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Web Traffic Stats Are Important

Dec 28, 2007
Understanding how to analyze web traffic stats can be important for a variety of reasons. There are a few tricks involved in interpreting the data, however.

Finding the most accurate data is easy. The best stats come directly from web hosting companies. This source, however, often provides more information than many can digest right away. The most important numbers to consider at first are the traffic stats that show on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

These numbers tend to be the most accurate in regard to a particular site's activity level. Be careful not to read too much into the traffic numbers without delving deeper. While it might seem as if the more visitors who go to a site, the better the site is doing, it's not always true. You need to know what visitors do once they get to a site. This is the real measure of effectiveness.

A lot of people confuse hits with quality traffic. Hits are nothing more than the number of information requests the server receives. Hits can actually equate to nothing more than the number of graphics on a page. Should, for example, your homepage have 20 pictures on it, the server will record 20 hits for a single visitor looking at that page. This means that hits are not that important when analyzing traffic.

The more traffic a site gets, the easier it becomes to get an accurate interpretation of statistics. The lower the number, the more likely it is that the analysis will be distorted somewhat.

The trick is to use traffic stats to determine how effective or ineffective your site is for visitors. One number that can help to this end is the length of time visitors spend on the site. If visits are short, there could be a problem, which should be solved quickly.

In some cases, the problem turns out to be nothing more earth shattering than bad keywords drawing in the wrong traffic. In other cases, it could be the visual design of the site turning off visitors. Should your site be difficult to navigate or hard on the eyes, people might turn away fast. If you make the decision to tweak things to fix these issues, study the numbers again to see if the tweaks worked.

Stats can also be helpful to see if sections of a site work like you want them to. Should visitors navigate too quickly away from a page you think is important, you might need to improve the page or its incoming links. This works in the opposite, too. If a page that isn't that important is getting more attention than it deserves, consider moving better content to it since visitors seem to visit there naturally.

Web stats are important for any site, but they can be particularly so for those that try to earn money off their pages. Finding out what is wrong and fixing it can turn sales numbers around in a big way.

Stats can also be useful in regard to exit pages. Although you might have designed exit pages, like order forms, others will show up as exit points, too. Don't panic. This is normal. If a certain pages shows up too much, however, it's probably time to tweak that page.

After you've looked at visitor stats, then consider the keywords. Look at the reports to see which keywords work and actually bring in traffic. If visitors are coming in on keywords important to your site, you're on the right track. If a particular keyword brings in those visitors who actually do what you want them to, that keyword is very important.

If there are a lot of visitors coming in via keywords that aren't central to your theme and they go away fast, work to eradicate them. Good keywords draw in quality traffic. Keywords that pull in people who don't want to be there and result in zero sales or revenue aren't worth using.

Stats do help webmasters gauge their site's effectiveness. They can even be used to help one see what areas can be improved on. Read them with care to learn how to best optimize the entire website.
About the Author
About the author: Jeff Alderson is an expert on search engines and SEO tactics. To increase online traffic, Jeff recommends using a variety of SEO software and techniques to increase online traffic fast.
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