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Here I write about Google Analytics setup and usage; Online privacy; Data accuracy; Website usability; Conversion optimisation; and best practices for organisations wishing to achieve success online – the whole raison d’etre for measurement in the first place…!

I love to hear reader’s feedback, so please comment on my posts or share them.

Brian Clifton - Blog

Online Measurement and Strategy Report

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Metrics understanding / Comments: 2

I am a big fan of Econsultancy because of the quality of the work these guys do. In case you missed it they published their 5th Online Measurement and Strategy Report 2012 today. As with the previous reports, it’s fascinating snapshot on where web analytics is right now – both as a process and as an industry.

But what got my attention are the GA Premium numbers… […]

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Google Analytics and the EU privacy law #3

Categories: Privacy and Accuracy / Comments: 20

As you may be aware, last May (2011) a new EU privacy directive came into force – officially known as Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), though often referred to as the “EU cookie law” as it implies that setting website cookies without a visitors consent would be illegal in all 27 EU member countries.

Contrary to what has been reported (and even enacted on some sites), you do not need to seek explicit consent to set an anonymous, benign first party cookie. […]

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Book errata – 3rd edition

Categories: Google Analytics specific / Comments: 15

A small number of typos have come to my attention with the 3rd edition – four so far. These will be corrected in the next re-print (due end of May). However I wanted to list them here for people to be aware of. Please let me know (by adding a comment here) if you find others.

Ch 7, page 254 – Figure 7.15
Figure 7.15 illustrates a hostname differentiation filter. The “Field B” and “Output To” have no option selected, and only show a dash -. They should instead read “Request URI”. Replacement image shown below. […]

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3rd edition of Advanced Web Metrics now shipping – What’s it about?

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs / Comments: 15

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! […]

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Book Launch – 3rd Edtion of Advanced Web Metrics

Categories: Google Analytics specific / Comments: 15

After two years since the last book the 3rd edition is finally here – officially shipping on Amazon et al from 19th March 2012. Thanks to all who have provided feedback on the last two editions. Its been both flattering and humbling when people write with praise. It makes my day/week in a way no other job or role has ever done – which ultimately is my driver for writing.

Come and join me for the Launch Party in Stockholm (March 29th)

What’s new in the 3rd edition?

As you may know, my aim with these books has always been to give the reader a thorough understanding of web analytics, from a practitioners point of view, using Google Analytics as the tool of choice. There are lots of details (well the book is called Advanced…!), but only when it is necessary. That is, where there is a good business opportunity/insight to be gained from it…

In 2011 alone there was a wealth of announcements from the GA Team (coolest first):

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Google Analytics Market Share

Categories: Google Analytics specific / Comments: 3

There are a number of commentators on the web that purport the level of adoption for Google Analytics i.e. market share. This is a short post to summarise the latest figures that I consider as solid and reliable. If you have conducted a study yourself, or know of other reliable sources of adoption numbers, please share the results in the comments section. I maintain a snapshot of major brands using Google Analytics at….

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A 10-Point Check List to Setup Your Google Analytics Properly

Categories: Metrics understanding / Comments: 11

A good friend of mine, Daniel Waisberg, and I were discussing how organisations are reluctant to invest in their Google Analytics setup – be it implementation, training & education or insights/consultancy. Our conclusion was, that is difficult to get even the richest of companies to invest in a product that is free. The perception is that everything else that is required to make it “work” i.e. all of the above, should also be free.

Of course the new GA Premium product changes this a great deal – though that is very much aimed at large enterprises i.e. Fortune 500 types. That group aside, why is it an organisation will pay tens of thousands of pounds on a CMS platform or CRM solution, but fail to see the opportunities of investing a similar amount (or less!) in their web analytics?

As I wrote in an article last year, the hard part of web analytics is gaining insights form your reports when all you have is the basic setup. You must go beyond the basics if you wish your measurements to actually impact your business.

With this in mind, I asked Daniel to write a guest post on what it takes to get your GA implementation up to the next level. Below is a 10-point check list he recommends for both beginners and advanced users.

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