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Google Analytics Gives Me Too Much Information

Maybe it’s not really that Google Analytics gives me too much information but that I am prone to getting lost in small multiples. I guess technically GA’s interface isn’t small multiples, but it does have a lot of information. For example, I’m fascinated by the “click overlay” feature which shows me where people clicked on my site by overlaying little things that look like progress bars over all the links. If people clicked on them, they get a little “progress” and change color. Not surprisingly, the most commonly clicked items are post titles and “Continue…” links. People also click on “About Me” a bunch. And, Eric Cook’s blog “Words, get out of my head” dominates the clicks in the “recommended blogs” category. Rock on with your fun blog title, Eric!

For those of you not familiar with Google Analytics, its Google’s supersuite of traffic tracking software. I don’t use AdWords, nor am I using my blog to make money, but Analytics is still helpful. You may have noticed that I changed the format of blog links to include the title of the post instead of its unique ID number. I did that in part so that my “most visited pages” section in Analytics would make sense; now it shows me an entry such as “/blog/2007/12/07/google-calendar-mediawiki-plugin/” which I can understand without having to visit the page. Yes, my mediawiki plugin post is the most clicked individual post. Woot! I’ve used traffic tracking software Awstats and Webalizer, and Analytics is just slicker and easier for me. You have to post some JavaScript at the bottom of your pages (easy enough in a good WordPress theme), but since that script is just about the tag, it’s the last part of the page to load and shouldn’t slow your users down. You’ll need a Google account to access Analytics, and it’s instructions are pretty straightforward.

So, what do you think ?

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