Tag Archives: website tracking software

Website Traffic Tracking Metrics

Tracking measurements are not only critical  for technical or scientific processes but are also useful and effective for website performance. In fact, for online businesses, website tracking is not an option but an indispensable tool for sustaining your business.

Pageviews and other metrics

For anyone maintaining a website, it is always important to know how many visitors your website receives. It is also important to know how much time they spend on your website, where they come from and what webpages they have viewed, among other things.

A useful metric is the pageview or page impression. It is the number of times a web page is accessed  regardless of how many hits were generated.  Another useful metric is the unique view. It is a pageview made by a unique person or search robot normally identifiable through a unique IP address.

ISP statistical packages

Sometime ago, a mere website counter which counts and displays the number of visitors a website receives was sufficient. But the data from these counters are unreliable and incomplete. Tracking analysis softwares offer a more reliable option to analyse user behavior and website traffic. These trackers provide detailed information as to the date, time, visitors, unique visitors, browsers used, pageviews, traffic referrers and many other metrics.

2009-monthly-website-traffic

Monthly Website Traffic from AWStats

Most webhosting plans include at least one free tracking software; the most popular of which are AWStats and Webalizer. These are open-source, free programs that are very easy to use.  Both have a nice graphical interface and the statistical data are presented in a nice layout which can be easily understood. If you are looking for a webhost, it will definitely be wise to choose that ISP which offers such complimentary statistical packages as part of your hosting plan.

Google Analytics website metrics

In addition to these complimentary tracking softwares, there is always Google Analytics which you can get for free and install painlessly in your website.  Google analytics provide more important website traffic metrics like the number of pages a visitor visits, the average time visitors stay on your website, the bounce rate and the number of new or returning visitors to your site. If you have an ecommerce site you can track how many visitors become paying customers.  Or you may just want to track how many visitors become opt-in subscribers to your mailing list.

Bounce Rate

Because of its filtering mechanisms which are usually not found in other statistical packages, Google Analytics provide a more accurate and relevant website visitor statistics. A good example is the bounce rate which tells you the number of one-page visits to your site. That means you can know the rate of those people who leave your website without seeing a second page.  In order to have an accurate measurement of the bounce rate, you should therefore not include your own visits to your site.

Bounce rate is just one metric you can track and improve on in order to enhance the performance of your website. And definitely it’s one of those useful strategies for the success of your online business.

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Why Use Google Analytics?

If your website doesn’t have any tracking analysis software that allows you to know where your visitors come and how they interact with your site, Google analytics is about the best to consider. Not only because it is free to use for all but also of its extensive functionality and the extent of information it provides the website owner.

Google analytics is straightforward to set up since there is no software or script to install. You only need to open a free account. Once you have that account, you can just cut and paste some few lines of javascript onto your webpages and tracking begins once your website is live on the internet. For wordpress blogs, it is more even more straightforward. Once you have a Google analytics account, just download a plugin, input the required account information then activate the plugin. That sets the analytics into work right away.

Google analytics provides visitor segmentation data. It tells you the geographical origin of your visitors and also from which referring source they come from before they came to your website. It classifies if these are new or returning visitors. This piece of information alone provides you with invaluable insight in the planning and development of your online business.

Most significantly, Google analytics tell you what keywords your visitors used to find your webpages and which among those pages has the most number of visits. The data will also provide you which page your visitors spend most their time on. This information will then allow you to modify your pages in order to improve your site’s performance.

The analytics data will also tell you what the visitors do after arriving at your site, whether they will continue on looking at other pages of your site or exit completely. This important information will enable you to know which part of the check-out or sign-up process did your visitors leave. This important tracking capability allows you to improve your conversions.

This free website tracking service was originally named urchin visitor tracking when on November 2005 it was renamed as Google analytics.

Do you have several websites? You can track all of them. You only need one Google analytics account and one log in to view all of your site’s statistics.

You will appreciate the in-depth reports and the wealth of information this free website tracking service provides once you sign up for a Google analytics account. It’s free. Try it today!

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