Tracking Web Site Traffic

Here's a look at what advertisers look for in hits.
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What's a "hit?" Each Web page consists of a text page and the images on the page. Hits were once used to measure the text pages and images downloaded when someone visited a Web site. When someone went to the homepage of a Web site that contained six images, they generated seven hits: each image plus the text page. Never use "hits" to define your Web site traffic!

Advertisers want to pay for the number of times their banner ad is viewed by Web site visitors. They usually look for the following measurements:

  • Unique visitors. This is the most attractive number to advertisers and measures how many individual people visit your site within a month's time.
  • Unique visits. The number of times individuals visit your site. This number can count the 27 times a single visitor has returned to your site in the course of a single month.
  • Page impressions. The number of text pages downloaded in a month, never counting the images
  • Click throughs. The number of times your visitors click on a banner ad.

Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.

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