Whether you want to scope out the competition by checking another website’s traffic, or you want to see how much traffic your website is bringing in, a website traffic estimator can be beneficial. A good website traffic estimator should estimate traffic by visitors, not by hits, which offer poor results, because they track the number of files downloaded. Demographic information also is important, because this allows you to target a website for the primary audience. Websites receive traffic from search engines and referring websites, and knowing where traffic comes from also may help bring in more visitors. Estimators also should display the number of pages viewed by each visitor and how much time that visitor stayed on the website.
You likely will want a website traffic estimator to record traffic by visitors rather than by hits. If the estimator is recording traffic via hits, then traffic is going to be inflated, because this tracks the number of files downloaded instead of the number of visitors. For example, if one visitor comes to a website and 12 files download — this includes image, text and animation files — the number of hits will be 12. Some visitors also will set their Internet browser to disable image files, so while there are 12 files on the website, some visitors will not download all the files, making hits an inaccurate measurement.
Demographic information may help you target the website for your primary audience. Basic demographic data that a website traffic estimator should display are salary and gender. By knowing these figures, you can change your content to best suit your audience, possibly making it happier.
Website traffic comes from two primary sources: search engines and referring websites. If the traffic is coming from a search engine, then the website traffic estimator should display what keywords were searched, so you know what terms are most popular. By knowing popular search terms, you can optimize your website to capitalize on those keywords. Referring websites are websites that link to your website. You may be able to get more traffic from the referring website if you visit that website and comment or talk to the website owner and persuade him or her to link to your website more often.
Another useful function that a website traffic estimator should come with is the ability to track how many pages a person visited and how long he or she remained on the website. If the estimator tracks how many pages the average person visited, then you will know your bounce rate, or how many visitors just looked at one page. You will want a low bounce rate, because this typically shows that your website is effective, because visitors want to see more of it. The estimator also should track how much time the average visitor spends on your website because, if most visitors stay on the website for just a few seconds, there may be a problem with the website.