|Sams Teach Yourself Google Analytics
Author: Michael Miller
Aimed at: Beginners to web analytics
Pros: Clear explanations and logical presentation
Cons: The 10-minute lesson format leads to some repetition
Reviewed by: Sue Gee
There's more to Google Analytics than a cursory encounter might suggest. This title for beginners merits being Best Book of 2010 on the topic.
This book is aimed at the complete beginner so Lesson 1 explains web analytics - the collection and analysis of data relating to website visitors. Michael Miller states, "the goal of web analytics is to better understand how a website is being used - and apply that information to optimize the site's usage." He goes on to outline what information you can expect to obtain using web analytics and how it can help discern trends and the effectiveness of advertising.
The lesson includes a table that gives the definitions of "key metrics", the various statistics that can be gathered and interpreted - bounce rate, click-through-rate,hit, pageview, unique visitor etc. and concludes with a screendump of the main Google Analytics dashboard.
From the outset the motivation is clear, ideas are presented in a straightforward way and are well explained.
Lesson 4 is a basic introduction to Google Analytics Dashboard and understanding the information presented in its various charts and statistics. It also covers exporting data in PDF or XML format and sharing the data via email. The following lesson goes further, showing how to display different metrics or different time frames and how to compare two metrics or data ranges. It also covers filtering results to show only information about certain types of visitors.
More advanced visitor tracking is covered in the next lesson, allowing you to analyse visitor loyalty and to uncover browser and network properties. Where traffic originates is the topic of Lesson 7 - does it come directly or by referral from another site - and importantly from which other sites, or via search engine - and if so which search engine? Lesson 8 is devoted to analyzing content - the top pages, top landing pages and top exit pages.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 24 April 2011 )