The point of having a website is that you should always be trying to build it into something bigger, you need to know if all your work is producing the results that you are seeking.
How do you know that anyone is even looking at your web site?
You need to be sure that you are using these 2 very important tools: Stat Counter and Google Analytics to track who visits your site and what they are doing while on your site. Both of these programs provide an incredible amount of information about your site and best of all they are both FREE.
These tracking tools must be part of your web site arsenal, a reoccurring comment that I hear over and over from new clients who have been trying to take care of all their web presence duties is this; “I have a big problem using Google Analytics or Stat Counter, they are just too complicated for me to understand the benefits of all that information”.
Indeed, it can be difficult to know what exactly each statistic means, and many of them are similar to the other that they might appear to be indistinguishable from one another.
But you don’t have to suffer from information overload;Â keep working with the information these statistics provide, and soon you will get a solid feelÂ of how your site is performing.
Unique visitors: This stat is exactly what it sounds like. How many total visitors have been to your site? This will be smaller than some of the other stats, but it’s helpful to know because it shows that people are finding your site. If your rate of unique visitors goes down, then you might want to work on your search engine optimization.
Page views: The number of page views is naturally going to be larger than the number of unique visitors, as some people who find your site will click around. In general, the more page views you can get, the better. If you have a ratio of at least two pages per unique visitor, then you’re doing a phenomenal job of funneling people through your website navigation. However, most sites don’t get this ratio, and you’ll probably see that the majority of your visitors surf in from a search engine and leave immediately. This is true of practically every site.
Recent Keyword Activity: I find this stat to be one of the more important stats, it shows the search string used to find your site and where you rank on Google’s food chain. By clicking on the link you see what the individual who used that specific search term saw as they were using the various search engines.
Referrers: For most sites, the top referrers are search engines. While we love the search engines, we want to make sure that we’re getting some referrals from other sources, as this helps our ranking across the web and shows that we’re getting the back links we need to generate sustained interest.
Popular Pages: Gives a detailed listing in numerical order of what pages are getting the most hits. This can help you identify pages that are not producing the traffic/traffic you are wanting.
Visitors Path: Shows the exact path a visitor took as they navigate around your site. Whiter they came from a search engine or directly to your site, shows each page visited and time spent through out the their visit. Also shows City, State, Country and IP address as well as the ISP provider.
Bounce rate: How many people visit your site and surf away almost instantly? If your visitors do so at a high rate, then you’ll have a high bounce rate, which is clearly a bad thing. Most sites never achieve a bounce rate below 60%, but if your rate is consistently above 80%, then you might want to look into ways to keep people on your site longer.
Visits By Country: Many people assume that most visitors come from one’s own country, but you might be surprised by where people are coming from. If you’re getting a lot of visitors from, say, Norway, and you only sell your products in the United States they you may want to adjust your site to be more attactive to potential clients in the United States or expand your offerings to other countries.