I encourage all of my clients to sign up for google analytics. It is free. It is easy to install on your website or blog, and it gives incredibly useful information about your website traffic.
Everybody is tightening their budgets right now, and where to place your online advertising dollars is a big question. Not only does google analytics let you see which websites are sending traffic to your website, it lets you search those statistics.
Today one of my online advertising links was up for renewal. I thought to myself, before I spend this money, I want to see if this site is actually directing visitors to me. I logged into google analytics. I clicked on the date range and set it from January 1st, 2008 until the present. I clicked on “Traffic Source” then clicked on “Referring Sites”, and it pulled up a graph with the site usage starting with the sites that refer the most traffic – but here is the secret weapon – at the bottom of that graph is a search field.
I typed in the name of the website that was selling me the link to see exactly how much traffic they had sent me last year. I found out the exact number of visits to my website in one year resulted from that advertising. What a powerful tool this is! Now, with the help of google analytics, I can make really informed decisions, very easily, about what sites are sending me clients and which aren’t. Being able to search the data for the specific website address is an incredible feature. It saved me so much time. With just two clicks, I could see exactly how much traffic a given site was sending me within a specific date range.
If you don’t have a google analytics account, and you run a blog or website, I encourage you to sign up for one today. Being able to view referring sites is the tiniest fraction of the useful information that it will supply to you concerning the visitors to your website, where they come from, how they navigate your site, which pages they land on and how long they stay. Even if you’re not going to look at the data right now – sign up and start compiling the data. Just go to http://google.com/analytics