By Gloria Sanchez

Now that your web site is public, do you know who is visiting it? Understanding your audience better will help you to improve your site and increase traffic.

Google Analytics is one of the many programs available that helps you generate statistics and make sense of your website tracking numbers. The good thing about Google Analytics is that is free and fairly simple to use and understand.

If you already have a Google account the only thing you have to do is sign up with the same account and enter your website address. You will be instructed to copy and paste a code at the top of each HTML page you want to track.

Google Analytics produces easy-to-understand visual reports to help study your web site performance and visitors behaviors over time. You can run reports on the number of visits, average time spent on the site, bounce rates and more. You can track results daily, weekly, monthly or annually.

Discovering how you visitors found your site – by email, search engines, external links, ads, etc. – and where in your site they clicked, can help you indentify what works well and what might need improvement to attract more visitors.

If you want to learn more about website analytics programs, Mashable has a good article on this topic: Analytics Toolbox: 50+ More Ways to Track Website Traffic . The article is more than a year old, but it still has a good list of  the most common web analytics programs.