I participated in a Google Analytics webinar recently and I thought a recap refresher would be helpful- just the basics.
Google Analytics is a tool that shows its users how people found your web site, simply put. Moreover, Analytics details how your site was explored and how to improve the visitor experience so that ROI, conversions and money made can be increased.
In short, this is done by defining 'goals' and utilizing 'filters' that help manipulate data to be most useful. Additionally, Analytics uses 'funnels' to determine where and how you are losing the customers lost.
This free program includes differentiation of traffic sources, namely organic vs. paid. With the use of destination URL's, one can also track and report non-Google campaigns as well, i.e. Yahoo and MSN.
There are expansive reports that expand the idea of how your site was explored, like how they found you, from where geogrphically, and from where on the net.
The idea of one place to track and discern all of this information is ideal, and according to Google the coding is not difficult, but each page of your site must be manipulated.