Let’s break into a better understanding of these two similar yet importantly different metrics:
Unique VisitorsÂ & IP Hosts.
In a general sense, a unique visitor is an actual person sitting at their computer reading your site. Â This metric counts the number of these people for the entire day. Â If any one person visits more than once during the day, this person is only consider one (1) unique visitor. Â 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. Â Since multiple people can share the same computerÂ or network, this metric will lump them into one single “IP Host”. Â Why is this metric important? Â 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? Â The IP Hosts feature helps when comparing traffic data for reach and validity. Â 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 HostsÂ isÂ bestÂ usedÂ aÂ aÂ checkÂ toÂ ensureÂ thatÂ yourÂ trafficÂ isÂ relativelyÂ 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. Â Make sure that your code is installed onceÂ on all pages.Â Â CommonÂ errorsÂ include:
-installing only on the homepage
-copying partially broken or fully broken code to less used pages
-referencing theÂ codeÂ toÂ yourÂ PCÂ (soÂ itÂ willÂ onlyÂ workÂ forÂ you)Â -Â doubleÂ checkÂ byÂ askingÂ aÂ friendÂ ofÂ yoursÂ toÂ tryÂ loadingÂ someÂ specificÂ pagesÂ -Â seeÂ ifÂ theyÂ showÂ upÂ inÂ yourÂ 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? Â If your editing environment can support the standard code, you should use it! Â It is far superior to the simple HTML version of the code.
-Are you lumping multiple sites together in the same site profile? Â You may find that creating seperate site profiles will give you a much clearer picture on the nature of each site.Â Â YouÂ willÂ alsoÂ findÂ managementÂ ofÂ theseÂ multuipleÂ profilesÂ toÂ beÂ muchÂ easierÂ withÂ futureÂ GoStatsÂ features.
-Do you want your stats private or public? Â 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. Â 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.Â 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.Â However, the true monthly “Absolute” uniqueÂ 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”.Â 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. Â 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. Â 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? Â 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. Â These analyzers are good for hunting bots and catching errors,Â butÂ notÂ 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. Â If you have a web analyzer installed, budget some time to maintaining thatÂ installation.Â Â AsÂ youÂ areÂ usingÂ GoStats,Â weÂ takeÂ careÂ ofÂ thatÂ forÂ 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