In This Chapter
Seeing the differences between reports and analytics
Discovering how analytics software works
Setting up Google Analytics
You build your site, launch it, and wait. And wait. And wait some more. Is it working? Are you getting visitors? Are they doing what you want them to do? How will you know?
Enter the traffic report. A traffic report is a list of numbers and information about how folks are using your site, as shown in Figure 1-1. It is also the foundation for Web analytics.
Figure 1.1. A traffic report.
Web analytics comprises using a traffic report to draw conclusions and adjust your marketing strategy. So, if a traffic report is the pencil and paper, Web analytics is the process of putting pencil to paper and creating a blueprint for your next steps.
The distinction between traffic reports and Web analytics is critical: Many traffic-reporting packages — including my favorite (Google Analytics) — refer to themselves as Web analytics packages. They are not, however. There is only one Web analytics tool: your brain. Don't forget it.
In this chapter, you find an introduction to Web analytics and traffic reports. Discover what's possible with analytics but also what's beyond its reach. I explain the basics of how traffic-reporting tools work and offer guidance on choosing one from the options available as this ...