Free Data You Can Use To Refine Your Site for Better Results
If you haven’t signed up for your FREE Google Analytics Account yet, you should. This free tool provides all kinds of helpful information to guide you in your efforts to improve traffic, select effective keywords, evaluate landing pages and track conversions. GA can track visitors from all referrers, including search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, email marketing and links within PDF documents.
Sign Up for Google Analytics and Get Started
Google Analytics’ approach is to show a simple dashboard that can be customized to show the metrics you’re targeting. You can also drill down for more in-depth analysis using multiple reports available in the site. Getting started is easy: simply sign up, identify which site you’re going to use (you can follow multiple sites — up to 50 at this time) and place the tracking code in your pages. Google provides a checklist to organize your account and get you started.
Google’s advice on placing your tracking code:
- Finding your personalized Google Analytics Tracking Code
The tracking code is profile-specific, which is why you can only access it via the Profile Settings page for a specific profile. Please read Where can I find my tracking code? for full instructions.
- Implementing the code
Once you find the code snippet, copy and paste it into the bottom of your content, immediately before the </body> tag of each page you are planning to track. If you use a common include or template, you can enter it there. To implement tracking code for secure pages (e.g. https://), please read How do I obtain tracking code for secure pages?
- Implementing the code for unique pages
For more information on how to implement the tracking code for data-driven pages or pages with frames, please follow the instructions from the relevant section in the Google Analytics Installation Guide.
You should be finished once you install and save your tracking code for your pages. If you wait 24 hours and still don’t see any data, please read Why isn’t Google Analytics tracking my Website?
If you don’t know how to insert the code into the pages of your site.
Within 24 hours, you should begin to see data rolling in. Start by selecting just a few key metrics that track what’s most important to your business: is it traffic to a particular page?, referrals from another site?, keywords that bring the most traffic? Then review those data points on a regular basis and begin tracking the impact of any changes you make to your site. Pretty soon, you’ll be tweaking and refining and getting the most out of your efforts.
Google is not the only search engine, but it’s still the 800-pound gorilla in the room. This is a free and painless way to see how the market responds to your online marketing and gives you a basis for making changes that work.
Be brave! Sign up, place the code and get started. Take control of your traffic!
About the Author: Deb Ward is owner and founder of iMedia Buzz, Inc. which offers Basic SEO, Keyword Search, Web Copywriting and Content Creation to small businesses. Get Found!