Once your site is up and running, it is important that you track your visitors and analyze what they are using. You should have a detailed information on the following −
Who is your visitor? − You should have your site visitor IP address available with you to know the geographical location and identity of that visitor.
Visitors’ Timestamp − You should be aware of the time when your site gets the most number of visitors so that you can plan a server down easily. Secondly, timestamp and IP address will help you identify your site visitors in case an investigation is required against a site visitor.
What the visitors prefer? − What pages did the site visitor view on your website will give you an idea about the importance of various sections of your website.
How visitors came? − This is another important information you should be aware of. How are you getting your site visitors? Are they coming directly or coming through some other website or advertising program.
How long do they stay? − How much time a visitor spends on your site? If visitors are leaving your site just after browsing 1 or 2 pages, then you should come up with some innovative ways to retain them for a longer duration.
Visitors’ Browser − This information is important to improve your website for that type of web browsers.
There are many websites that help you to find out all the information discussed in the previous section. You just need to keep a small piece of code in the <head<....</head> section of your web pages and you will have not only all the above mentioned information but also a complete analysis of your site.
You can try Googles Analytics Program to capture your website statistics.
Another good program is Webalizer. This will give you all the basic site statistics you need.
There is a site from sourceforge which gives you opportunity to collect your website statistics. So you can try it as well AWStats.
Go through the following terms so that become more comfortable with your site statistics report and analysis.
Unique Visits − The number of unique visitors you had in a given time period. Example − if there was only a single person who visited your website, and visited 1,000 separate times in a day, the unique visits would just be one. The uniqueness is counted based on the IP address of the visitor.
Total Visits − The total number of visits including duplicate visits that a website receives in a given time period. Each time a site visitor reaches your site, it is counted as one visit.
Page Views or Page Impressions − Each time a web page is loaded, it is referred to as a page view. If you are counting a website link available on this page, then it will be counted as a page impression.
Hits − Hits are very similar to page views and will be counted every time a visitor clicks any link related to your website.
Direct Access − It refers to the people who accessed your website through their bookmarks or typed in your URL manually in the URL box of the browser.
Referrer & Referral URL − The web address where the visitor followed a link to reach your website. For example, if someone finds your website in google search and clicks over the link to reach your site, then google will be the referrer.