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Technology / Business websites

How to read your website statistics report

Do you know which figures are the most important on your website statistics report? Or perhaps you've never seen a website statistics report and are wondering “what are website statistics?”

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The first step is to get to grips with the terminology used in web statistics reports.

Unique Visitors

Is a single, individual person that views your website within a specified time period such as a day or a month. Each person visiting your site is counted only once during that period, no matter how many times they visit your website

Number of visits

This is the number of times that your website has been visited. When you compare it with the number of unique visitors, this gives you an idea of the number of people who are returning to your site.

Page

This is a single page of your website, it may be your home (index) page, contact us page, about us or another page within your website.

"Understanding your website statistics is important and you do need to keep an eye on them."

Hits

A hit is a request made to the server where your website is hosted. Each file that is requested is counted as a hit. For example your home page may be a single .html page with 5 images on it. The number of hits recorded will be 6, as your .html page is one file and each image is also counted as a file. Therefore looking at how many hits that your website has received is not a very good statistical indicator.

Bandwidth

This is the amount of data (measured in megabytes) transferred from your hosts server to an internet user’s computer. E.g. Someone views your home page and on it is text and images that add up to say 2mb, if 50 people view this page then the amount of data transfer would be 100mb. Your web host will specify the amount of bandwidth (data transfer) that your hosting plan includes each month. If you exceed this you will be charged for additional bandwidth. If you have a large site with lots of traffic, keep an eye on this statistic.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business websites section.

Visits duration

This statistic shows how long people are spending at your website. If they are not staying long you may need to review your content or add an attractor to have them stay longer and view more of your site.

Pages viewed or Pages URL or Page impressions

This statistic shows how many people are visiting each page. You may find you have even traffic visiting each page on your website or maybe that the majority of people are only visiting your home page and not going any further.

Referrers or referring URLS

Describes the website address where a visitor was before they came to your site. This gives you some idea of the websites or search engines that are referring traffic to your site and is also useful when considering your marketing plan. For example, you may notice you get some good traffic via Yellow Pages Online, so it may be worth considering including extra in your marketing budget for a slightly higher profile advert.

Search key phrases and keywords

These are the words and phrases that people are using to find businesses like yours. It is important to take notice of this as it may be good to weave more of the popular words into your content.

Okay, so now you have an idea of the terminology used in your website statistics reports, which are the more important stats that you should take notice of.

The website statistics that you need to take the most notice of are:

  • Unique visitors
  • Pages viewed
  • Referring URLs
  • Key phrases and keywords

Understanding your website statistics is important and you do need to keep an eye on them. They can help you direct your marketing plan, alert you to which pages on your website are more popular and which ones need attention, where your traffic is coming from, which keywords people are using from your content and if you need to consider re-writing your content to include more keywords and key phrases.

If you are not sure how to access your website statistics report contact your web host or web designer and find out today.

Next time, I’ll explain how to dig deeper into your webstats.

Melissa Norfolk

is an Internet expert who speaks to business, school and community groups about online marketing, email newsletters, effective use of the Internet, finding what you need online and Internet safety.

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