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Last week we looked at the problems many of you face with your Web analysis and reporting. This week, I'll offer some solutions.

Realizing that your Web data is going to be flawed—and understanding the technologies and how they can affect your analysis—is half the battle. Here are six ways you can “fix” Web data problems.

1. Use cookies or unique-user logins

Use cookies. They help recognize true repeat visitors and gives marketers a much better handle on where a user's path begins and ends, how many pages a user viewed in a particular session, and so on.

Using cookies with your analysis tool may take some time to configure. But stick with it. Their use has the alternative benefit of alleviating the proxy server issue. I feel much more confidant in Web data when cookie technology is used in conjunction with a Web analytics tool.

You can even go one step further and use unique-user logins, but unfortunately this isn't always feasible. However, if you are analyzing the effectiveness of an Intranet site where users have to log in to get access, unique-user logins will help you get data that is even more accurate than when you use cookies.

Remember: Some cookies will be rejected or deleted occasionally by cookie washers (software designed to clean all cookies off of a computer). But the vast majority won't be, so your data should be pretty solid.

2. Educate yourself on the basics of programming

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wil Reynolds is the founder and head marketing strategist of SEER Interactive (www.thinkseer.com), a search optimization and Web marketing firm located in Philadelphia.