Even after I began making money as an affiliate marketer, a lot of what I was doing was based on guessing (usually resulting in movements backwards, not forward). I would change or tweak something and then wait weeks or months while keeping an eye on my sales history to know whether I was doing something right or wrong.

Today, I realize this was a really stupid strategy.

I missed out on hundreds if not thousands of dollars because I didn't use completely free tools to track my visitors and watch their behavior on my website. That's a "Grade A" rookie boo-boo. Oops!

Fortunately you've found these lessons, and today I'm going to make sure you never miss out on those hundreds or thousands of dollars because you didn't use the free tools available to you.

If you're smart and you approach internet marketing the right way, Google Analytics will slowly become the backbone of your business. You can see how many visits you get each day, how long visitors stayed on your website, what pages they visited, what page the exited your site from, and a WHOLE lot more.

Over the coming weeks, months, and years as you will learn to use Google Analytics a great deal. When you get used to them, you'll be able to quickly and easily see EXACTLY what you're doing wrong on your website. Like everything else it takes some practice, but you should start now.

Once you have your website setup analytics are really simple to install. In yesterday's lesson I linked you to a few free tutorials, and that same program has another awesome lesson on installing and learning analytics.

Use this lesson on setting up Google Analytics and learning the basics of interpreting them. After you've done that, let's talk about why Google Analytics are so important.

Let's say you're selling a product on your website, but first you want to get users to opt-in to receive a free eBook. You're probably going to test different headlines to see which one is most effective. Otherwise, you're just guessing.

It's kind of important to know if you're converting 0.7% of your visitors into email opt-ins, or if you're converting 12.5%. Google Analytics will give you that information. It's referred to as conversion tracking and it's an essential part of internet marketing.

You NEVER know what works vs. what doesn't work in this industry by simply guessing. Even long-time professionals use A/B split testing. If Barack Obama's hired copywriter (world-renowned copywriter, by the way) tested this many email marketing subject lines while trying to get Obama re-elected, self-employed internet marketers like you and me should do the exact same thing.

You can't guess your way to success in this industry. You need to familiarize yourself with Google Analytics and start practicing how to make decisions based on data. It will cut your time spent on trial and error in this industry by AT LEAST 50%, but probably much more.

So that concludes today's lesson. Install analytics on every website you ever run, and begin learning how to interpret your analytics. This video is a really good start to interpreting and taking action on your analytics.

So you've read a lot of information over the past few minutes, but the tasks for this particular lesson (down below) really highlight the take-aways.

We're two lessons in and just getting warmed up. Look at how much we've already covered! In the next lesson we start getting into the REALLY juicy, important stuff.

Tasks 0/3 completed
1. Watch the video on setting up Google Analytics (the first link)
2. Install Google Analytics on your website
3. Watch the YouTube video in this lesson to understand the basics of Google Analytics

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Beckron Premium
This is so useful and valuable lessons Ian. Thank you so much for your time and efforts :). I really appreciate.
Labman Premium Plus
I had to come back to your training after having time issues. Finally worked through all of it. Gee, my PM was well timed I guess.

Thanks, I learned a bit more and have some new ideas from this. You da man.
pribs Premium
I'm happy to have helped, Craig! And you're right, it was very good timing :)
stadium Premium
Really nice share Ian.
pribs Premium
Thanks Stadium! Just out of curiosity, how far into the lessons did you get?
MarieC Premium
Just completed your training, Ian. Boy, was it well-done, too! I am amazed at the level of instructional prowess you and other WA trainers possess. Your teaching points were very clear, well-organized, and very applicable to my niche website experiences thus far.

You suggested offering my visitors a useful opt-in incentive such as an ebook. I found a couple of plr ebooks related to my niche and downloaded them. One of them (Bird Watching for Beginners) is excellent and I will use it right away. The other, (Making Money Online from Your Hobby) unfortunately, was not as good. It contained a multitude of grammatical errors and fluency issues, making it unsatisfactory for my readers. I'm considering writing my own ebook on the same topic, incorporating the information and knowledge I've gained from WA over the past couple of months into the manuscript. I think I'm finally up for that big task!

Finally, I will continue to strengthen my niche website by continued application of your 7 steps -- in particular, using solid data to drive my improvements. Analyzing my data from Google Analytics is becoming much easier for me as I learn how to interpret all of the facets involved (visitor behavior, page content stats, bounce rates, referral sources, conversions, etc...).

Thank you for providing us with such excellent instructional support. Now I'm off to apply more of what I've learned from you today!

pribs Premium
Thank you very much for letting me know that you found it helpful Marie! Would it be asking for too much if I requested that you leave a review for other community members on the training homepage? It would help them to know whether or not it's worth their time!
MarieC Premium
Yes, of course, Ian. Sorry I neglected to leave a review right after posting my comment here. (It was very late and all of that comprehensive training exhausted my brain (LOL)! I will head over to the homepage right now. Thanx for everything!
pribs Premium
I just saw your review, and thank you so much! That helps people know what to expect coming in. I'm so happy that I've helped you, and very much look forward to hearing how it helps you expand your business in the future!

And don't worry, I know it's exhausting. I actually wrote them as a set of courses that's spread out over two weeks to my email list, so covering it all in one night is no small feat. You're a trooper!
uakoko Premium
Marie, you are a great writer. Everything is always expressed so clearly. I can't wait to read your new ebook...You could put it on Kindle. Way to go, girl! I'm so proud of you!
Carson Premium Plus
Looking forward to checking out this new training course Ian! Thanks for sharing :)
pribs Premium
I'm excited about the fact that you and Kyle finally get to see some of my lessons!