Small Business Websites

Evaluating Website Statistics

Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures

Are you always aware of what's happening at your website? How many unique visitors did you get and which pages did they look at? If you have no idea, you need to become an expert at interpreting your website's statistics.

As an internet marketer, what do you need to know concerning your website?

Number of hits

A hit does not mean a single visitor as many people think. It is a file requested from your site in order to display the page as required. This means, every picture on the webpage is a hit, including the HTML file itself. For instance, if your page has 10 pictures in it, you would have got 11 hits to your site. If the visitor moves to another page which has 4 pictures, you will have received 5 more hits. This means in total, you will have received 16 hits by visiting 2 pages. So, the number of hits has nothing to do with the unique visitors to your site.

Favorite pages

Which pages are being viewed most often? This is a question that is very important in relation to developing content for your site. You will know if your visitors view the pages you think are the most important in your website. If they rarely visit those pages, you might have to find a way to get their attention by making your links more attractive. If there is still no significant change, analyze the behavior of your visitors to understand why the content is not acceptable. Probably you need to change your site's focus a little.


Where do your visitors originate from? This is a very pertinent question when you are analyzing your traffic. Using log files (statistics), you will be able to observe if, for example, you had success with your search engine submissions. You will also be able to see which other sites are linking to yours. The "referrers" section is the single most vital element of your website statistics. You will be able to figure the exact source of your traffic. Consequently, you can take measures if you don't get traffic from search engines or from sites in which you have advertised.

Dead URL's

This aspect of your statistics enables you to check for broken links or pages which are inaccessible for other reasons. It is vital that you fix the pages that are causing these problems. If you have just redesigned your site and have removed certain pages, create redirect pages to replace the removed pages. This ensures visitors will not view the ugly 'not found' page. Rather, use a refresh tag which will lead the visitor to your main site.

Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.

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