Do web page statistics have your head spinning? What's a hit? How is that different than a request? Is it same as a visitor? And how about a unique visitor? Here are some answers. Read on and you will also find out how to use your web page statistics effectively in your online marketing plan and web page design.
A Few Definitions: Hits - This statistic counts each html file on a page. This includes actual page a person is looking at and it counts each picture on a page. If your page has 3 graphics on it; then a visit to that page would generate 4 hits.
Requests - Usually, this is same thing as a hit. If it is called a "page request", it would be same thing as "pages". This may sound confusing, but people are using different terms to mean same thing.
Visitor - This varies, but generally it is one IP visiting your site in a 30 minute period. If same visitor comes back after 30 minutes, they will be counted as a visitor again.
Unique Visitor - This is tracked by IP. Each IP is counted only once.
Page View - This statistic counts number of pages looked at. It is not like hits - it does not count graphic images.
Page Request - same as page view
Well, now what? There is a lot of discussion on how accurate website statistics are. There are so many factors - different visitors using same IP or caching of pages. There are some ISPs that use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, such as AOL and cable modem providers, which use different IPs for every file requested.* This can make one user look like many. Pages with frames may give distorted statistics as frame is its own page, thus increasing actual number of pages viewed.
Although you cannot take what your statistics say as gospel, you can learn a lot about your website visitors and your web page from them. Thus, enabling you to improve your website and to create a viable marketing and design plan.
Generally, you want to learn more about what percentage of your visitors are "buying", how people find you, what pages they are looking at and which pages they are not looking at.
Focus your attention on following statistics: 1. Visitors - You set up a web page because you want your visitors to do something. It may be to purchase your product, sign up for your newsletter or to request more information. Whatever your goal is, you cannot simply look at number of visitors to your site to determine your success.