How to Analyze Your Web Site Traffic (Part 2)

Written by Herman Drost

How to Analyze Your Web Site Traffic (Part 2 of a 3 Part Series) Copyright 2002 by Herman Drost

In Part 1 of this series, we discussedrepparttar the different terms used to describe web site traffic language.

Ways to Track Your Visitors

1. Counters these are heavily used on web sites by newbies but appear unprofessional. It is very common to go to a page and see something like "You are visitor number 12345 to this page". These numbers cannot be trusted asrepparttar 134420 page designer hasrepparttar 134421 ability to seedrepparttar 134422 base number or to alterrepparttar 134423 counter such that it adds more than 1 each time.

2. Trackers tracking software detailsrepparttar 134424 path a visitor takes through your Website, so they do more than just count your traffic: they track it. Tracking software tells you more than justrepparttar 134425 number of visitors -- it can break visitor statistics down by date, time, browser, page viewed, referrer, and countless other values.

Examples: Hitbox ( Sitemeter ( Extreme-DM (

Counters and Trackers often require you to place a button or graphic on your site in exchange forrepparttar 134426 free use of their service, which is not ideal for most site owners. So try to avoid using these services unless you don't haverepparttar 134427 ability or expertise to execute tracking scripts of any kind on your own server.

3. Using Your ISPs Statistical Package Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) keeps log files which record every single "hit" (request for a Web page or graphic) on your Web site.

Analyzing log data can give you a good idea of where your site visitors are coming from, which pages they are visiting, how long they stay, and which browsers they are using. Before signing on with a hosting company, make sure they offer access to raw log files. Even if you don't need them immediately, sooner or later you'll be glad to have them.

There are also different types of log files - access, referrer, error, and agent arerepparttar 134428 primary ones.

Here is a sample of a raw access log file entry:

Access log Analyzingrepparttar 134429 access log will give you information about who visited your site, which pages they visited, and how long they stayed onrepparttar 134430 site. This is useful information in determining whether or not your site is working as you intend. The record below showsrepparttar 134431 visitor's IP number or hostname, date and time ofrepparttar 134432 request,repparttar 134433 command received fromrepparttar 134434 client,repparttar 134435 status code returned,repparttar 134436 size ofrepparttar 134437 document transferred, andrepparttar 134438 browser and operating systemrepparttar 134439 visitor was using.

How to Analyze Your Web Site Traffic

Written by Herman Drost

How to Analyze Your Web Site Traffic (Part 1 of a 3 Part Series) Copyright 2002 by Herman Drost

Getting traffic to your web site without analyzing it, is like being blindfolded in a crowd. You hear voices, but you dont know which direction they are coming from or who they are. Without analyzing your web site traffic, its difficult to improve your web site marketing.

Know Your Traffic Language You should be aware ofrepparttar different terms used to describe web site traffic, so as not to be confused about your web site visitors. Here arerepparttar 134419 main terms used:

Visit these are all requests made by a specific user torepparttar 134420 site during a set period of time. The visit is ended if a set period of time (say 30 minutes) goes by with no further accesses. Users are identified by cookies, username or hostnames/ip addresses.

Hit this is a request torepparttar 134421 server for a file not a page. Your page can be made up of different files, such as graphic files, audio files or css and javascript files, resulting in a number of hits for that page. Each of these requests is called a hit.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
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