I use Google Analytics (often) but on a regular basis I only use it for a few basic things.

If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data that Google Analytics presents you with, it can help for you to simply define what you want to know.  For example, here are some things I like to know:

1. How many people visit my web sites each day.  
2. How long the average visitor stays.
3. How many pages the average visitor views before leaving.
4. How many visitors stay longer than 3-5 minutes.
5. How many “New” visitors there are on a weekly basis.
6. I like to see where my traffic comes from (Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc.,)
7. Which pages are the most popular. 
8. If certain popular pages in particular get a high percentage of traffic from referral sites like Twitter.
9. How long people tend to stay on my most popular pages (and to compare that with the average for the site in general).
10.  Which times of day are the busiest.
11. And I am interested in tracking total unique visitors and page views recorded on AlumniFidelity’s many donation portals, and I divide that number by the amount of donations recorded to get a “completion” statistic, and I periodically look for events that seem to move this statistic one direction or another.

The value of this data is pretty self-explanatory.  But you can do so much with programs like Google Analytics that I’m just beginning to scratch the surface.  Do you use Google Analytics more extensively?  Let me know if you’d like to discuss ways to draw more from the data.

And: if you could know anything at all about your web traffic and visitors, what would it be?