Overview TR can produce several reports based on your sites visitors. These reports can help you answer the following questions:
- When do I get the most visitors?
- Which countries do my visitors come from?
- How are my visitors navigating my site?
- Which pathways are the most popular?
- Which areas of my site are visitors most likely to enter/exit through?
- Whats the average time a visitor stays at my site?
A typical visitor is viewing your site through a web browser. But what is a visitor to TR?
TR defines visitors by their hostnames. These hostnames appear in your Logs as 220.127.116.11 or koala.net.au. If your log has 100 different hostnames in it, this means that your site had 100 different visitors.
In order for a log entry to be examined for visitor information, it must contain the following:
If a log entry is missing any of the above then the entry wont affect the visitor-tracking reports.
Included in the visitor-tracking reports are the following statistics:
What is a visit? Its different from a visitor. A visitor may make many visits.
How does TR determine when a visit occurs? Lets use a store as an analogy. As marketing director for Acme Jellybean Mercantile, youd like to know how many visits your store gets on a particular day. You watch as customers enter the store. Each time you see someone youve never seen before, you count another visit and record the time you saw the customer. If you see someone you spotted earlier, and a certain amount of time has gone by since you last saw the customer, say 15 minutes, then you count this as another visit.
So a new visit occurs when either of the following occurs:
- A visitor was seen for the first time.
- A visitor reappeared after a given time had passed.
This is precisely the method TR uses when determining when a visit occurs. Counting visits is pretty straightforward when its the first time TR has encountered a particular visitor, but things get a little arbitrary when it comes to counting repeat visitors. TR cant count every sighting of a visitor as a new visit, so TR keeps track of the last time it spotted a given visitor. When TR sees the visitor again, if a certain amount of time has gone by, then TR will record this as a new visit. TR lets you specify this arbitrary amount of time in the HTML Reports panel. The setting is called Visit Time Lag. By default it is 15 minutes.
Setting the time lag higher will result in fewer reported visits, while reducing the time lag will cause more visits to be reported.
This number tells you how many web pages were requested. See the Creating Report Categories for how TR defines a page.
Average Stay Time
This simply tells you how much time, on average, a visitor spent at your site. TR looks at the time between each visitors first and last page request to determine how long the visit lasted. Visit lengths tend to be understated.
These statistics can be viewed in the following reports:
- Visits by Date
- Visits by Time
- Visits by Weekday
- Visits by Month
- Visits by Primary Domain (useful for determining which countries your visitors are from)
- Visits by Secondary Domain
Site Access Reports
These reports describe the points in which visitors enter your site through and exit your site from.
Each of these reports require that your log entries contain:
- A hostname
- A URL
- A date
- A time
A URL must be a page to be considered a potential entry or exit point.
An entry page is the first page a visitor requests. This report displays the top entry pages used by your visitors.
An exit page is the last page a visitor requests. This report displays the top exit pages used by your visitors.
This report lists pages that were the only page requested by a visitor.
Visitor Navigation Reports
TR provides two reports that show you the pathways that your visitors are taking through your site. These reports are based on something called a Jump.
Jumps Within Site
Whats a jump? A jump occurs when a visitor moves from one page to another page. The starting point of a jump is a Referrer and the ending point of the jump is a URL. A log entry is considered a jump if its URL and Referrer are both pages (as defined by the Record Object panels Text category).
Each row of this report displays a Jump. There are columns for the jumps starting point and ending point. The Jump Traffic column tells you how many times a particular jump was performed by your visitors.
This report is built from your log entries Referrer and URL information.
You might think that this report isnt really that useful. And youd be right! Actually, this report is just some raw data that becomes much more useful when TR examines it more closely, which leads us to the Path Through Site Report.
Paths Through Site
This displays the top pathways taken through your site. A pathway is a collection of linked jumps. TR searches through all the jumps it has recorded and, like a puzzle, attempts to put them together.
This report shows the second-most common pathway taken through a given web site. The rows in this table are numbered beginning with 1. The first row is the starting point of this path. The page column contains the name of this starting point. From this page the visitors moved to the page shown in the second row. From this row to the third, and so on. The Jumps column displays the number of times the visitors jumped from the page in the preceding row to the page in the row that contains the jump number. The path ends when there are no jumps from the last page in the pathway, or when the pathway circles back on itself, forming a loop. One paths popularity over another is determined by the sum of the requests for the URLs that comprise the path.
This report tells you about your sites visitors. It displays them by the number of visits they made to your site. It also tells you the number of page requests they made, their average visit length and the average time between their visits. Fields: date, time, hostname, and (optionally, for page requests) the URL.