However, there are some things that server logs don't tell me. How long are visitors reading the pages that they request. What is the bounce rate (the number of visitors who leave my website/weblog after requesting a page). Google Analytics provides me with these types of information and more.
Remember, there are some analytics that only the server can provide, for example, the number of requests received for blog feeds. A feed is not a webpage. It is an XML data document providing all of your blog postings (or a selected portion of the most recent ones) arranged in a structured format. A feed reader on the users computer workstation displays the data in a readable format. Since the XML data document is not an HTML webpage and does not contain the code required to send analytical data to the Google data processing center, Google Analytics has no visibility of this activity.
Likewise, there are some analytics that only Google can report, for example, how long does a webpage remain on the users computer workstation screen (from which we can assume whether the user merely glanced at it or read it in detail). Once the website/weblog host server returns a webpage in response to a request, it loses track of it and cannot report this information.
What does success mean to me? Becoming discovered as an author and selling books. How well is that working out for me? Tune in next week.
Check with your web hosting service to learn what analytics they offer. The chart above is based on those offered by iPage and may not be the same for you. Also, keep in mind that Google Analytics provides extensive help and training in applying analytics to better manage your website/weblog. You may want to check these out.