Google Analytics is a free tool offered by Google that is aimed primarily at marketers (or small business owners perhaps) as opposed to web designers. Using Google Analytics I can see, for example:
- How people found my website (directly, using search engines, from Twitter, from LinkedIn or from other sites).
- Which pages were most popular and how long people stayed on the site.
- Which keywords were used in search engines to find me – and how often.
- Most visits this month were the day after an introduction to Twitter training course that I gave.
This is all valuable information to monitor your marketing, your Search Engine optimisation and your visibility. You may also get ideas on changes that you might need to make to your content or site navigation. At a more advanced level you can set targets, track your Google Adwords, benchmark against similar industries/websites and monitor your geographical reach by city.
How Do I Start with Google Analytics?
- You need to sign up with Google.
- You need to sign up with Google Analytics. You will be given code that needs to be put into the bottom of your home page. You may want to ask your webdesigner to do this. It will probably take about 24 hours before the changes are displayed in Google Analytics.
- You will only be able to use the benchmarking capabilities if you agree to share data with others. Google states that they keep data confidential.
- Now login to Google Analytics.
- Choose your website which is listed and click View report to view the dashboard
How accurate is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics tracks users by storing cookies on their computer. If a visitor deletes their cookies frequently they will be treated as a new visitor each time they view your site. Some people do block all cookies. These visits will not be tracked. Google Analytics can track visits from mobile browsers if the mobile browser can run Java.