Understanding the Summary web log reports

To view statistics for your Web site, visit the Summary Statistics Website.

Content Picture

Every time a user (client) views a web page on any of our sites, the server writes down a bunch of information. We use a special software tool, called Summary, that analyzes this information to help us understand the "who, what, when, where" of users getting information from us.

Here's a picture of the main Overview Page. This gives you some broad strokes of information, and links to get much more specific information.

One of the big questions is always this one: "How many people saw my page?" You'll find that listed under "Visits" inside the green oval below.

A "visit" refers to someone looking at your page. They may proceed and look at several pages or they may just look at one. A "hit" refers to each time the server sends a file to the user. That would include graphics. So if you have a page with 3 graphics on it, someone looking at your page would constitute one visit or 4 hits (one for the page, one each for the 3 graphics).

The Overview screen of Summary

Here you can find more information about the visitors to your site. One thing you want to pay particular attention to is the search words and phrases listed inside the green oval. This shows you what people typed into a search engine to get to your page.

Sources of Visitors in Summary

If you chose "Referrers - New" from the drop-down menu in the picture above, you would see the report depicted below.

New Referrers in Summary

The "Page Requests" report, shown below, is where you can get details about individual pages on your site.

page request report

The "Pages Over Time" report, shown below, lets you see the traffic pattern for each page listed.

pages over time report

The "Visitor Demographics Overview" gives you a quick look at where, geographically, your visitors are coming from. There is a large number of "unknown" addresses because GeoIP is not an exhaustive resource (yet) for geographic location. Virginia scores high because AOL and some other ISP's have network connections located in that state.

visitor demographic report

Feel free to wander around your report, check things out, see what you can tell about users to your site, how well your site works, and ways you can make your site better.

If you have questions, click on the question marks located on most reports, or email Jesse Clark for an explanation.