Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics

Front cover of the book.
This book will help you achieve, and even surpass, your boldest goals.

If you want to understand Google Analytics at a much deeper level, than this is a great book. And why should you understand your analytics? To improve your visitors experience while on your website and add to the bottom line.

Most website managers only use their analytics at a superficial level. They understand the basic reporting and data processing. In this book, Brian Clifton explains the best practice implementation of Google Analytics and more importantly applying it to your business website.

The book is split into four parts:

  • Measuring success
  • Using Google Analytics reports
  • Implementing Google Analytics
  • Using visitor data to drive website improvement

However, you don’t have to read the sections in order. You can dive in to individual chapters as you see fit. It all felt self-contained.

I dived straight into the last section of using visitor data to drive website improvement. The chapters on identifying KPI's and examples of real-world tasks were helpful, interesting and informative. There was plenty here for me to reflect on. I came away with at least 10 great KPI measurements that I should have been tracking already!

Don’t be put off by the many tables, graphs and diagrams used to explain the ideas and practical implementation. Sure, they looked complicated but if you take time to understand the content, it does make sense. I would have liked the use of colour in the graphs and diagrams. However, for the book price, I can see why this wasn’t done.

The other section that is a must read is chapter 9 on Google Analytics Hacks. Sure the out-of-the-box functionality will cater for most of your reporting. However, with a little lateral thinking, you can really start to use Google Analytics in an aggressive way. For sure your competitors won’t be doing the same. This then gives you a great advantage over your competitors.

One problem I found, especially in chapter 11, is that some elements are already out-of-date. The online world moves very quickly. However, this doesn’t take away from the quality of the book. Indeed, Brian has covered this by the companion website that has the updates.

In summary, this book will help you optimise your website, increase user experience and improve your profits. All because you know what changes to make based on intelligent reliable data. For marketers, webmasters and senior managers (as well as digital project managers like myself), this will become a reference book in your library.

To buy the book


Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics (3rd Edition)


Brian Clifton


John Wiley & Sons


March 2012



This page was last updated on Saturday, 23rd February 2013.