Once a website has been built and launched, there is still plenty of work required on a regular basis. One of those tasks is promotion, and the other is understanding what the website is doing in terms of traffic. Without traffic, a website is useless, and the only way to know about the traffic is through statistics. Statistics provide website owners with knowledge. Stats help web managers fine-tune their sites and enhance features. Ultimately, tracking website statistics helps them to make money. Basically, tracking stats is one of the most important functions a webmaster has. Consequently, we are going to highlight why it is important to track your website's statistics.
Without stats, web owners have no idea from where their uses come. In fact, it is possible that they thought they were targeting a particular country, only to find out that their readers originate from another country. This is particularly important if sales depend on a specific region. For example, if an item is only legal in Europe and most of your traffic comes from North America, you will never make any sales.
Detailed stats also show you the browsers and operating systems that users employ while on your site. This is important for website compatibility issues. For example, if you test your site only in Internet Explorer, yet forty percent of your traffic uses Opera, this is a significant number of users. You need to make sure that the site's features work properly in both browsers.
Your website stats program should collect keyword data. That means, you should be able to quickly identify what words and phrases are used to attract traffic. These numbers show actual visitors, so even if you think you are getting your traffic from a specific keyword because that page is higher in the results, you will never be sure unless you check your stats. Frequently, webmasters find that other phrases actually brought in the users. This is very important, because you may not have been aware of those phrases, and now, if there is substantial traffic, you can work on keeping that traffic.
Your stats will give you information on the number of users and how many are unique or return users.
IP addresses are collected as part of some web stats programs. While you may not necessarily want to know the addresses, what IPs do indicate is how your resources are being used or abused. If for example, you see one IP that uses megs of bandwidth, then chances are you have a spammer. You could then ban that IP address from your website to save bandwidth costs.
BUT, you really need to be careful with your interpretations here. You need to know for sure that you should blacklist that particular IP. You could end up blocking legitimate users. Before banning any IPs, you need to do searches to ensure this is a spammer. Plus, you need to look at the IP in relation to the others. If many IPs are using large volumes of bandwidth, then you might rightly assume that they are just popular IP addresses and not spammers at all.
Some stats programs tell you which search engines send you traffic, and which ones send their bots to check your site. This information will help to determine which search engines like your site. If you are wondering how to get more traffic, then the search engine that sends the least amount of traffic might be the one you want to target. Plus, if you notice that no spider came calling, then you can conclude that something is wrong. Without statistics software, it's impossible for an online marketer or entrepreneur to know if his or her keyword research was done okay.
Imagine logging into one of your affiliate programs and finding out that you had no sales for the last week. The first thing you should be doing is checking your website statistics to find out what has gone wrong. Maybe your site has been down. Maybe you accidentally changed the coding that caused search engines to deindex you. Maybe one search engine just doesn't like your site anymore. Reviewing your stats will help you to get to the root of the problem. And, you may just find out that the problem is seasonal. If last year's stats show the same trend for the same period, then you are okay.
Undoubtedly, all of these functions assist you to earn money. By tracking, reading and analyzing your website stats, you should be able to increase your earnings by fixing the problems that are evident in the numbers. But, again, we must caution you in the use of the numbers. Be careful when making dramatic changes. You need to be absolutely confident that you have interpreted the patterns of your stats and not the individual numbers. Once you understand the importance of tracking your website's statistics, and you know how to accurately interpret your statistics, you will realize that tracking stats is really money in the bank.
A friend of Dom4j went through the hassle of reviewing five popular stat-trackers. Read them all below:
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