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What Do You Use To Track Statistics?

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18 replies to this topic

#1 RisaBB


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Posted 03 August 2003 - 11:04 AM


In another thread, Scottie suggested AW stats. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. I don't want anything too expensive, and not too complicated to set-up.

Do you charge clients for these reports?



#2 Jill


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Posted 03 August 2003 - 02:06 PM

Check with your server/host. Most of them come with a stats package for free! If you have a control panel for your domain, you will find lots of goodies that are included.


#3 peter_d


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Posted 03 August 2003 - 04:13 PM

Take a step back, RisaBB, and ask yourself what it is you want to know. Make a list of the type of information you require then evaluate products on that basis.
For example, do you want to measure ROI? Do you simply want a graph of visitor numbers?

#4 Tawnya


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Posted 03 August 2003 - 04:18 PM

For a few years now, I have used AXS by Fluid Dynamics for tracking and find it gives me info I am looking for although it can be time consuming cleaning out logged files on a daily basis plus slows down your site if you forget to clean it out. It is shareware and runs cgi.


#5 RisaBB


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Posted 03 August 2003 - 07:17 PM


This is what I think I want to know:

- How many visitors/ day
- How they linked to the site (referrers)
- keywords used in search engines to find site
- Maybe ROI. I'm not sure if I'll be trying any PPC's, but I'd like to try Google's AdWords.

This is what I think I want to know, but I feel so new to this, that I don't know all the statistics out there to even know what I want to know.

I'll look into what the server offers re: statistics, but I know the statistics on my server are difficult to understand and sometimes doesn't seem accurate re: referrers.

Just a little background - my client is an elder law attorney with commercials on TV, radio, he's written books... Now he really wants his website to rank higher in SE's but doesn't want to pay a SEO consultant. He'd like to give me a shot and is putting on the pressure to do something. I'm working on re-writing the site with keyword phrases, but for his and my sake, I want to track the statistics.

Thanks for any advice.

Edited by RisaBB, 03 August 2003 - 07:46 PM.

#6 qwerty


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Posted 03 August 2003 - 07:33 PM

You might want to look into SmarterStats. I've been trying it out for the last month or so. It doesn't allow you to drill down into the data the way the expensive apps do, and it only allows you to track one domain, but it's free. Their support is very good too. I had some trouble setting it up, and after a couple of emails, one of their people called me and walked me through the process.

#7 mcanerin


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Posted 03 August 2003 - 09:34 PM

I posted this in another forum, but it's more on topic here. So here's a cut and paste. Moderator, feel free to decide how to best deal with it :D


I've been using Analog for some time now and it's fairly simple (and FREE!). They bill themselves as the worlds most popular log anayzer.

I like the fact it's very customizable, and you can download the logs to your own computer then run it (useful if your client isn't hosted by you). A lot (actually most) log analyzers do this but it's a "must have" feature if you want to do this for a living and are not just a one client SEO. Don't get an analyzer that doesnt do it, IMHO.

The only gotcha is that in the spirit of most open source software, it can be hard to get up and running if scripts scare you, and it's power comes from the fact that it's so customizable it can get confusing. Works on IIS and Apache, windows and *nix.

They have great user based support and lots of plugins, templates, etc. If you like to tinker and customize it's great, but if you like fire and forget, forget it

I offer my clients ongoing monthly reports (for a small monthly fee) that include stats and SE positioning. Popular with information junkies, and any source of regular income (no matter how small) is good for poor starving SEO's like myself...


#8 viz


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Posted 03 August 2003 - 11:30 PM

RisaBB - my experience is that the traffic stats services provided free by most hosts are pretty clunky & are padded out with a lot of low value data you'll get minimal marketing info from.

Suggest the easiest approach to what you want is simply using a hosted traffic tracking service. In my answer to your other post I mentioned Hitslink as one option which also has a freebie version.

This is just one option - there are plenty out there to choose from.

#9 peter_d


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Posted 04 August 2003 - 12:00 AM

- How many visitors/ day
- How they linked to the site (referrers)
- keywords used in search engines to find site

Most stats packages will give you this.

For ease of use, go with a server based option. If your own host offers a poor solution, back-up and find a host that offers something better. A reputable host should have a try-before-you buy option. For example, www.MySiteSpace.com currently offers simple, effective server based reporting in the form of Analog and Webalizer.

ROI - the best tools can be a little pricey - I really like Clicktracks. If you're not sure wether you need to be tracking ROI, then hold off until you're sure.

BTW - ROI goes beyond PPC - you can calculate ROI on any form of traffic.

#10 jchris


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Posted 07 August 2003 - 04:45 AM


I use FastStats Analyzer since a couple of years. It does its work fast and is not very expensive. For just log analyzing I am satisfied. You find the product at FastStats

Log analyzing is a basic method for getting a small piece of the puzzle. Of course we shall use it. It has a lot of limitations though. I really recommend to read a good book on the subject before making any larger investment. I liked "Practical Web Traffic Analysis" from Glasshaus.

We are running an asp driven dynamic site, have frames (that we now are removing) so we have to do some tricks to understand the results. It really has to do with what a log is, and with not the software. Some pages we track by tracking a unique picture on that page. Some pages, where we present documents from our support bank of 700 docs, we track by a one pix picture with the documents index number as its name.

On the whole I believe that all statistics from web traffic logs are very unreliable due to cacheproblems and other unknown factors. It is also only possible to compare with your own earlier logs and that will give you a (very) rough estimation of visitors, referrals and others. If you think your visitors behave consistently over time you can assume the size of changes in traffic.

Depending on your business there might be other things that are more important for the site owner. I have a good understanding of the traffic developement on our site, and also over typical user behaviors (I think :aloha: ) but the sales and market department have not yet understood what a conversion rate stands for on the web, how they should measure it and so forth. The web is young and people tend to see it like a technical thing. I think we shall try hard to make everybody understand that it is business as usual, only through a new channel.
When that happens we will probably move to Web Trends or some other product that generates its own logs of *actual* traffic and behaviour. They come at a high price, though.


#11 nuthin


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Posted 07 August 2003 - 05:29 AM

i host websites with Cpanel 7.0
the stats that come in the Cpanel control panel are:

AWstats - http://awstats.sourceforge.net/
Webalizer - http://www.mrunix.net/webalizer/
+ analog i think, however dont particulary use that one.

I would suggest, getting a host with a similar control panel.

Cpanel is very user friendly and you would love it.
Other great hosting control panels for linux based web servers are Plesk and H-sphere.

Also i hear good things about Urchin stats.

hope this helps.


#12 Matt B

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 07:34 AM

FWIW, the author of Analog helped to create ClickTracks.

We use a combinations of Webtrends stats and Clicktracks for extended anlaysis. You can track your PPC with the new version of Clicktracks, which is a nice feature.

The best advice I can tell you is to decide what a conversion will be and your goals from the site. Emails, leads, phone calls, etc. The best indicator will simply be people contacting you from the site. Just by observation, you should be able to measure if it is worth it or not from the first couple of weeks/months. If it looks to be something that can grow with measurement and analysis, then make the move to a measurement program.

#13 Marc


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Posted 12 August 2003 - 01:30 PM

I've been using Funnel Web Analyzer for tracking, basically you can setup the application to pick up your log files automatically and also set up filters (ie..dont track my ip address etc..) so far I have no complaints, an awesome product. I was about to purchase it for corporate use and found that the company Quest Software is no longer going any further with the features, it's now FREEWARE which is always nice :D the sales people are now basically attaching other modules to the enterprise version of it (I've tried the others and their right on the money).

here's the link:
Quest Software - Funnel Web Analyzer

btw..the application is client..not server, so you dont have to worry about server resources.

Take Care!

#14 kmtell


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Posted 12 August 2003 - 03:38 PM

We've been using Urchin. I don't know how much it cost since it was in place before I got here. But, knowing my company, it is probably quite cheap (if not free with our host). Since this is my first/only webmaster gig, I don't know how it compares to other products. But, it clearly shows visitors, keywords used, referrers, and domains of those who visited (among some other features that I rarely use).

#15 Haystack


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Posted 12 August 2003 - 04:31 PM

But, it clearly shows visitors, keywords used, referrers, and domains of those who visited (among some other features that I rarely use).

Hi kmtell, that is definitely good information to get a feel for whether anyone is looking at your site and where they're coming from. However, if you want to turn things up a notch, there are some affordable programs that can tell you a lot about the people who converted in some way on your web site. For example, you can see what search terms people are using who end up filling out your contact form (generating a lead) or whether prospects are contacting you on their first visit or not.

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