Google Analytics Book launch: Advanced Web Metrics – 1st edition

Finally after 18 months I am excited to announce that the book has been published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc and is now available from Amazon and other outlets . The book started shipping on March 17th (coincidentally my birthday!) and just made the SES New York conference. Lucky for me as it sold out on the first day thanks to Sharon Preiss of Mobile Libris for her promotional work there.

*if you are a book affiliate and would like to link directly to Amazon, please use this book link (ISBN: 978-0-470-25312-0).

Updated Dec 2008:

Who is the book aimed at?

Don’t be put off by the title! There are no maths and you do not need to be an analyst, statistician or engineer – I am not any of these.

The book is aimed at a broad audience – essentially anyone with an interest in making their web site successful. That includes website owners, marketers, web designers, developers, content creators, PR departments and all the various intermediaries. It’s about measuring for success (the title of the first section) and applies best practice techniques on how to do so using Google Analytics.

There are of course some technical areas where a strong understanding of HTML and JavaScript are required. However, if that does not describe you, read that content to understand the principals involved, skip the code examples, and pass to your web developer team to get the details implemented.

Why do this? Because it puts you in control of your website measurement – something that very often is lacking when marketers try to communicate with IT…

OK, so give me some details on the content…

Spanning over 353 pages across 11 chapters, the content of the book is written entirely for the latest Google Analytics tracking code (ga.js) and is split into four key sections:

    • Part I – Measuring Success, is an overview of why understanding your web traffic is important to your business and covers different data collection methodologies (page tags and log analysers), data accuracy considerations and where exactly Google Analytics fits in.


    • Part II – Using Google Analytics Reports, explains how to navigate and use the Google Analytics interface and includes 10 Top reports to whet your appetite and begin the analysis of your website.


    • Part III – Implementing Google Analytics, is the best practice installation and configuration guide detailing how to track all online marketing channels, Flash events, banners, file downloads and more. There is also an advanced section entitled Google Analytics Hacks featuring implementation techniques not documented elsewhere.


  • Part IV – Using Visitor Data to Drive Website Improvement, is the largest section of the book. It describes how to build a culture of measurement in your organisation from objectives and key results, to key performance indicators. This is followed by a chapter dedicated to real-world tasks that covers optimising checkout systems, pay-per-click campaigns (including AdWords), SEO, and e-mail marketing efforts. There is also an introduction to multi variate testing.


You can download the Table of Contents , Chapter 1 and the book Index from here or order directly from Wiley (US and Canada only) or . If you use a different Amazon country, simply edit the .com part of the domain from the link accordingly.

Have you read the book?

If you have already had a chance to read the book, please share your own perspective via comments below. I would be deeply appreciative if you could consider writing a review for the book on Amazon. Books like this live and die by their Amazon reviews and I am prepared to take the risk – I hope I don’t regret saying that!

Looking for a keynote speaker, or wish to hire Brian…?

If you are an organisation wishing to hire me and my team, please view the Contact page. I am based in Sweden and advise organisations in Europe as well as North America.

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  1. Carlos Fabuel

    I am reading your book now. Maybe a solution for some holes in my analytics knowledge.

  2. BClifton

    Raffaele: Unfortunately the book is not available in Italian as yet.

    Angie: Many thanks for your feedback – spread the word 🙂

  3. Raffaele

    where can i buy your book in italian version?

  4. Angie Ibrahim


    Thank you for this!
    I am delving into the wonderful world of Analytics!
    And I have just ordered your book Brian!

  5. Internet Strategist

    Congratulations on the book release. If you’re ever interested in having it reviewed in my blog let me know. I’m currently working on an indepth review of another analytics book and suspect yours probably picks up where it finishes and elaborates more on advanced filters.

  6. Brian Clifton

    For those that are interested there is now a PDF version of the book from Wiley:,descCd-ebook.html

    BTW, the book is now also available in Korean and Czech(!) Not sure why, but a great deal of interest in those regions. I would be interested to hear from Arabic and Far East readers. Please drop me a line directly (my address is at the bottom of every page).

    enjoy 🙂

  7. Brian Clifton

    Dani: No PDF, though there is a Kindle version. I haven’t tried Kindle myself but some people swear by them…!

  8. Dani

    Hi Brian!
    Do you sell a PDF version of your book?
    I’d be interested in buying that.

  9. Brian Clifton

    Julian: what recent updates are you referring to? The book is written entirely for the ga.js code though you can find articles from me that cover both ga.js and the legacy urchin.js code.

    Jonathan: Many thanks for the feedback. I look forward to further comments as you work through it.

    SEO and Web 2.0: I would recommend both books to you – and others. For me Avinash’s book is aimed at the web analyst or anyone in your organisation responsible for the data side of the web site. It covers many aspects of the web analyst’s role.

    My book is aimed at anyone with an interest in making their web site a business success with the help of Google. It covers how to do this using Google Analytics with examples using AdWords and Website Optimiser, and it covers everything I know about the product – from implementing it (the most important part otherwise “garbage in = garbage out”), to using it for optimisation.

    Let me know if you go on to read either or both of these. I would be interested in your comments.

  10. SEO and Web 2.0

    Today, I have studied your book’s chapter 1. I think your definition about Analytics is more suitable. I have no your whole book But I think having read chapter 1st, it is the good book on analytics. I want to know one thing can you explain a different from Avinash Kausik book’s “An hour a day” to your book?

  11. Three Money Methods

    Brian, I haven’t read your book yet, but I am very happy to have stumbled across this page as I’m looking forward to reading the fourth section (when the book gets here).

    Especially interested in learning what you’ve discovered regarding workarounds.



  12. Julian


    Having just started to read your book, please can you tell me whether the recent updates to Google Analytics will have any bearing on your content?


  13. Brian Clifton

    Alex: Yes I would say that a combination of grep and awk could do this but it does seem particularly cumbersome i.e. you would at first need to match up cookie id’s to extract session information.

    Its a bit like creating your own web analytics solution to solve the issue. No harm in that, though you can buy Urchin for $2995 USD…

  14. Alex B

    Brian, I had a quick question regarding the subject matter. In the book you discuss the relatively trivial process of directing the GA data to your server logs for a local copy.

    I was wondering if, by applying grep/awk to said server logs, one cannot rectify some of the inherent disadvantages of GA. Mainly, if I have ample data in the logs, could I not apply retroactive filters? Could I not do an audit on my e-commerce data myself?

    It seems to me that this would be useful in select situations, but I haven’t seen the output of the logs in question so I’m not sure this is feasible.

  15. BJ Wright


    I just started reading the book, and have really enjoyed it thus far. I will say that so far, it has far exceeded my expectations. Thanks for a great book!

    On a side note, I really enjoy the excel spreadsheet that you offered early on in the book. I do have a question about where I can find out more information on how to calculate my companies “Non-Marketing Profit Margin”.


    BJ Wright

  16. Michael Dalmer

    Just finished reading this book. It has given me a much deeper understanding of Google Analytics and a wider perspective on what it can be used for. It will enable me to help my SEO-clients get more benefits out of GA, which is exactly what I was hoping for. The book is strong in particular when it comes to practical ideas and tasks I can use right away.

    In summary: A book I will be using frequently in the comming months. Because it is so practical it is now my favourite web analytics book!

  17. R Jackson

    Congratulations Brian, see you on April 24th.


  18. Kristoffer Ewald

    Congratulations Brian with the book, I’m very much looking forward to getting my hands on a copy.

  19. Eamonn Mc Greevy

    Well done on your book Brian. And being born on St. Patrick’s day -aren’t you the lucky one 🙂

  20. Mr. Optimize Your Web

    Congratulations, see you on April 24th I will bring some Black Death for us to celibrate your reign as the Viking king of analytics. Skál!

  21. Andreas Ramos

    I heard about the book and bought it immediately (overnight express delivery) and read it the same day. Very good documentation of Google Analytics. It’s the manual we’ve all be waiting for. Excellent details on advanced filters and configuration. I recommend it as a must-have book if you’re working with Google Analytics. But business and marketing people won’t get much out of this. Too technical for them.

  22. Enrique

    Gracias Brian por el esfuerzo que realizaste para producir este libro. Tu trabajo nos permitirá conocer mejor esta herramienta. No solo para los negocios, sino también para las iniciativas sin ánimo de lucro. Congratulations from Buenos Aires, Argentina!

  23. Manjula

    Brian, nice to have the shipping coincide with your birthday…. A double celebration! I had the book on my wish list at Amazon for a while and I bought it a week before they were ready to ship. I have started to read it and it is fantastic! There was a very strong need for this information and your book fills that need. I will be writing a detailed review on Amazon once I’ve finished the book. Thank you for putting it together!

  24. Shareen Jordan

    Congratulations, Brain. I can’t wait to read the book! I am sure it will be an invaluable resource.

  25. Olafur Kr. Olafsson

    Congratulations on your book Brian… As our Kristjan Mar is in London at the moment, he’ll be on the lookout for it.

  26. Rita Williams

    Will you attend e-metrics in San Francisco in May? I plan to buy your book just before going to the conference.

  27. M?ris

    already have in my amazons wishlist 🙂 will order soon

  28. S.Hamel

    Congrats on your book release! You did an amazing job, I’m sure you’ll get tons of positive reviews. (I just posted a review on Amazon, it should appear soon.)


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