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IT Tips with Marcin Kulik - How to delve right into your website statistics

Last update - Thursday, December 15, 2011, 00:12 By Marcin Kulik

Last time I mentioned how important your website statistics are. Let’s have a look now at how to use them properly, beginning with the three standard values in web statistics: hits, unique visitors and page views.

‘Hits’ are the total number of requests for a files made by user on a website. That means if your home page consists of one HTML document, five images and one style sheet, each time a user visits the page for the first time it will result in seven hits.
As you can see, this does not translate into the number of actual people visiting your website.
‘Unique visitors’ refers to the total number of unique clients opening your website, whether users or search engine spider programmes. This is a more accurate indicator of how many unique users access your website.
‘Page views’ describes how many pages in total have been opened on your website. If a user visits the home page, the about page and the contact page, the statistics engine should calculate a total of three page views.
One of the most valuable pieces of information you can get using these values is the ‘stickiness’ measurement, which will in turn allow you to understand how ‘healthy’ your website is.
Stickiness is an indicator of how many pages each user views on average. For example, if your website has 50 pages, you should expect a ratio of 5-10 page views per visitor or more. If your online shop has over 100 items, you should expect an average 10-20 page views per visitor.
Simply divide total number of page views by the number of unique visitors, and the higher the number you get, the better.
A lower stickiness value, however, may suggest your website is not delivering content to your users’ expectations, and is serious indicator to review your website’s content, structure and accessibility.
More tips to come in the next edition of Metro Éireann..

Marcin Kulik is the owner of MK Design Studio, a creative web design agency based in Malahide Co Dublin.
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