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So what! (Web Site Statistics)

On a worldwide basis, Mondays account for 15.0 percent of internet traffic for the week. Saturdays generate 13.5 percent.

Mondays are a mere 1.5 percent more popular to internet users than Saturdays. So what! How does a decision maker at a company that does business over the internet use this information to his or her businesses’ advantage? This is just one example of a standard metric that provides most companies with very little direction. Smart companies are finding out that, in order to improve the effectiveness of their sight… err… site, they must create better ways of analyzing web traffic. Analysis of website metrics can help if it is done in a smart way.

But analysis is as much an art as it is a science. One “‘highly trafficked’ content site spent a total of just under $1 million in licenses and professional services for an eight-month fiasco that produced ‘wildly inaccurate and completely non-actionable reports.’(1)

Obviously, using the wrong metric can be disastrous. Darwin magazine has identified and described web traffic metrics and analysis tools. We have presented these metrics and tools under subheadings describing the website type for which Darwin considers them to have the most value (1).

Business-to-Consumer / Retail Sites

  • Clickstream: This is a broad method of analysis that companies can use to analyze the behavior of their customers. It helps them analyze where customers enter its site and where they exit.
  • Consumer drop-off rates: This is a measure of the number of consumers that abandon a purchase while on the website. According to Jupiter, 66 percent of customers reported having abandoned a purchase while on a website. Still, 71 percent of sites still do not keep track of this.

Content Sites

  • Loyalty index: This metric is used to track the number of page views, visitors and unique visitors to a site.
  • Customer satisfaction: This tool incorporates online customer surveys which are used to report on customer satisfaction.

Business to Business (B2B) Sites

  • Site performance: This metric is used to describe how fast the site is and how easy it is to use. This is very important for businesses because they tend to be more demanding and impatient users.
  • User efficiency: This is an analysis tool that is used to uncover patterns and trends resulting in inefficient usage of the site.
  • Average time spent on system: This tool helps users of B2B sites get their business done as soon as possible. Sixty-six percent of companies determine website success by measuring traffic. But traffic measurement alone is not a sufficient indicator of a companies’ success. Companies need to look beyond the number of people that come to their site and toward getting the right people. Lisa Melsted, a Yankee Group analyst, says,“I think we’re going to see that measurement of success is going to be more related to efficiency gains that the site is bringing to the company overall (1).”


1) Darwin Online Magazine. (2002). Website traffic analysis.