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This is a continuation of my irregular Google AdSense Tips series. I'll get back to my ongoing AdSense case study tomorrow. (If you haven't seen the case study, it's a step-by-step account of what I'm doing to build a nice-oriented money-making site called the Invisible Fence Guide.)

For a long time now, I've recommended that AdSense publishers join Google's AdWords program. (If you don't know what AdWords is, see my AdWords summary.) There were two good reasons for joining:

  • To access good keyword estimates
  • To drive traffic to your own sites by buying ads

Now there's a third, even more compelling reason: AdWords customers get access to the Google Analytics service for free! (Actually, the program is free to all comers, but AdWords customers aren't limited to the number of page views they can track.) Google Analytics tracks how visitors use your sites by gathering all kinds of statistics. All you do is register your sites and embed some simple JavaScript code onto your pages. Google takes care of the rest.

Google Analytics is something that Google acquired during one of its (few) recent acquisitions. (Google doesn't buy many companies, and the ones it does tend to be small, Google seems just as interested in getting good people as well as intellectual property. I doubt you'll see them ever buying a big company because of that — too much chaff. But I digress.) As a company, Google loves to collect and analyze statistics, so it's no wonder that they're interested in collecting statistics about how people visit websites in their quest to provide better searching and advertising services.

Google Analytics is already causing a lot of buzz, so spend the money to join AdWords (it only requires a credit card and a small initial payment of $10 or less — it depends on where you are in the world) and reap the benefits of seeing what's happening. The great thing about this is that even bloggers whose blogs are hosted on sites they don't control — like the domain — can use this service. This is a great way to get some good data on what people are doing on your site.

Note: expect delays when trying to access the Google Analytics site for a while, at least until the dust settles due to the excitement this is causing in the webmaster community.

Eric Giguere is the author of Make Easy Money with Google, a real (printed!) introductory AdSense book for non-technical people, available at all fine bookstores. Be sure to download the free sample chapter for more information about the book. Or add it directly to your Amazon shopping cart!