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How to track and analyze your site

Now that you have your site up and running for all your visitors to see on the internet, don't think that your job is done!

You need to constantly monitor its progress, in order to be able to answer to questions such as:

  • How many vistors come to your site?
  • How many re-visit your site?
  • How long do they stay in your site
  • How do they come to your site (direct access, via search engine, through referring link, etc)?
  • What content and which path of your sitemap do they follow once they are at your site?
  • What is your most popular content page?
  • What country is your site being accessed from?
  • What browser, operating system and other technical info about your visitor's client computer
  • And many more...

By being able to answer to those questions, you can evaluate your site's performance based on the goals that you had set during its design. If you detect that for example some pages are not being reached by your visitors, then you will do tweaking changes to improve that, by possible re-visiting your design, your implmentation as well as your content.

If you are thinking how to track and analyze your site, I have a quick answer for you. There are some great free web based tools out there, which you simply register and they give you a code snippet which you simply copy-and-paste to the webpages of your site which you want to track.

I am recommending using one of the following free tools:

My personal favorite is (yes, you guessed right!) Google Analytics, because:

  • It offers all of its cool reports (which are a loooot!) and tracking for free (wheras the other two have limitations for their free versions)
  • It has a great interface and look-and-feel
  • It is integrated with the most popular internet based advertising platform (Google AdWords)
  • You can define specific goals and monitor their performance
  • One of its many cool features is the site overlay, where you see your site's traffic and conversion information for every link as you browse your site

Below you can see how your Google Analytics dashboard (front page) will appear for your site:

Google Analytics Dashboard

From the dashboard screen you can have an immediate picture of how your site is doing, what the trends are, etc., so that you can afterwards drill-down to specific segments you notice need your attention.

Always remember that You Can't Manage What You Can't Measure!

This section concludes Step 4. Are you ready to proceed to Step 5?

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