In the early days on the Internet website traffic was measured in “hits”. It was never an accurate guide to the number of visitors to your website but it took off anyway.
Over time many of us in the biz have tried to educate people about the correct terms to use (page views, visitors, unique visitors and so forth) with varying success. And it’s always frustrating when you hear someone refer to “hits” as you know just how much education is going to be required. So it was with great joy that I read the following quote in Lance Loveday and Sandra Niehaus’s fantastic book Web Design For ROI:
If your standard answer includes the words “hits” please take a moment to close this book and whack yourself in the head with it. There. Now remember that every time you’re tempted to use that term again. It’s an open secret in the web design community that anyone who uses the word “hits” in reference to their website most likely has no idea what they are talking about. Just don’t tell anyone we told you.”
Hehe. Seriously though analysing your website traffic is a vital part of running your online business. It can take a bit to get a handle on but is well worth doing. Here are some resources to get you started:
Web Analytics Demystified – by Eric Peterson
Google Analytics – probably the best free web analytics program around.
Measuring Your Web Site – great forum threads from Cre8asite.
Hurol Inan – web analytics guru.
Web Design For ROI – get the book.