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Piwik Web Analytics

You created your website for a reason, probably to promote your business. Managing your website can increase the number of visitors, maximize conversions and otherwise boost your business. To manage your website knowing who, when, and why visitors come will require gathering and understanding basic statistics about your website usage.

Gathering data about the usage of your website can be done on either the server side or the client side. Server side statistics can tell you how many times a specific page has been served, and when. Client side analytics can tell ou the order in which pages are accessed and the amount of time spent on each.

Server Side Statistics

The Webalizer at http://www.webalizer.org/

AWStats web statistics at http://awstats.sourceforge.net/

Webalyzer and AWStats are two popular server side packages. Both are capable of telling you the previous web page a visitor came from, as well as any search string they may have used on a search engine such as Google or Bing. Server side statistics identify every time a page is served, but do not distinguish between pages served to human users or internet spiders, programs roaming the internet.

Client Side Analytics

piwik at http://piwik.org/

Google Analytics at http://www.google.com/analytics/

Piwik is an open source web analytics platform. Although similar to Google Analytics, Piwik allows you to avoid sharing knowledge about the usage of your website with third party marketers. Piwik allows you to track the number and times of visitors, conversions, downloads, pages and times visited.

Client side analytics make use of javascript, a computer language that web browsers understand and use. Although most human visitors use web browsers and javascript, web spiders do not. It is this use of javascript that allows client side analytics to avoid including web spiders in their data, and concentrate on the use of your website by human visitors.

Considered use of web analytics allows you to understand your website users with greater precision. You can know what platform: desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone your visitors use, their physical location, entry and exit pages and much more. With this knowledge you can both better target users and provide them with more of what they are looking for. /p

Set better, more attainable goals and meet them. Identify those sections of your website that perform poorly and improve them. As you better understand the use patterns of your website you can tailor the site to better achieve the goals you have for the site.

Use Analytics to Set and Achieve Goals

You should develop specific goals for every page on your website. Those goals might include ecommerce sales, increasing traffic, filling out an online form, turning casual visitors into registered users. Each of these goals is measurable and therefore attainable. When you make good use of analytics you will be better able to set goals and determine how well your site is attaining those goals.

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