google tools

Are You Using Google Alerts?

Screen shot 2012-09-01 at 2.43.34 PM I'm not sure what took me so long to begin using Google Alerts, but this has quickly become one of my favorite Google tools.  It's incredibly simple and very valuable for any organization!

Do you ever Google yourself or the name of the Church/Organization that you lead?  Of course you do!  Google Alerts will simply save you time and email you updates from what they find about you online.

It's simple just like most other Google products:

  1. Go go http://Google.com/Alerts
  2. Type in the word or phrase that you want to search
  3. Choose how often you want to be alerted
  4. Input your email address

Just like that you'll begin receiving alerts about any topic, person, organization, etc. that you would like.  I have about 10 words/phrases that I'm alerted of and it has proven to be incredibly valuable!

Google Analytics vs. StatCounter

In the church world there is always the debate on how much attention is given to numbers.  It's similar in the blogging world as well.  For those that have small numbers tend to say that numbers aren't important and for those that have large numbers maybe focus too much on them. I'm a numbers guy by nature and I like to track as much as I can when it comes to anything that I do.  One of the things I love about the web and analytics are the details in which you can track.  This is why I love both of these tools that measure numbers online: Google Analytics and StatCounter.

Google Analytics is an incredible tool and the standard for most users.  You can track everything from how many people came, how they got there, and how long they stayed.  It really is amazing.  The downside to Google Analytics is that it can be overwhelming to a new user and make them hesitant to dig into the value of these reports.

Statcounter on the other hand is not nearly as complex, but also does not have as many details in reporting of Google Analytics.  When you first open the page it will give you a report of the past few days with how many unique visitors you had and how many total page views for each day.  You can dig in further from there (I tend to check the Recent Visitor Activity page next).

My system for using these tools is not either or, but both and.  I check Stat Counter daily spending only about 5 minutes on the site each time.  I use Google Analytics about once a week spending about 15 minutes each time digging into my traffic, leads, and general trends.

I would love to hear what you use and how you use it when it comes to traffic on your blog or website.