No professional can deny the importance of analytics in a web project or strategy. They are vital to the measurement of traffic and the understanding of how people use your site.
Many small businesses still think of the old-style ‘hit-counters’ as the only way to record the success of their website, but they are as effective as a chocolate teapot.
Today’s analytics services are a powerful addition to your website. They are easy to install, usually free, and can be used to improve sales from your website.
Installing an analytics service should be done right at the very beginning of a web project in order to record all data from the start, but many businesses still don’t have any way of recording their website traffic.
We generally recommend Google Analytics, because it is powerful, free, and widely used. In our commercial builds, we install it by default, but we often advise customers who have their websites elsewhere, and in these cases we advocate to them the benefits and urge them to start using it as soon as possible.
Our main point is always:
It doesn’t matter if you don’t want, or have the time, to study your traffic or even if you don’t care. One day you will, and when that day comes, the part you will miss most is being able to compare current data to historical data, ie, comparing fresh results with old. Analytics services, although good, aren’t sprinkled with fairy dust, you won’t be able to magically produce data that hasn’t been recorded, but by installing an analytics service now, even if you don’t look at the data, you will still be able to use it at a later date.
Installing it is as simple as adding a few lines of code to the bottom of each of your website pages. If you use a CMS, like WordPress, then you should only have to add it once.
If you have a Google Account, you’re half way there, but either way, you can start here: http://analytics.google.com
If you think it’s all beyond you or worried that you might break something on your website, we can help you by installing it on your site. Just email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
And don’t forget to remove that hit counter!