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How to view the statistics for your website using AWSTATS

There are two different programs that our clients can use to view their website statistics.

Google Analytics (Please click the link to read more) and AWSTATS (below)


[ Click here to view the WORD version ]

AWSTATS

We will teach you how to use this program (below).  In order to use this program your website has to be hosted at Webmasters.com. Using this program you can see how many people visited your website (etc) from anywhere in the world.  The statistics are updated once a day sometime around midnight.

To view your website statistics using AWSTATS

1)  ControlPanel.com <--- Go to this website
2)  Put your user name and password in the boxes on Web Hosting Login and click ENTER
3)  Traffic Statistics <--- Click this button (Located 2/3's of the way down in the right
      hand column)

Understanding Your Website's Statistics

The first part of understanding your website statistics is to understand that everything that many website companies have been telling their clients for many years is based on artificially inflating "the perceived value of the website" by using confusing terms to describe the number of visitors to websites.

What to Ignore

Hits

Many webmasters try to fool their clients into thinking that the number of hits are the same thing as people visiting their website.  We think that practice is extremely dishonest. A hit means that either a page was opened by a visitor to the website "or" as image was displayed.  Since many websites use hundreds of little tiny graphics on each page this means a single human visitor can generate thousands of hits. For instance if the pages of a website have a hundred images (which are often used as invisible spacers) and a human visits ten pages that means that "one human visitor" generated over "one thousand hits".  Ignore the word hits and tell your friends to fire any website company that uses this word to describe the number of people visiting their website.

Total Page Views

Fire any webmaster who talks to you in terms of total page views.  This statistic is "not" important.  What is important is the number of human visitors (Sales opportunities) and the number of pages they visit (shows how interested or uninterested they are).

Bandwidth

We are constantly amazed at the way some website companies try to confuse their clients with questionable statistics.  One of the most recent is to start talking to clients about the amount of bandwidth used by people visiting their client's websites.  A simplified way to state this is that Bandwidth is the total sum of the amount of information transferred from the website to users of the website.  Saying a huge number like "visitors to your website used 265 million bytes of information" today sounds impressive.  And if it was just text (which has a very tiny file size) it would be impressive.  But pictures/graphics on average have a file size a hundred times larger than the text on your website.  Video and other software downloads use ten thousand times as much bandwidth as text.  So if you have a website with pictures and videos your bandwidth use per visitor could be a thousand times higher than someone who had a website that was primarily text.  In other words, bandwidth is a useless tool as far as calculating the number of human visitors to your website.  So ignore it.

Your Most Important Statistics

Unique Monthly Visitors

This number tells you how many humans visited your website.  Or more accurately the number of computers with human operators that visited your site.  If you owned a store, this would be similar to the number of people who actually opened the door and looked inside each month.  Please note that the vast majority of website companies will never show you this number.  Why?  They don't want you to know that your website is failing to attract human visitors (potential clients for your business) from the search engines.  Don't be discouraged if a friend tells you have a higher number of people on their website and yours is lower.  Most likely your friend was told "hits" which is an inflated number instead of humans.  The key to this is number is not what you get the first month.  The key is to see this number increasing over time.  One thing to note is that the number of visitors to some sites may vary depending on the season.

Unique Daily Visitors

Each human that visits your website is counted here once just as they were counted under Unique Daily Visitors.  The difference with this number is that if they make additional visits they are counted each time they visit your site.  Please note though that they are counted only once each day.  They could come fifty times their first day and they would only be counted once. 

Visits Per Visitor

This is a very important number.  If the ratio was 1 visit per visitor to your website for an entire month that would mean that people did not like your website.  Think about it.  If you owned a restaurant and each customer only came once you could assume they did not like the food or the service.  On the other hand if every customer came every day it indicates it is their favorite restaurant in the world.  Reality is that each person is not going to visit your website each day. Reality is that some of the people are going to visit your website several times and others may never come again.  The goal here is to use this number to decide if people like your website or not.  Most websites in the world achieve a visits per visitor ratio between 1.0 and 1.1.  Anything above 1.1 is good. Very few websites in the world achieve a 2.0 and those are generally search engines or news websites. If your website is at 1.2 or higher you are doing fine.  By the way, Google uses this number to decide whether to move you up in the search engines. So the higher your number, the more likely Google is going to move you up in it's recommendations (rankings).

Pages Per Visit

This statistic is very important.  Imagine you showed two books to a couple friends.  You found that most of them opened the cover of the first book, but never read any other pages (Pages per Visit = 1).  You found however that they read all ten pages of the second book (Pages Per Visit = 10).  It would be pretty obvious to you that they liked the second book much better than the first book.  And so you would only recommend the second book to friends in the future.  It's the same with your website.  If people go to very few pages Google is not going to recommend it to people.  On the other hand, if people visit more pages on your website than they do on your competitions website, then Google will move you up in it's recommendations (Rankings).  The Internet average is less than 2 pages per visit.  If your website is above 2 pages per visit you are doing okay. The highest we have ever seen is about ten pages per visit but that is extremely rare.  Because we know that Google checks how many pages people visit on your website we built in next and previous buttons.  We found that people love to click these buttons to see what's next.  As a result if we built your website your Pages Per Visit Ratio should be higher than your competitions (smile).

Add to Favorites

All the way down at the bottom of the statistics page you will find a row that says "Add to Favorites". This shows you the number of people that saved your website to favorite places / then the number of visitors to your website and finally the percentage of people who saved your website to favorite places.  We cannot stress enough how important this number is.  It indicates more than anything how much people do or do not like your website.  If the percentage is very low Google will move your website down in it's recommendations (rankings).  If the percentage is high Google will move the website up in it's recommendations.  Ask yourself a question before reading this.  How many websites did you save to your favorite places?  If you are like most people you will realize that you normally only save between 1 and 4 websites out of every hundred you visit to your Favorite Places.  In fact the authors of Google Analytics uses this exact figure in their book.  They then brag that on average 8 to 12% of the visitors to their websites save their website to favorite places.  Now welcome to our world.  Our clients have much higher Add to Favorite Ratios than their competition. Why?  We tell clients "never build just an advertisement" because no one ever saves an advertisement to their favorites.  Instead always build a friendly website that is a great source of information.  People love to save information sites to their favorite places.  In fact, all of our clients average over 20%.  In fact, some of the bigger websites we build actually show up as being over 100% which seems impossible at first.  But what is really happening is that some people are saving multiple pages to their favorite places one after another.  If your website is average a ratio of over 20% you are doing fine.  And people will be coming back to your website in the future.

Pages-URL

This indicates going from top to bottom which pages of your website are the most popular.  On our sites please ignore "/slide.htm" as that is a revolving graphic on your website and it is not actually a page.  The home page is listed twice.  Once as "/index.htm" and again as "/". Unlike some companies badly optimized sites it is not uncommon for some of your sub pages to actually get more people from the search engines than the home page (We optimize every page for a different phrase unlike other companies).  What you want to see is that the following pages show up towards the top of your list (Your FULL LIST may be very large) or in the top 20.  They are contact us, locations (if you have this page), about us and your shopping cart (If you have one).  Other than that the only important thing to notice is the columns where you have "entry" and "exit".  Having people exit on your contact us, about us, location or shopping cart pages indicates this person may buy from you.  On the other hand if a page has a high number of people entering it but then immediately exiting it could indicate a need to change the text or pictures on that page.

Connect to Site From

This indicates how many people came from the search engines (Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc), how many came directly (typed the address) or bookmarks (favorite places). It also shows you how many people came from other websites. Please note that Bing is listed in other websites but is actually a search engine.

Where They Came From Makes A Difference

It's important to understand how people get to your site.  For instance if your website has been online for a year and you get no visitors that actually typed your address or from bookmarks it indicates that people do not like your website.  Which basically you are wasting money getting people to a website where you never get a second chance to sell them something.  As far as the search engines "after your website has been online several months" you should see that Google is sending you far more people than any other search engine.  If this is not happening it may indicate that there is a problem with how Google sees your website.

Links from an External Page

Over time (If you have a good website that is a good source of information) more and more websites will link to yours.  This in turn helps your website move up in the rankings.  Some of these websites will send you visitors, others may not (They may link to you but they may have no traffic on the page where they link to you from).  The important thing is to do things that get other websites to link to you (Talk to us about how to accomplish this "the right way").

Paid Advertising

If you are paying to advertise on someone else's website (Newspaper, TV Station, Advertising Website, etc) this is a great way to find out if they are making you money or ripping you off.  For instance we have had clients that were paying thousands of dollars a month to be on TV and Newspaper websites to find that they only had four or five people coming to their websites from those advertising sites.  In other words it may have been costing them $400 or more per visitor they got from that advertising companies website.  Many of them were shocked to find this as the TV stations, Newspapers, etc had them convinced they would get thousands of visitors from the advertisers websites to their website.  All you have to do is go down the list to see how many people came from their website to yours.  If the number of people that they send you does not justify what you are paying them "fire them".

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Please contact us at (239)878-9310 or click here to use our contact form
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