Who’s visiting your website? How did they get there? And what are they doing once they get there?
Those are questions you probably ask if you control a website, either as a blog author, webmaster, or website owner. If you rent space at a web hosting company, you probably get some sort of free usage statistics report. Typically, these work by parsing your web server's usage log, which keeps track of what files have been requested by visitors. While these packages often give you valuable information, they don’t always tell you everything you want to know.
Want to know something on the Web? Most of us have gotten into the habit of turning to Google for answers. The search and web-services giant has recently made their Google Analytics tool freely available to everyone. While it may not be able to tell you everything you want to know about your website, it can certainly be a valuable tool.
The home page for Google Analytics is http://www.google.com/analytics/. Follow the "Sign-up now" link to start using it. Like most of the new Google services, it's tied in to your Google Account, which is probably based on your Gmail Account. Once you have a Google Analytics account, you’ll be able to use it to track up to ten different websites. That’s a handy feature if you are a web developer who manages sites for a number of clients.