How to Measure Site Traffic

by admin on June 2, 2006

Measuring site traffic month to month is a good way to track how your SEO/SEM efforts are working. But the question is, what to measure?

One of the simplest things to track is Pageviews, but unfortunately pageviews tend to count a lot of useless traffic, such as

  1. bots crawling for email addresses to spam
  2. bots crawling for content scraping to copy and use for scummy fake blogs for Adsense traffic
  3. people or bots looking at sites for link exchanges

Unfortunately, I suspect that this kind useless traffic is growing at a faster rate than actual traffic that is useful to your business, so pure pageviews can give you an inflated impression of your sites traffic levels.

The metric that I believe is most useful is monthly search engine referrals. I track the unique number of referrals from each of the major search engines. There are certainly flaws in this method, such as:

  1. See #3 above. This traffic will often originate from Search Engines (though at least it only counts as one referral hit)
  2. It discounts non-search engine traffic that could actually be worthwhile traffic, such as from other related websites or directories.

For lawyer web sites, you generally don’t get that much useful traffic from other sites or directories. But if there are some sites that do provide worthwhile visitors, you could always count those referrals in your own metric, along with the search engines.

That’s what I do, anyway. It can be a pain to have do dig through the logs of each individual site if you have a large number of site to manage, but I feel like it an important way to measure how the site is doing.

About Dave Matson

Dave Matson is the owner and operator of High Steppin' Searches. Dave Matson on g+

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