(Originally published on YNOT) Some of you might have read my general statistics article from the February 22, 2001 edition of YNOT News. This time I’ll go deeper into the general use of referrers, the feature telling you where your visitors come from. Referrers are one of the most valuable resource in any stats package, most easily exploited, and at the same time, underused.
I will leave out domain referrers, which may tell you, for example, that you are getting a lot of hits from some free host, where you are in the webmaster help section, and from there where you are listed on the webmaster pages. I will also leave out search engine listings, which are just referrers which tell you on which SEs you are listed and possibly on which pages within any given search. I will leave out splitting up referrers to e-mails, news, files and more. These are all more or less obvious. I will just focus on the real, full URL referrers, telling you the exact location your visitors are coming from. To grasp the entire concept you must look beyond your organization and more on your marketing and customers. What do my customers want? Where do they find what they are looking for? What do my partners want from me? How can I help them? The list could go on and on but the general question that should follow is, can your referrers help you? You probably have a lot of links to your Website on other sites and the list might be growing. Actually let me rephrase that. If you are looking for website design for your company check Vivid Designs
The list should be growing, keeping old links while adding new. First of all, check your referrers to see where most of your visitors come from. Take a look at those sites to see where you are listed and find out what they do. Both in terms of how they seem to be attracting visitors and how they are making money. From this information alone, you are in a good position to: Contact the webmaster/company to thank them and possibly talk about working together more closely. Maybe you can talk them into putting your link at a better position in return for better commissions or in return for something else valuable for them. Learn more about what your visitors are interested in. What kind of sites do they visit? What kind of links do they click? Send those people graphics or text link suggestions to see if those pull better. You will probably learn over time which visitors convert best for you. The webmaster you are contacting will probably not mind — if it results in happier visitors or more money for him. Keep them up to date on what is happening on your site, especially what is happening that is of vital interest to them. Next, monitor your stats for referrers from new sites. As soon as they turn up, send those people a thank you note. They will be positively surprised that you noticed so fast. We are living in Web times but you can still surprise a lot of people by being very responsive and nimble. The above point is especially good for your PR department (even if you don’t have a PR department, you should be sending out press releases). Whenever you send out a press release, it is bound to appear somewhere. Ok, not entirely true. You want it to appear everywhere. You hope it will appear somewhere and if it appears anywhere, then you should know and value that page highly. By monitoring your referrer list you can easily screen out those sites that print your press releases and put them on a special distribution list for the future. They already wrote about you once, they are likely to do it again. Remember though, news items can appear anytime, meaning the PR people need to be in the loop for the appearance of new referrers. Referrers also help in partnerships. Everyone can say: “We have 100,000 hits a day and we will place your button on all the pages if you do …”. Via your referrer logs, you can see how many hits your partner is really sending you. This can be good in negotiating a good deal for both sides. (With exit stats you could see how many hits you are sending your partners). A last item would be that I have just added a new feature to my company that will tell you not only how many visitors came to your site from a given URL, but also how many of those are new. This is done through so-called persistent cookies, which tell us that the visitor has already been to your site before. If you are looking for website development in Hyderabad for your company visit Vivid Designs
For example: Site A sends you 100 visitors each day. Very cool — you think. Site B sends you 50 each day. Not bad, either. But … Site A sends you only 20 new visitors per day. This might be because a lot of people might be using the site as their starting point. Site B sends you 40 new visitors each day. Possibly because they are getting a lot of hits from Search Engines. Do you see the value? I hope so.