Google Analytics is a free statistic software provided by Google. Yes, it is free, it is from Google (anything from Google you can expect it to be really good! 🙂
I have been using Google Analytics for quite some time, more than a year or two if I am not mistaken. It gives a lot of details information about my website, which are actually more accurate than AWSTATS software in my own server cPanel. Eg. the visitors of my website should be from Malaysia majority, but AWSTATS shows that majority are from USA whereby Google Analytics shows that the majority are from Malaysia (which should be correct).
However, I have heard from others that Analytics does not give accurate tracking of your site statistic. For example, say your site has actual 5000 visitors in a month, Analytics might only tracked and showed you 3000 visitors in that month. I am not sure how true this is, but I do see some difference in number of visitors at Analytics and AWSTATS.
Besides the number, what I find really useful from Google Analytics is the [b]Traffic Sources[/b]. This shows you where your visitors are from (links). So you can take a look of which website gives you the most visitors or refer people to your site. In all of my sites, Google search is always the main source of my visitors. (Don’t under estimate the power of Google search engine). Yahoo search only brings me less than 10% of what Google search brought me.
So, how to use or activate Google Analytics to start taking information or statistic of your site? First you need to register an account at Google (if you already have an Google account, eg. gmail, then you can sign in to Analytic page directly using the same username and password):
After sign in, you need to add your website to Analytics. After adding your website, Analytics will give you a simple code that you need copy and paste to the page or website that you want to trace/keep statistics record. Take note that Google will only trace pages that have that codes in, so you have to place the codes wisely.
For blog, the best place to put the codes is in your header or footer. Personally I prefer footer to header, as it does not interrupt with the speed or loading time of my site. Details of how to put the codes is explained by Google in the Analytics page, so I will not elaborate long here.
Try it, you will love it! 8)