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Analyzing Web Traffic Statistics

Analyzing your web traffic statistics can be an invaluabletool for a number of different reasons. But before you canmake full use of this tool, you need to understand how tointerpret the data.

Most web hosting companies will provide you with basic webtraffic information that you then have to interpret andmake pertinent use of. However, the data you receive fromyour host company can be overwhelming if you don’tunderstand how to apply it to your particular business andwebsite. Let’s start by examining the most basic data – theaverage visitors to your site on a daily, weekly, andmonthly basis.

These figures are the most accurate measure of yourwebsite’s activity. It would appear on the surface that themore traffic you see recorded, the better you can assumeyour website is doing, but this is an inaccurateperception. You must also look at the behavior of yourvisitors once they come to your website to accurately gaugethe effectiveness of your site.

There is often a great misconception about what is commonlyknown as “hits” and what is really effective, qualitytraffic to your site. Hits simply means the number ofinformation requests received by the server. If you thinkabout the fact that a hit can simply equate to the numberof graphics per page, you will get an idea of how overblownthe concept of hits can be. For example, if your homepagehas 15 graphics on it, the server records this as 15 hits,when in reality we are talking about a single visitorchecking out a single page on your site. As you can see,hits are not useful in analyzing your website traffic.

The more visitors that come to your website, the moreaccurate your interpretation will become. The greater thetraffic is to your website, the more precise your analysiswill be of overall trends in visitor behavior. The smallerthe number of visitors, the more a few anomalous visitorscan distort the analysis.

The aim is to use the web traffic statistics to figure outhow well or how poorly your site is working for yourvisitors. One way to determine this is to find out how longon average your visitors spend on your site. If the timespent is relatively brief, it usually indicates anunderlying problem. Then the challenge is to figure outwhat that problem is.

It could be that your keywords are directing the wrong typeof visitors to your website, or that your graphics areconfusing or intimidating, causing the visitor to exitrapidly. Use the knowledge of how much time visitors arespending on your site to pinpoint specific problems, andafter you fix those problems, continue to use time spent asa gauge of how effective your fix has been.

Additionally, web traffic stats can help you determineeffective and ineffective areas of your website. If youhave a page that you believe is important, but visitors areexiting it rapidly, that page needs attention. You could,for example, consider improving the link to this page bymaking the link more noticeable and enticing, or you couldimprove the look of the page or the ease that your visitorscan access the necessary information on that page.

If, on the other hand, you notice that visitors arespending a lot of time on pages that you think are lessimportant, you might consider moving some of your salescopy and marketing focus to that particular page.

As you can see, these statistics will reveal vitalinformation about the effectiveness of individual pages,and visitor habits and motivation. This is essentialinformation to any successful Internet marketing campaign.

Your website undoubtedly has exit pages, such as a finalorder or contact form. This is a page you can expect yourvisitor to exit rapidly. However, not every visitor to yoursite is going to find exactly what he or she is lookingfor, so statistics may show you a number of different exitpages. This is normal unless you notice a exit trend on aparticular page that is not intended as an exit page. Inthe case that a significant percentage of visitors areexiting your website on a page not designed for thatpurpose, you must closely examine that particular page todiscern what the problem is. Once you pinpoint potentialweaknesses on that page, minor modifications in content orgraphic may have a significant impact on the keepingvisitors moving through your site instead of exiting at thewrong page.

After you have analyzed your visitor statistics, it’s timeto turn to your keywords and phrases. Notice if particularkeywords are directing a specific type of visitor to yoursite. The more targeted the visitor – meaning that theyfind what they are looking for on your site, and evenbetter, fill out your contact form or make a purchase – themore valuable that keyword is.

However, if you find a large number of visitors are beingdirected – or should I say misdirected – to your site by aparticular keyword or phrase, that keyword demandsadjustment. Keywords are vital to bringing quality visitorsto your site who are ready to do business with you. Closeanalysis of the keywords your visitors are using to findyour site will give you a vital understanding of yourvisitor’s needs and motivations.

Finally, if you notice that users are finding your websiteby typing in your company name, break open the champagne!It means you have achieved a significant level of brandrecognitionFree Web Content, and this is a sure sign of burgeoning success.

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