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In the whole wide world of free web services, Google Analytics ranks right up there with free money and a bigger penis. Except Google Analytics actually delivers. I walk around dazed at the absolutely amazing FREE stuff available for business on the internet.

©2012 Google Thumb by Lezley Davidson

Your Own Personal Lurker Bot

Google Analytics is a little bit of code that you put into the header of your website. From there it’ll peep on all your visitors and bring you back pots and pots of gold… in the form of demographics and info about your site visitors:

 

  • location – Bulgaria is in my top 5 visitor location sources… that was unexpected.
  • total visits
  • average time on site
  • average pages per visit
  • bounce rate
  • duration of visit – my numbers are large at the top and bottom of this list… if my site isn’t what you’re looking for, you bounce pretty quickly… however, if you start looking around I’ve generally got you on my site for over half and hour (who’s caught up in the comic archives?)
  • browser OS of visitors
  • Visitors Flow – which I’ve never looked at too closely until tonight. It’s a fucking FLOW CHART of how every visitor from different regions flows through your site; what pages they look at, where they go, where they tend to drop off. Holy crap. You have got to get this if only for the cool.
  • traffic sources
  • keyword search results – sadly “accidental cleavage” is one of my top 3 keyword referrals. :c
  • pages – most viewed and where the bounce rate is highest…

…and that’s only a bit of what’s available. There’s no way you can get these kind of metrics on a site that’s not self-hosted. This stuff is gold if you’re looking to grow your business.

 

Knowing is More Than Half the Battle

You want and need to know what is most interesting to your viewers – because it may not be what you think it is. You want to know how your visitors are navigating through your site – these metrics can help you test different layouts and headers and content to try and guide visitors to where you’d like them to go while they’re on your site.

You can’t make any changes if you don’t know. Google Analytics gives you knowing on about 80 different levels.

(another top 5 post visit that was a total surprise)

©2012 Google Gold

 

Next week – what to do with them when you’ve got ’em – your email list.




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