Starting last month, as an assignment for one of my mass communications courses in fact, I began harnessing the power of Google Analytics to better evaluate and improve From The Lab Bench’s reach and audience. Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that allows you to monitor statistics for your website (or blog site in my case). The software allows you to monitor statistics including number of unique visits to your website and pageviews per time period, the average time individuals spend on your site, and where your audience is coming from.
Google analytics is extremely easy to set up: all you need is a g-mail account and the ability to copy and paste the tracking code that your Google Analytics account will provide into the homepage of your website or blog site. From there, you can sit back and watch the magic happen!
Thanks to Google Analytics, I now know that From The Lab Bench has had 2,685 new visitors and 670 returning visitors to date, since I started analyzing website statistics in early February. Plenty of room for improvement, but I’m so excited that 670 of you decided to return to From The Lab Bench for more after a first read! I am greatly appreciative of every single one of my readers… it is for you and thanks to you that From The Lab Bench exists to bring the love of science to all.
One of the coolest things that Google Analytics does (in my opinion) is that it allows you to see where your readers are in the world. This helps me to have a better sense of connection with my readers, seeing them not as not just # of visits, but concrete locations in the world, locations with which I am both familiar and unfamiliar. I feel honored and humbled at the same time that From The Lab Bench readers in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and other places in the world that I have never seen may share my curiosity for nanotechnology and all things science. Of course, it is even better when my readers leave me comments below my posts (I always welcome your feedback, good or bad!)
In short, Google Analytics is the Bee’s Knees, where the best pollen is carried from the flower back to the hive! The software even tells me where my traffic comes : ~40% from referrals (thanks to all of you who link back to my blog!), ~33% from searches, ~25% from direct traffic, and ~1% from Twitter.
Leave me a note if you have feedback for From The Lab Bench! You can also now find me on Facebook!
On a side note, I came across an idea tonight that I think will become one of my ‘mottos’ for From The Lab Bench. This idea comes from an article that attempts to answer the question of whether science blogs can facilitate public engagement with science. I like this:
“Science bloggers need to become more aware of their audience, welcome non-scientists, and focus on explanatory, interpretative, and critical modes of communication rather than on reporting and opinionating.” – Kouper, 2010
Just keep reading… Just keep reading… Just keep reading…
Kouper, Science blogs and public engagement with science: practices, challenges, and opportunities, Jcom 09(01) (2010) A02.