Use Web Analytics To Improve Your Website

Google Analytics screenshotIf 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.

Good web analytics software goes one step further. It takes the same data as web statistics but unleashes clever analysis on it that tells you a great deal more. Additionally, usually through embedded JavaScript tags that are added to every page on your website, web analytics software can tell you things about visitor behavior and the effectiveness of your site that mere web statistics could never reveal.

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.

Tools, Web Analytics

Comments

  1. Hi Barry!
    Great start for this new blog. I guess you will continue the article into a series about tracking, testing, and taking action. Can’t wait till you write about Google’s Web Site Optimizer.
    Yours John (a friend from Triiibes)

  2. Hi John! Thanks for the encouragement. I will definitely write more about analytics, it’s one of my favorite topics. But first I want to set a general theme for this blog and that means writing about many different aspects of making effective websites. If you have suggestions for certain topics, by all means let me know!

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