One of the most useful features of Web-Stat is the possibility to track visitors sent to your site by other sites or search engines (the referrers). Web-Stat will track all these referrers automatically (along with the keywords used to find you in the case of search engines) ; the results are then presented in different formats:
- Referrers summary: this listing shows the cumulative number of visits from all the referrers that have sent traffic to your site during the selected period. Previous months data is available from the archive bar above the report
Note that you can regroup similar referrers under a common name. For instance if you receive visitors from Google.com and Google.co.uk, you may want to look only at the total and regroup all these referrals under the heading 'Google'. To achieve this, simply click on the 'group referrers' link in the menu bar above the report. Grouped referrers will be presented in the report next to an 'expand' link that allows you to look back at the individual referrers.
The Cumulative Referrers report also includes the bounce rate for each one of your referrers. This metric is essential when attempting to determine the quality of your referrals.
Along with the bounce rate we measure the average visit depth for each referrer. The depth of visit is the number of pages a visitor saw during his session on your site. In general, the higher the average visit depth the better the site is at capturing the interest of visitors coming from that particular referrer, hence a poorly targeted referrer will generate high bounce rates and low visit depths (note that this is true in general, but there are special cases where it could be argued that a high visit depth is not a good thing as it might indicate that visitors have difficulty finding the information they are looking for)
- Keywords summary: this page lists the keywords that people use to find your site in the search engines during the selected period. Previous months data is available from the archive bar above the report. You can choose to display the keywords ranked by frequency of use (regardless of the search engine), or by search engine and frequency of use.
The keywords report also includes the bounce rate for each one of your referrers and keywords. This metric, alongside the average visit depth is essential when attempting to determine the quality of your referrals.
- Search Engine and Referrer Tracker: this graph shows how many visitors were sent to your site each week by each one of your referrers. It is extremely helpful to detect any drop or increase in traffic from a particular referrer and to check the validity of your referencing/marketing strategy.
Note that you can set several options on that graph:
- navigate the timeline using the handles just under the graph itself.
- click on a given referrer in the legend to hide it. The graph's scale is then recalculated.
- by clicking on successive referrers you can zoom in towards the bottom of the graph as needed
As in the referrer summary report above, you can regroup similar referrers under a common name. For instance if you receive visitors from Google.com and Google.co.uk, you may want to look only at the total and regroup all these referrals under the heading 'Google'. To achieve this, simply click on the 'group referrers' link in the menu bar above the report.
- Recent visitors: this is a detailed list of the last 100, 500 or 1000 visitors to your site ; in the case of search engines, we will also display the keywords used to find you. Note that some search engines have directory sections in which the visitor does a search without entering keywords (the visitor navigates the directories until he finds the information that he is looking for). In this case, the 'keywords' column will remain blank. An interesting feature of this listing is the possibility to simulate the search that led to your site simply by clicking on the referrer in the 'Referrer' column.
Important Notes :
Referrers and keywords detection will not work if you are using the simplified version of the Web-Stat code. The standard or advanced version is required.
If you think that referrer and keywords tracking is not working properly on your site (for instance if all referrers or keywords appear blank), please read this document for troubleshooting help.
You can gather an amazing amount of information with Web-Stat referrer tracking. Measuring the return of pay-per-click, email or banner advertisement campaigns is a popular example and can be achieved easily if you properly configure your account. Please click here for additional information on this topic.