Saturday, May 17, 2008

Google Analytics

Do you have a website or blog, and if so, what kind of site hit tracking software do you use? I have used about three different types, and have been very happy with SiteMeter. But if you have been looking for something that will give you a little more information, check out Google Analytics (free) at Analytics.Google.com.

For the people who may be reading this who don't have a website or a blog, it may seem creepy that someone wants to know how you found the site. It isn't for mean intentions I promise you, it's really to make a site better - the statistics help me know if I am providing what people want. It also tips me off to problems...for example, in the past I discovered that a certain page of my website wasn't working properly, when I investigated why such a large percentage of website visitors were leaving from that part of my site. I was able to fix the problem. So statistical information on a website can really be helpful for everyone.

At first, the workings of Google Analytics seems a little confusing, but the more I use it and look at the information that is collected, the more it all makes sense. It is great to be able to see the keywords people used to find my site or blog. I still haven't even scratched the surface of all the tools that are available.

Through Google Analytics, I found out that on average, the readers of this art blog only stay here for about one minute. They're either very impatient or they are speed readers. Another very real possibility is that the blog's main page has too much junk on it and it's loading too slowly.
Unfortunately, I bet it's the latter.

This blog gets around 1,300 visitors a month. My art website gets 4,490 visitors a month, and the average visitors spends about 2 minutes there, viewing about 3-4 pages.

Another interesting tidbit is the 'bounce rate.' I had no idea what that meant, I had to go and look it up. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who just view your main page, without going into any inner pages of your site. They leave from the first page they enter, and don't peruse any further. Having a high bounce rate means you aren't what they're looking for in some way. A high bounce rate might mean that the main entry point is not enticing enough to encourage further browsing.

My art blog has a bounce rate of 86.63%. I would say that is because I am so .... "Random" - as my teenage daughters would say. You may have noticed that I have trouble staying on one topic. One day I write about my kids, and another day I'm writing about how to draw or art business or whatever. I started this blog just for fun, so I'm kind of at a loss of what to do about that. Lately I have tried to stay focused on art topics, but I'm too busy to read up on art topics, so that explains a lot doesn't it? Look for this bounce rate to become a lower number as I have more time to think and go to the bathroom by myself.

The bounce rate for my art website is 48.89%. Much better than this art blog. Of all the people who visit, a little more than half of them go on to see more. They visit about 4 pages. Lucky me, the Contact Page is usually one of those pages. Over 17,500 pages of my art website are seen per month. To me, a website is the most fantastic portfolio for an artist. People are looking at my art from all over the world while I'm sleeping! So how cool is that?

1 comment:

Nicole Hamilton said...

Hello again! I appreciated this info on the Google Analytics. I will definitely give it a try. I have been happy with Statcounter, another free counter with some nice stats. Sounds like the Google analytics has some different things though. I will be interested to see the bouce rate!

I so agree with your comment about having time to do the things we should. I definitely should have been more dilligent about backing up files. I did lose lost of art files, and seem to miss more as days go by. Oh well, maybe they will be able to get some files retrieved from the ruined drive. Hope springs eternal! :)

 

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