Thursday, December 27, 2007

An introduction to Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website. Its main highlight is that a webmaster can optimize his AdWords advertisement and marketing campaigns through the use of GA's analysis of where the visitors came from, how long they stayed on the website and their geographical position.

Users can define and track conversions, or goals. Goals might include sales, lead generation, viewing a specific page, or downloading a particular file. By using this tool, marketers can determine which ads are performing, and which are not, as well as find unexpected sources of quality visitors.

Google's service was modeled upon Urchin Software Corporation's analytics system, Urchin on Demand (Google acquired Urchin Software Corp. in April 2005). Google still sells the standalone installable Urchin software through a network of value-added resellers; Urchin customers complained that support for and development of the standalone product languished after the Google acquisition, although a new release entered beta testing in October 2007 [1]. The system also brings ideas from Adaptive Path, whose product, Measure Map, was acquired and renamed to Google Analytics in 2006.

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