Free Online Tools to Make Your Life Easier, Part 1: Web Analytics

So you finally got around to starting your website or blog, and you’re on your way to Web stardom. Hopefully, you’ve included some great content that your visitors will find valuable and want to keep coming back for. If you’re smart, you’ve also tried to include content that will attract new visitors. Now, how do you measure the results of all your hard work?

Answer: with Web analytics software. Web analytics software allows you to view information about your website visitors and the way they use your website. With Web analytics, you can find out:

  • How many visitors your website gets
  • How people find your website
  • Which of your online marketing efforts has been the most effective
  • Which visitors signed up for your newsletter or bought something
  • Which pages on your website get the most traffic
  • Where your visitors are located
  • What your visitors use your search box for

And much, much more.

Once you have all this data, you can use it to create new content, come up with new product ideas, refocus your marketing campaign, and target new customers. The more you know about who is (and isn’t) using your site and how they are using it, the better you can communicate with them. And more communication is your ticket to more sales.

Most of the Web analytics solutions available today will provide you with similar types of information about your visitors and website usage. Some purveyors are Google, Omniture, and Coremetrics. At ETR, we use Google Analytics ( because it’s powerful, easy, and free.

You don’t have to download a thing. (You go online to get your stats.) And setup can take less than 10 minutes if you’re fairly comfortable with managing your website. If you’re not, your webmaster can help you with an install in no time at all (and it will be worth it!).

Once you’ve completed setup, you’ll be able to go online and get up-to-date statistics about your website anytime. Additionally, you can save time by setting up reports that are automatically e-mailed to you as often as you’d like. Here’s what a sample report from one of our sites.

Regardless of the Web analytics solution you choose, get something going today. Tracking website usage is critical to measuring results, understanding your website visitors, and growing your business.

[Ed. Note: Rick Maggio is ETR’s newest Search Engine Marketing Specialist. The Internet is full of useful tools that can save you time… and make you money. But sometimes they can seem more complicated than they are. ]