If youíre unsigned band and have got an actual website as well as the ever-growing list of the social networking sites such as myspace, face book, bebo and then probably the best tool you can use to track your fan base is google analytics - a nifty software add on that can be added to your html code of your website and best of all its free!!!

Using technology we donít quite understand it gives you all the essential info for where fans are checking the site from narrowed down to the country and local town. While some things may be fairly obvious like the majority of Designer Magazine readers are from the UK followed by the US until we installed analytics we had no idea we had readers in random places such as Serbia, Kuwait and Chile whose interest in the likes of the Mighty Boosh or Panic! At The Disco was strange to say the least.

For an unsigned band being able to track it down to specific towns in the UK is invaluable for plotting out tours and also checking out finding out how many fans checked the site out after the support gig the previous night or how street team advertising in certain cityís is working. Even on a Manchester perspective you can pin point it down to all the smaller towns such as Altrincham, Salford and Oldham that surround the city

With all the social networking sites and online street team marketing you want to know which tools are working in directing bands to your bands website.

Are most people coming on to the site direct or is myspace or facebook that most people visit your bands page? Did that interview on the BBC interview bring more visitors to your site or the webzine demo review in America? Are websites talking about you that you didnít even know about?

What percentage are visitors coming to you site are coming back time and time again? Are people simply coming to you frontpage and then going to a different site?

Its questions like these that the stats can tell you to either redesign your frontpage or update your content more often to keep visitors coming back for more

For most bands this will involve how many visitors click through to the mailing list page or the merchandise page. Set specific targets depending on your bands objectives and see if you meet them

Some of the things google analytics tells you may be blindingly obvious and some may be a total surprise but given the ever-changing nature of the web it can help you to realise what techniques are working for your band and which are a waste of time

For more info on google analytics check out

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