MONITORING VISITORS TO A WEB SITE
There are two main ways to monitor visitors to your webpage
1. Put an invisible counter on your site (This clicks over each time someone visits your site. You can view it at any point in time and see the number on it)
2. Use a statistics program (usually a service provided by your server (ie. ISP) or as an additional ‘plug in’ service)
Counters record the number of ‘hits’ your web page has had. It is important to distinguish between ‘hits’ and ‘session users’.
Hits can be accumulated by reloading a page, search engines indexing your page and many other web programs that scan the internet to collate data.
Session users on the other hand are physical people who come to your site and start looking at things. This is a much more accurate way of determining how popular your site is.
Statistics software often analyses system logs and prepares reports to show session users over specific time periods (by day, week, month or year).
Some advanced statistic software can even report on the following information:
How many people have returned to your site and how many are visiting for the first time
Where the visitors are coming from (a web link, a search engine or directly entering your website address)
Demographics such as what regions of the world your visitors are coming from and what terms they entered into a search engine to find you
Some software can even tell you what type of computer, what browser, screen resolution, etc is more popular for your visitors. All of this information is invaluable for re-designing your site to best suit your audience.
THE GROUND RULES KEEP CHANGING
Search Engines are very important for getting visitors to a web site. Different search engines have different rules that determine the visibility they give to different web sites; and those rules can change from time to time: without warning. A site may have a high visibility on a search engine one month; and a low visibility the next…
It is very important to understand how search engines work. Some search only within their own data base. Other search engines search within both their own data base, and also data bases of other search engines. The scope and nature of data being searched, both have a significant affect upon the value of the search. Some search engines tend to have higher profile, and attract more visitors than others. The number of visitors to a search engine does not alone determine its value. A search engine that attracts smaller numbers, but a specific type of visitor (who is more relevant to you), will be of greater value for you to have a listing with.
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