7 Ways To Understand Websites Traffic

Do you blindly get in your car (if that's what you drive) and drive the same time and direction every day to work no matter what? Do you find that due to accidents and the weather the traffic will change?

Today is school holidays so the roads are empty, you can lay in a little, or spend that extra 20 minutes with your family before you leave. It's raining heavy or snowing, do you leave a little earlier because the traffic will be heavier?

Internet traffic is the same, and you need to know how to read its changes and to be able to adapt with it. By adapting you keep your customers, which intern the customers results in sales. If you don't adapt them your competitors gets the traffic, which intern results in competitors sales.


Who are these visitors and where do they come from? Visitors are either humans or machines or should I say programs. The humans are potential customers, marketers or website professionals. The programs are called robots, and they search the web for listing to add to their search engines or spam email engines.

Hits vs Visitors

Hits are not visitors. A hit is every file that is downloaded from each page the visitor goes to. For instance you could have the menu and copyright in its own .php of .js file, and you have five images and a Facebook feed. That single page would show no less than 8 hits. The more the visitor moves around your website the more hits you have. While hits might sound good, only visitors can become actual sales.


A visitor will come to your website and go to the landing page, which is your index or home page. They then look at a product or two and then your contacts page. One visitor can give you five hits or just one, the landing page. A good website will attract the visitor to spend some time on the website, inviting them to view more pages. Just because a visitor doesn't spend time on your website it doesn't necessary mean your website is bad, it could just be not what they are looking for.

Time spent

Time spent is determined by how long a visitor spends on your website. It could be 10 seconds, which is just enough to assess what the site is about or 20 minutes, travelling from one page to another. If they read an article they spend more time and you build trust between them and yourself. That's why articles are good for higher time spent figures.

Coming from

Unless the customer has your website on email or business card (or such like) they will either have to search for it or find the link on someone else's website. It's always good to know where people are coming from. It lets you know what they searching for if from a search engine, and lets you know where you have a backlink (a link to your website on another website) and understand the mindset of the visitor. It also helps you decide if to stay with a paid website listing.

Looking for

Search engines are a great way to get those tag or key words from. When a visitor searches Google (or any others search engine) those search words are logged if and when they come to your website. If you have a pet store website and 80% of the search words are parrot then the word parrot needs to be featured or more prominent on your site, for it is bringing in your customers. It also lets you know what isn't bringing in traffic, letting you know where you need to make changes.


The overview is formulated from all the traffic log figures. Calculations and graphs are used to diagnose the website and tell if it's healthy or not, and where improvements or focus needs to be given.

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By Warren M. Walker - 26 September 2015

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