Stats for web pages can seem like something that is useless when you first start blogging, or creating your own website, but they can be useful. Stats can provide you a lot of information about your users, some that you may not even know about. Yes, stats won’t tell you if your visitors have brown or blond hair, if they wear glasses or contacts or neither, but they can provide you with a lot of other important information. So why should you even track the stats on your website?
Tracking stats on your website can be very important, and if you are making money from the site they can make you more profitable. If you know your audience you can create a better experience for them. Large media organizations pay lots of money just to find out stats for the service they provide so that they can provide better content for their audience. Lets look at some stats you should pay attention to when following your visitors.
Understanding what web browsers your visitors are using is very important. This helps you know what browsers you should test your site with. Making your site appealing to look at is just as important as the content on the page. If your visitors are using Firefox, then most of your design choices should be geared toward Firefox. Also it can save you time. Since you know that you have a lot of users visiting your site with Firefox, you don’t want to waste your time by testing your site with Links.
This is a stat that is over looked most of the time, and it can really effect how your site looks to a user. If you are designing your site for someone with a 1024 by 800 screen resolution, and someone with a much higher resolution comes to the site, then the site may look to small. Getting an idea of a middle ground would be great, especially when you are “theming” your site. You may create/find a theme that you like, but if it isn’t designed for multiple resolutions (or at least the most common on your site) it could cause users to actually avoid your site.
Time of Day
This is another stat that is overlooked. If you know when users are coming to your site, then you can give yourself a deadline on when to get new content up. If you know that your site has the most visitors between five PM and eight PM server time, then you should try to update your content before that time. By getting your content up before those “deadlines” you can actually make browsing your site much more enjoyable. You don’t want to be making large changes on your site during those times, you don’t want to have software scheduled to run (like a cron job), or do site maintenance during these periods. Even though you may not hear it from your users, they will thank you since you are not slowing them down as they browse your site.
The location of your users is another stat that you should pay attention to. This is very important if you are reporting news, or similar regional based information. If you don’t have a lot of people from the USA, then covering Thanksgiving sales or news about Thanksgiving sales, won’t appeal to people located in Germany.
Pages Being Visited
Being able to tell what topics each user is visiting is a very important stat. It tells you what your visitors deem important, or at least what they like to read about. It also allows you to control your content based around those topics. If you know that content based on Google’s Android isn’t doing well, then you can redirect most of your resources to other content.
This can sort of tie into the area as keeping track of what pages are being visited. If you know what keywords that people are searching for to get to your site, you can use that to help come up with ideas for the content on your site.
All of the areas above are important, but aren’t the only ones that you should focus on. They are just ones that can help keep a user base who keep visiting your site, and help make it grow. Stats provide us with vital information. That information lets you determine the pulse of your site.