There is a fair bit of number crunching to do for a site, and a whole lot of assumptions when it comes to viewing your webstats
If your have too much time on your hands for the good of your health, or like to hyperanalyse the various spiders/unique referrals or whatever from your weblogs, then you have something like webtr*nds to see how your site is "ticking over".
Since I dont want to be splattering statistics all over WMW, I just wanted to create a thread about looking at statistics and how you should perceive them. Of course, every site is unique but im sure there are some general rules of thumb that you can relate to.
So if youve read every other new post in WMW, and you want some more WMW, then check out this from my web site statistics, and see what you agree/disagree with and can elaborate on.....Im just taking excerpts and suggesting something useful (hopefully). The timeframe used here is last week, pre-good update and during the holidays for many countries across the world
Unique Visitors 6,182
Visitors Who Visited Once 5,263
I look at this and think
1. Good, a respectable % of people come back to see more of the site after their first visit
2. Any change in relative % could indicate a re-indexing of a popular search index bringing in more "uniques"
3. Any change in relative % could also mean people dont think as highly of the site "on average" as they once did
We have talked plenty about these, so I'll skip it
Pages below my home page seem to get the best page views, which seems obvious being in the "middle" of the site. Is it the same for everyone else? The generic keywords on my second tier target the bigger keywords, pulling in the biggest referrals
The "money" pages at the bottom of the navigation structure are content specific and #1's for niche keywords. The results of this are pretty much reflected in the stats
The home page gets 40% of incoming visitors as their first page load. Obviously most inbound links point to the home page, so we can respect the 40% comprises of a respectable amount of incoming links. Also, the most generic keywords of all are targetted on this page (i.e. one word)....so any increase in ranking overall for the site should boost ranking for this keyword.....keep this in mind.
One of my second tier pages....a dynamic page with a nicely sized db behind it pulls in 15% of entry pages...making the total 55%. Take the following into account
1. Any second tier page is more or less exclusive on the home page, therefore is visible to the 40% mentioned above, as well as people from other areas of the site reaching the home page (the other 45% who entered some other way)
2. The PR from the home page and all the "follow through" from PR linking to the second page makes it rank "better" in the likes of Google
3. The flow of traffic between home > money pages and money pages > home
So...in a nutshell, slightly less generic keywords are targetted here, because with less competition, but alias with less impact as your home page, you want to be ranking well for more generic keywords than badly for a more generic one here.
Im sure you get what im pointing at here....its navigation and keywords.....
The "money" keywords and pages....
Brett made a model where you target your keywords according to the navigation structure. The bottom pages of the structure are known as the "money pages", where your site can harvest in all the niche keywords that your site focuses upon. Basically, the word "content" pretty much comes into play here.
In my instance....good money pages get about 1% of your referrals. One page in particular is a "gem" receiving twice as many hits as any other page in the same part of the nav structure.
In light of this, perhaps I should bring that particular page "up one level" and add more content in this area, thus maximising this keyword and "niching" it further.
Anyways, money pages are what your site is all about, dont play games...just target the keywords that suit the pages and in general you get rewarded for the traffic (believe me I aint been doin it long).
TOP EXIT PAGES
This pretty much looks similar to my top entry pages, which can be a bad thing :o). I could assume that people leave as soon as they go, or perhaps en masse they just leave "on average" after X amount of views....whatever. I guess if you want to study this area more closely web logs and better web stats than mine would answer any queries here :)
SINGLE ACCESS PAGES
My site is content specific, but 28% of people access my home page, and dont go any further. I guess this is pretty negative, considering that is over half of people that enter from that page (the 40% mentioned above). However, on the same note, its easy to click on a site by mistake, or click and change your mind etc etc etc
TOP DIRECTORIES (in order of hits)
Anything thats repeated on the site..ie design I put in a specific folder. These are the directories most accessed on my site. Hopefully much of this gets cached on a users first visit, then a super fast site awaits them :)
Below these cached directories are dynamic pages that are 100% uncached, and therefore like munching bandwidth
Afer that, all the unique text and their respective folders bring up the rear (in order of hits)
TOP FILE TYPES ACCESSED
1 gif 31,470 16,760
2 htm 15,350 172,720
3 js 5,800 9,432
4 asp 5,425 226
5 txt 214 114
6 jpg 199 1,609
I use some gifs for design...but apart from that...content is king on my site :o) and therefore the most accessed.
Number of Visits/Number of Visitors/% of Total Unique Visitors
1 visit 5263 85.13%
2 visits 455 7.36%
3 visits 164 2.65%
4 visits 83 1.34%
5 visits 46 0.74%
6 visits 31 0.5%
7 visits 26 0.42%
8 visits 24 0.38%
9 visits 26 0.42%
10 or more 64 1.03%
What I assume here
1. If 1 visit % is high, then im getting lots of new referrals OR people aint interested in the site
2. If 2 visits plus % is high, the site is "sticky"
3. Those that keep coming back might be willing to part with money :o)
SITE ACTIVITY - THE JUICY BIT
Time Interval Hits Page Views Kbytes Visits
Mon 04/01/2002 9,424 3,430 27,049 K 1,056
Tue 04/02/2002 9,754 3,572 30,316 K 1,128
Wed 04/03/2002 10,146 3,720 28,972 K 1,250
Thu 04/04/2002 10,872 3,958 28,881 K 1,108
Fri 04/05/2002 15,489 5,794 38,031 K 1,341
Sat 04/06/2002 9,488 3,752 32,476 K 1,224
Sun 04/07/2002 16,230 8,029 39,140 K 1,570
What can be assumed from this?
1. Since its easter holidays...not much in the long term
2. "cache you later baby"....See how much bandwidth on average people are using
3. Relatively low number of hits because its text based, but a jump in hits out of line can indicate many new visitors (perhaps from a new long term source)
4. The Googly-type update is gonna increase those numbers....(thats just a wish)
ACTIVITY LEVEL BY HOURS
Pretty much when people are awake they will tend to view your site more than when they are asleep :o). From this the only thing I take note of is the busiest hours and reasons why (geographical location and reasons for use)
PAGE VIEW PER VISITOR
Number of Pages Viewed Number of Visits % of Total Visits
0 pages 791 8.81%
1 page 3,680 41.01%
2 pages 1,325 14.76%
3 pages 811 9.03%
4 pages 562 6.26%
5 pages 417 4.64%
6 pages 298 3.32%
7 pages 241 2.68%
8 pages 152 1.69%
9 pages 126 1.4%
10 pages 97 1.08%
11 or more pages 473 5.27%
0 pages? Im stumped by this, im assuming its people who click "back" before they load the page up. Those viewing 1 page either got the info they wanted and sped off/didnt find it OR didnt like the site.
AVERAGE TIME SPENT ON SITE
The longer, the better
The rest of my stats include top browser types, SE referrals, top URL's etc that Id rather just skip, as these areas are pretty much well documented in here. But what about the rest? What about the stuff above.....
I appreciate there are a 100001 reasons for stats being stats...and unique to everyone, but im sure there are some general assumptions that can "reassure" you while you look at them. If you dont find anything useful in stats apart from curing your curiosity, then youre wasting your time :)
I just wanted some feedback/expansion on the things Ive mentioned, and any other method of tracking that you think should be discussed with the people of WMW :)