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 don’t know which direction they are coming from or who they are. Without analyzing your web site traffic, it’s 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.

Is Your Web Site Held Hostage By Service Providers?

Written by Shaun Fawcett

Do you use third-party services to trackrepparttar links on your Web site? What about for processing your online credit card payments? If so, you are probably losing sales that you don't even know about. Sorry, but it's a fact.

Third-Party Services Defined.

Let me explain what I mean by "third-party" services. These arerepparttar 134418 "link tracking" type of services that one can purchase from various online companies. People userepparttar 134419 special html link codes that these services provide to keep track of how visitors move around their Web sites. In return for a monthly fee,repparttar 134420 user gets online access to a Web site that stores their link tracking information on a database, and gives them access to tracking statistics. This allows users to quickly and easily find out such things as which links visitors to their Web sites click on, and how often.

But, it's not just link tracking services I'm talking about here. Payment processing gateways is another type of third- party service that many of us are dependent upon.

These third-party services are great in theory, and when they're working well they're also great in practice. BUT there can be a definite downside to them. That downside is this. If that service company's servers or and/or network go down for any reason, you go down with them!

A Case In Point.

After a few bad experiences overrepparttar 134421 past year, I have made it a habit to check all of my Web sites every morning. I quickly open each ofrepparttar 134422 home pages and click on a few key links and make sure they are working as they're supposed to. Of course, I don't haverepparttar 134423 time to check each and every link, but I do testrepparttar 134424 key ones I know my visitors tend to click on most often on their way to making a purchase. And, I definitely checkrepparttar 134425 main "order" links on each page.

If I find that these links are not working for some reason, as I have on numerous occasions, it is aboutrepparttar 134426 worst thing that could happen. In fact, it could ruin one's whole day, because it means lost sales! Last week while doing one of these routine checks I discovered that a number of links were not working on one of my sites. I did some further checking and realized that these links had not been working for more than 12 hours! What this meant was that visitors to my site had been/were clicking on these links and getting a blank page full of gibberish that indicated that my service provider's data base was corrupted. In effect, this problem was crippling my site.

You know what that meant to me of course - lost visitors AND lost sales!

Long story, short. It took more than 24 hours from my initial call untilrepparttar 134427 problem was fully resolved. This was during a prime sales period inrepparttar 134428 middle ofrepparttar 134429 week. Consequently, I estimate that duringrepparttar 134430 36-hour period that my site was intermittently "out-of-action" due to this problem, I lost somewhere between 6 and 8 sales. Ouch! I can't afford that. Can you?

Here are a couple of other quick examples of similar occurrences that some of you might be able to identify with.

Lost Weekend. Lost Sales.

One Friday night a few months ago I discovered thatrepparttar 134431 links on two of my sites were not functioning properly. These links were being tracked by one ofrepparttar 134432 "big name" services that is widely marketed acrossrepparttar 134433 Net. Believe it or not, I spent that whole weekend checking my links regularly and then trying to get in touch with this so-called "service" provider (I userepparttar 134434 term "service" advisedly here).

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