Measure UpSo you’ve built this fantastic website. You’ve filled it chock full of great resources and information of value.  You’ve written a bunch of insightful blog content.  Now you begin to wonder if anyone’s even coming.

You can find out all about your visitors and a whole lot more with Google Analytics.

This application provides free comprehensive statistics regarding traffic to your website or social media homepage.  Working with this platform, you can measure many vital indicators to not only determine the effectiveness and efficiency of your marketing campaigns and web structure, but to also tailor your approach to ensure your message reaches the widest amount of potential clients in your ideal target market.

Google Analytics offers all kinds of great measurements you can dig into, but first you must add the code.  If you have a platform like WordPress publishing your blog you don’t need a long coding background.  You can simply paste the code into your template or theme. The theme will populate the code throughout every page you publish.  If you have a custom-built website you or your web developer will need to implement the code on each page manually.

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Start by visiting the Google Analytics website and signing up by clicking the “Access Analytics” button and adding a new account.  Fill out the required information on the next page and agree to the terms of service.  Google will provide you with a JavaScript code in which you will then need to plug into your website template.  It may take 24-48 hours, but soon you will start seeing a ton of great information regarding your site.

Once Google Analytics begins to recognize your site, go to the home page and click on “View Report.”  You’ll see the main dashboard, a customizable overview of your site’s data. Over on the left, you’ll see a few of the measurements this application provides.

Clicking on any of these categories will provide great amounts of information regarding your website or social media page traffic.

Which analytic you delve deeper into depends on what you would like to learn more about.  Perhaps see which keyword searches led to your site the most often.  What other pages have referred you the most?  Which pages interest your fans the most?

You may adjust the date range in the upper right-hand corner prior to running your reports.  Click on the date range box and a calendar will pop up.  If you want to compare date ranges, hit “Comparison” underneath the “Date Range” field. This will bring up a second calendar for you to adjust based on what time periods you want to match up against.

Google Analytics represents many analytics, such as pageviews and conversion rates, in graphs that present data for the topic and date range you’ve selected.

You can change the metric you want to analyze by clicking the tab above the graph on the left. You can also compare two metrics against each other or compare your current stats against your set goals.  You will want to set up goals since all of the analytics you want to see drive off of the targets you set.

Event Tracking helps you track how many people download a giveaway, video, program, or particular product or offer.  You can see which links perform the best and who clicks on them.  Google Analytics will even help you design your page by showing what area on your page garners the most attention.

If you’d like to share your findings, you have the ability to email your report via an email button found at the top of all reports just beneath the title.  If you need to print it out or like to work hands-on, you can export it in a variety of file types as well.

By being in tune with analytics, you can be in greater tune with the other four elements of online marketing success: Added Content, Messaging, and Value, Engagement, List Building, and User Experience and Mobility.  Prevail in all five of those and you’ll be well on your way to living a life unbound.

Google isn’t the only platform that offers analytics – Check out these other applications as well: