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You need Google Analytics for your website!

--Or something like Google Analytics, anyway.

Google Analytics is a free, easy-to-use method of gathering statistics on your website. You put a small piece of code into your website, and Google will start collecting data on your visitors. You will receive information on how many people are visiting, how long they are staying, what browser they are using, what search keywords or what websites they are coming from to get to your site, and much more.

Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool, and the best thing about it is that it's totally free. I could expect to pay a high monthly fee for such a service. I have Google Analytics code installed on all four of my websites, and I'm very happy with it.

Google Analytics has a bit of a learning curve, because it's so powerful, but there are many things you can learn from the Google Analytics data. To start out simple, let's see what search engine keywords are bringing people to your website. After you have installed the code, wait a few days for Google Analytics to gather data.

Once Google Analytics has collected some visitor data for your site, scroll down to the Traffic Sources pie chart. If you have a red wedge in your chart, that's your search engine traffic. Click 'view report' and view the full keyword report.

Google Analytics traffic sources pie chart data search engines

It's very important that you know what search keywords are driving people to your website or blog. When you find out what keywords are working, you can work on making sure those keywords are used more often.

Sometimes, you will get search engine traffic from a search term that is not addressed on your site. For instance, on my knitting blog one person searched for "how to dye roving". I don't have a how-to article about dyeing roving on my blog, but it sure would be a good idea to write one! Make sure that when your readers are searching for something, they will get what they want to find. Google Analytics will help you identify what people are searching for when they come to your page.

That's just one of the ways you can use the power of Google Analytics to improve your website or blog. There are other ways too, so poke around on Google Analytics and learn something about your visitors.


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