I put Google Analytics on my website recently. It’s free if you have a gmail account. And it’s pretty easy. You just copy a bit of code and put it on the site.
Al, my web guy, had set up another stat site that helped me see where people were linking from. From this I’ve seen how my Boston Globe Travel Section story on Beachcoming on the Thames has been linked to by three other sites, including an English jewelry maker who uses her beachcombing finds in her jewelry. So this story is living on, gaining readers each week.
But Google Analytics goes deeper.
The level of information it gives me on the visitors to my site, bjroche.com is both fascinating and a little disturbing. I can see how many unique visitors, what stories they looked at, and even what city they are in.
I wonder: who is that person in Chicopee reading my site? What flavor Pop-Tart did (s)he have for breakfast? Google Analytics doesn’t tell me that. Yet.
Should this worry us?