If you want to improve your website to better serve your audience, you need to know what people are doing on your site. The key to figuring out what users are doing on your site is to use web analytics.
Most web hosting packages come with some form of free web statistics software like AWStats or Webalizer. But these are merely web statistics – lists, numbers, and if you’re lucky a few graphs. These statistics don’t really tell you anything about how visitors are using your website.
If you’re new to the web and/or can’t afford an expensive web analytics package like WebTrends or Unica, the best place to start is Google Analytics. This free (!) service allows you to gain a wealth of valuable insight into user activity on your site.
Most importantly, with a service like Google Analytics you can derive actionable insights that tell you what part of your site needs to be improved.
Iif you want to learn more about web analytics I highly recommend Avinash Kaushik’s blog. Avinash is an analytics guru at Google and considered one of the chief visionaries in the field.