Archive for the ‘tracking’ Category

Media Megan On the Map

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Last month, a person from my hometown of Warsaw, Indiana, a place where I haven’t had any contact with someone in the past 11 years, Googled me and ended up clicking around my blog for a few minutes.

How would I ever know this?

Google Analytics.

While I sometimes feel it’s kind of creepy to pinpoint exactly how someone is researching my online presence, where they’re doing it from and what keywords they’re using, it’s also extremely cool to have all this data available about my site’s visitors.

How else would I know there is a Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania?

Or a West Bromwich, England that seems to have a habitant visiting my site oddly often:

In all seriousness, as I mentioned in my post about plugins, Google Analytics has loads of information organized much more efficiently than cPanel’s analog stats or any other plugin I’ve seen that tracks visitors. I learned about Google Analytics in Zach Whalen’s Writing Through Media class, which I would definitely suggest taking if you’re enjoying Digital Storytelling. The classes seem to compliment each other very well with their content and goals.

To get started with Google Analytics, install the plugin to your blog and sign up for an account. You’ll see the screen below and will click on “Add Website Profile.”

Enter your website information and you’ll receive a code within a yellow box. Return to the plugin page and enter the code.

Wait a day or two for everything to start working, and then you’ll be able to learn about your site’s visitors: How are they getting there? Where are they from? How long are they staying on a page?

One of the Google Analytics features I always check out is Map Overlay. It presents information through text and images. It lists the countries/states/cities your visitors view your site from, and it also maps these out:

Google Analytics also gives users a visitors overview, traffic sources overview and content overview that you can explore more with a click of the mouse:

There are other features of Google Analytics I haven’t explored yet, but plan to in the future to get the most out of the service.

Finally, thanks to my Digital Storytelling classmate Sadie, whose comment on a previous entry inspired this post.