O’Reilly’s Google Analytics 101

    October 8, 2007

Have you ever wondered how to adjust analytics to be fully functional without having to sell the farm to get what you need to be able to improve your websites? Google Analytics is the answer, right?

Google Analytics GuideGoogle Analytics has long been the thrifty marketers answered prayers when it comes to a robust analytics package that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The only problem with this free service from Google is that it can be extremely difficult to implement this with all of the bells and whistles you hear about, unless you are a true web developer. Don’t get me wrong, as a SEO, I have a great understanding for all of the capabilities for web development, but I don’t code websites.

I am fortunate to work hand in hand with a seasoned web developer with an understanding of SEO. This is our advantage.

OK, back on topic.

So, I have been researching the benefits of different analytics packages for a few months and have been astounded by the cost associated with the mainstream products. I know, you get what you pay for! I totally agree, but it doesn’t mean that I want to cut out a significant amount of my SEM budget to get it done, in fact, the point to analytics is to bring back more from the table, increase ROI so you can spend on profitable segments and limit or eliminate less profitable ones.

In my research, I found a lot of great information about a product called Urchin, which, just so happens, is the company that Google acquired a few years ago. Google revamped the service and produced it for the masses as Google Analytics for free. However, much of the functionality of Urchin is not visible in the squeaky clean interface. I had really written off Google Analytics as a viable option until I had the opportunity to speak with an engineer in the analytics program and he gave some great insight into what it can do, and where to begin the search for more information.

Well, all of your answers (or at least all of mine so far) can be answered in a new O’Reilly Short Cuts e-book by Justin Cutroni. This pdf e-book is over 80 pages and outlines Google Analytics:

  • Setup
  • How Google Analytics Works
  • Profiles and Profile Settings
  • Filters
  • Goals and Funnels
  • Common Web Site Configurations
  • Marketing Campaign Tracking
  • E-Commerce Tracking
  • Custom Segmentation
  • CRM Integration
  • Tips and Tricks

If you are considering implementing an analytics package into your website, I would recommend that you simply pay the ten dollars and give Google a chance.

What are your thoughts?