Monday, February 18, 2008

Book review: Advanced web metrics with Google Analytics

I have the privilege of being a reviewer of Brian J. Clifton's upcoming book "Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics". Most books either address the broad concepts of web analytics or provide a long list of tips & tricks for a specific product. This is not the case with Brian's book. It's the first one I see that brings the concepts and apply them to a specific tool, namely Google Analytics.

Written in non-technical terms, the 300 pages book also provides plenty of detailed information about the practices and techniques to set up and configure Google Analytics. For those who want to go deeper, it also include a chapter on Google Analytics hacks.

The four parts of the book are:
  1. Measuring Success
  2. Using Google Analytics Reports
  3. Implementing Google Analytics
  4. Using Visitor Data to Drive Website Improvement
Each section begins with the fundamentals that need to be considered, then gradually bring details and provide real-world examples to demonstrate the concepts.

I see three scenarios where this book is a must:
  • You are using GA: even if you think you know it all, you would be surprised!
  • You wonder if GA is for you: the book gives you enough details to see it in action, understand it's power and see if it's the right tool for you.
  • You want to learn the concepts of web analytics and apply them: I already said in a previous post that the best way to learn is to mix concepts and hands on.