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A large number of referrals will come from other pages within your own web site, while rest of referrals will typically be from external web sites or search engines. In occasions, you will also find visits from web based e-mail services or directly from a visitor’s Internet browser, indicating that your site is probably stored as a favorite, or URL has been directly typed on browser’s navigation bar.
It is important to regularly track those web sites that act as referrers to our web site, or those search engines that most frequently locate our web site with a given set of keywords. A final word of caution: be careful not to click directly on links included in report belonging to referral web sites. If you do, statistics report page may appear as a referral to their web site, and depending on security of your server, your statistics report page could be accessed by owners of referral web site. Search keywords Search keywords are those words or phrases that Internet users provide to a search engine in order to find new web sites. Phrases are typically more valuable than isolated words, but both can be used to identify interests of your audience. In some cases, you may be surprised to learn some of keywords that were used to locate your web site as well as those terms that were never used. It will be interesting to observe evolution of a particular term over time. For example, if your web site promotes real estate, you may detect changes in customer preferences for certain areas based on number of search keywords associated with specific locations. If a location rarely shows up as a search keyword, it may be a good indication that your customers are not interested in real estate there. Likewise, terms such as buying or selling will suggest type of transaction that your clients are looking for.
Internet browsers, operating systems, screen resolutions…
Finally, it may be helpful to check on type and version of Internet browser being used by your audience, as well as type of operating system and screen resolution. These are mainly technical aspects, but may prove very useful for redesigning or optimizing your website. For example, a web site can be optimized for a specific Internet browser or a particular screen size. At times, one will notice that different markets will favor certain computer configurations. Conclusion Web statistics provide such large amounts of data regarding activities taking place inside a web server that processing all of it may become an overwhelming task. However, once you become accustomed to locating inside your own web analysis tool or service all values described in this article, you will be in a position to properly evaluate information that is being conveyed, as well as observe its evolution over time. This will allow you to take action and make appropriate marketing decisions that will maximize performance of your web site. Soon, you will identify your most important metrics, what you want to measure with them and reason why.
Most professional web hosting service providers include some type of web traffic control system for their customers. If your provider does not offer this capability, you will be able to find equivalent services from other Internet-based companies that provide web traffic statistics. After you start receiving your traffic reports, allocate in your weekly schedule adequate time to evaluate information. You will discover soon that this invested effort will start paying dividends!
Fernando Macia is Human Level Commuications' CEO, a company with offices in Alicante, Spain and Dallas, Texas. We specialize in web design, CMS development, search engine optimization and traffic statistics data mining. www.humanlevel.com