The Noisy Little Monkey Blog

For Web Traffic Statistics, Use Google Analytics

Posted in SEO by Jon Payne on 06-Dec-2007 14:47:00

As the owner / director of a small business which has a website, you should be monitoring the visitor data to your site. Key Performance Indicators are:

  • Number of visitors
  • Referring website (the site on which the visitor clicked a link to land on your page)
  • Search term used to find you (if the referring website was a search engine)
  • Entry Page
  • Exit Page

Now, most web hosting companies these days will give you 'free web traffic statistics'. More often than not, these free packages have much of the information you want, but presented in a way only techies can be bothered to understand.
Then your web hosting company is insulting you by even providing them. You need something more useable. You also need to ask what what the hell they do all day for the money you pay them... nothing but drink energy drinks, coke and coffee while they do unspeakable things to servers or build online games... is my guess. And, I know. I've been there. I've watched them do it and it sickens me.

If you don't have stats provided, your web design company or web host may have suggested you use one of these:

Which is so ugly and is so unfit for that purpose that I actually contemplated poking my own eyes out so I didn't have to gaze upon it any longer. Plus it's also an advert for someone who makes Flash Logos. But just to make crystal clear how poor this is as a way of measuring visitors, refresh this page and look at the counter again. It went up, right? Oh, how useful. If someone is browsing your site and you use one of these, it's like having a shop and having just one customer come in and go back out again, come in, go out, come in, go out, ad infinitum. And then you as the shopkeeper say at the end of the day "Well, I don't know why we didn't sell anything.... there were 100 people through the door today". !

Anyway, back to the task at hand and that's getting you some useable, business related stats.

All you need to do is sign up for a Google Analytics account and put a little bit of JavaScript (simply, a little bit of programming code that is invisible to most users) on every page you want to monitor. You may need your web designer to do this for you, but it is a very small job.

If you already have a Google AdWords account you should apply for Google Analytics by clicking the little green tab at the top of the page between 'Reports' and 'My Account'. If not, you don't need to be using AdWords to use the Analytics, and you can sign up here:
http://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/analytics/

It's all pretty self explanatory, but if you get stuck and fancy a half day training on how to get the best out of it get in touch. I'll see if I can help.

Once you've got this all installed you can analyse which marketing works for your website and which doesn't. It will probably give you a better handle on your marketing ROI than any other tool you've used.

Tags: SEO

Jon Payne

Jon Payne

Founder and Technical Director of Noisy Little Monkey, Jon blogs about SEO and digital marketing strategy.