Should I put a counter on my website?
In a word, no! Those counter services, (you’ve probably seen things like, “You’re visitor # 000245”), are really unprofessional looking and they give too much information away to visitors (do you want people to see your low traffic count?).
Also, if the counter service stops working, you’re left with an ugly red square/missing graphic, or worse, a slow-to-download page. In the end, all those counter services will tell you are a limited number of statistics. Best to avoid.
You can get most of the information you want anyway without one of those counter thingies, since every site has a server log being automatically built as visitors wander around the site. The problem is that the server log itself can be incomprehensible to mere mortals such as you or I, and you need the files to be interpreted, or run through some software that will create a readable (and very interesting) report that summarizes the traffic patterns and statistics for you.
Two of my favorite stats services are Google Analytics and StatsCounter. GA is free, and I admit, a bit complex to use. StatsCounter is easier to read/understand (but slightly less comprehensive) and does have a monthly fee. Their free service is very limited.
Get my FREE article that explains in plain English everything you need to know about website statistics: Website Statistics Explained in plain English
One thing to note: you cannot find out the names or email addresses of any individual who might have visited your site. The Internet is truly anonymous in that regard. You can see a lot of info, but never any personal identification.
The best way to get personal info – ask! Provide a sign-up form for a newsletter or other giveaway, and collect visitor info while establishing your expertise in the eyes of your visitors!
Are ‘visitors’ what you should be worried about?
No, not really. One million visitors to your site might be nice, but if none of them engage with your site (signup, like/follow, or buy something) then all you had was a parade of ghosts and a drain on bandwidth. Yes, traffic/visitors are the first step in the chain leading up to a sale or signup. But if your website is not converting traffic into revenue, then you are hemorrhaging money into the void.
Are your website visitors doing what you need them to do?
If you’re not getting the conversions (new business leads/purchases) that you need from your website, then get in touch with me. I’ll review your website for a variety of issues: design, speed, search engine optimization, traffic flow, mobile-readiness, usability and a clear call to action. You’ll get the good, the bad and the ugly – it’s only by breaking some eggs can we make a great omelet.
Your bad website may be holding your business hostage – get rescued today!