If your website stats seem like "just a bunch of numbers", this article is for you! Knowing your site statistics helps you understand how visitors see and use your website. That knowledge allows you to make improvements to bring more visitors to your website.
Understand where your visitors come from.
Under the link called Traffic Sources is the link Referring Sites. These are the websites that sent people to your site. Under the graph there is a summary of activity. It will say something like "Referring sites sent 200 visits via 59 sources." (Actual numbers will vary with your own stats.) The bottom page of stats lists the websites that people used to find your website and how many visitors each sent to you.
How Do You Interpret these Numbers?
Focus. It can be tempting to change everything to try to make a website more effective. Knowing which websites are your top referrers gives you an important clue: apply your energy to where your get the most referrals.
Buddy Up. Knowing your top referrers, you can look for a way to create other business relationships such as guest blogging, advertising, and partnerships. I had one client who saw he was getting visitors from a listing on Merchant Circle and decided to focus his efforts there.
Find Surprises. If you look, you'll find hidden trends. I ask new clients how they heard about me. For those who mention an online source, I look to my Referring Site stats. If it's a website below the top referrers, it may be time to "buddy up" to strengthen my relationship with that site.
The bottom line is – get familiar with your stats to make the most of your web opportunity. When you know how people find you, you can do more along those lines to capture event more traffic, build your data base and increase sales.