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Chapter 51. Publishing and Managing Web ... > Secrets of the Office Masters: Under...

Secrets of the Office Masters: Understanding Site Statistics

Each time a user requests a document from a Web server, the Web server generates an entry in its log file. The log file contains a lot of useful information on how people use your Web site. You can analyze the log file to generate statistics for your Web site. For instance, from the log file data, you can learn the following:

  • See your Web site's activity growth rate—how many times the site was accessed during a specific time period. Show this information to upper management to request more funding.

  • Learn the busiest time of the day and the busiest day of the week for your Web site. See when users access your Web information the most, and learn when to schedule downtime to impact the least number of users.

  • Discover where users are when they access your Web site by their domain name. Are your users chiefly international or U.S. domestic? If you get a lot of international users, you may want to offer information in their language.

  • Learn where users come from to find your Web site—which page they are viewing when they click the link to go to your Web site. Use this to see which search engines are generating the most traffic to your Web site—maybe you could buy a banner ad there to generate even more traffic.

  • Find out which pages are most and least visited on your Web site. Use this information to understand which pages could be used to provide more effective navigation links to the unused areas.

  • Learn the pathways users take through your Web site. Discover the thread of pages the user takes from entry to exit. Use this information to improve links and perhaps understand why users come to your Web site and why they leave. Also learn which links are more effective than others.

  • Understand where users enter and leave your site. Perhaps you have a popular page that could be used for more links to other parts of your Web site, and maybe you have a boring page that needs improvement.

  • Learn which browsers your users are accessing, and which operating-system platform they use. You could use this information to confidently add new features to your Web documents that use browser-specific capabilities.



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