Want to know what part of the world your visitors come from? Look at the map. Want to know which posts have had the most views over a specific period of time? No problem. Need to know how this week's traffic has compared to a week in the past? Easy. Want to find out the most common key words bringing people to your blog? How about how long people generally stick around while visiting? What portion of your audience is new and which are loyal readers returning time and again? Which sites refer the most people to your blog? Or - the statistic that bloggers are the most curious about - how many people really actually stop by and are those numbers going up, down or staying the same?
Before you can do any of this, you need to get Analytics talking with your blog. Here are the steps you need to take so that Analytics can start gathering information for you to view.
That's it. Now leave Analytics alone for 24 hours minimum to allow enough time for the feed from the code you just inserted into your blog HTML to talk to Analytics. Kind of like when you set up electronic deposits to or payments from your bank account - it takes a few days for the process to get all confirmed and working.
After a few days, go back in to Analytics and you should see a green check mark under the Status column, signaling that everything is working. If you see anything other than the check mark, it means you need to troubleshoot why it didn't work by reviewing the steps.
In a few Fridays I'll do a post showing some of the ways to use the information Analytics has gathered for you. Take a peek at your Analytics in the meantime and poke around. Let me know if there is anything in particular you would like to better understand or how to do and I'll do my best!