by John

Analytics is a free web statistics service offered by Google. Just
sign up with an account or you can do it easily from your existing
Google AdWords or Gmail account. Then you get some HTML code that
needs to be put on every single page of your website. If you have
multiple websites, create a profile for each site.

OK, now
you’ve got Google Analytics set up. What kind of information does
it tell you?

first thing it tells you is how many visitors you are getting to the
site each week. I graph this for my own site. For many of our clients
we do a monthly report that shows how many visitors they got to their
site for the last month.

If you
are doing any kind of website marketing program, this number of
website visitors should be going up month to month. That tells you
that your program is working.

people insist that the real statistic you want to look at is not web
visitors, but unique visitors, which counts a person only once even
if he came to your site multiple times. I disagree with this, because
ideally you want people to come to your site multiple times, don’t

The next
thing to look at is Page Views. This is the total number of pages
that were viewed in the given time frame that you’re looking at.
This will always be at least as many as the web visitors, but will
almost always be more. You want this to be as much higher than the
web visits as possible, because it shows that people are moving
through your site to multiple pages. You want your ratio of page
views to visits to be as high as possible, because the more pages
they look at, the better your chances are to sell them your product
or service. It also means they are not bailing after just one page.

The next
thing to look at is the top pages and how many visits they are
getting in your given time frame. This shows you what your most
popular pages are, it shows you how effective your navigation system
is in getting people to the pages that are most important for you,
and you can see how much traffic any new or special pages are
getting. You can also create special landing pages for an email or
pay per click campaign and this shows how many people actually
arrived there. You can also look at specific form pages or buy pages
on your site and see how many people went there versus how many
people filled out the form or bought the item. If the ratio of
visitors to conversions for those pages is poor, that tells you that
you need to work on improving those pages.

The next
thing to look at is the referring websites. These are sites that have
a link to your site, and it shows what the site is and how many
people came to your site from there. The biggest numbers here are
usually from search engines, but you will also see some other sites
that have links to yours. This tells you which of your link building
or social media marketing actions are bringing people to your site.

instance, you might see referrals from Facebook or Twitter. Or you
might find out Wikipedia or some similar site has a link to you. For
instance, on my political site I have written several articles about
a historian named Alexander Tytler and his cycle of democracy, and
Wikipedia has linked to my articles and I get a lot of traffic from

The next
thing to look at are the keywords that people entered in search
engines on their way to arriving at your site. This gives you an
indication of what keywords are important for you, and can be an
indication of which keywords your site is ranking well for. It also
shows which keywords people are entering to arrive at your site via
the pay per click systems like Google AdWords.

Google Analytics on your site, you can really tell what is going on
with your visitors, and you can see how well each new thing you do is
working. Anyone who has a website who is serious about getting good
results from that website should put Google Analytics or some other
type of web statistics system up on that site. I like Analytics
because it is free and has some great features. Without it, you are
flying blind. With it, you can make more intelligent decisions and
improve your results.