Understanding Your Web Traffic

If you are a newbie blogger or if your blog is for personal use only and you do not intend it to generate income, you probably don't care about things like website traffic, hits, unique vistors, pageviews, impressions, and all those "dizzying" stuff on the technical side of blogging. But if your blog is aimed at generating income, and you are dear serious about it, it is a must that you understand your web traffic. There are some terms that you need to understand to get you going, here they are : 

Hits. This is the total number of files loaded when a single page is requested from the web server. If you take good note of that statement, you will understand that "hits" should not be used as basis for judging a website's traffic. Look at this : If there are ten images, one CSS file, and one Javascript file in a webpage, every time a user loads it, it will get 12 hits (10 for the images, 1 for the CSS file, and 1 for the Javascript file). If you have 500 hits in your webpage in a day, it could translate to 10 or so unique visitors, which means that there was not much traffic. The more files you have in your page, the more hits it will have, but that is not traffic.

Pageviews. This is the calculation of how many times a page is viewed. If a visitor clicks on "Older posts" link in your Blogger blog after staying in your home page, you get two page views. If he goes back to the home page after he is done with the Older post" you get the third page view. If you divide the total pageviews with total number of unique visitors, you can have a good picture of how many pageviews are made by each visitor.

Impressions. If you have Google Adsense or Adbrite in your blog, you know that impressions is the count of how many times a element, like image, text, or video, appears on a web page. Impressions are usually counted in bulk, by the thousands. If one company pays $1 per Cost Per Thousand Impressions, you will get $1 every time the ad unit is viewed 1000 times.

Visits and Unique Visitors. This is the number of different people with different IP addresses that visited your web page. This is where you should base your traffic.

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