Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Google does the statistics for you

Part of this whole blogging experience was to connect my blog to a Google Analytics Account and talk about what I learned by doing that.

Firstly, I have to set up the context of me starting to blog. Ok, so we were given the assignment somewhere at the beginning of March and we were supposed to set up the Google Analytics account and link it to the blog. I did that. And then I started spending my time on customizing the blog, finding the right widgets, searching for templates etcetera etcetera, apart from all the other things for other modules. So this took me approximately 3 weeks, as the work was more laborious than I thought. And I don’t know how, but I managed to screw up my blog with downloaded templates, as I did the huge mistake of not saving the basic template. Well done, student! And because my eyes are becoming suddenly smaller and somehow silly when looking at the Html code, of course I couldn't save anything and had to set up another blog. Don’t want to remember all the thoughts related to that…the analytics won’t have the same amount of time to analyze stuff, what will happen, how I am going to write about it; content analysis, organizational analysis…aahh it’s too much!! But anywayz…had to say ‘My bad!’ and get over it. Work with what you have…it’s like a 2008 advertising budget…no worries, we still have PR :)

So, my period of blog analysis was 4th of April – 4th of May. What I did it was that I started looking at all those numbers and try to understand what they say. And I actually came to the conclusion that Google Analytics is indeed, a very good tool to evaluate what’s happening with the online presence of the blog/website and you can follow-up to improve that presence. I will give some few examples, though they are not that encouraging for me personally, as the absolute numbers are very low…149 visits and 92 absolute unique visitors.

It seems that on 17th and 23rd of April I had two peaks of visitors, mainly because I had new posts and I promoted them on Twitter, Facebook and Yahoo Messenger. Also, if I look at the Map Overlay, almost half of the visits come from Romania, which are represented mostly by my friends on Messenger. But if we think about a website which is continuously promoted on a specific number of ways, we can relate this to the content of the website and see which information is more relevant. Furthermore, Analytics shows you the statistics on Content, making a top of pages most visited, top landing and exit pages.

Also, you can analyze visitor’s loyalty, by measuring visits repeated, recency of the visits, which means when was the last time the same visitor was tracked, length and depth of visits, last one showing how many pages they accessed on one visit.

Google Analytics shows the traffic sources, which I believe is very important, as it shows you exactly how good you are targeting your audience, might show you new audiences which you didn’t think about before, thus there is a need for exploring the communication with that audience.

All these are just some basic features of Google Analytics, but I’m sure there are a lot more to exploit in order to optimize the content and dissemination of the website.

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