Over the course of this blog I’ve talked about Google Webmaster Central for bloggers, Why I Heart Feedburner and Google’s Blogger: Pros and Cons for Freelance Writers. Today I’m going to talk to you in very general terms about how I use the free web analytics tool called “Google Analytics” on my blog.
Before I do, I’d like to offer that if you’d like to read up on Google Analytics there’s nothing like going straight to the source: you can read the Google Analytics Blog or the ROI Revolution Blog which is the company that performed the training I had attended. Second, web data is not like financial data no matter how many ways you slice and dice it. This means that while every penny may add up in your accounting software; not every visit will “add up” in web analytics so don’t get too obsessed over every, bitty thing.
Since installing GA early January, I’ve been using it to track comparison trends and understand where my traffic is coming from. My goals for my blog are different than a website that sells stuff or offers rapid-fire information; I hope that my content will be useful six months, a year, or even five years from now. I do not have buckets of traffic where I have even 1,000 plus visitors every day. Another way my needs are different from other blogs, is because blogging is a way for me to explore more tools, stay on top of web trends, network, make announcements and offer you my experiences to “pay it forward.” I’m not blogging for dollars; if I was, you’d better believe I’d be doing things differently.
Here’s an example of the comparison view graphs you can use to track trends in Google Analytics.