If you’ve recently built a website, or are looking at putting one together in the near future, taking the time to get to know Google Analytics is absolutely imperative. If you’re hesitant at all about acquiring a new tool to better understand your web traffic, just know these two things:

It’s free.

It’s awesome.

Google Analytics lets you monitor the amount of people that view your website, which pages they look at, how long they’re on each page for and so much more. When putting together a website, be it for business or for fun, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. If you hook up Analytics to your site, sit back and allow it to gather user data for a month or two you’ll have a very clear picture of how users are traveling through your website. This will let you know which pages need improvement and which ones you shouldn’t touch.

So, Analytics can help you track and understand your website better; that in itself is pretty awesome. There are other functions that make it even more awesome, however. One of which is the ability to set up Goals. A Goal is triggered when a user ends up on a certain page on your site. So, if you have a page that allows users to buy your product, you could set up the following “Thank You” page as a goal which confirms a sale. This gives you a quick, easy way to confirm how many sales you’re making online. You can also hook this up to AdWords and pay Google based on the amount of conversions you receive; maximizing the value of your advertising dollar. (I’ll talk a bit more about AdWords next week!) You’re not limited to setting up goals for payment reception pages, of course. You can have them trigger when someone fills out a contact form, or reaches any page on your website that you’ve determined has value. The versatility of these goals makes them exceptionally useful.

If you’re interested in learning how to use Google Analytics you can check out Google’s online training tool. And as always, if you don’t have the time to learn everything about Analytics but want it up and running on your website you can contact us or check out the SEO, Analytics and AdWords section on our website.

-Gareth Graham