Your Web Traffic and Your Bottom LineWritten by Scott Buresh
Most companies that have websites have access to traffic statistics, usually provided by their web host. Those that don't look at these files (or use a bargain basement web hosting company that doesn't provide them) don't know what they are missing- there is a wealth of information to be found, and reacting to this information can have a positive impact on a company's bottom line. What follows are some of most basic stats that are typically available, followed by brief suggestions on how to use information.
The Myth of "Hits" Most web surfers have come across sites that boast about "20,000 hits per day" or something similar. But what does this mean? To an internet marketer, unfortunately, not much. "Hits" actually refers to number of requests for information web server receives. To use an oversimplified example, if your company homepage has 20 separate graphics on it, each visitor to that page will account for 20 hits. If you were boasting of 20,000 hits per day, you would really only be talking about 1000 visitors. Obviously, this statistic is not a fair indication of actual site visitors, and shouldn't be figured into your traffic analysis.
Average Visitors (Daily, Weekly, Monthly) This is true measure of website activity. Of course, more traffic is desirable in most circumstances (provided it is at least somewhat targeted). Without access to this data and ability to look at visitor history, it is impossible to tell if your traffic building initiatives, whether online or offline, are working. It should be noted that more your traffic increases, more accurate rest of your data becomes. This is simply because trends in a larger sample are more telling than trends in a smaller sample where a small number of atypical users can skew results.
Average Time Spent On Site and Average Page Views Per Visitor This data can be very useful in determining how your site is connecting with visitors. If average time that people spend on site is small (for example less than a minute), or average visitor only visits one or two pages, it may indicate some sort of problem. Perhaps your site is attracting wrong traffic, with visitors abandoning site quickly when they realize it isn't what they were seeking. Perhaps visitors are confused by navigation and decide to look elsewhere. Maybe your site, even though you love it, gives off an inexplicable bad vibe. Whatever case, an awareness of time people spend on your site and number of pages they view can bring a potential problem to your attention, and help you gauge how effective your solution is.
THE HITS THAT MATTER MOSTWritten by Bob McElwain
So you know what hits mean. Unique hits or user sessions, I mean. And you know what CR means. Right? If so, you're in great shape, for many people don't. They think they do. But they've got it wrong.
You see a single hit is invaluable. It may have come from first visit to your site by one who will return to buy repeatedly. One who shares your name with others who do same.
The catch is you can't say which hit matters. Thus you need to assume every single one is crucial. Else you can strike out on ones that matter most.
So What Is A Hit, Really?
A hit is generated when someone visits your site. You don't really want off-target hits. If you get mention in a prominent newspaper, you might draw 10,000 visitors simply because of a delightful comment you made about cats. But where's gain, if you're selling water skis?
Maybe 1 in that 10,000 might coincidentally have an interest in water skis. The others are not potential customers. They only waste your bandwidth and often even your time with off-topic questions. And what happens if each is determined to share their favorite cat story?
You want only targeted hits. And you want these visitors to arrive with their interest front and center. This is why search engines listings, ads, and such, matter so. You want to draw only visitors interested in what you offer. A misleading ad is a waste of money, for hits generated are off-target.
CR: Conversion Ratio
CR is tossed about casually with a knowing nod of head. But many who use term don't really know what it means. It means different things to different sites, and in differing situations.
Briefly it is percentage of visitors who buy, or take some other action you want them to. In general, a 2% CR is considered good. That is, if 2 in 100 visitors buy your product, you may figure this is fine.