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Google Analytics Demystified: A Hands-On Approach (Second Edition)

Note: The Third Edition of Google Analytics Demystified is now available. See above. The Second Edition has been completely revised and updated to reflect the current state of Google Analytics. In addition to these changes, the book has been expanded with new chapters that help you understand how to:- ensure data integrity by removing referral spam, - use cohort analysis, benchmarking and treemaps to improve insights into site performance,- use custom tables to reduce data overload, and- increase site traffic through search engine optimization. Discussion has also been expanded and refocused throughout the book to make content more actionable and responsive to your own strategic information needs. The Second Edition shows you how you can use Google Analytics to immediately make better informed and therefore more successful decisions. Simply put, Google Analytics Demystified helps you work smarter (not harder), so that you can increase the success of your digital property. We show you how to use and apply Google Analytics to answer questions such as: How are visitors finding my site? What do they do when they arrive? Which content do my visitors find most interesting and motivating? How much of my content is actually being consumed? How do I set site goals and measure how well they are being achieved? What are the strengths and weaknesses of site interactions? What can I do to improve visitors' experience and engagement? How well are my campaigns working? How can I make my campaigns more effective? How can I conduct tests to optimize site characteristics? How do I manage data flow and analysis? How do I choose the most appropriate and useful reports and data? The book's approach is unique. Beyond detailed yet easy to understand explanations of key concepts, the book provides you with a free website. This approach advances your learning in three important ways. First, you will be an active rather than a passive participant in the learning process. You will be able not only to read about what Google Analytics can do, but you can immediately apply and explore key concepts on a working website. Second, you can explore Google Analytics without risk to existing data. Since mistakes are an important part of the learning process, you can make and correct errors without any harm to your existing website. Finally, because you will have an active site and real data, you can explore on your own, thereby increasing your depth of understanding. We walk you through all the steps to obtain and get the free site up and running. There are also self-assessment questions, application exercises, and case studies (all with answers provided) to ensure your full understanding of Google Analytics.

Paperback: 736 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (July 22, 2015)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 151485824X

ISBN-13: 978-1514858240

Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.7 x 10 inches

Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #760,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #40 in Books > Computers & Technology > Web Development & Design > Website Analytics #1037 in Books > Business & Money > Management & Leadership > Information Management #3485 in Books > Computers & Technology > Internet & Social Media

Let me start with a confession that might be familiar. We installed Google Analytics quite a while ago and for the first few weeks we were like kids in a candy store. So much data, so many charts, so many links and buttons to use. After a month, we visited less frequently. After a couple of months we almost never took a look. We were clueless and had little idea how to use the data in a meaningful way.This book has changed all that. In just the few weeks that we’ve had the book and enacted its suggestions we can see how to use the data collected by Google Analytics to make smarter, more effective decisions with regard to our marketing efforts and website content. We are now tracking the relative effectiveness of all of our marketing - particularly email - campaigns. We have a much better idea of how to identify and eliminate pages that interfere with movement through the site and encourage visitors to leave. We are now able to track interaction with site content and to determine the content that is of most interest to our visitors. We have identified audience segments that require greater (or less) attention.As we move through more of this really beneficial book, I’m sure we’ll learn additional ways to improve our visitors’ experiences and site success.In sum, I’ve seen how this really useful, well-written book provides a thorough understanding of the many ways that Google Analytics can help me make smarter decisions and ask (and answer) important questions. However, one caution: If you are looking for a “quick and dirty” approach to Google Analytics, this is not the book for you.

While moving through the first edition of the book I had several questions, which Joel helpfully answered via email. When he mentioned that a new edition of the book was near release, I asked if he could send me an advance copy, which he did. Here are my impressions after reading through the second edition:- everything I said about the strengths of the first edition apply to the second. So, I'm pasting my review of the first edition at the end this review.- the second edition has expanded the content that it covers, all of which has provided additional insights into how to apply Google Analytics to different marketing situations.- the second edition's discussion of procedures and its screen-shots have all been updated to reflect the current state of Google Analytics.- the second edition provides more detailed discussion of how to apply Google Analytics to strategy and decision-making.REVIEW OF FIRST EDITION FOLLOWSI'm so glad that there is finally a book on the market that allows a novice (as well as the more seasoned user) of Google Analytics to be able to understand, learn from, and implement this powerful tool. As a marketer it is important to me to be able to translate theoretical information needs into data collection procedures. This book allows me to do that quickly and efficiently. On the other end of data collection, this book gives me the insights and the confidence to accurately interpret the data. This, then, allows me to ask more, learn more, improve my site, repeat!The flow of the book is great for when I have time to sit down and learn GA. The quizzes and exercises along the way help me assess strong and weak areas and catch me before I 'go live' with some of my implementation ideas.

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