You should always be checking your website’s traffic logs. Just Chat is seven years old and I still check my traffic stats at least every week through Google Analytics. In this article I want to talk about the importance of your referral stats in particular, and how using them correctly can actually further increase traffic to your sites and help you network.
In your referral logs you are likely to see many of the usual suspects: Yahoo!, Google, and any directories you submitted your site to. What you should always keep a close eye out for is those new sites that have linked to you without requesting any form of link back. Every time you see a new site linking to you, you should go over and take a look at that site.
Why you should take a look at websites that link to you
Firstly, you want to make sure that the website is linking to you with an accurate description. In the worst case scenario, perhaps this webmaster has a grudge against you or your site – seeing for yourself will allow you to take action as soon as possible.
Secondly, this site may be a competitor. It is likely that it is at least operating in the same niche as you, otherwise they would not have linked to your site. As I have said before, you should always keep an eye on the competition – check out their site and see if you can learn anything from it.
Lastly, you may want to send a thank you email to the webmaster of the site linking to you. Unsolicited link backs are flattering; people are linking to you without asking for anything in return. Not only does a quick thank you email show your gratitude, it further strengthens your site’s brand – you will be seen as a polite, courteous and professional, which should reflect back to your site. It also always helps to network!
Traffic stats are hugely important to your site – you should be checking them regularly. They can help you to continually tweak your website. If you use your stats correctly they can actually help you increase your traffic levels and find under-performing areas of your site.