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Why hits just don't measure up

Throwback Article
Why hits just don't measure up

Way back in March '02 - eons ago - I was at the Naperville Business Expo. I met several interesting people, rapped with the small business community and hunted down those tasty finger foods.

It was a lot of fun. 

What I remember most vividly was my lengthy conversation with a Marketing manager outside her venue. She told me about her company's website, its new features and how hard her team worked to pull it all together. I was genuinely impressed. 

And then she hit me with it. 

She told me her website had over 84,000 hits and nearly knocked me over with enthusiasm. I was stunned! Not because her hit count was so strong, but because all that hard work deserves a better measurement system. 

We chatted a bit longer and in no time she was thinking about a better way to quantify her website traffic. 

Demystifying the term 'hits' - 

Let's take a look at where this term came from, what it really means to a website and why it's not so helpful. 

The term 'hits' can be traced back to tradeshow venues, the passing visitors (or traffic) and the interaction between both parties. To gauge a venue's daily progress, managers would refer to each visitor touch-point as a hit. These hits represented activities such as conversation with a prospective customer, handing out a brochure, taking a business card, collecting survey data, etc. 

Hits migrate to the Web - 

When analysis software was first developed, 'touch-point' counting was considered the best way to measure website traffic. Even though counting hits didn't actually count the number of eyeballs looking at an individual web page, the marketplace embraced the term and misused it.

Here's what a hit really is... 

Similar to tradeshow interaction -- including snacking on a venue's finger foods -- Internet users interact with web pages. Each time a file is requested from a Web server through a Web browser, one hit is registered. 

Likewise, when a single web page holding 9 graphic files is requested, the Web server records 10 hits. (One hit for the web page, 1 hit for each graphic.) 

Is an 84,000 hit count impressive? It could be. 

Contrary to popular belief, tracking hits is not the best way to count website visitors. The most accurate way is via page impressions, unique visitor sessions or cookies. If you can count visitors accurately, you're on your way to measuring website effectiveness. 

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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.

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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.

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Announcements

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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 >