If you aren’t using Google Analytics to track your website visitors and performance, you should get on board because the service is free and robust and the discovery process may tell you things you don’t want to know but need to know about the sites you operate.
Once you sign up for Google Analytics — you may not be able to do it right this moment because their service is overwhelmed — and you add a little bit of script code to the raw HTML of every page you want to track, you will begin to see the magic of what is really happening on your sites behind the browser.
This is an example of the sort of Google Analytics code that must be
copied and pasted before the final “/body” tag on each page. The
example below is for this Urban Semiotic blog. Since this blog runs on WordPress I have a Plugin that serves that code for me without any raw HTML coding on my part:
Each website I own and watch uses a unique Google Analytics tracking number. I can track anything on the web that uses HTML a blog, a website, a Content Management System, a school
and here is my main Google Analytics control panel showing all 10 of
the sites I am currently tracking.
I have been tracking nine sites
since the Google Analytics program began. Then the program was closed
to new sites as the system caught up with the overwhelming demand.
Last week I was able to add http://ScriptProfessor.com after asking okay, begging
— the Google Analytics Gods to give me one more site to track.
the appropriate HTML script to my pages and, as you can see below,
Google confirmed the Script Professor
code is in place and, in another day or two, Google Analytics will be
converting my raw data into visual information I can read and exploit
to my unknown advantage.
Now you can see the different Google Analytics views I can pull up for all the domains I am actively tracking. I can get Executive, Marketing and Content reports on a monthly, hourly or daily slice. I can also track Google AdSense Conversions:
I will give you a glimpse of my Visits and Pageviews for the month of January 2006 for this Urban Semiotic blog:
Below is the Google Analytics Geo Map Overlay
of where the visitors are coming from across the world and if you hover
your mouse over the dots while actively logged into Google Analytics
you will see the city of origin and how many people are hitting you
site from that place:
This is a pie chart view of New and Returning visitors:
can bite on a Google Analytics pie chart breakdown of who and what is
sending me those visitors from where. As you can see, Google is still the king of Visits by Source with a massive 57.03% of the pie!
I spend a lot of time looking into the deep data and tracking
information Google Analytics provides me as a BlogMaster and as a
WebMaster some of the numbers bring me joy while other numbers provide
a choking disappointment but visualized information can pinpoint
exactly where your site is going wrong and then you can figure out how
to fix it with advertising, a revised site navigation system or by
simply starting all over again from scratch.
With Google Analytics as my web partner, I know I can make all my sites
better, cleaner and more popular with each rising day as new data gets
processed. Google Analytics proves how websites have a large life
beyond the moment of you and the proof is in the pie chart.