Saturday, January 26, 2013

One million Hits!

That’s What Everybody Would Like to Get on Their Web Site…

Well, not really. Hits are not a good way of measuring the usage of a Website, but are often mentioned in conversation about Web site traffic or popularity.
Hits are the most misleading stat of them all.(1) Every time a user reaches a web site, each file downloaded by the browser is counted as one hit. 20 images in the web page plus the html file equals 21 files or hits. If we get 50K users accessing our web site, we’re talking about one million+ hits! 

OK, I get it. But, how do I measure activity on my site?  

It takes a simple change in our mentality. Instead of talking about hits, we’re going to talk about visits and pageviews. 
Each visitor reaching our website leaves a footprint and it’s our mission to find out what’s in that footprint. The behavior of our visitors will tell us more, than simply tracking how many hits or visits we got in a defined period. Software like Google Analytics and Adobe’s Site Catalyst, provide useful information when it comes to track user behavior.

Human vs. Non-humans

There are two types of Web visitors; humans and non-humans. 
Humans use Web browsers to access the internet. Non-humans use scripts, known as Web crawlers, bots or spiders. These scripts are used widely to index and extract information from web pages all over the internet. The problem with these scripts is that they can do bad things to our web sites. Some of these non-human visitors can actually steal code and valuable information from our sites like personal information, emails, addresses and phone numbers; but not all of them are bad. As I mentioned before, these scripts index web sites, providing useful information for future users when performing an online search.


A pageview is a record of each time a visitor views a Web page on your site. This is the foundation to track user behavior in your Web site.(2) Pageviews reveal how popular certain pages or sections of the Web site are. Some hosting companies already provide software that tracks user behavior and pageviews. 

Make it look good

Often overlooked or with too many animations, some Web pages can be pleasant to our brains or nasty eyesores. Keeping our sites clean and organized will attract users, therefore increasing pageviews. Joel Diamond, mentions in his blog how the importance of creating great Web sites or giving our current ones a makeover can make a huge difference in our pageviews and stats. 

We talked about the difference between hits and pageviews. We also cover how the different visitors we get everyday impact our sites and statistics. And finally, we talked about making our sites look good. 

One million pageviews, instead of hits; that’s what we really want from our sites!