More Crafty Web Tools: Google Alerts & Analytics

Two more great web tools for crafty business owners are Google Alerts and Google Analytics.

What are Google Alerts? They are super simple to set up and all you need is a Google/ Gmail account. Here's a description taken straight from the web site: Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. So basically, all you do is log in to www.google.com/alerts/ and choose some search terms and how often you would like to recieve updates and Google will do the rest. So, if you were following a certain story or topic, you would just type that in and you'll get updates in your inbox whenever anyone posts info regarding that topic on the web.

Why is this a good tool for your business? Well, have you ever Googled yourself or your business to see if anyone else has blogged about you? If you belong to a number of forums, social networking sites, etc. then you might come up with several pages of results. Who has time to go though and look for new posts on a regular basis? Not me! So with Google Alerts, I just tell it to search for things like "peptogirl," "peptogirl industries," "sacramento craft mafia," "indiesacramento" (and "indie sacramento") so that I know when someone blogs or posts content relevant to myself. Pretty cool, huh? As a business owner, you should know and care what people are saying about you - and you should be aware of where your customers are coming from. For instance, if someone writes good things about you and it increases the traffic on your own site than you might want to send that person a friendly thank you email - or a large fruit basket. Or if said blogger is me than boxed chocolates always work. hehe.

But seriously, while we are speaking about the importance of knowing where traffic on your site is coming from, I should mention a tool called Google Analytics. This is a web statistics tool that can help you to learn more about where your visitors come from and how they interact with your site. And it's helpful even if all you have is a blog. Now if you have a real web site, you might already have web statistics from your hosting company. If so, you may not need Google Analytics. There are also a variety of other web stats providers out there and you may choose to go with one of those. I personally like Google Analytics because it's free and they don't make you put an annoying button on your site.

How does it work? Again you need a Google/Gmail account. You will need to log in to www.google.com/analytics/ and enter some info about your site or blog. Then Google will generate some code that you will need to paste into your site or blog template in order for the stat reading to begin. Once you have everything set up correctly (don't be afraid to use the help link if you are having trouble), then all you have to do is log in to www.google.com/analytics/ to view a report of your stats. You can see how many visits your site has had on a certain day, week, or month. You can see which pages are the most popular. Often people come to your site or blog to view your tutorials. If your tutorials are popular, then you'll know it and maybe you'll want to create more. You can also see where people are coming from. Are there certain keywords they are searching for when they happen upon your site? Are they coming from the Sampler site or Indie Finds, or another site that you may have paid advertising on? It will help you to find out which marketing tools are most effective.

Thanks for reading and good luck! And remember, embracing technology can mean good things for your business! And stay tuned for a post on how YouTube can make you famous!


Nick Mudge said...

I use google analytics for my blog and news website. I found it to be very useful.

Anonymous said...

You learn something new everyday (iron on patches and now Google Alerts-- I guess you really don't know what you don't know). I'll check back often. Thank you for leaving a comment.

Drew from Dumbworld

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