Hits, Visits, Conversions and other Stuff!
Recently someone was telling me that they had 500 hits per day on their web site - and they were so excited! Unfortunately it was their understanding that HITS were visits. Many people have trouble understanding the difference - or the explanation they get is as 'clear as mud'!
This is important information to know if you have a web site so let me explain what each of these really are!
When we 'go to' a website - we really do not go anywhere - but your browser (internet explorer, firefox and others) sends a request to the internet - finds the page - and it is actually downloaded to your computer to view.
If the page is only text - it would show 1 hit. If the page has a picture on it - it would also be a 'hit'. So technically if you had 24 pictures and text on the page - when someone requested it and it was downloaded to their computer - it would be 25 hits. If a person then linked through to another page with five pictures and text another 6 'hits' would be recorded. So their visit may represent (at this point) 125 hits.
Additionally - everytime GOOGLE or other search engines crawls your site - it also registers 'hits'. So one person's visit to your web site could register as many as a 100 hits. This means that 500 hits may mean only 5 visits. (which is still better than only one!)
A visit is a visit! And this is good news! When you check your web stats - you get to decide how many 'visits' are good. For some people 10 visits a day is good - especially if they get several orders from those visits. For others 100 visits a day is normal - it all depends on your type of business and your marketing efforts. You can use your visits to measure your ROI for your marketing.
This is the MAGIC word! Conversion is all about converting visitors into purchasers! If you take your sales and divide it into your visits you will see what your conversion rate is. A web site whose 'copy' is written well - will convert more often than a site whose copy does not have the elements needed to get people to buy!
The question is....
How many hits are a good number? We had several months of 1.5 million hits - but the visitor rate was 12,000 per month. So really hits say less about traffic than the visitors. When looking at your web stats - check to see how many people are visiting a day.
There are other measurements that are also important. Number of pages viewed or average page views per visitor, average time spent on the site per visit, top exit pages and referring pages or sites. Most of them are self explanatory - but many business owners NEVER check their web stats. This is unfortunate because sometimes a few small changes can increase your conversion rate or help you to see where and when visitors are leaving.
Understanding web jargon is an art in itself. (Get more info on web jargon here) But when you do learn a new term it can clear up some of the confusion about your site and how it operates - and what changes might be needed.
Wouldn't it be nice to say to a potential advertiser, "We get 12,000 visits a month, mostly from North America. The average stay on the site is 5 minutes and the most visited page is xxxxxx page. Knowing and understanding how to read these kind of statistics can actually earn you income!
For many of us understanding web jargon is not tops on our list of things to do - mostly because very few people who understand the jargon ever explain it in terms the regular Joe can understand. Because of this - we recommend you download this free report to have on hand to help you understand the thing you may need to know now or in the future - explained in a way that you can understand!