I've recently launched my website and I want to see who is using and what they are doing while they are on there. What's the best way to track that information?
There are plenty of analytics packages out there which will monitor traffic on your website. They range from free options to ones that will run you thousands of dollars a year. Which option works for you truly depends upon what data you are looking to capture and what you plan on doing with the data.
One of the problems that we see with many clients is actually receiving too much data from packages and not knowing what to do with it. I would first suggest making a list of what you want to know. Some important things that you should know would be entrance pages (how are people entering your webiste, and it's not always the home page), exit pages (what is the last page they are on before they leave) and bounce rate (what percentage of people land on a page and leave without doing anything else).
Once you have your list of what you'd like to track, you can start researching a wide variety of tracking tools. We recommend for most of our client's to install Google Analytics, and Clicky. Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/) has become one of the leading tools, primarily because it has the backing of Google and they made it free back when everyone was charging for analytics. Clicky (www.clicky.com) is a great tool to use when you want to look at individual users, what each visitor did on your site, how they got there, what keywords they used to get there, and what they did when they were on your site. Google will give you that information but more of an aggregate form.
Set-up and installation is pretty simple. You just need to register on each site, obtain the tracking code, and then apply it in the right place on each page of your site.
With both options you can set up goal monitoring, which will track when users perform certain actions on your site which you deem as a conversion. This could be signing up for a newsletter, buying something, or filling out a contact form.