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
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
"page tagging", which is what Google Analytics is. The reason I do not use
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.
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.
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.
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
Written August 2008 by Gary Cooley