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So, you think you know Google Analytics?

I thought I did. I mean, I have worked with a number of metrics facilities over the years, for big companies and my own personal Web site, so I think of myself as an expert. But Brian Clifton sent me his new book on Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics and my eyes were opened. I use Google Analytics on my Web site and like it very much, but I didn’t understand all the things you can do with it. Big companies might still have reasons to use more expensive systems, but this book has shown me more about Google Analytics than I expected to see.

Brian does a great job of providing in-depth instructions for using Google Analytics. I knew how to use it at the surface level, but this book has given me plenty to chew on to take my analytics to the next level.
Did you know that you could differentiate customers from prospects? I didn’t.
I didn’t know that you could differentiate whether people click on the image or text link to a page.
I also didn’t know that Google Analytics could track conversions by search keyword—I thought you needed a high-end package for that. Wrong.
And I had never even thought about backing up my data. (Stupid, I know.)
I am focusing on the advanced stuff in the book, because that is what appealed to me, but don’t be put off if you are a newbie. The early sections of the book are excellent introductions to the most important concepts in Web metrics and how you take advantage of Google Analytics to address them in your business.
My favorite chapter for novice metrics folks is Chapter 5, where Brian walks through each of the ten most important reports of Google Analytics. It’s one thing to understand which reports are important, it’s another to know how your metrics package works, but it is really powerful when an expert like Brian walks you through both simultaneously.
From this chapter, I decided that I am going to spend more time in my Site Overlay report, because I think a visual representation of what is happening on my site might help me see what’s important faster. This report shows you a picture of your Web site and highlights the metrics information on that picture.
It’s rare that I see a book that beginners and experienced folks can benefit from, but Brian has pulled it off. And I am happy to finish this review because I have finally finished reviewing all the books that authors sent to me. Now back to the pile that I bought but haven’t read yet…

Mike Moran

Mike Moran is a Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also served as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He was a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research and is now a Senior Fellow of The Conference Board. A Certified Speaking Professional, Mike regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide

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