Basically, Google Analytics is a service by Google that tracks visitors to your website. It tells you how they got there (via which search engines), how long they stayed, where they’re from (city, state and country) and how many pages on your site they looked at. Frankly, it’s both fascinating and creepy all at the same time. (Important note: If you are or become a frequent reader of this blog you must come to know some essential things about me. One of them is I grew up during the Cold War and spent a large part of my childhood believing that we were mere seconds away from nuclear Armageddon. I was always burying time capsules with a bunch of pennies and copies of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence so that future survivors would have something to go by when they had to start over. My fascination with post-apocalyptic science fiction by writers like Robert Heinlein didn’t help any nor did all the movies I watched growing up like Soylent Green (SOLYENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!) The Omega Man or Planet of the Apes. So it’s easy for me to believe that Google is becoming the HAL 9000 of our time and one day it will become sentient and wipe us all out and spend eternity just searching for itself while we all cower in a bunker with Charleton Heston. But I digress).
Anyway, there is a load of information on Google Analytics and most of it makes no sense to me whatever. What is a ‘bounce rate’ anyway? However there is one section of all of the reports and charts and graphs that draws me in each morning.
I’m talking about the map.
Yes, Google Analytics has a map that tells you which country, state or city your website visitors come from. The first thing you see is the world map. Each country is a sort of yellowish color until you have a visitor from that country then it turns green. So far, I’ve gotten visitors from 15 countries (that includes the US and Canada). It’s become my new obsession to log on each morning and see if anyone has joined the one visitor I’ve had from South Africa. Or the two from Australia (or as I call it Canada Lite). Yes, today I got Sweden!
I feel a little bit like Dr. Strangelove, but it’s so cool to look at. Although I will say what is bumming me out is the states. Several states have provided my website with zero visitors so far. What’s up with that? What is wrong with you people in Maine and North Dakota anyway? I mean I know it’s cold there right now so you should be on your computer visiting www.michaelspradlin.com! You too Montana! I mean it.
So I need your help. As you can tell things are starting to get a little out of hand. Please do your part to help color in my world map. Send a link to my website to everyone on your email list. They’ll enjoy it and once my map is all colored in, I’ll find something else to obsess on and can back to work on my next book. It’s in your hands.
I’m counting on you!
Michael P. Spradlin