Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What Is Google Analytics?

by Peter J Moore

Google analytics is a free web-based service which gives you up-to-the minute website traffic statistics and marketing effectiveness figures. So how can it be helpful to a website owner?

Well, you've set up your website but how do you know who has visited it and how effective it is? It may look good to you and your mum will have told you that it looks lovely - but as a business tool, is it working and having the desired effect of bringing in customers and getting you noticed? That's where Google analytics comes in handy.

The analytics will allow you to see who is viewing your site (and sometimes where they are based in the world), so again you can see whether there are any trends or patterns around who is most likely to hit upon your site and for how long they visited each time. It will also tell you which pages they viewed so you can see which are the most popular and which pages are perhaps not working for you.

You can set up email campaigns which are targeted at your chosen audience and then Google will tell you who has opened them, read them and how many 'click-throughs' to your own website you've had on the back of them. This enables you to revise your campaigns as you go along so that you know exactly where your marketing tactics need to be improved.

Like any other web tool, it's relatively easy to set up and use but there are also add-ons which you can select if you want to get really involved. It can actually become quite addictive!

On the back of your statistics, you may decide to revise your website completely or just target specific areas which you feel need to bring in the customer further. You will soon get a feel for which bits are working and which aren't.

You can set up Google analytics to work in conjunction with other Google money-making sites such as Google Adwords, Adsense and so on. Additionally, this allows you to improve your return on investment (ROI) for the business and you can determine which visits to your websites are converting into sales for you - this is a huge enhancement and a very useful tool for any business person. Website hits are all very well and good but we want them converted into referrals and ultimately cash.

So if you're a natural 'curtain-twitcher' and can't resist wondering what others are up to, then Google analytics is for you and your website! It's not spyware because it can't pinpoint who your customers are and where they live exactly - but it can tell you how popular your website is and who is bothering to read your email blasts. Watch those campaigns turn into hits and your hits turn into cash.

About the Author

Pete Moore is a UK based author and co-founder of http://www.EzWeb123.com, an award winning website maker that is ideal for any small or start up business, organization, group, club, society, association, guild or charity looking to create a professional looking website.