Using Google Analytics


A colleague recently pointed me in the direction of Google Analytics. It looks like a pretty comprehensive solution for analysing web traffic, including how it reaches your site, and how it converts on the site.

I’ve worked with a number of web analysis tools on client projects, including at Egg. Whilst all the usual suspects provide information about visitors, what really let them down was the ability to follow journeys on the site and look at key drop-out points in sales journeys.

In the end we developed a bespoke solution to do this at Egg. From first glance it looks Google Analytics does this using the funnel feature. Being able to overlay and segment the data using a wide range of variables seems to make this tool very versatile.

To date I’ve been using Mach5 FastStats Log Analyzer on my site and client projects to measure customer journeys on websites, using weblog data. In particular the hyperlink tree viewer is a useful tool for spotting trends and pinch points.

Installing Google Analytics on my Textpattern-driven site is a breeze. I just needed to drop a few javascript lines into a single form that contains all information on the site.

Apparently it takes around six hours for the first traffic data to register, but the useful stuff comes when there’s a decent amount of data to look back at.

I’ll post more information about how I find it in due course on this site. In the meantime I’d be interested to hear any experiences of using the Google Analytics tool or other software that does similar journey analysis.