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Interpretting Statistics

What should I be looking for?

     
7:31 am on Feb 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm pretty new to reading and interpretting web statistics, and am wondering what I should be looking for in a "successful" site and what doesn't really matter. My host gives me the following options under statistics; download raw access log, analog, latest visitors, webalizer, bandwidth, and error log. From what I've read I assume that webalizer is the best way to get a quick overview of how my site is doing, but what really shows that?
8:28 am on Feb 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

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What do you want to see?

> download raw access log, analog, latest visitors, webalizer, bandwidth, and error log.

Analog will give you a quick web browsable summary of visitors to your website and depending on which version your server has can be quite detailed. Quick summary great.

Webalizer is often used and as far as I know has the ability to do more offline (on your computer) than analog at this time. Dont know have not used W-alizer yet myself.

Download raw logs will give you endless options if you import them into a data analysis tool (I think webalizer offers a log analysis tool) but you could make your own.

What are you looking for.... well I guess you are going to want to use the information to answer some questions about your website .. some quick suggestions while I drink my coffee:

1. is anyone visiting?
2. do they visit more than one page?
3. where do they come from?
4. what equipment are they using?
5. did that search engine you submitted to months and months ago actually index your site yet or do you have to wait till another birthday :-)
6. which pages do visitors leave on?
7. which pages use the most bandwidth?
8 which pages are failing for some reason?
9. is anyone linking to your site?
10. if visitors come from search engines, which words or terms did they use to find your pages?
11. is anyone linking to a dead page?
12. just who the *ell was it that copied all the contents of my xyz directory last night anyhow?
13. do people come back after visiting?
14 how do people generally find the site, from SE's from links, from their own bookmarks?
14. do people come back? (fixed IPs can give an idea of this without needing cookies)

thats my coffee contribution Jake, someone with more of a clue who has had their breakfast will be along in a mo I am sure.

Nice clean home page by the way.
Best of luck with it.

The two best kept secrets of the worlds richest people are:
1. Never tell anyone your money making tips!
2. Always remember your first rule :-)

3:43 pm on June 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

I've been using site meters for several years and understant how to read them but never bothered to learn how to read the access log on my site(s).

Can anyone recommend a good log access analyzer program? I'm on WestHost and as far as I'm aware they do not provide one.

3:45 pm on June 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

I forgot t o mention I would like a free analyzer and I use the Mac.

4:41 pm on June 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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"what I should be looking for in a "successful" site and what doesn't really matter."

Ideally the client knows what they want from the site, leads, newsletter signups, sales, etc...

With that in mind the things to look for in the logs can be identified. How are people getting ot the site, what are the best keywords, how many conversions are they getting, when they get a conversion, where does that person dome from, what path do they take through the site, etc...

I've seen webalizer on a few ISPs and it doesn't seem to provide a brief overview but to really dig down I think something like WebTrends of NetTracker is needed. There are many besides those two, just the ones I'm most familiar with.

You can also look for favicon in logs and see how many people with IE bookmark the site.

6:35 pm on June 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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> just who the *ell was it that copied all the contents of my xyz directory last night anyhow?

How do you tell from the log file if files are copied? I know I should know this, but ....

Thanks!

6:45 pm on June 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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check out this thread for related info

[webmasterworld.com...]

8:44 pm on June 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Lorel - welcome to Webmaster World. Check your stickymail - you'll see the link at the top of the page.
12:41 pm on June 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Along these lines of logs... I was wondering how to interpret these stats if the logs sit behind loadbalancers?

We have loadbalancers that distribute the traffic... skewing the log data... any ideas?
Thanks!

 

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