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Traffic Reports
Terminology & Definitions

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A "visitor" is a real person, one set of eyeballs, looking at your Web site. Be careful not to confuse "visit" and "visitor". Most of all DO NOT confuse "hits" with visits or visitors. "Hits" are nothing more than a bandwidth measure which means nothing to you.  Learn the difference as many still talk about hits only. More on Visits and Visitors

A "visit" is when one visitor comes to your Web site. Because some people visit your site more than once during a reporting period, your visit count should always be higher than your visitor count. The Online Advertising Industry uses Web site visits, not hits or visitors, as the defacto standard metric (measure). The "visit" is the common denominator in all traffic reporting metrics and systems. More on Visits and Visitors

Reporting Period
The amount of time the report covers. Traffic reports can be run in real time, every hour, once a day, once a week, once a month, etc. The reports in this Web are for an 18 month period. Please note that I do not use JavaScript based traffic reporting, called "page tagging",  which is what Google Analytics is. The reason I do not use JavaScript-based traffic reporting is because I want an honest-to-computer traffic log that contains a combination of access, agent, and referrer data. Since applications like Google A don't use traffic logs, I cannot retrieve and store certain data important to my needs. It is true that both types of traffic reporting have their weaknesses and strengths. The main problem with log-based reporting can be something called "cache". For 2Cooleys that has not been an issue.

Visit Sources
How, and where, your visitors found your site. Also known as "referrals" or "finding methods". Clicks on links, banners, and search engines are all examples of visit "sources". More on Visit Sources   Links, banners, search engines, etc. are all "online" advertising.

Offline Advertising
Print ads, brochures, radio and TV spots, sports shows, billboards, business cards, baseball caps, are examples of "offline" advertising. Hopefully you have included your URL in all of these advertisements!

The Percentage Ranges
Ideal percentage ranges for each visit source metric are shown in
bold red. The normal range for each metric is given in the sentences following the red sentence. These percentage ranges are what I have seen ever since 1995. While technology changes, human nature does not. What these percentages track and indicate are people's response to technology. I have seen very little deviation in these percentages since 1995. While the actual counts, the numbers, for each metric rise, the percentages stay about the same, which is why the percentages, not the actual counts, are so important.

Percentage Rounding
In checking my math you'll discover that report percentages do not total exactly 100% but closer 99.98% or similar. Getting 100% takes going out four decimal places, which takes up too much space in the table cells, and shows nothing of real value.

The abbreviation "NP" stands for "Not Participating", a customer who is Not Participating in the Non-Profit organizations shown, and therefore would not have any visits from that source.

A metric can be any type of analytical formula used to quantify financial, demographic, or other data. (The term "metrics" was coined at the Harvard Business School back in the 1970's during the venture capital heyday. It is now used loosely to identify just about anything that has to do with numbers.) Metrics can be used to identify and quantify emerging trends and patterns in a data set. For example, the Search Engine "metric" is used to determine whether or not your Web site is properly represented in the major search engines. More on Metrics

Written August 2008 by Gary Cooley

Metrics Values | 1 thru 10 | 11 thru 20 | 21 thru 30 | 31 thru 40 | 41 thru 50 | 51 thru 60 | Main Traffic Page