|Vecta on Lies, Damned Lies, and Web Statistics|
|You've spent a lot of time on developing your website; hits per day seem to be good and increasing and browsers seem to be hitting the pages you want them to find but you've not noticed much, if any, impact on your business - right?|
|The answer could lie in the misleading nature of website statistics. Not all traffic is valuable; not all hits are pages viewed by real users and those users may not read the page even if they bring it up on screen.|
|Hits per day data is
inflated by requiring additional pages to be loaded
whenever a single page is accessed, often because common
images are included in a separate folder on the website
to reduce the stored size of each separate page.
Impressions data tries to eliminate this effect by excluding all forced secondary references from the statistics.
Even impressions only indicate a page referenced somewhere with no proof that it appeared on a user's screen.
And, even if the user brought up the page on screen he or she may not have read it, let alone acted upon it.
That's why click-through stats are more useful, especially if they can be seen to lead to action.
|And the noise level is increasing:|
|New search robots are
being developed all the time and each will one day get
around to crawling through your content and then revisit
regularly after that first cataloguing.
Many established search engines are now crawling sites more often.
And, as you add more pages to your site, there are more pages for each web crawler to hit!
|If a page you want
users to find isn't being hit as often as you'd like, try
simplifying the route to it from pages that are being hit
and revamping the content of both the popular and
unpopular pages to encourage transfers.
The user may be finding what they want on the page they already access; even here don't be complacent as other, possibly more interesting, pages are appearing all the time and your page may be ignored as it slips down search engine rankings.
Make sure also that the extract that appears in search engine summaries is attractive so more people are tempted to read your page fully.
Most important of all, work on the page content and keywords so your pages appear as high as possible on the "front page" of those search engine summaries.
|Website traffic statistics need to be analysed carefully if owners are not to be misled about how well they are doing. Even excellent content can get lost in the web.|
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|More info from: Marian@vecta5.com|
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