analytics-thumb.jpgLike any decent hosted server, has some basic log files and parsing applications. Occasionally I look through them when things are slow and I’m particularly bored. You find interesting things… like the MySpace users that were hotlinking images from my old Fine Art gallery for their webpage backgrounds (that eventually stopped when I replaced said images with something less Fine and less Art). I also installed Google Analytics for two reasons. I figured it would be a good skill for client projects and I’d work out the kinks here instead of during said project. Also, because Google makes some very pretty reports. Among my favorites are the following:

General traffic reports that allow you to see the times of days and times of the week that folks swing by. For Cafe Arcane, it’s mostly Monday – Friday, from 9am to 4pm with peaks first thing in the (average) work day, again just before lunch and finally right before the end of the (average) work day. Good to know when folks are slacking off at work. :-)

Another good report is the nationality/country report. Here I can learn things like someone in Malaysia is a regular reader, as are a few Australians and a reasonable number of Europeans. Maybe one of these countries will hear our plea for UN observers during the next presidential election. :-)

Finally there’s the content optimization series of reports where I can learn that most of my guests are using Firefox, on an Windows XP machine, at 1024×768 resolution with Cable/DSL connection.

Now, this is mostly for entertainment purposes at Cafe Arcane, but Google Analytics can be coupled with custom tracking options as well as integrated into a banner click campaign, keyword placement and so on.

Google Analytics is a free service from Google and is easily incorporated into most web sites using a snippet of javascript. Though its so easy I don’t think one is warranted, I’ll write a basic setup guide if there’s an interest.