I've seen some pretty big websites say that they have no use for
Google Analytics. That
surprises me, because I look at its reports almost every day and
find it an invaluable part of my income generating strategy.
It is certainly true that Analytics does nothing that I
couldn't do myself, though to do so would require more disk
space and processing power than I would want to give it. I'd
also have to write a fair amount of code to get the information
out in readable format. Why go to all that trouble when I can
Yeah, well, there is that privacy stuff. I am handing Google
a tremendous amount of information. But I'll
keep my head deep down in the sand for now, thanks.
My web site is the source of a great deal of my income. The majority
of it comes from consulting and troubleshooting gigs and the rest comes
from advertising revenues. Two pages are extremely important to me
because of that: my rates page
and my Advertise Here page.
(I recently began accepting individual banner and text ads again. I
had discontinued that for some time mostly because I didn't know
what to charge. I now have several years of Google advertising revenue
under my belt and have also looked at sites like Text Link Ads and AdBrite and have a much better idea
of what to charge. As usual, revenues will be shared with
I'm a tinkerer. I change those two pages often, trying out new
ideas in hopes of increasing income. I use Google Adwords to drive
traffic to here and of course use internal links also. I want to
measure the success of my efforts, and Google Analytics gives me those
To do that, I tell Analytics to treat visits to those pages as a
Goal. Once I have done that, Analytic reports tell me everything
I could possibly want to know: are there more or less "conversions"
(visits to those pages) this week than last week (or this month to last,
or any two periods I want to compare). What was the source of these
conversions - did they come from Adwords, from internal links, from
If I had merchandise to sell, I could also define "funnel" pages:
pages that lead to placing the order, such as a product selection
page, a page that gathers shipping and billing, and a final checkout
page. Analytics could then let me know if visitors started ordering
but abandoned the process part way through - which might indicate
that my process is too complex or something on the page is causing
them to change their mind.
Of course Analytics tells me much more. I can see stats for
individual pages, I can find out whether my visitors come back
and how frequently they do so, and so on. There are graphs
and tabular reports, and there is very little that you can't
quickly determine about your website's visitors.
I can experiment with such things as posting schedules: do
I get more readers if I post new material in the morning, the afternoon,
or evening? Is posting one new article per day better than two or three?
Some of these things take weeks to find out, but Analytics has the
answers if I want them.
Maybe the very small websites don't need this sort of data,
and maybe the very large sites have their own ways of getting it.
For me, Analytics is just what I need.
Technorati tags: google+analytics
If this page was useful to you, please help others find it:
More Articles by Anthony Lawrence
- Find me on Google+
This is a Unix/Linux resource website. It contains technical articles about Unix, Linux and general computing related subjects, opinion, news, help files, how-to's, tutorials and more. We appreciate comments and article submissions.
Jump to Comments
Many of the products and books I review are things I purchased for my own use. Some were given to me specifically for the purpose of reviewing them. I resell or can earn commissions from the sale of some of these items. Links within these pages may be affiliate links that pay me for referring you to them. That's mostly insignificant amounts of money; whenever it is not I have made my relationship plain. I also may own stock in companies mentioned here. If you have any question, please do feel free to contact me.
Specific links that take you to pages that allow you to purchase the item I reviewed are very likely to pay me a commission. Many of the books I review were given to me by the publishers specifically for the purpose of writing a review. These gifts and referral fees do not affect my opinions; I often give bad reviews anyway.
We use Google third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.