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After you have seen overall activity, it is good to look at specifics and find more about how your visitors are using your site and how they got to your site.
One of things I am most interested to see is what are most accessed pages, and least accessed pages on site. There are many ways to use this particular piece of information. For example, hopefully your order page will show up in top ten. If no one is making it to your order page then maybe that is reason why you are not making any money from site. Or by looking at this list you may find some pages that are unexpectedly popular, and then you can add more content of same type.
Related to popularity of pages is "click path" through site. You can see order in which people visit various pages of site and this information may help you to set up your site in a better way. Related to this are "entry" and "exit" pages. Where do people enter your website? You will be surprised to learn that many people do not enter through your main page. Your inner pages may be attracting much of your traffic, and by learning which pages are popular entry points, you can set up other pages, optimize them and use them to attract more visitors. People have to leave your site sometimes, but it is important to know where exit points are, and "exit pages" stat will show you where these pages are.
How did visitors get to your site in first place? The referrers list will tell you this information. A referrer is a web site where a visitor was just prior to reaching your site. You can see, first of all, that if you have 100 unique visitors in a day, and if 50 of them were referred, this means that 50 of them probably typed in your URL directly or clicked on an e-mail link or used a bookmark, while 50 of them came from search engines or links on other web sites. Here you will find out which search engines are sending you traffic. You will find out which of your links on other sites are performing well. By carefully looking at your referrers you can go to work on improving your overall promotion strategy.
Another interesting piece of information related to referrers are search terms that were used in various searches. This statistic gives you an idea of what people are looking for when they visit your site. This information can give you an idea of whether you are getting right kind of audience for your particular product or service.
Finally there is also technical information about your visitors. What type of browser are they using, what operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux) are they using? What screen resolution do they use? You have to make sure that your site can display well to fit needs of majority of your visitors.
This information can be obtained using many of log analysis programs, and also some of trackers which you can put on your site (for example www.extremetracker.com ) give some of this information. But remember that trackers often only give you information about one page (where tracker has been pasted in) If you want to get total picture, best way is to analyze logs. By gathering and understanding this information and making changes to your site based on it, you may be able to increase profitability and success of your web site.
Donald Nelson is a web developer, editor and social worker. He has been promoting web sites since 1995 and now runs A1-Optimization (http://www.a1-optimization.com) a company that provides low-cost search engine optimization and submission services. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org