There are two fundamental questions you need to answer in order to assess the performance of your website:

1. What is driving visitors to my website?

2. What do they do once they arrive?

These are the same questions no matter what position you have in the organisation – its just the level of detail in the answer that changes. Essentially, no matter what your role of interest or responsibility is for your website, these two questions are where you start your investigations. For that is what “analysis” is – an investigation of data and the building of a hypothesis from it.

As a practitioner this is what I do for a living and this is what the 3rd edition of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics is all about!

***View the launch party photos in (Stockholm, March 29th)***
Many thanks to the 60-70 people that came. Lots of new friends!

click for full sizeclick for full size

I am happy to announce the 3rd edition has started shipping from the publisher’s (March 19th) and should be in stores e.g. Amazon, within the next week or so – depending on location. So much has changed in the past two years since the 2nd edition – see my last post for the bullet list. And the changes are not just in terms of new Google Analytics features (of which there are many) such as the new User-Interface, Multi-Channel Funnels, Real-Time reporting etc.; But also industry changes – the new EU Privacy law, the rise of HTML5 to replace Flash, the importance of social media and the growing interest of senior managers who actually want to have an understanding of website performance, not just view reports!

So the 3rd edition is not simply an update, but a complete re-write. It is why it takes me so long to produce – one every 2 years – and why I insist that I have written three books to date, not the one! This one took 5 months to complete…

What’s new in the 3rd edition…?

The 3rd edition covers all of these changes and more (see my last post for feature changes). Its written for the latest version of Google Analytics with all code examples formatted for the async version. Download the Intro, Table of Contents, Chapter 1 and the Index (1.60Mb PDF).

Don’t worry if coding is not your thing – I did not write any of my books for engineers! I wrote them for web analytics practitioners i.e. anyone who wants to know what is happening with their website. Be it the performance of new marketing campaigns, the impact of a social media strategy, the sales of online products, or the readership habits of content rich sites. That is, to help you answer those two fundamental questions…

Of course, garbage in = garbage out. So having a good, solid implementation of GA is critical. I cover this in detail in approximately half of the book. The other half is about actually using the tool to understand your website’s performance using real-world tasks.

  • New features – see my last post about this
  • A colour insert – at last! I have been pushing for colour since the first edition but apparently that’s too expensive for the publisher to produce. So I have the next best thing – 16 pages of colour insert for the important images where colour is just too important to miss.
  • The book is now a little fatter – now 600 pages, up +20%. The amount of new content is considerable, yet I also removed content. That is, old features – such as the Benchmarking reports that was deprecated last year, and any now redundant code.
  • The book covers everything I have done for clients over the past 2 years – all the non-standard stuff that goes beyond simple pageview numbers. From tracking YouTube embedded videos, producing roll-up reports to allow for a broader overview, building custom reports, how to create and manage and effective campaign tracking strategy, considerations for tracking mobile and social media visitors, integrating GA data with your CRM system and other 3rd party applications,  and even measuring the performance of off-line marketing efforts.

Comments from the industry

 “If there is only one book you can buy on Google Analytics… buy this book and you’ll be on your way to being an Analysis Ninja!”

 Avinash Kaushik, author of Web Analytics 2.0 (Sybex, 2010) and Digital Marketing Evangelist, Google

“With this new edition of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics, Brian Clifton continues to raise the bar in explaining advanced web analytics— not just the mechanics but why certain things are crucial to measure, while other ‘metrics’ are actually red herrings and can harm rather than help your web success. A must-read if you’re playing in the big leagues.” 

Chris Sherman, Executive Editor, Search Engine Land

“Brian’s book is the Bible on Google Analytics. This latest edition includes a lot of important updates to keep you at the cutting edge of web analytics and what Google Analytics can do to help improve your online business.” 

Ashley Friedlein, CEO, Econsultancy,

Please feel free to post me feedback direct.  More at:

What to do next?

I would love to hear your feedback via a comment, +1, retweet, or whatever…