Checking to see how much traffic a website has gotten over time may seem arbitrary and unnecessary to the average web user, but this process, also known as “web analytics”, is very useful for many different types of people. The information provided by the sites we will discuss today includes how many visitors went to a specific site, how long they stayed, where they came from (referrals), what they purchased, if anything, and many other types of data, including line graphs. We offer a course that helps website owners increase traffic to their site, guaranteed.
The people interested in this raw data are the website’s owners and stockholders (if there are any), marketers, statisticians, web analysts, and anyone else curious as to who is visiting a website. The following sites analyze different aspects of the traffic and, while there are many sources for this information, each offers something slightly different than the others.
Sites That Check Web Traffic
These websites monitor web traffic and give you other relevant information and these are some of the more popular ones and what makes them special. You’ll notice that keywords play a big part in analyzing website traffic. When people input specific keywords into a search engine such as Google or Yahoo, the websites that pop up at the top of the search have best utilized these popular words and phrases in order to get the most hits. This is called search engine optimization (SEO), and this course on SEO will help those who want to increase their site’s traffic.
- Google Analytics
This is the grandaddy of web traffic analysis sites. Google is seen as being in the vanguard of offering this type of information and this site comes in both a free as well as paid premium service. Intended mostly for marketers rather than webmasters and people from the tech realm, Google Analytics breaks down where visitors came from (search engines, social networks, direct visits, etc.), and can tell interested parties how successful an ad campaign is, sales activity, transactions, and revenue. As ubiquitous and thorough as Google Analytics is, there are privacy and performance concerns, however, its advantages far outweigh its disadvantages as far as most users are concerned.
This Amazon-owned site’s one major downside is that it doesn’t give you actual amounts of page views, but an estimate of the percentage of all Internet users that visited within a given amount of time. This is doubly frustrating in that the amount of web traffic overall is constantly changing. However, Alexa makes up for what it lacks by providing tons of other information, such as traffic ranking, average length each visitor spends on the site per day, how many other sites link to this site, and many other helpful tidbits.
Compete will tell you how many visitors from the Unites States went to a site, not only during the current month, but will also provide a line graph illustrating how many visitors have come and gone over the course of several months. However, they don’t tell you how much international traffic there was, only domestic traffic. They offer a premium service which gives you access to much more information, but for free, this is a good way to see a site’s growth or decline.
- Google Trends for Websites
Similar to Alexa, Google Trends won’t give you actual traffic counts, but has a few things going for it. First, it has the accuracy that Google is known for in analytics. Second, it offers a nifty line graph (without values) that lets you compare two sites side-by-side. The main disadvantage of Google Trends is that it only give you information on sites that at get at least a couple hundred thousand visitors a month, so don’t come here for information on lightly trafficked sites.
- Google AdPlanner
This site is intended mainly for advertisers and marketers who want to know if advertising on a particular site is worth it, which, in turn, makes it an accurate tool for those looking for accuracy. They also break down websites by their geographic location as well as provide several other pieces of information that other web traffic sites do not offer.
This site makes use of Compete’s handy line graph to show how many visitors have come and gone, in addition to telling you a website’s valuation, or overall worth. The unique aspect of BizInformation is that they tell you how many submissions your site has on various social networking and news sites, such as Digg, Reddit, and Stumbleupon.
Like some of the other sites, these guys offer you graphs to look at, but they allow you to change it to show you daily, weekly, monthly, or all time traffic fluctuations. Quantcast also shows you potentially helpful visitor demographics like age, sex, income, children, and income earned.
This site is unique in that it allows you to research based on site-based keywords. They’ll show you how often specific keywords or phrases were searched on a site. This site is tied into the concept of SEO mentioned above, and this course will help those with Joomla websites increase their traffic and sales with SEO.
- Hit Counters
If you’re not interested in all the trappings of fancy statistics and graphs, and just want to know how many people visited your site, simply install a hit counter, which is the number at the bottom of a webpage that… you guessed it, counts hits. They’re free and easy to install and accurately tells you who came by for a visit.
While many of these websites give you a lot of the same information, they do differ slightly, with each one offering you something just different enough to separate it from the others. Whether your search is keyword-based, or you just want a line graph with your search, one of the sites mentioned above should cover you, and because they all offer free service, why not try them all and see what happens? For website owners out there, this course will help generate traffic to your site and boost sales and profits.