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One of the most notable advantages of a website over traditional advertising methods is that web traffic is much easier to track and measure. Analytic tools can help business owners answer important questions about a website. For example, it's important to know how many people are visiting a website and where they’re coming from. Additional information such as what pages they are visiting and how long they’re staying on the site are also critical statistics.
By answering these questions, business owners can gain powerful insights into how customers and prospects become attracted to a website. Additional strategies can be formed about how a website’s content can best be optimized to meet the customer’s or prospect’s needs.
While large enterprises can use sophisticated analytics tools, for most small businesses, that kind of complexity represents expensive overkill. Instead, Google Analytics provides a free, yet powerful tool that will answer the vast majority of questions and provide valuable insights without requiring technical expertise to set up or an advanced statistics degree to interpret.
What to Measure
Google Analytics and other online traffic measurement tools can provide a wide range of data -some of which is good to know, and other data can be unimportant or confusing to measure. To gain the most information quickly and easily, business owners should pay attention to the following metrics in their website analytics report:
Installing Google Analytics on a website is a simple process. If you have a Google account, visit the Analytics home page and request an Analytics tracking code. This is a short script that will enable Google to track visitors and content.
This code should then be inserted into the HTML code of each page you’re interested in tracking. If you’re running a WordPress blog or have built your site in WordPress, many plug-in options are available that can automate this process for you. Once the code is inserted and verified, you’ll probably start seeing results in a day or so.
Within a few days, you’ll start to see interesting patterns about how the outside world finds and utilizes your website. This may confirm your website plans, or lead to suggestions for needed improvements.
Either way, it’s valuable to gain analytics data, so you’re not making decisions about a website based on hunches or guesses.