How to Read Your Webstats – Part 1 – Monthly Visitors

If you host your website with us, you have an online statistic program built in as a standard hosting feature.  This statistics program allows you to check important data regarding the success of your website.  It also allows you to find out if marketing campaigns are working, what pages are the most popular, what search engines are referring visitors to you and what keywords these visitors are using to find you in a search.  Checking these statistics on a regular basis will help to monitor the health of your site and catch potential problems early so they can be corrected.

At a minimum, you should check your stats on a monthly basis to see if you are on an upward or downward trend.  If you are down a few visitors from the month before, this just might be normal fluctuation and nothing to be concerned with.  However, if you have multiple months where your traffic is going down or you have initiated a new marketing campaign promoting your website and your traffic is down, this is something you will want to address right away to find out why traffic is suffering.

In most cases, traffic will generally be on an upward trend as search engine rankings improve, more people become aware of the site and more links from other websites point to you.  Here is a screenshot of an example of what your monthly traffic might look like in our statistics software:

Monthly traffic report available as part of your NetSource hosting account.

Monthly traffic report available as part of your NetSource hosting account.

In most cases, the most important column to review is the orange column – number of Unique visitors.  This is the closest stat you will get to the actual number of visitors that come to your site.  The next column tells you how many times your site was visited by the number of unique visitors – some visitors might come back to the site at a later time to view it again.  Next is the number of pages on the site your visitors viewed.  Hits, dispite the overuse of the word in regards to webstats, is really not that useful as it only refers to server requests and doesn’t indicate number of visitors.  Bandwidth simply lets you know how much bandwidth your site is using.

In this graph above, we see that the monthly traffic, for the most part is on a slow increase from month to month until July when a spike occurs in the traffic.  Prehaps a new marketing campaign was launched that month, an article in a paper was published about the company or a site keyword gained a high ranking.  The site traffic fell in August, but was still better than average.  However, at the half point in September, the site is projected at 230 visitors – still above average, but worth exploring further to see why the sharp incline in July was not carrying over.  Whatever happened in July needs to be discovered so it can be repeated again.

There is a ton more stats to review, so look for further articles.  If you have your hosting with NetSource but are not familiar with your stat’s website address, call me at (352) 732-7700 or (800) 709-3240 and I’ll look it up for you.


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