Unique Visitors commonly a mis-understood topic in web stats/traffic discussion.
First off, unique visitors can be defined differently: by cookies, IP hosts, a combination of cookies and IP hosts, or by more stringent panel arrangements. Each option has strengths and weaknesses, but it is important to understand the method used when calculating a UV. For example: UV (cookies), UV (IPs), UV (panel), UV (advanced). For example at GoStats we use UV (advanced) since we look at both cookie and IP address data to make the best assumption on who is unique. When you are asking for or displaying stats, please keep in mind these differences.
Now, it becomes more complicated if you are looking for more than just daily traffic levels. Read more…
I just installed Google Chrome. I’ve only spent a few minutes with it, but here are my first impressions.
The browser is very clean and polished; much of the functions are hidden away and it has a Safari feel to it. (Chrome is based on Safari)
Here’s the Browser’s User-Agent ID when run from XP:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/0.2.149.27 Safari/525.13
The most interesting feature with Google Chrome is the “Task Manager” which pin points the memory and CPU usage from your open tabs/pages and RTE/plug-ins.
The web browser race is getting interesting.
More to come.
Let’s break into a better understanding of these two similar yet importantly different metrics:
Unique Visitors & IP Hosts.
In a general sense, a unique visitor is an actual person sitting at their computer reading your site. This metric counts the number of these people for the entire day. If any one person visits more than once during the day, this person is only consider one (1) unique visitor. This is obviously used to determine how many real people have visited your site during the day and it doesn’t duplicate because of return visits.
The “IP Host” while similar to “Unique Visitors”, will only use the IP address details of the host computer/network. Since multiple people can share the same computer or network, this metric will lump them into one single “IP Host”. Why is this metric important? Think about two things: first – diversity of traffic, how widespread is your audience regardless of whether they are in the same city, are these people closely connected or work at the same office? The IP Hosts feature helps when comparing traffic data for reach and validity. Secondly – because of the nature of this data, IP Hosts are critically important for helping to prevent false/fake traffic from skewing the real results.
-IP Hosts is best used a a check to ensure that your traffic is relatively healthy.
-Unique Visitors gives you the best measure of your site’s audience size.
Don’t take for granted that your stats are installed and configured properly. Make sure that your code is installed once on all pages. Common errors include:
-installing only on the homepage
-copying partially broken or fully broken code to less used pages
-referencing the code to your PC (so it will only work for you) - double check by asking a friend of yours to try loading some specific pages - see if they show up in your stats.
-other miscelaneous HTML errors which may break the rest of your site – check if you site is w3c valid.
-made updates to your site and you may have lost your code
Aside from the obvious tracking errors, there are some other considerations you should pay very close attention to:
-Are you using the simple or standard HTML code? If your editing environment can support the standard code, you should use it! It is far superior to the simple HTML version of the code.
-Are you lumping multiple sites together in the same site profile? You may find that creating seperate site profiles will give you a much clearer picture on the nature of each site. You will also find management of these multuiple profiles to be much easier with future GoStats features.
-Do you want your stats private or public? Double check the status and make sure that it is set to your liking/comfort.
Don’t assume the above are the only possible problems you can have. Think further about other issues which are related to the uniqueness of your own site.
Reports of unique visitors are not all the same; the key determinant is over what period they are considered “Unique”.
For example, unique visitors per month is not calculated by adding the totals of unique visitors for each day. This can cause double counting, here’s an example of why:
-day 1 Jane, Mike, Steve (3)
-day 2 Baxter, Lewis, Rachel, Mo (4)
-day 3 Jane, Baxter, Steve (3)
-day 4 – 30 no traffic
-day 31 – Miguel, Sara, Steve, Mo (4)
The sum total of all days is 14. However, the true monthly “Absolute” unique value is 9 since the following people should not be counted multiple times for the month: (Jane, Steve, Mo, Baxter)
Remember to check the “Return Visitors” section of your GoStats report for the true number of “Absolute Unique monthly Visitors”. Keep in mind that normally people quote the sum total of each day as their monthly unique value – you may want to correct them.
In an ever increasing on-demand world, having a site load very quickly is important. People, customers, employees, yourself, and even today’s search engines put a lot of importance into a quick loading page.
Take a look for a moment at your existing web stats tracking technologies. Some of you may be using a web log analyzer, some may be using a full featured tracker like GoStats, perhaps you’re using both? In any case, pay careful attention to your web log analyzer setup and be sure that you aren’t wasting resources:
-don’t have your web log analyzer processing during peak hours of your site
-be careful that your web log system does not process too much or undeeded data. These analyzers are good for hunting bots and catching errors, but not everything. If you have a web stats tracker like GoStats already installed, then you can reduce much of the work done on your server.
-update your software often – keep your logs rotated – patch any security holes quickly. If you have a web analyzer installed, budget some time to maintaining that installation. As you are using GoStats, we take care of that for you.
The team here at GoStats has been busy putting together a ton of new features – we encourage you to try them out and give us your feedback:
-New chart controls (It’s likely that you’ve already noticed these)
-Some quick summary and random features in your summary report.
-Much improved graphs and charts.
-Clicks report = you must update your counter code to enable tracking for this feature.
-Enhancement to the Visitors Map feature as well as a new regions report
-A stunningly powerful new “Last Guests” engine.
-A special control overlay for Pro Accounts (use CTRL+X to activate) = you must update your HTML code.
-Awesome new web counter faces and an improved interface for customization
-Overall improved accuracy, usability and speed.
Keep your eyes open for some further enhancements coming very soon.
-The GoStats team
Some new and exciting features have been introduced to GoStats.com!
Want to view your stat changes over time?
You can now view stats in a variety of ways including:
- Last time you viewed your stats
- Previous Day’s Stats
- Stats from the beginning of the Week, Month or Year
- Stats from a specified date
The delta represents the change from the time A to time B. So if you had 30 hits on your site yesterday and 75 hits on your site today, then your delta is up 45 hits or 60%!
To view this new feature, login to your GoStats.com account and check it out under site stats!
Do you prefer graphical data or charts?
Stats can now be viewed in either Linear Graph form or Text (Bar Chart) form.
On each graph/chart stats for hits, sessions, visitors and hosts can be viewed together or separately
Check this feature out here for the GoStats.com site.
Where your visitors are from – more than a map
Another cool new feature is the Visitors on Map option, located under “Visitors”. This option allows a visual representation of where on Earth people who visit your site are from. It’s not perfect yet, but its a great way to see how your site reaches people around the world!
To see where the people who visit GoStats.com are from visit here.
These are just some of the new features that make GoStats.com the best web stat counter out there!
GoStats.com recently launched its Vietnamese website.
Check out GoStats.vn to see this new version of GoStats.com.
Special thanks to the guys in Vietnam for helping launch the site before Tết!
This is just a quick reminder that GoStats now offers multiple sites within the same login. All of the counters for your sites can be adminsitered from the same login. If you are only tracking one site or if you track many sites, it’s probably a good time to consolidate all your tracker accounts into one single login. It may be a time consuming process at first, but I’m sure you will find some great benefits with new features added in the near future. Stay tuned!