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How to determine monthly website visitors

Throwback Article
How to determine monthly website visitors

It never fails. I'm truly amazed each time someone tells me they manage their website without reviewing log file reports. I've always wondered how someone could manage something without measurement.

Then it finally hit me, and it's such a simple explanation. 

No one ever told these marketing managers that website activity reports exist. Their hosting partner, or worse, their own IT department simply forgot to tell them about these "secret" reports. 

It sounds funny, but it's true. 

Well if the only interaction between you and your hosting vendor is a monthly invoice, don't worry. One simple phone call will change how you manage your website. 

If your website is hosted in-house or at corporate headquarters, contact your IT department. If you pay another business to host your website, give them a call. 

Tell them you want monthly traffic reports delivered to you each month. The most common report is produced with "WebTrends" software and it's run against the Web server's log files. Some Web hosts may charge an additional fee and others may not. Some deliver the report via email and others require you to access it through their website. 

During the discussion, be sure to tell them you need constant access to the reports. Regular analysis will help you make more informed decisions regarding website success rates and future modifications. If your Web host cannot accommodate your request, drop me a line at rcostello@WebSiteProfitDoctor.com and I'll recommend one who can (hint: us)

Once you have the report, look on the first page. Take note of the line item that reads "timeframe" or the area that shows the report's duration. The most common report timeframe is one month. 

Then look for the line item that reads "unique visits," or "unique visitors." That's how many people came to your website within the report period. If someone visits more than once, the report does not count the second time. (To track total visiting users, use "total visiting users" or "total visits.") 

Unfortunately, many reports don't measure unique visitors as accurately as we'd like. Instead, the number of unique visitors is calculated (actually estimated) by combining Web server requests from a single IP address. It's not 100% accurate because multiple users can share the same IP address within the report period. (An IP address identifies a temporary or permanent connection between your computer and the Internet.) 

Tip: Make sure the software used to generate the report filters out activity that originates from your static IP address. (That's if you have one - check with your IT department). If employees regularly visit your Web site, it will skew the report data comprised of prospects and customers. 

Ok, now you're part of our secret society. Want to take it to the next level? Learn how to measure website effectiveness or find out if your home page is hurting your business

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The Website Profit Doctors are a Chicago Area Website Help Company who can transform your “information only” website into a profitable customer acquisition tool.

Primary website help services
include: Website Improvements, Website Redesigns & Makeovers, Custom Website Development, Responsive Website Development, Google AdWords Advertising, Bing Ads Advertising, Google Analytics Set Up, Strategic Planning & Coaching, Competitive Intelligence & Research, Purchase Process Assessments, Lead Capture Assessments, Website Maintenance & Support Packages.

Primary website help products include: Small Business eCommerce Website, Small Business Blog Website, Small Business Website.

Blog information and opinions herein reflect the most accurate information at the time of publication and are subject to change. Readers are free to forward this article in its entirety, but may not sell, barter or leverage it for commercial profit or gain.

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Announcements

Announcement_Website Profit Doctors launch its new company website Website Profit Doctors launch its new company website

Our new fully responsive, multi-device compatible website is here.

Archives >

Customer Breakthroughs

Breakthrough_Google AdWords Management helps save company $500,000 in 1 year Google AdWords Management helps save company $500,000 in 1 year
After 1 year of routine campaign management, spending only 4 - 5 hours per month, we improved all metrics (average position, click through rate, cost per lead, and click conversion rate).

Archives >