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Understand Your Analytics And Reduce Your Headaches

22.06.2011 (04.09.2011)

An excellent resource to allow you to analyse your web traffic

Like most Google products, its better to tinker with rather than read help pages .

Recommendable Yes:

39 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
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Please note, Ciao have incorrectly placed this product, it should simply be Google Analytics, not which does not actually exist. Sadly Ciao will not allow a new entry, as this entry exists already.

If most people are asked what is Google Analytics, they will undoubtedly scratch their heads. Those that know about the application understand its basics but not what makes its heart beat. Here is a crash course on Google Analytics, for those that want an easy to understand guide.

If you are engaged in any form of web publishing then Google Analytics can feed enough information to you, to tell you if you are doing write or wrong. Basically the Analytics programme is a series of statistics that tell you all about the visitors you get to your site or blog. Best of all Google Analytics is completely free to use.

Once you sign up for a Google Analytics account you are given a piece of code to imbed somewhere into your site. This is almost like installing a GPS system in your car, it reads information back to you, and your computer about journeys taken through your website. You can install one overall code, or several for different parts of your website, so say for example you had a blog and a shop you might want to know which was getting more viewers. Once installed in your site, the analytics begin their work; it normally takes about 24 hours for them to start giving you information, but once it starts the information you are given is always current and up to the minute.

The site is broken down into what seems like endless individual sections, and exploring those different sections is an interesting way to spend some time. The break-down of your individual visitors to your site is quite specific, you can find out about the sort of operating system they have, is it a computer or mobile phone; what country and part of the country the visitor is in. And more importantly how long they stayed.

The Analytics program despite its uses can cause some slight disheartening revelations, my most recent trauma arose from the fact that 157 visitors on one specific day only spent 0.58 minutes at a maximum on the site. Having toured my blog I realised that sometimes it takes that long for all the components to load. But this is a useful asset to know, are the visitors bored with what they see, or bored by how long the page takes to load?

Peaks in visitors are clearly graphed, this means you are able to identify the sort of subjects you are listing and if they are popular or not. For example I heard a news story recently, and had blogged about it before most websites had been able to talk about it. The result meant I got a lot of traffic, and it also made me realise I need to focus on more of this sort of story or article.

The content overview section helps with the above information, it shows you the exact point that your visitors entered your site, which allows you to adjust and look at the sort of tags you associate with articles.

It also allows you to set target goals, if say you wanted to get 100 visitors, it will tell you the exact point the event happened. You can set alerts for a wide number of things, something that is incredibly helpful when building or progressing your site.

The most useful tool is the in-page analytics option, this loads your site and gives you actual pointers on key areas of interest and usefulness. It shows you where the biggest click interests are, where people exit. What adword boxes (if you are using them) are working for you, and what ones are not.

The most important aspect however of Analytics however is the source of entry information, an opportunity to see how people are finding you. Is it by direct entry to your site, by social networking, adsense, or search engines, or maybe even from another blog or website. This allows you to focus more on what is working for you, in the way you promote your site. Its this very fact that can save you hundreds of hours or considerable amounts of money. Imagine spending five hundred pounds or dollars, then discovering that all the traffic was coming from your social networking, or other blog/website.

The key thing to understanding Analytics however is simply using it, go into the account and after its been set up against your webpage or blog, tinker around with it. The information you find out will aid you tremendously and show you if your project is a hit or miss, and what to do to turn it round.
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Comments about this review »

Novabug 24.06.2011 19:46

It can be a useful tool indeed. :)

Secre 24.06.2011 11:44

I'm with Jesi - I can barely keep up with one review site at a time!!! Lissy

derek-j-a 23.06.2011 14:15

Good review. Very informative. I used analytics myself and made me more aware of its capabilities.. :-)

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This review of has been rated:

"very helpful" by (100%):

  1. bandcamp
  2. slik2000
  3. tumblewheel

and 36 other members

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