Measuring Success Through Site Statistics
Part Two

by Jon Schlackl

All SEO Articles

This article from The Mender (Issue 13),
Metamend's Web Site Optimization and Marketing Newsletter.

Being able to read and interpret the statistics your site generates can be a very useful exercise in analyzing traffic patterns on your site. I.E. Where your visitors are coming from and which pages they like the most. Visitor/requests indicates the origin of the visitor. Some domains listed will indicate search engine "Spiders" and "Bots" which crawl through your site. e.g. - Unresolved numerical addresses are simply IP addresses that have no associated host name. In other words they are likely people who "dial-in" to connect to the Internet. An important point to remember is requests DO NOT EQUAL distinct hosts. A distinct host can visit your site 4000 times and only be recorded as 1 distinct host because they are connecting to you from the same Internet address. They may make 40,000 requests but still only be recorded as 1 host. Also a single page on your site could comprise any number of "requests" - the page itself, plus 1 request for every image, banner, navigation bar, header, footer etc. the page contains.

We interpret two stat numbers as important when divided by each other. They are "Page Views" and "Distinct Hosts" - The ratio between these two will give you a pretty good indication of the effective "relevance" of a site's traffic. The more page views per distinct host, the more relevant your traffic and the more targeted it will be - and the "stickier" your site is to visitors the better. Plan on doing some research on the web regarding web site statistics and how to "read" them. There are several opinions on which statistics are the most "valuable" and which numbers/ratios make sense and what they mean. The more you learn how to interpret your statistics, the wiser you'll become about your site's traffic and visitors.

Other articles from this issue:
- Administrator's Chalk Board
- Adapting to Seasonal Cycles
- Preparing for Results
- Using Search Engines For Beginners - Part One
- Email Makes The Web Go Around

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