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Book Review: "Web Analytics Demystified"

Book Review:

I know, I know…. The word “analytics” makes people cringe. Thoughts of miles upon miles of spreadsheets filled with an almost never-ending string of numbers and equations can make even the hardiest of us cower in a corner and pull our hair out trying to understand what they all mean and how they relate to a website and why so much money was spent on a flashing banner ad. But it’s important information to know, especially if you want to understand how the money spent on a particular online ad campaign generates revenue.

In Web Analytics Demystified author Eric T. Peterson takes all that information and explains it in plain terms: going through the lifecycle of a consumer (reach, acquisition, conversion and retention); what the difference between a “visitor” and a “unique visitor” is and why a company wants both to check out their site; how to determine the cost effectiveness of an on-line campaign; and the many other metrics that show the relationship between money being spent on marketing and the people that visit a website. Peterson takes each bit of information, shows what it’s used for, how to find it and also how to interpret it, offering both the pros and cons associated with each type of metric or report.

Peppered throughout the book are “Web Analytics Tips,” ways to make your Website work better for you. One tip provides a good way to ask visitors for information while another explains a good process for increasing your purchase conversion rate (getting someone who puts an item in an online shopping cart to complete the buying process).

The book also acts as a guide to help marketers and analysts trek through the many Web analytics software packages and companies out there. With the hundreds of possible reports that can be compiled, you should find something customizable, that allows you to pick and choose which reports will be beneficial to your company. Not every report or metric is necessary so why should your company be forced by a software package to wadethrough all the extra paper.

Unless you happen to enjoy miles upon miles of spreadsheets and a room full of analysts tearing their hair out.


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