Your store comes with access to SmarterStats, a third-party, comprehensive web analytics reporting tool that shows you who is visiting your store and when, how much bandwidth visitors are using, and more.
Store owners can access SmarterStats through their MyVolusion area:
- Log in to my.volusion.com.
- In the left column, under my Stores, click View Stats.
- Click the Stats for www.myvolusionstore.com link (where "myvolusionstore" is your domain name). If you have multiple stores, you can access SmarterStats for any of them from this page.
The SmarterStats dashboard will open in a new browser tab.
Use the left-hand navigation menu to view all the report types available to you. You can hover over an icon to view the full name of a report type, or click on it to view any associated data. Navigational icons turn yellow to indicate the report you're currently viewing.
While viewing any report within SmarterStats, you can get help by hovering over the Help link in the upper right corner.
The Help menu displays the following options:
- Online Help: Get help related to the specific page you're viewing.
- Search Online Help: Search the SmarterStats knowledge base for information about any page.
- About SmarterStats: See SmarterStats version information.
Many reports have additional settings near the top of the page.
In most cases, you can change the following settings or filters for a report:
- Date Range: Modify the date range for a particular report by using the calendar icon or manually entering the date for both the Date and To fields.
- Chart: Select the type of chart you want to see depicting your data.
- Sort: Select the data column by which you want to sort the data in the table below your chart.
- Rows: Select the number of data rows you want to view in the table below your chart.
When viewing specific reports, you may see other settings and filters in this area, including Map (in certain Demographics reports) and Spider (in certain Spiders and Bots reports).
Any time you change one of these settings or filters, you'll need click Generate Report in order to see the updated format or data. The Date Range you choose will stay the same for all other reports, unless you change it again.
You can export the data from a report in order to examine it outside of SmarterStats. Once you're viewing the report you want to export:
- Make sure you have the desired date range selected, as only data from this time period will be part of the export.*
- Click Export and select your preferred file type from the drop-down menu. If you want to edit or work with the data, you should save it as a CSV file that can be opened using a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel.
- Save the file to your desktop using a file name you'll remember.
* You can export up to two months' worth of data at a time, and the date range must be within the last 25 months. If you select an unavailable date range from the calendar widget, you'll see a message stating “this report returned no results."
If you want to share reporting data with other parties, but don't need the report to be editable, you can also Print or Email the results of a specific report.
The majority of Volusion merchants use the data in the Site Activity section more than any other. Here you can view the number of page hits and unique visitors, bandwidth usage, top pages and top referrers, most popular search engines, and top search phrases for your site.
When you first log in to SmarterStats, the Traffic report displays. By default, you'll see a Traffic Trend chart that gives an overall picture of your store's activity during the past week. Below the chart is a table that lists Page Views, Visits, Hits, and Bandwidth for each date within the specified time period.
You can view Traffic Trend data for a longer or different period of time by modifying the Date and To fields at the top of the page, then clicking Generate Report. The Date Range you choose will stay the same for all other reports, unless you change it again.
SmarterStats can report traffic stats down to the hour if needed. Since bandwidth usage and overages are reported on a monthly basis, however, you'll primarily be concerned with running reports for the last 30 days. Be on the lookout for any large differences between the current monthly traffic and past monthly averages. Keep in mind that if you've recently wrapped up an advertising campaign or signed up for a security scanning service, you may notice a dramatic increase in monthly traffic versus the year-to-date average.
EXCLUDING SPECIFIC IP ADDRESSES FROM DATA
SmarterStats records statistics for all unique visits to your store, including any visits you make to your own storefront or Admin Area. Since including your own site activity can skew data, you may want to exclude visits made from your own or other administrators' IP addresses. To exclude specific IP addresses from your data:
- Click the Settings icon in the left navigation menu.
- Under Site Settings, click General Settings.
- On the Import Filters tab, click Add > Import Filter.
- From the Type drop-down menu, select either Exclude an IP Address or Exclude a Range of IP Addresses.
- Enter the IP address or range of addresses for your local computer workstation(s).
- Click OK.
Now, any statistics recorded from the IP address or range you've entered will be ignored. Note that these settings do not affect access to your store or storefront – they only affect what activity Smarter Stats records.
Your entire website consists of a collection of files, including images, HTML templates and CSS style sheets, and documents. Each time a visitor navigates to a page on your website, various files download automatically, using bandwidth. SmarterStats helps you determine bandwidth trouble spots by examining which pages, directories, documents, and images are being downloaded the most frequently.
Note that there are certain files within the system that visitors will access frequently in the course of shopping (such as login.asp, shoppingcart.asp, default.asp - your homepage - and any images that appear on these pages). These files may generate more bandwidth simply because they are accessed more often than others.
Image downloads are frequently responsible for some of the highest bandwidth usage.
The Top Images report shows a chart of the 10 most accessed image files, along with a table that includes the total amount of bandwidth used in kilobytes for each image (1 MB = 1024 KB). By default, this report shows data for the past week leading up to the current date.
IDENTIFYING IMAGES WITH HIGH BANDWIDTH
You can troubleshoot excessive bandwidth issues by tailoring the Top Images report to show images that used the most bandwidth over the last month:
- Under Files, click Top Images.
- In the Date and To fields at the top of the page, enter or select the first and last dates you want to view data for. For example, "4/1/15" and "4/30/15".
- From the Rows filter, select how many results you want to display.
- From the Sort filter, select Bandwidth so that the data displays in order of bandwidth used.
- Select a Chart type to display the top ten results in chart form (you can select No Chart if you only want to view the data in a table). Make sure Bandwidth is also selected.
- Click Generate Report.
Examine the data in the table to determine which images are using the most bandwidth. Note that some may be small images that exist as part of frequently accessed files, like your store's theme or checkout page. From here, you can decide what you want to do with these images; make them smaller, decrease the resolution, change the file type, or even move them to another image host. Most images can be accessed and updated directly from your FTP.
This report displays the most frequent traffic patterns of your website visitors, including Entry Pages (the first page they visit on your site), Exit Pages (the last page they visit on your site), and Page Bounces.
The Page Bounces report can be particularly helpful in determining what may be causing customers the most confusion or frustration, as it shows a list of pages that visitors frequently navigate ("bounce") away from.
This report displays data about the search engines that refer visitors to your site, as well as specific search Phrases and Keywords that your visitors use to find your store on the web. Some popular search engines that you may see in this list include Google, Bing, Yahoo!, AOL, and Ask.
This section shows a more detailed breakdown of your site traffic, including specific reports regarding Return Visits, Visit Length Trend, and visits by Authenticated Users.