Are you measuring traffic at your website
When reviewing your website logs, you need to understand Hits and Pages. This understanding will give you an accurate picture of how much traffic a web page or website in general, are attracting. My website hosting company is running Webalizer and logs Hits and Pages, among other factors. In this example, I will show how a web server records one visit with three hits while delivering one page.
A Hit is a file that you or your web browser requests. In the following example, we will see that a single page request actually generates three hits because it pulls the main page and two graphics that are part of the page (in your web browser).
A Page is the request that your computer makes. If you want to visit index.html, that is a single page request. It will appear in the server logs as one page request.
Suppose you visit a web page named index.html, which is an HTML web page that contains two graphic images, picture1.jpg, and picture2.jpg. A typical server/browser interaction might go something like this:
- Your web browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) asks for the web page index.html.
- The server sees the request and sends back index.html.
- Your web browser finds two inline graphic links in the HTML page. It asks for the first one, picture1.jpg.
- The server sees the request and sends back picture1.jpg.
- Your web browser then asks for the second image, picture2.jpg.
- The server sees the request and sends back picture2.jpg.
- Your browser displays the web page and all included graphics.
Maybe you’ve seen this progression. If you have ever visited a website on a slow connection, perhaps you’ve seen the page border and text without graphics. Then you wait a few seconds and the graphics eventually appear. That’s because your web browser is grabbing all the parts of the page while you watch. It’s pretty fast, but it is not instant. A lot of work happens behind the scenes before you see a complete page.
In the website log, the following lines would appear:
126.96.36.199- – [8/May/2012:11:20:39 -0400] “GET /index.html HTTP/1.1” 200 117
188.8.131.52- – [8/May/2012:11:20:40 -0400] “GET /picture1.jpg HTTP/1.1” 200 231
184.108.40.206- – [8/May/2012:11:20:41 -0400] “GET /picture2.jpg HTTP/1.1” 200 432
The log shows very valuable information here. We see that the traffic originated at 220.127.116.11, which is a visitor’s public IP address. The visitor requested the page index.html and any linked files within index.html. This counts as one page request but three hits. Remember, the server is offering index.html, picture1.jpg and picture2.jpg. Three files are sent in response to your single page request. If this is the only time the visitor requests your page within 30 minutes, this will count as one visit. If he requests your page again an hour later or a day later, it will count as another visit.
When you review your web server logs, make sure you remember the difference between Visits, Hits and Pages. This can help you get an accurate reading of how much traffic your web page and site, in general, are attracting. If you hired an SEO company, make sure they are monitoring this. A good SEO company will send you this upon request.
Who wrote this?
Mark Anthony Germanos is inbound marketing certified by @Hubspot.. He uses WordPress websites and web tools to help you get more business. Mark is the Social Media Director at YourSEOWizard.com, the Sacramento SEO company that listens to you. They offer SEO, website and social media solutions that improve your online image. Inbound marketing attracts your ideal customers to you. It won’t happen overnight. Good things do take time.
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