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How to Make Sense of Website Statistics

For those of you into integers, marveled by metrics, driven by data (or now, annoyed by alliteration), your Website statistics are virtual goldmines of insight…if you know what to look for.

If you haven’t yet spent time looking at your Website statistics, ask your Website host for access. Etna Interactive clients can email support@etnainteractive.com to request the link to their stats. LiveStats.XSP is included at no cost to our clients; we’ve included notes below on how to access your data in LiveStats.

Here are 8 things you should consider when taking the digital dive into your online metrics.

  1. Hits Are Not the Same As Visits.
    There is an important, and often overlooked, difference between Hits and Visits. Hits count the number of times files are requested from the Web server. A single visitor usually browses more than one page, and each page usually makes several file requests from the Web server. It’s common for a single visit to result in 20 or more hits. Basically, hits are a meaningless metric, while visits are an important measure of activity at your site.
    In LiveStats, click “Traffic & Activity” and select the “Visits” report.
  2. Entry Pages Indicate Search Marketing Success.
    Contrary to common belief, the home page is not always the page where visitors enter your site. Since home pages are rarely rich in text, most search engines deliver visitors to the optimized pages deep within your site. The top entry pages are typically the best optimized pages of your site that can serve as models for your other pages. They are also key indicators of visitor interest.
    In LiveStats, click “Pages & Content” and select the “Entry Pages” report.
  3. Exit Pages Can Indicate Problems.
    The last page a person views when visiting a site is called an “exit page.” While some visitors leave your site when their search is satisfied, the top exit pages are likely deficient in some way and should be examined carefully and enhanced.
    In LiveStats, click “Pages & Content” and select the “Exit Pages” report.
  4. Most Requested Pages Are Most Valuable.
    The most requested pages of your site can tell you what your potential patients want most online. They also can be leveraged to put your most important messaging in front of those visitors.
    In LiveStats, click “Pages & Content” and select the “Pages” report.
  5. Single Access Pages Indicate Big Problems.
    When browsing the Web, how many times have you clicked on a search listing, been disappointed by the resulting page, and immediately backed out? These “single access pages” are getting found, but are not satisfying searcher expectations. It is essential to revise these pages and keep checking on them until they drop off the top of the single access page list.
    In LiveStats, click “Pages & Content” and select the “Pages Viewed Once” report.
  6. Watch “Referring Domains” and “Referring Search Engines” For Valuable Trends
    Visitors to your site often will find you through a “referral” site – usually another Website (like a surgeon directory) or a search engine. A report on referring Website domains indicates the number of visitors delivered from any number of other Websites. Use this report to track the volume and variation of visitor referrals from your paid online advertising. Referring search engines reports track trends in visitor referrals from search engines and will indicate changes in your overall search engine positioning.
    In LiveStats, click “Referrals” and select the “Referring Domains” or “Search Engines” reports.
  7. Learn Which Search Terms Deliver Visitors With the “Referring Phrases” Report.
    Track the phrases used by searchers to find your site on the “Referring Phrases” report. The results can be startling and revealing, and should be used to spot both opportunities for promotion and deficiencies in search engine marketing (suggested by the absence of phrases).
    In LiveStats, click “Referrals” and select the “Search Phrases” report.
  8. No Web Stats Are Perfect.
    Web stats are best used to track trends over time. Many of the technologies used to make the Web perform faster for home users can affect the accuracy of Web activity logs. So take your numbers with a grain of salt.

Etna Interactive clients can rest easy knowing that your stats are routinely examined for business insight, and are key in developing your online strategy. Want to know more about Website statistics? Call 866-374-3762 or email us.


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