Thursday, September 07, 2006

all hail Google Analytics!

In its bid to take over your very soul, Google has added yet another must-have piece of functionality that works quite well with my Blogger template: Google Analytics, a site statistics tracker that breaks your traffic data down in all sorts of different ways. Analytics is primarily for people looking to expand their hits and increase their cyber-presence, but I find it useful despite having no consuming ambitions in that direction.

I've already found one very useful piece of data: the percentage of return visitors. On Day One, when I first installed Analytics, I was depressed to see that I had only 18% returns. Of course, the software had barely begun to gather its stats, so I should have realized that that number was skewed. After four days, my stats now show that 40% of my visitors are returnees, which is encouraging: all this time, I'd been thinking that most of my visits were random Google hits by porn hounds searching for something hairy ("hairy" remains the number one search word for people who find my blog, but I already knew that thanks to SiteMeter and my other stat counter).

Google Analytics is easy to install inside your template. Simply follow the instructions, and in a few days you'll have more information about your site than SiteMeter's free version can give you.


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