Google Analytics is by far the most robust free site side analytics program out there. Now owned by Google, Google Analytics started out its life as a small analytics company called Urchin.
Google Analytics is used by millions of sites (hobby as well as ecommerce) to measure the amount and quality of traffic to a website.
Moreover, if configured properly, Google Analytics can also measure predefined KPIs and Goals such as purchases, downloads, subscriptions, thereby showing you which keywords convert to business.
Here are a few Google Analytics tips that I’ve gathered to help you get the most out of the package:
Use the filter at the bottom of the keywords list to include and exclude certain keywords. For instance, you can exclude your own brand name thereby allowing you to see which generic keywords are driving traffic to your site.
Use the compare two dates/metrics at the top to be able to see trends across the same variable on two different dates.
Exclude your IP address so that your figures are not skewed
Configure site search measurement in order to get valuable data on how users search within your site.
Under “Content” use site overlay to see what links on you site are most popular. This will give you a better idea of what content on your site is appealing to your users and gives you the confidence to remove or place “Nofollows” on non popular links.
The above are a few tips for using Google Analytics. There are many more fantastic features including the ability to export and email reports as well as integrate with Adwords in order to measure the performance of your paid ads.
In a nutshell, if you haven’t used Google Analytics yet, you’re completely missing out on a fantastic free Analytics resource.