Earlier I wrote about website statistics. Today I’d like to bring some additional items to your attention.

Website Referrers

Website referrers are an interesting thing to look at. This is where you can discover how people are getting to your website. Here are some of the most common referrers to my Charles Dickens website:

  • www.google.com
  • search.yahoo.com
  • www.google.co.uk
  • www.google.com.au
  • search.msn.com
  • search.live.com
  • www.google.co.in

Note that in this case I’m getting a lot of refers from overseas search engines. This is a good reminder that the Dickens site has an international audience and the text should be written accordingly.

Google is at the top of the list. It’s the most popular search engine so I’d expect Google to be the top referrer.

Search Phrases

Another thing to look at on your web stats is the list of search phrases. Those are the words that people put into a search engine to find your site. Here’s a list of some top search phrases for my Charles Dickens site:

  • charles dickens quotes
  • charles dickens
  • Dickens quotes
  • great expectations quotes
  • charles dickens a christmas carol
  • Timeline of Charles Dickens life
  • a tale of two cities quotes

If you’ve tried to do well for certain key word phrases this is one way to check the effectiveness of your work. If you’re not seeing those key word phrases in your list it could be a sign that your need to take another crack at optimizing your website for those terms.

Another possibility is that the phrases you’ve chosen just aren’t as popular as you would hope. For example my favorite novel by Charles Dickens is Our Mutual Friend. Haven’t heard of it? It’s not a very popular work as shown by the search phrases here. So even if I tried to do well for the term “Our Mutual Friend” it wouldn’t get me much traffic.

Conclusion

One thing to keep in mind that there are many different website stats packages. It’s not uncommon for different statistics packages to give different stats for the same website during the same time period. What’s important is that you feel comfortable with your stats package. Do you understand the numbers it’s showing you? Is the information presented in a way that you can use? If the statistics package provided for you by your web host isn’t to your liking then there are third party solutions you can try. Hitslink and Google Analyitics are just a few of the options available to you.

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