FYI Corner: Google Analytics

Computers = Cookies

Okay, so maybe that's a little too vague. The reference here is along the lines of that old children's book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." The protagonist in this story learns throughout several beautifully illustrated pages that "if you give a mouse a cookie," you'll have to get him some milk as well. Then you'll have to get him a straw, a napkin, a mirror, and so on and so forth.

Computers are very much like the cookies in this classic tale. (Though if you give one to a mouse, he'd probably just gnaw on the cables and scurry away.) I say this because when intelligent and inquisitive minds are placed in front of a computer, they can’t help but ask for more.

When e-commerce became the norm and an optimized online user-experience became pivotal to success, businesses cried out for a way to efficiently track everything that was going on with their online presence. This need caused giants like Google to develop Google Analytics, a highly effective internet traffic tracking resource.

Like most businesses with a strong online presence, stations definitely need to understand what areas of their site are the most popular. This information helps you identify areas to devote resources to, where to strengthen your marketing initiatives and even how to create better user-to-member conversion online.

Many stations are already using Google Analytics, and some of you may not. Either way, Mashable has posted a great article about How to use Google Analytics that is a must-read for any station looking to figure out "the more" that your user needs through metrics.

The article contains information on how to use Google Analytics most efficiently and effectively, including What You Can Measure, Setting Up Your Dashboard, Data Tables and Visualizations, and Sharing Reports. It is a great 101 for any station just getting started with Google Analytics, or for those that might need a little refresher.

And for information on how to use Google Analytics to get the most out of your COVE portal, head over to the Incubation Lab and download documentation created by your station digital media colleagues.

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