MS bCentral releases new traffic analysis tool

Microsoft has launched a new Web site traffic-analysis service for customers of its bCentral Web hosting and e-commerce services.

FastCounter Pro is designed to let small businesses monitor traffic patterns to help them improve the design and marketing of their Web sites and to increase overall traffic. The Redmond, Wash., company plans to announce the service later this week.

The service is targeted at companies that don't have the time or expertise to analyze their own Web logs, Microsoft said. It's the latest online service out of Microsoft bCentral, which, in addition to offering Web hosting, provides auction listings, file sharing and online calendar services to about 80,000 customers.

Microsoft also recently updated several other bCentral services, including its Web hosting, e-commerce and search engine optimization tools, adding new user interfaces and other features, said Paul Prokop, bCentral product manager.

FastCounter Pro features include traffic summaries on an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis, and a breakdown of traffic by new or returning visitors, Microsoft said. It also gives information about which sites led visitors to a given site, which sites generated the highest number of visits, and key words and phrases visitors used to find the site.

The service, available now, costs $19.95 a month or $199 a year for up to 50,000 page views a month.

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