Google Analytics is a free service to monitor and measure websites traffic. It can help you to monitor things like the number of visitors, the most popular pages/posts, the time lengths people spend on your websites, traffic sources and so forth.
I've been using Google Analytics since I started this blog. It is quite interesting to look at the analysis report of my blog. As you can see from the picture to the left, most people, about 52.24%, came from referring sites and 29.39% visited my blog through searching engines. As I have put my blog link on some social websites such as Facebook, Twitter, about me, and Travbuddy. I'd like to know which websites "contribute" most to my blog traffic. Well, not to my surprise, in terms of referring sites sources, Facebook has become my biggest traffic source, followed by about me, blogger.com and Travbuddy. When Google Analytics being used by the organization, it can be very effective for organizations to monitor the traffic source of their websites so that your organization are able to make better and more specific plans depending on the different traffic sources.
Another useful function is that it can help you to find out what key words brought visitors to your websites via searching engines. Among 154 people who visited my blog via searching engines, about 51 of them searched the key words "the bitch hits back" - my previous blog post about Danish anti - violence campaign. The rest of key words including coca cola, social sites, augmented reality, and so on. It can be learnt from the keyword what is current trend, what are people interested in and etc. It can help you decide what keywords you may want to target at about your website/campaign.
Also, by using Google Analytics you could also be able to know where your visitors are from. I'm quite surprised that there were so many visitors visiting from outside of the UK. Besides the UK, people were visiting from the US and then followed by India, Australia,Serbia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Spain and so on. Visitors came from 6 continents out of 7, no people visiting from Antarctica though! This function is a very helpful function as well - it helps you improve your website and possibly expands your business. For example, if your company is based on the UK, and your website is in English. It has been a large number of people visiting from Japan. If you are considering expanding your business and want to communicate with your audience better, you might want to add Japanese version to your site and write more things related to Japan.
At last, Google Analytics is a great tool to monitor your websites. But one thing I am still very confused is by comparing the results from Googe Analytics, Statcounter (same function as Google Analytics) and Stats (intergraded with Blogger), I could get three different analysis results sometimes. So it made me wonder how accurate can Google Analytics be. I wouldn't know the answer. Anyone?