Google Analytics! An amazing, free powerful metrics platform for search engine optimization (SEO) and AdWords (pay-per-click advertising). But can mere mortals effectively use Google Analytics? Can mere mortals even find effective online or offline assistance to help them learn to decipher its riddles, to ponder its mysteries? Michael Miller has taken on the daunting task of explaining Google Analytics to mere mortals, and - in general - he succeeds. I highly recommend his new book, for both mere mortals and more experienced Google Analytics users as well.
As an instructor in SEO and Adwords both online and in San Francisco (just Google Jason McDonald plus SEO and you'll find me), I am always looking for new insights and new books to recommend to the businesspeople and marketers who take my courses, including my free top ten seo tools webinar. Mr. Miller has made my list, even though his approach is very word heavy and could have benefited from some pictures or diagrams. Analytics, after all, can make Microsoft Vista seem well designed!
Mr. Miller takes the traditional book-as-manual approach to Analytics, and he largely succeeds. The book is part of the in 10 Minutes series, but by 10 minutes he means 10 minutes per day. The book begins with how to set up an Analytics account on Google, and proceeds chapter by chapter with some of the most important concepts in Analytics: using the dashboard, tracking visitors, analyzing top content, and even tracking AdWords and ecommerce. Pretty much every important topic in Analytics is covered.
It's a very useful book for someone who already has an Analytics account and is seeking a good lunchtime read to get tips and techniques to then go online and try out on the Google Analytics platform. (By the way, don't miss Google's Conversion University (just Google 'Conversion University' to find that amazing free resource). The only criticism here would be that, unless you are a good reader / slash / book person, it may be confusing to translate Miller's word-heavy approach to what is really a visual user interface. Pictures and diagrams (not to mention videos and online learning) would have been an easier way to explain Analytics step-by-step.
But, all things considered, the book covers every major topic in Analytics at least briefly. Kudos, kudos, kudos, to brave Mr. Miller! I will be recommending this book to my online and real-world students of SEO - those who want a handy overview to the powerful yet mysterious Google Analytics Platform.