Track Your Success
Copyright 2010 © by Carol North
The conventional wisdom says writers should have hosted domains for their web sites, rather than freebees attached to services, such as Google. They say it's more "professional.' That's not half the benefit of a hosted domain. The big deal is the availability of sophisticated web statistics, which can track the number and type of visitors and the success of your advertising efforts.
During the current month 599 unique (new) visitors accessed this web site. The total of all visits is 961, which means 362 people are return visitors to the site. That's the best news. Something is keeping them coming back, perhaps an ongoing contest.
The pages category shows you how many "hits" per page, and which are your most popular pages. The listing showing only a backslash "/" is the site's home page. It was visited 679 times, was the entry point to the site 536 times, and was the exit point 441 times. According to the total of the Viewed column, there was a lot of navigation to the other pages between entry and exit.
The total of the Entry column is 961, which is also the total number of visits to the site. Same for the Exit column.
Let's analyze the books.htm page. It shows 162 entry points and 194 exit points. This is good news. It means 162 visitors specifically came to the site to view the site owner's books. They came either through direct entry of the URL into their browsers, clicking an external link, or because the site is in their favorites list. In addition, 32 visitors entered the site via a different page and took the time to visit the books page before exiting.
The viewed column registers 2008 visits to all the pages. There were 961 total visits to the site so each visitor viewed an average of 2.1 pages. The stats category shows the number of times the system updated the statistics log.
The stats here alert you to the types of browsers used by visitors to your web site. The practical purpose is to install the top three or four browsers on your computer, then test and adjust your web pages to display properly on each of the browsers. In this way you can ensure the visitors to your site have a satisfying experience and don't, for example, see text on top of text.
The Links category is where you track the success of advertising campaigns and see where many of your visitors are coming from. It does not count entries to your web site via search engines.
The graphic shows three of the site owner's advertising efforts:
* IWOFA Spring Contest
* Bitten By Books listing in the contests section
* Fallen Angel Reviews Author Page
The Full list contains details of other efforts.
These are only a few of the benefits of having a hosted domain with sophisticated web statistics. Before deciding on a domain hosting service, ask to see an example of the web stats provided free by the service. Some services charge separately for the type of stats shown in the example. Luckily, mine doesn't.