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The SBC Small Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center



January 18, 2003

Table of Contents



Quote of the Week




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Quote of the Week

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

- Mark Twain



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Featured Resource


Ever read a technical article and wonder just what the heck the author is talking about? Here's a resource that will help you decipher all those terms you may be unfamiliar with.   

Staff Article

by: Cary Christian

John Q. CEO sat down at his computer just the other day and opened up the website statistics package provided by his host to see how his website was performing.

"Hmm," he smiled. "5,000 hits yesterday. Great!"

John quickly closed down the stats package and went back to a report he had been reviewing.

Okay, I know most of you already know that John Q. really didn't learn anything from his quick perusal of his statistics, even if he thought he had.

But do you really know what you SHOULD be looking for? "There's GOLD in them thar logs!" as the old prospectors would say.


Hits matter very little. One visitor opening one page on your site will register a hit for every image, banner and JavaScript file on that page. Essentially, if the page calls or uses a file of any type, it will register as a hit. So one visitor visiting one page could generate 10, 20 or more hits. Even if your pages are relatively free of images, banners and so forth, you'll still likely get three to five hits just from your borders and logo.

So if John Q.'s web pages have high graphic content and a lot of scripts running, he might have gotten no more than 500 actual visitors.

Pageviews are a much better indicator of traffic. A pageview represents your page being viewed as a whole entity. A UNIQUE pageview is a view of your webpage by one person within a 24-hour period, so return visitors are factored out.

But even this information is too much of a high-level indicator to be of much use. Let's examine where the real gold lies.


Where are your hits coming from? That's important. It is an indicator of the quality of your advertising efforts. You'll be able to see which search engines are sending you traffic and how much. You'll know when people are clicking through from email marketing, from ads you've placed around the Internet and how well your reciprocal links with other sites are working.

This is all information you need to know. It will help you refine your marketing efforts and place more emphasis where it will do the most good.

What I really like, though, is the information the referrer log gives me about the keywords and phrases people use to find our site. This is not just good stuff, this is very exceptional stuff! Why?

Let me give you an example.

After tracking the keywords people use to find our site over the course of the last year, I noticed that hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people were using almost the exact same phrase every single month. The phrase was driving people to our site because of an article on that subject in our "Business Articles" section. (Let me digress a moment: remember how I told you articles and other content on your site could pull in new visitors? This is an example).

I wondered why we were getting so much traffic from this phrase because of just a single article. Logically, that must mean there is not enough information online on that subject. (Trust me, it's a subject you wouldn't think you'd get thousands of hits on!).

So I dutifully went to the search engines and started searching. Sure enough, I found a real hole in the coverage on this topic. (Remember last week's article on the importance of finding a niche? This situation is starting to highlight a lot of different concepts isn't it)?

Needless to say, an ebook is in the works to give these searchers what they're looking for. I believe it has great potential based on our traffic for this subject.

I've also identified several other trends in what people look for when they find us. Each trend might eventually become a new product. In a sense, our visitors are telling us what they want and, possibly, what they will buy.


Spend some time really reviewing your log information. Almost all statistics packages will provide you with a wide variety of information. A lot of it is interesting but meaningless in terms of real profitability. But if you pan for the gold in the logs, every once in a while you'll find a nugget that makes it all worthwhile!

Copyright (c) 2003

Guest Article


by: Wendy Hearn

As the New Year begins, it's inevitable that your thoughts turn to the changes you want to make or the things you want to achieve this year. You may have thought about New Years' Resolutions, even though you know they generally don't work. A New Year is like a clean sheet of paper, ready to start afresh. So if setting New Year Resolutions doesn't work, what does it take for you to focus on what's important to you? The first step is to have a clear idea of this year's aims. An effective way is to set intentions for yourself to bring about what's most important to you. Then condense these aims into a "theme" for the year.

Your theme will be personally meaningful, it needs to come from your heart and to inspire you. As you concentrate on the idea of a theme, jot down any ideas which may occur to you, even if they don't appear to make sense at first.

Your theme will reflect your vision, but whereas your vision is big and much more than you'll accomplish in your lifetime, your theme is about the part of your vision you hope to achieve in the next year. Your theme needs to be a fun thing and something to experiment and play with. Make your theme outrageous; a step out of your box.

Your theme can relate to any area of your life, personal or professional and it should impact your whole life, even if this wasn't obvious when you set the theme. My theme for this year is with my business. The theme "be in the moment and trust myself" felt right because of what is important to me and my vision. This was missing last year and it would be healthy for me to embrace it fully. It later occurred to me that this same theme would impact the way in which I interact with my children and in my personal relationships.

Your theme needs to feel so natural that you wouldn't need to 'try' and hold yourself accountable to it. However you may find it useful to set up a reminder system to say it as often as possible and post it in many places. After all, if the time comes when your theme isn't working for you or needs changing, you have that choice. Tie your theme into who you are and not just what you want to 'do' or 'have'. Whatever you want to 'do' or 'have' will come more easily when you shift to 'being' that person. I've heard of some people who have set a theme for the year of, say, 'traveling more'. A great theme but until you shift who you are as a person, it's not likely to happen without struggle. For instance the theme of 'traveling more' may require that you 'be adventurous' or 'be courageous'.

A theme keeps you focused and is there to touch base with regularly. Focus on your theme first thing in the morning for a clearer direction to the day rather than drifting. When I feel unsure of something, lack direction or feel unfocused, yet need to make a decision or use my time more effectively, these are all occasions when I need to 'be' with my theme and decide what's my next step.

Acknowledge yourself daily for being with your theme and record the results in your journal as a means of inspiration. Each day, check that your choices, decisions, and most importantly, your actions are in alignment with your theme. During the day and at the end of it, reflect where you were in touch with your theme and where you weren't. This will give you clues about what you need to change in your life. One of the habits I'm working on with my theme is to 'be' with my theme before I 'do' anything. Even if I don't do this all the time, at least it's increasing my awareness more often.

What I want for you is a theme for this year that inspires and excites you and reflects what's important to you.


Wendy Hearn
Personal and Professional Coach

She works with business owners, professionals and executives to
discover and unlock their own inspiration, to effortlessly take
the actions required to have the success they desire. To receive Wendy's free newsletter, send an email to:

Copyright 2002, Wendy Hearn. All rights reserved.

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