Fortunately, given the rise in the importance of analytics, there are many new, easy to use and free programs available. Google Analytics, for example, can be used on any website and give you a great snapshot into how viewers are arriving at your website and what they are doing once they get there.
So, what do you look for in analytics? Here is a snapshot of some of the things that we have found:
1) Traffic Sources: This tells you where your traffic is coming from in terms of other referring websites. If you traffic is high from a particular website, you may want to concentrate on ways you can exploit that link and gear content towards that websites potential readers.
2) Pageviews: Which of your pages are being viewed the most, and are the most popular pages the pages that you want to be the most popular? If not, what can you do to change your website/increase your SEO?
3) Search Keywords: What search keywords are the most popular for when people find your site? Are they keywords that you would expect - and, if not, how can you alter your content?
4) Time of visit: What time is your website the most popular? What does that say about your audience, and when should then be publishing new content?
There are many different thoughts on how to use analytics, and I'm sure some of you out there have ideas. What else can you share with us?