Another of the many new features in the Sitefinity 4 RC is improved Analytics integration. Sitefinity makes use of the Google Analytics API to deliver the complete analytics experience right inside your Sitefinity Administration Dashboard. This enables you to analyze you website traffic and gain insight about your visitors over extended periods of time.
Keep in mind, each edition of Sitefinity has different features available. For a complete list of the different editions and included features, be sure to review the Sitefinity 4 Pricing and Licensing.
Gabe Sumner has put together an excellent video on Web Analytics in Sitefinity 4. Be sure not to miss this detailed walkthrough Analytics setup.
To enable analytics, you first need to have an existing Google Analytics account. If you don't have one, it's free to sign up.
Once you have your Google Analytics account, simply navigate to the Analytics section of the Sitefinity Administration. You'll be shown a First-Time Setup and Configuration screen:
Login with your Google Analytics credentials and you'll be presented with the sites you've registered to be tracked by Google. Select the site that corresponds with your Sitefinity installation to continue. Be sure to also choose a Sitefinity user to be an administrator for Analytics.
After choosing your site you will then be presented with a dashboard similar to what you would see in the standard Google Analytics account. However, since Sitefinity uses the power of the Telerik RAD Silverlight Controls, you are able to enjoy a much sleeker, more interactive experience!
And like the Google Analytics website, you are able to filter data by custom date ranges.
With the RC release of Sitefinity, Analytics integration now full includes ALL of the standard reports available in the Google Analytics website. This means you no longer have to leave your Sitefinity Administration Dashboard to review site usage and reports. There is also a helpful search box to help filter the list by name and quickly locate a specific report.
As mentioned, because Sitefinity uses Silverlight for its Analytics integration, you get a rich, interactive experience. For example, in the report below, I'm comparing the top referring websites. Hovering over a specific graph highlights it, de-emphasizing the other dimensions and providing additional insight on specific data points.
Another report that benefits from the Silverlight experience is the Analytics Map, which shows a geographic representation of your visitors on a visual and interactive map. You are able to zoom into specific regions to gain more insight of specific regions or even cities that your visitors come from. Since this is done with Silverlight, the zoom effect is smooth and highly interactive.
Permissions and Security
Although you specify the Administrator for Analytics when you first enable integration, you are still able to add additional users as needed if your needs grow. Simply enable an existing Sitefinity user in the Administration settings to have access to the Analytics data.
In addition to adding new users, Sitefinity 4 also allows you to specify custom permissions to restrict or grant access to individual reports. The Permissions section allows you to enable specific reports for individual users for better control over your analytics data.
Analytics integration is a welcome feature already improving with each Sitefinity 4 release. Even with the RC release, you are able to bring the full Google Analytics experience directly to your Sitefinity Dashboard. This helps you save time while bringing even more value to your Sitefinity Administration.
This feature will continue to evolve as the Sitefinity team adds new reports, as well as allowing you to overlay Sitefinity data with your reports. This can be helpful in analyzing how specific change (such as publishing a new blog post, or modifying an existing page) affect your visitors.
Analytics is clearly a powerful tool for measuring and tracking website traffic. Google Analytics is a popular tool already used by many sites for this purpose. With Sitefinity 4, you are able to leverage your existing data right within your Sitefinity Dashboard, bringing additional value to your CMS investment.
Be sure to take a moment to grab the Sitefinity RC and see what Analytics, as well as all the many excellent new features of Sitefinity can do for you and your website!