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Traffic

Traffic
Keeping track of your website's traffic is not only important, it's fun. Click on the Traffic button on the left side of the page when you are logged in as an Administrator. This will open a page with various graphs tracking everything from pages loaded to money spent in the shopping cart.

All Traffic Isn't the Same
Before we start, it's important to understand that every traffic monitoring program works a little differently. Invisible Gold takes a conservative approach and tries to show the people using the site rather than just reporting the largest numbers it can.

There are two main reasons for the difference. First, more than half of the traffic on the Internet is robots or automated programs. These aren't people any more than your coffee maker is a morning companion. For business purposes it makes sense to try to track people visiting your site.

Second, not all traffic "looks" the same. For example, several years ago, it was common to talk about "hits". This is a large number that counts the number of files downloaded from your website. A single page may have many images and thus would register as 20-30 hits when someone uses the page. Another vague number people talk about today is "sessions". The idea is that every visitor may load several pages but they are tracked as one session. It is a good idea, except many bots look at every page on your site as a separate session. Thus, you might count hundreds of visitors over night when not a single real person visited your site.

Invisible Gold does its best to track the number of real people visiting your site and shows "bot" traffic only in the Pages Loaded chart.

Note: Many customers (especially those selling advertising on their sites) have asked for higher numbers in the tracking, citing the fact that their competition has much higher numbers. If that is important to you, contact your system administrator and have them install another traffic system.


Traffic at a Glance
When you first load the traffic page, it shows the past 30 days of traffic. At the top of the page are various numbers that describe the charts below:
Visitors, Pages Per Visitor, First Time Visitors, etc.

Note: You can change to another month simply by clicking on the drop down box at the top and changing it to 2005 or a specific month for example. The page will automatically reload to show results for the newly selected time period.


Pages Served
The Pages Served chart shows the number of actual pages that were loaded from the website. Keep in mind that this is the only chart that shows traffic from visitors that don't appear to be actual people.

From left to right the chart has one column for each of the days (or one for each month if it is showing a single year). Yellow represents pages loaded by going to bots. Green is for regular visitors. Red is for visitors that have logged into the site. You will show up as red on the farthest right column for today.

Note: The scale of the graph is always changing. The maximum is shown on the top left. In this picture it is 2015. This means on the busiest day, this website served 2015 pages. If you hold your mouse over that day, it indicates that only 10.1% of those pages went to "regular visitors". In other words almost 90% of the traffic on that day went to "bots".

While it seems that too much traffic is being classified as bots, keep in mind that a very busy site will show very little yellow. The amount (not percentage) of yellow appears to be consistent between sites regardless of how much traffic they get.


Site Visitors
The next chart shows visitors to the site. Here we have completely removed all of the yellow (bot) traffic from Pages Served.

Green is people that have never visited the site before. This relies on a cookie which can be deleted from users' computers.

Blue is people that have returned to the site.

Red is people that have typed in a login and password.

Note: This chart is not the same as a session list. If a visitor accesses the site several times in the same day, they will be considered one visitor. (Since their IP address is the same.)


Visitor Traffic Source
The next chart shows Visitor Traffic Sources. Thiese are determined by the page that the user was looking at when they clicked to visit your site.

Blue generally indicates users that typed in your website address at the top (or chose it from their favorites list.)

Green indicates that they came from a search engine.

Red indicates that they came from another website that had a link to yours.

Yellow indicates that they came from an email newsletter sent from your site.


Pages Per Visitor
Pages Per Visitor shows a chart of the number of pages loaded to regular visitors divided by the number of visitors. This gives a good estimate of how many pages a visitor loads in a single day.

Note: Older versions of Invisible Gold would occasionally let a Bot slip through acting very much like a regular visitor. They would then load hundreds of pages and skew your results on this chart. The chart now assumes that anyone loading more than 150 pages is probably not a regular person.


Commerce Only - Purchases
The Purchases chart adds up all of the traffic that went through the shopping cart. This is definitely one of those places you get excited to see more.

Don't be discouraged if your site hasn't brought in much income. Simply having a site online can bring in business. However, this is a great metric to evaluate how well your site is performing. The graphs up above mean little if your only goal is to bring in income online.


Commerce Only - Visitor Purchase Rate
Purchase Rate indicates the percentage of visitors that complete a purchase in the Shopping Cart. 2-3% is considered quite good. These indicate a site that is performing quite well. It is more common to see ammounts such as 0.2-0.5%.


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