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Measuring and analyzing a website traffic statistics is the best way for the webmaster to find out the ‘health’ of a website and take immediate action to remedy any potential problems. Yet, to my surprise, some of the website owners are not even aware that they can measure their own web traffic; not to say analyze them.
Why track your visitors?
Your web traffic statistics is a health report card of your website. Tracking your visitor movement allow you to find out how appealing your site is, from a third party point of view. You can discover ‘truth’ about your site such as which particular page is getting the most attention, which ad unit converts the best, who is your best traffic referring partner etc. With the data on hand, you can pinpoint the weaknesses of your site and make necessary changes.
In order to analyse your web statistics, there are certain terms that you need to understand:
- Number of Visits: Refer to the number of visitors that visited your site over a time span. The time span can be hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. This data show you how successful your traffic driving strategy is. Obviously, the greater the number of visits, the better it is.
- Absolutely unique visitors: This stat shows the number of absolutely unique visitors that come to your site.
- Returned Visitor: This stat shows the number of visitors that return to your site after the first visit.
** A website should have a good mix of new visitors and returned visitors. If most of your visitors are newcomer, this means that your website does not have the ability to retain visitors.
- Pageviews: This is the total number of page viewed over a time span. The time span can be hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
- Pages/visit: This stat records the number of page viewed per visitor. This is an important stat as it tells you how appealing your site is to the visitors.
- Bounce rate: If a visitor enters your site and leave within 30 seconds, without clicking any internal links on your site, this is considered a bounce. The lower the bounce rate, the better it is. A one-page sales website usually has a higher bounce rate than an information site.
- Average time on site: This refers to the amount of time the visitor spends on your site. It reflects the quality of your content. The longer the time, the better it is.
- Referring site: Find out who refer visitors to your site. A good website should have a diverse traffic referring source. If your traffic source is mainly from the search engine, chances are when the search engine changes their algorithm and result in a drop in your ranking, you, your traffic will also be affected.
- Entry and exit page: This will tell you which page your visitor enters and exits your website.
Recommended web analytics software
This is one of my favourite web analytics software and also the one that I highly recommended. It provides a comprehensive analysis of your web traffic and displays your data with beautiful graphical interface. Best of all, it integrates seamlessly with Google Adword so that you can track the performance of your Adword campaign.
Statcounter provides free analytical software for web owners with less than 250,000 page loads per month. It do cover a wide range of data ranging from basic visitor information to search engine comparison, keyword analysis and etc. I would say it is rather impressive for free analytical software.
These are the two softwares that I have used so far and I am very impressed by it. I have not tried any other analytical software yet. If you have encountered any which is highly recommended, feel free to add to the list above.
In my next post, I will discuss about how to analyse web statistic and use it to your advantage.