Thursday, January 8, 2009

Google Analytics

Like nearly everything else on the net, Google has turned a common online tool into a turbocharged easy-to-use juggernaut of a web application that is (of course) FREE to everyone. After using Stat Counter for years to track usage statistics for small websites I've put together, I stumbled upon Google Analytics. I set up a FREE account the other day to start tracking usage on my blog. After pasting the tracking Javascript code in the source code of your website (with Blogger this is insanely easy and I'm betting even my Mom could do it), your site is ready to be tracked by Analytics.


Once data starts coming in you'll be able to track all the basic usage categories including referring pages, geographical regions, visit length, etc... On day two of tracking this blog, I saw that someone in Forrest Hills, NY accessed the site. I don't know of anyone living in Forrest Hills so I checked the type of visit and it was from a link on Google. The user had searched for "Syracuse suspension" on Google. If you do this search yourself, you'll see a very familiar site in the number two spot in the page rankings. I have no idea how that post became so highly ranked, but I'll take the extra exposure. If I ever decided to put Ad Words on this blog (no practical need right now actually I'm giving it a whirl), Google Analytics would be the perfect companion as you can easily track which keywords are being used to find your site from Google.

The only drawback to the tool is that it only updates usage stats once every 24 hours. That's hardly a limitation that would keep me from continuing to use this site. The free account is limited to 5 million page views a month. There's a 100% chance this will never happen for this blog and most sites out there but if it does, Google will wave that limitation if you sign up for an Ad Words account.

If you have a blog or other website out there and you want to see the who, where and why related to usage statistics, set up an account. This is another piece of evidence to back my claim that Google is the best company in the world.

NOTE: as of 12:45 PM, the link in question is now #1 on the Google search results!

3 comments:

Mommy, Esq. said...

Sometimes weird stuff will get you hits. I heard about a woman who talked about giving a snowplow driver a BJ so she could get her driveway plowed (dirty!) - she was just kidding but it resulted in a ton of hits.

DBK said...

If you ever talk about giving a BJ, I will never come here again. And it definitely helps that blogspot.com has a huge Google rating. Gives me some search engine ideas.

Kenan said...

Take a look at http://feedburner.com for RSS stats (also now owned by Google) and Google Webmaster Tools (http://www.google.com/webmasters/)