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Who is on your site?

You have created the most spectacular web site on the
Internet that downloads in less than 2.3 seconds on a 9600-
baud modem (yes there are probably still a few of them out
there). You have set up your Meta Tags and registered all
your web pages with over 2000 search engines and indexes.
You must now have the most popular site on the Internet!

How popular is your site? How do you know how many people
are visiting it and just who are your visitors? How
effective are your marketing efforts? Which ads are working
and which are expensive flops? Has someone added a link to
your site that generates almost half your visitors? Why
does it work so well for you and what would happen if they
removed the link?

Promoting your site means marketing and half of marketing
is knowledge of who, what, where and why. The most basic
requirement when promoting your web site is access to a
good Web Site visitor analysis program. Without one you are
whistling in the dark. There would simply be no way to know
how well your site and your site promotion efforts are

Just about everyone has access to site analysis software.
If you are running a commercial site on a Windows NT or
Unix host or have your own server, you may find that your
system already includes access to a site analysis program.
The two most popular that I am aware of are Web Trends and
Analogue. The former is a commercial product that includes
excellent Visual Feedback. The latter is a freeware program
with access to most of the same information although you
may have to do a little of your own analysis to understand
the data.

If you are using a free site, a site hosted by your access
provider or a commercial site that does not include a daily
log file (why not?) then you can use one of several
excellent free site statistic programs. One that I am
familiar with is Site Meter available at . There are more. These free
analyzers work by including code (usually JavaScript) on
your web page and sending hit statistics to a database that
you can view at any time. They do not provide the detail of
a commercial program like Web Trends and are not completely
private but they are much better than no feedback at all.

The information you can gather with your analysis program
is extensive and can be invaluable in your promotion
effort. It will list the number of Hits, User Sessions,
Page Views, Referring Sites, Referring URL's, Most Accessed
Page, Least Accessed Page, Top Referring Search Engine,
Search Keywords, Search Phrases and much more. With a
little knowledge you can add codes to your links to get
even more feedback about your promotion efforts.

Next week I will interpret the information that you can
expect to find in you stats program. What is relevant? What
does it mean? How can you use it? And tricks to help you
get more feedback on your promotion efforts.

"IMS Web Tips" ISSN 1488-7088
© Copyright 2000 Virtual Mechanics

"IMS Web Tips" is a weekly news letter for all web site managers regardless of experience who are looking for detailed information on creating, maintaining and promoting their web sites.

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