Google Analytics is a free online website statistics service that shows you how viewers found your website, what they looked at and even how they found you. At it’s most basic level, you can check how many visitors your website is getting but it really comes into it’s own in the way that it allows you to see what is working and what isn’t. Simply “counting visitors” doesn’t really tell you much.
What else will it show me?
The bounce rate tells you how many visitors entered your website and then left immediately. A 100% bounce rate would be a bad thing – it means that no one is interested enough to stay longer! If your bounce rate is high, it could mean that your website is beign found for the wrong reasons. Your keywords may be too ambiguous or perhaps your online advertising is misleading.
Google Analytics can also be integrated with your Google AdWords advertising so you can track your incoming advertising campaigns more effectively.
Search engine traffic is identified by what keywords the viewer used to find your web page. Knowing that people are coming from Google is one thing but knowing what terms they are using to find you is very helpful in improving your web site SEO.
You can also identify visitors who came from other websites who link to you. This let’s you see if that expensive directory listing you’re paying for is working or not!
Sounds great! How do I install it?
It’s easy to set up, even for a novice web designer. All you need is a free Google account and then you can create your own Analytics account. You do need to insert some code into your web pages, so if you don’t manage your own website, you’ll need help.