Analyzing Website Traffic Statistics
Analyzing and studying the web statistics are essential for the success of your website. Analyzing can be done for many reasons, but before doing such analysis, you must know what the available data means, and how to work effectively upon that data to boost your website’s performance.
Essentially, every web hosting company supplies you with extensive web related data and traffic information. This data has to be interpreted by you and work upon for the best performance of your website. While this data is so extensive that it becomes a tedious task even to understand its every aspect, and then how to collectively use the data for the success of your website and your online business.
To begin with, the most primary data that the web statistics provides you is about the number of visitors to your website. This can be on a day-to-day basis, or a weekly or monthly basis. This particular data about the visitors tell you about your website’s activity — whether your website is attracting a lot of visitors or not.
But even if you see a lot of traffic recorded, it can still be a deceiving fact, in the sense that many search engine crawlers also visit your website on a daily or on a periodic basis.
There can also be some ‘hits’ to your website that are for a very short while. Then, the ‘hits’ can also be inappropriately over-numbered, because if your web page has, for example, 20 graphics, then each page load would mean an extra 20 ‘hits’. Hence, the ‘hits’ cannot give you the exact number of visitors because of the various other factors, such as the number of graphics present on the web page.
To really understand how your website and its pages are performing, you must be able to accurately interpret the traffic data. The collective analysis of the unique visitors, number of visits, pages viewed, and the hits are to be interpreted. This analysis gives you the correct perspective of how your website is performing on a daily or monthly basis. This analysis also gives you the information of whether your website is growing or declining in popularity.
Let us first understand what hits, pages, and bandwidth mean:
- Hits: Hits denotes how many times one of your web page was requested on the internet. If the “Hits” display 2000 hits, it means that there were 2000 data requests.
- Pages: Pages are the various web pages that make your website.
- Bandwidth: This is the quantum of data transfer your website had undergone over a period of a month.
If you are using the cPanel, then the Web / FTP Statistics menu can give you the access to the various web related statistics about your website. The following are the various tools that can be used for your analysis of the web statistics:
AWStats is a free, open source, very powerful analytical web tool that produces very good statistics. AWStats generates advanced web statistics, streaming statistics, ftp or mail server statistics graphically in the form of bars. This log analyzer shows you all the possible information by analyzing various log files from all the outstanding server tools like WebStar, Apache log files, IIS (W3C log format), and several other web, proxy, streaming servers, WAP, mail servers, and a few ftp servers. Even after doing so many complex analysis, the results displayed by the AWStats are very fast and simple to understand.
AWStats can display:
- The number of visits including the number of unique visitors.
- The time duration of the visit and the last visit.
- The number of authenticated users, and their last authenticated visits.
- The days and the ‘rush hours’ (pages, hits, Kilobytes for each hour and day of the week).
- Domains and countries of visitors.
- Unresolved IP addresses.
- Files types visited.
- Most viewed, the entry, and the exit pages.
- The operating system used by the visitors and the browsers used to view the web pages.
- The detection of the visits by the robots.
- The worms attack.
- The search engines, the key-phrases, and the keywords that were used to find your website and its pages.
- HTTP errors detected,
- And many other data.
The above impressive list will give an idea of how extensive and powerful is the data produced by the AWStats. With such a powerful analytical tool at your disposal and the data that is freely available through it, you can easily perform various on-page, off-page, and SEO-related experiments to make your website very successful on the internet.
The other statistical tools available to you through the cPanel are:
The Webalizer is an extremely fast and free web server analytical tool. It can produce very detailed reports in the HTML format. Webalizer is a complex statistical tool. It produces variety of the web traffic related statistics charts and graphs.
Webalizer FTP is also a complex and highly technical stats tool that produces graphical information about the visitors to your website using FTP.
You can use the Subdomain Stats option on the cPanel to view statistics specifically for every subdomain of your website by using the Analog and the Webalizer tools.
This will show you the last 300 visitors who visited your website and also will display some additional information about these visitors.
This will show how many bytes your website account has transferred over the internet. Bandwidth can be defined as the amount of traffic allowed to take place between your website and the visitors.
The Error Log will display:
- Errors in your site
- Images not loading
- Missing files, etc.
The Error Log is very valuable for debugging CGI scripts.