Friday, December 8, 2006

Hits and Visits - What do you want?

Do you understand your tracking reports?

Do you want hits? Do you want visitors? Once you get the visitors, do they stay on your site or just generate one page view and leave? Does your tracking reports accurately show you that information?

When you visited this page, you generated 1 site visit to this page, you show up as 1 Unique Visitor (UU) in the Traffic Log File. You generated 1 page view in the traffic log file. If you see the 7 images below, you generated 7 hits on the server just for those images, add all the images in the header, the page itself, and you will probably get over 20 hits just for this one page view.

If you come back to this page at a later date, you will probably show up as a repeat visitor, unless you are using a dyamic IP address like those used by the dial-up service America Online, then I will probably incorrectly assume you to be a Unique Visitor. With special software I can drop a cookie on your site and then I would be able to tell if you had been here before.

Depending on how you have your browser set-up, you may or may not generate the additional 20 plus hits on a repeat visit, if all of these images are in your temporary Internet Folder when you come back, the 7 images below may not need to be reloaded from the server, thus I would not see the additional hits logged to the traffic log.

Now the next time, your webmaster says you are really getting the hits, ask him how many visitors you are getting.

hit hit hit hit hit hit hit

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