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Counting Beans The Cool Way

Oct 6, 2007
Whether it was a classroom raffle or a county fair, one of my favorite games was to count the beans. A jar full of beans is set on a counter and people ask you to guess how many beans are in the jar. The closest person wins the prize. It was always a challenge to try to figure out how deep and wide the jar was, and guess how many beans could fit in there. Sometimes website managers play the same game trying to determine the effectiveness of their site. We no longer need to do that as Web tool makers have given us a number of great ways to count the people who come through our electronic door.

Creative counters

Web links offer many types of counters from ones that look like small digital outputs at the bottom of the screen to those that are shaped like soccer balls or cupcakes or any other image that matches the site. Counters are useful not only to know how many people have visited your web site but also to show others how many folks see your page. This practice is particularly good for sales sites. Counters also serve a purpose for the Web designers to conceive if a change in Web design is creating an increase in traffic. Either way you look at it, a counter is a much better way of tracking your beans.

How did you get here?

Sometimes the best way to see how effective your site isn't simply to see how many people came to visit, but exactly where they came from. If you place ads on other websites and you know how many people of your total visitors came from the sites you can make the best placement for your investment. Linking stats also enable the web site manager to know some of the interests that people have when they come to your web site. If a number of people come to your site from a soccer web site, you know that that's a common interest among your clientele and create designs to draw them in. Linking programs are just valuable because they place your site in its surroundings to let you know where it stands on the web as a whole.

Turn the page

Because the Internet is a system that relies on cross space communication, you can't really watch the person who's accessing your site. One of the most helpful tools available to site managers is a tool that shows which pages of your web site a user accesses. This way, if you notice they are going directly to a specific page, you can see that's the information that they are really looking for. On the other hand, if users access your home page but don't go any further into your web site, that gives you a clue there's something not quite right about that page and may need redesigned to be more inviting. Understanding which parts of your site are accessed on a consistent basis is a potent design tool.

The work of a site manager is only as good as the number of people who use the site. Using these tracking Web tools, statistics can show you what you have, what you need and how many beans are in the jar.
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