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Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics Paperback – March 31, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; 1 edition (March 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470253126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470253120
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,123,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

How Does Your Website Measure Up?

Are you getting the most out of your website? Google insider and web metrics expert Brian Clifton reveals the information you need to get a true picture of your site's impact and stay competitive using Google Analytics (GA) and the latest web metrics methodologies.

Which marketing campaigns work best? How do you quantify their success? What indicators should you track? Packed with techniques and insider secrets not documented elsewhere, Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics has the expert guidance you need to enhance your brand and increase your site's ROI. Learn how to:

  • Measure your web traffic and understand its impact on ROI

  • Configure your data collection parameters, then extract and analyze the collected data

  • Drill down to the precise visitor segments or time periods you choose

  • Discover how long it takes for your visitors to convert to customers

  • Follow best practices for page tagging and tracking dynamic web pages, Flash events, banners, and more

  • Optimize checkout systems, pay-per-click campaigns (including AdWords), SEO, and e-mail marketing, and use ad version testing in conjunction with multivariate testing

  • Centralize your data collection and track offline campaigns

This book is a recipe for measuring your success and optimizing your online marketing."
—Jim Sterne, Founding Director and Chairman of the Web Analytics Association

I can confidently recommend this book to anybody serious about turning web analytics into a competitive business advantage."
—Dennis R. Mortensen, COO, IndexTools, Inc.

Brian Clifton does a fantastic job of explaining how to effectively power a web analytics strategy using Google Analytics. Both new and seasoned GA users will benefit from Brian's book and his expertise."
—Justin Cutroni, Director of Analytics and Testing, EpikOne

What Brian Clifton doesn't know about Google Analytics probably hasn't been invented yet. In this book he shares his extensive knowledge in a concise and coherent fashion."
—Neil Mason, Managing Director, Applied Insights

What's fantastic about this book is the practical, detailed help it gives you to get real value out of your web analytics tool."
—Ashley Friedlein, CEO, E-consultancy.com

About the Author

Brian Clifton, Ph.D., leads the Google Web Analytics team for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He is a noted web analytics and search engine marketing expert who speaks at industry trade shows (including Search Engine Strategies, Emetrics Summit, and Search Marketing World), maintains a blog on web metrics and Google Analytics (www.advanced-web-metrics.com), and has written numerous white papers.

More About the Author

Brian has been involved in web design and SEO since as far back as 1997, when he built his first website and started defining best practise to advise clients. He was the founding Head of Web Analytics for Google EMEA (2005-8), building the first pan-European team of product specialists. A legacy of his work is the online learning centre for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification.

Brian is now Director of Data Insights & Analytics at Search Integration AB - a company specialising in strategic search and social marketing. He is also the Founder and Senior Strategist for GA-Experts.com - a company specialising in performance optimisation using Google Analytics for global clients.

Some Deeper Background (i.e. older!)

Brian received a BSc in chemistry from the University of Bristol in 1991 and a PhD in physical and theoretical chemistry in 1996. Further work as a postdoctoral researcher culminated in publishing several scientific papers in journals, including Molecular Physics, Colloids and Surfaces, and Langmuir. During that time, he was also an interna- tional weightlifter, representing Great Britain at world and European championships.

Studying science at university during the early nineties meant witnessing the incred- ible beginnings of the Web. In 1991, Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist working at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland, launched the first web browser and web server to the academic community, thereby sowing the first seeds of the World Wide Web.

Although the communication potential of the Web was immediately clear to Brian, it took a little while for ideas to formulate around business opportunities. In 1997 he left academia to found Omega Digital Media, a UK company specializing in the provision of professional services to organizations wishing to utilize the new digital medium.

Since leaving the field of chemical research (and weightlifting), Brian has continued to write--on his blog, Measuring Success (www.advanced-web-metrics.com/blog); as a guest writer on industry forums, and via white papers.

Brian holds the title of associate instructor at the University of British Columbia for his contribution to teaching modules in support of the Award of Achievement in Web Analytics. He was born in Manchester, United Kingdom, and now lives in Sweden.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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If you're using other analytic tools, this book is a good introduction to what Google Analytics has to offer.
Vivek V. Chandran
It is full of specific and practical tips and uses real world examples to not only demonstrate the "how-to", but to illustrate and explain the "why-to" as well.
Carsten Cumbrowski
Having read this book I now have a much better idea of what I'm missing and, more importantly, how I can put that right.
David Cross

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Alex B on April 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
Brian Clifton's Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics should, for all intents and purposes, have the term "Advanced" in bold, possibly in a gigantic type font with fun colours and exclamation marks.

The first 3-5 chapters start innocently enough, and if you have been involved in web analytics or read any other material on the topic you will find it largely rehashes what you already know with a few nuggets of gold throughout. For instance, Brian's discussion as it pertains to Google's tracking of data and its privacy implications offers a wonderful metaphor relating to personal identifiable information, though his emphasis curiously seems to be trying to convince the reader, rather than positioning it as a tool that one can use to assuage stakeholders or individuals who are not sold on analytics.

Chapter 4, which aforementioned is innocent enough, gives one a glimpse of what is to come when Brian delves into a discussion on regular expressions (in order to filter data via GA's inline filter). If you are unfamiliar with a command line interface, advanced search expressions or anything of the sort, good luck. Even if you are, this section comes WAY out of left field and perhaps could have been saved for later, but the information itself is useful and I've been utilizing a number of the expressions ever since.

Chapter 7 is where this book really begins, and Brian starts it off by giving an in depth explanation of how Google tracks pages and summarily applies that logic to show how one can track things like dynamic URL's (rewriting them along the way), tracking file downloads, partially completed forms (cool stuff), and E-Commerce settings (with some neat tricks and workarounds for frequent issues and problems), Flash, and a whole host of things.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By David Cross on May 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've been running Google Analytics on a number of web sites since it was first released in 2005. I've got a lot of good information out of it, but I've always suspected that I'm not using it to its full potential. Having read this book I now have a much better idea of what I'm missing and, more importantly, how I can put that right.

Brian Clifton has written a really useful guide to getting the most benefit out of Google's free web analytics system. He is, of course, well-placed to do that as he leads the Google Analytics team for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Part one is a good overview of web analytics is. Chapter one explains what web analytics is and what you can get out of it. Chapter two goes into more detail about the method that people use to analyse their web site traffic and chapter three introduces Google Analytics and explains where it fits into the web analytics landscape.

Part two gives an introduction to using Google Analytics. Chapter four looks at the interface to Google Analytics. This chapter gives the reader a good free for the interactivity of the Google Analytics interface. It's this interactivity that makes Google Analytics far easier to use than many of its competitors. Chapter five looks in more depth at ten of the reports that the system generates. By the end of this chapter I was already learning new little tips about the system.

Part three is about implementing Google Analytics on your web site. chapter six shows you how to tag your web pages so they are included in your reports. This is about as far as my Google Analytics knowledge goes. So chapter seven introduces ways to customise the Google Javascript code in order to have more control over what data is recorded, it was all new (and very interesting).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By B. J. George on May 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
I stumbled upon the authors' site while trying to learn more about Google Analytics. After reading a few of his posts and learning that he was (until recently) quite high up on the totem pole in the Web Analytics team at google, I decided to purchase his new book, and I'm very glad I did.

I found it to be very useful and easy to read, despite parts of it being somewhat complex -- as I was hoping for given the title. The use of screen shots was excellent. I often found myself relating pages of the book to my own analytics account and in doing so gaining a better understanding of my own data and a better comprehension of what the book was talking about.

The book also provides some practical solutions to some common (but semi-advanced) issues that are not covered in any official google documentation, however if you have been faced with the specific issues, you would likely have found the answer in analytics blogs online if you searched enough. Having said that, if you had this book, you wouldn't have needed to search in the first place.

At the time I read the book I had been using analytics for about a year. I am very happy with the book -- I only wish I had it earlier when I didn't know quite as much, then I would have gotten even more value from it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By NoVAReader on August 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the long overdue "how to" guide for Google Analytics. You can get started tracking your web traffic without this book, to be sure. But, this book goes beyond the help section provided on the Google Analytics site. If you're trying to understand the web traffic on your site, try using Google Analytics. It's easy and free. This book will help you along. While the title describes the book as Advanced, it's not really that technical. Even the most technical sections are pretty easy to get through.
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