content and keep your readers engaged.
The fingers on both of my hands wouldn’t be enough to count the times I started a website with a half-assed effort. The idea was cool, and I figured it was worth a shot, but I was not willing to put 100% of my time and energy into it. The result? A flop. Over and over again these websites failed to achieve a critical mass of traffic to become something meaningful, and I would just put them on the back burner.
Had I dedicated enough time and energy to them would the story be different? I am pretty sure it would. As I said, most of the ideas were solid, so the execution was the problem. In fact the execution is almost ALWAYS the problem. Even crap ideas can become successful businesses if the owner is willing to work hard enough, persist and adapt along the way. The other side of the coin? Even great ideas will flop if the owner is not willing to back them up with hard work.
Luckily I learned my lesson. These days I don’t start a new website unless I know I’ll have the time and energy to make it work. If I am not wrong, the last website I started was almost one year ago. It flopped, but due to technical problems and not because I neglected it. Sometimes I get excited with new ideas and even purchase a domain for them, but when I am about to host the site and start working on the design I always ask myself: “Will You Have Time/Energy To Really Work on This?” The answer is usually “No,” so I just drop the idea before wasting more time and money on it.
Anyway I just wanted to share this aspect of my online business because I believe all of us have suffered from this at one point or another. If you are still making this mistake, well, fix it and stop wasting time and money on websites you won’t be able to make work.