An Integration With Feedburner

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 | 4:51 PM

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The FeedBurner team has just announced an integration with Google Analytics. We know what many of you are saying. "About time!" We'll take it.

If you are using both Google Analytics and FeedBurner, you will automatically see campaign attribution for item clicks tracked by your AdSense For Feeds or your Google FeedBurner account. To read more and get details, please see the blog post here and take a look at the below image:

It works in the same way as URL tagging. You can see how many people click through to your site from the content sent by you in your feeds. FeedBurner is now automatically inserting Google Analytics tracking codes into the URLs of your items, or content. For instance, if you publish a blog and a subscriber reads it and then clicks through to your site, you will see that the source of that visit is Feedburner. And as you can see, it gives even more granular information, such as the type of feed reading software or email.

Taking a step back. What is a feed? From the help article, feeds "are a way for websites large and small to distribute their content well beyond just visitors using browsers. Feeds permit subscription to regular updates, delivered automatically via a web portal, news reader, or in some cases good old email. Feeds also make it possible for site content to be packaged into "widgets," "gadgets," mobile devices, and other bite-sized technologies that make it possible to display blogs, podcasts, and major news/sports/weather/whatever headlines just about anywhere." The most popular types of feed formats are RSS and Atom feeds.

If you're publishing content like this blog, then feeds are probably half the story. Feed subscribers are a very important audience to be aware of. If people are really interested in what you have to say, they'll subscribe to your feed or RSS so they can be automatically updated every time you publish new content. They don't want to miss it, and don't want to have to keep visiting your page to check if you've published new content. FeedBurner is the way you can measure how many people are using your feed and who they are. It's could be called Google Analytics for feeds :-) Or Google Analytics could be called web...analytics...burner?

Anyway, FeedBurner shows you not only how many subscribers your feed has, but also metrics like geography and reach, with a breakdown by each piece of content (or "item") you publish. It also tells whether they clicked on a link in that content or went to the actual piece of content on your site. You can also see where the subscriber is reading your feed; whether in email or some kind of feed reader, such as Google Reader.

Another thing to be aware of is AdSense For Feeds, which allows you to monetize your feeds by placing AdSense ads in them.

This integration is the first step towards using these two very similar tools together. You still need to log in to FeedBurner to actually see how many subscribers you have and the rich detail around your feed usage FeedBurner provides.