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Can You Recommed Good Web Analytics Reading

New subscriber looking for guidance in a general direction

10:27 pm on May 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Great site and after lurking a while and some business growth I decided it was time to contribute.

I run an E-Commerce site and currently use Google Analytics and Stat Counter for my site. I now have a months worth of data on my site (from a new launch to my own domain, moved from Amazon) and I was wondering if anyone here had some suggestions on a good Web Analytics book to read to help me make the most of the data I have.

I've ready Perry Marhsalls Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords which was helpful and Web Design for ROI which was good as well. While I'm still implementing those book instructions on my site I'd like to pick up one on web analytics as well.

Googling led me to several books and I really only have the budget for one so I was curious if anyone had any insights / suggestions.

Also, my traffic right now is VERY small (around 100 visitors a day) so I don't have loads and loads of data so I'm not sure if that would alter your recommendations.

Basically right now I have one Ad Group running with AdWords and it is getting a good CTR (17.85% for the month) but I only have a .77% conversion so I'm trying to deduce where the problem is and my thought was a good analytics book will help me narrow it down.

7:37 pm on June 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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First, with a limited budget, I would recommend checking books out of your local library. That way you can see which books are really worth owning after you have read them.

I would also focus my efforts on web usability and not just web analytics. I am sure in the library they have a bunch of other books on the topic in the same section. So go check it out.

There are a number of other websites as well and go to your favorite search engine and perform a search and see what you find.

2:33 pm on June 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Can you get log files? If your traffic is very small, analytics really won't help much unless there is a big big obvious problem on your site. Don't overvalue analytics. Get people you trust to go into your site while you're sitting there, and listen to what they say.

Also have them look at the ads you are running and talk about whether what they find on the actual site fits with the expectations raised by the ads.

If you can get server logs, do so. Find a quick guide to how to read a log file line and use Excel to sort the log into individual visits, and read the sequences in those visits. You could learn a lot more than with high-level summaries of small amounts of data.

.77% may be a really good conversion rate for a site like yours. Has the conversion dropped since your Amazon association? Remember, the trust people have in Amazon will drastically change conversion all by itself.

The book I've always liked and gone back to is Web Analytics DeMystified by Peterson.

6:50 pm on June 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thank you very much for your responses, I have lots of reading to do!
11:42 pm on June 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I just posted a review of Brian Clifton's book Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics


And I meant every word - I've found that this book is a godsend for GA users. And its overall business focus might even give the non-GA user some insights on how to use their own analytics package, too.