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Confusing Internet Terminology

One of the most widely misunderstood issues on the Internet is the difference between hits and unique visitors. If you asked people which is the more impressive statistic - 500 unique visitors a day or 100,000 hits a week? - Most would choose the latter. The answer is that both these figures could in fact represent the same thing.

If anyone who isn't a network engineer mentions 'hits' to you, they're probably trying to pull the cyberwool over your eyes. Hits are the individual requests a server answers in order to render a single web page completely. The page document itself plus the various images on the page and any other media files embedded there all represent individual requests to the web server. Each of these requests is called a hit - a hit is a request to the server for a file not a page.

In other words, the more images used in a page, the higher the hit count - so while hits may be a good indication of poor page design, they won't tell you much about traffic. 

To give you an example of how misleading 'hits' are, consider a web page with 10 images (graphics) on it. One individual request to view that page would count as 11 hits - one hit for the HTML code that makes up the page and 1 hit for each of the 10 images 'called' from the server. (Please note, this example is somewhat simplified - in order to explain the principle.)

Page views
Similar to hits, page views are files requested from the server but are limited to the web pages themselves (i.e., HTM or HTML files, or Hypertext Mark-up Language files). While a little more concrete than hits, page views do not give specific information about surfers or their behaviour, for example, the length of time that they remained on a specific page. It is, however, a good indication of how well your site is received. If you are averaging more than 6 page views per unique visit you can consider yourself to be doing well.

Unique Visitors
We believe that a count of 'unique visitors' is the best way of determining your web site effectiveness. Unique visitors are tracked not according to the files they have requested but by their unique IP (or Internet Protocol) addresses, which are much like online fingerprints. (For the technically-minded there can be disadvantages in this method also - as some ISP's use a different IP address for every file requested, thus making one visitor look like many - but we won't go into that here.)

For example
If we have a site averaging 500 'unique visits' a day and each visitor views four pages which each consists of seven images and one HTML file (representing eight hits) you will have a site 'claiming' 112000 Hits a week!!

500 visitors x 4 page views x 8 files (hits) x 7 days = 112000 HITS
As you can see, web design and Internet technology can be fraught with obstacles for the uninitiated. Armed with these facts you will, we hope, be able to make a more informed judgement about the services on offer and the claims made by potential suppliers.

For further details of how eBuilders can help your business establish its web presence use our contact details below.
If you can't be good - be excellent!

Top tip: Take a lesson from the real world, if you set up a store and spend everything on fixed assets and nothing on advertising, would you expect such a business to succeed? Of course not. So why do so many people pour all their cash into their web site and leave nothing over to promote it, when it should be the other way around.
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Looking for tips & advice on kitchens, bathrooms, loft conversions, bathrooms, builders - visit these recommended sites: Double Glazing UK Ask-Questions.com
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Barry Dunlop - Internet Marketing Consultant

Quotatis web design and marketing specialise in web sites for home improvement companies. Our sites are designed to sell and inform.

We offer a wide range of Home Improvement leads which can help you to increase your sales, for more details on Lead Generation please contact us. For information about getting the best out of working leads then please refer to our downloadable guide called ‘The Pro’s Guide to Converting Internet Leads’.

If your business is conservatories, sunrooms, conservatory roof systems, conservatory roof blinds, kitchens, bathrooms, replacement windows, double glazing, vinyl siding, facias, clading, bedrooms, building or any form of home improvement we can help.

Consult us for Internet marketing tips, advice and search engine promotion.

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