Google Analytics for your home business?

Home-based business owners are necessarily jackpots in all trades. There is much to do and much to keep an eye on.

So any help you can get is appreciated. Especially if it’s automated.

Well, Google Analytics is one such automated free service that you might find useful. In this article, I want to tell you what it does so you can decide if it’s worth taking the few minutes involved to get started.

Once a week, Google sends me a PDF containing all of the following information. If you have multiple websites, you can send multiple PDFs to you, one per page. Page:

trafficcompared to the previous week. Both the actual numbers and a graph that instantly shows the trend.

Pages / visits. This number shows me that my average visitor views 1.59 pages. Since the purpose of the website is to get people to either sign up for the FindHotMarkets.com mailing list or purchase a paid membership, I am happy with this number. There are links to the opinion page and article directory, plus a link to a popup page explaining how the ordering process works.

page views. The raw number of page views and a comparison to last week. These comparisons are optional and can be switched off.

% New Visits. The report shows me what percentage of traffic is new. Upon deduction, the remaining traffic is visitors returning for an extra looksee.

World map. This pretty much shows where my visitors came from last week.

Overview of traffic sources. A pie chart shows how much traffic is coming from referring sites, directly and from the search engines. The URLs of the referring sites are also listed along with the amount of traffic they sent my way – this week and the previous week.

Keyword. This is handy information because it tells me which keywords and key phrases are sending search engine traffic. I notice that the total amount is not 100%, so it leaves me wanting to know what other keywords people are using to find my site. Hmmm. Maybe my site logs tell me what this report doesn’t do.

Goal conversions. You can identify up to 4 goals on the Google Analytics site. Examples of possible goals may be: getting a click through from the website to another page, or to make a purchase or to join a mailing list. The PDF shows me how many goal conversions took place last week.

Sidebar. This section of the report shows my site’s pages and how many visitors went to each time, again compared to the previous week. This gives me a quick overview of what’s popular.

Time on site. My average visitor spends 1 minute and 56 seconds on site. It’s down from 2:21 last week, and I wonder why …

browser. 58% of my visitors use Firefox. That doesn’t include me, because if I remember correctly, I checked a box at Google asking them to exclude my visits from their stats.

Connection Speed. I see that 35% of my visitors are on cable, 27% on DSL, 4% on calls and 1% on T1. A further 32% is unknown.

e-commerce. If you choose to enable this tracking option, you will also get an overview of how many transactions, average order value, and products purchased. And top sources of income.

In all, we have to say that these traffic statistics and web stats are very informative and the reports are available for free at http://www.google.com/analytics