Getting statistics about your site is always useful and interesting for every type of site, be it personal or an e-commerce money making machine knowing who, how, what, when and even why your visitors decided to take a look at your site. For e-commerce this can be vital and for personal/non-commerce sites its just interesting!
So today we are going to take a look at Google Analytics this is probably the best service for providing easy to read information about how your site is doing, like with Awstats and Webalizer which is provided with XDnet’s cPanel accounts, watch this space for articles about how you can use these to take a look at your site stats soon.
- What browser are your visitors using?
- Check out exactly how many visitors have been looking at your site.
- How fast is visitors connections?
- Look at how people navigate through your site and where they exit.
- How do people find your site? What keywords are they using to get to your site?
These important facts about your site can help you make informed decisions about the direction of your website, find problems users face and fix them – notice users aren’t finding that page you want? which pages make users leave? whats wrong with it? All these questions and more can be answered with the information gathered after just a few months of using analytics tools.
For basic web statistics, you can download your site’s log files. Access is included with all our packages. Log files are simple, they take a note of all page accesses, but the downside is they are not user friendly. There are software available to make them into a more friendly format, but why bother when there are tools which are easy to understand and more importantly use “out of the box”.
Using Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a great tool, and one of the many great sites which we have and will look into on XDnet, which really can help make your site great.
Small catch, unlike with Awstats and Webalizer which comes with XDnet’s hosting, you will have to do a little more than just activate it in cPanel, you have to add a code snippet to the bottom of every page on your website… which can be a long and tedious process, especially if your site is not template based.
Many people simply do not have the time (or patience) to do this, especially if they are not code litterate, and can end up paying a lot of money for this to be done. However XDnet offers this service for a fraction of the price - Just open a Technical ticket.
Now this could be one of the most helpful and interesting features that comes with Google Analytics, and appears to have incredible accuracy most likely because Google is a multi-billion dollar company which can afford the very best Geo-location databases I am sure.
With this tool you can see exactly where visitors come from instantly, but of course that’s not all, you can get even deeper and get close up views of what town or city your users are from, and of course like with colour coding you can easily see which cities have the most visitors, to the right is another screenshot of a website i run. London obviously has is the most visitors which will probably be the case with most sites simply because London is a very big city, but second is Swindon (home of XDnet) and also where the sites organisation is based.
Of course you can break this down even further and take a look at how many visitors you get per day for an individual city and much more.
How users view your site:
Google Analytics takes everything you can possibly know about your visitors and makes it into an easy to read, easy to understand and most importantly useful format.
With useful information like user connection speeds, if you find 99% of your visitors are on dial-up, maybe you should think about streamlining your site to be more low-band friendly? And vica versa, as much more likely in today’s market you find all you users are on Broadband (or higher) then maybe you can start thinking more about quality, use a slightly high resolution of images – your users are unlikely to notice a great difference so long as they have a fast Internet connection, but they will notice shiny new images where pixelated pictures used to be, however don’t forget to use caution everyone wants fast websites, and only sites with good, interesting and useful content are worth the wait of loading images.
I feel like I am starting to repeat myself a little so all i can say is, check it out, give it a try!