Book Review – Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik

Web Analytics: An Hour A Day CoverLast Christmas, I picked myself up a copy of Avinash Kaushik’s Web Analytics: An Hour a Day. (I read about 50 marketing and ecommerce blog feeds each week, so it’s a real treat to read top-notch marketing material offline from time to time). And now with the warm and sunny weather, I’m finding myself sneaking outside for around an hour a day to give it a second run through.

Since we’re having Avinash as our webinar guest this month, I figured now’s a good time to share my review of the book with Get Elastic readers.

Who It’s For

Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik is a great primer on web analytics for any webmaster, business owner, programmer or marketer. You don’t have to be a techie to “get it.” In fact, if you’re not a techie, you should read it simply to understand the basics of how data is collected on the web.

Because web analytics is as much art as science (perhaps more so), even seasoned web analysts can glean from Avinash’s strategies, tips and tactics. Plus, page 85 to 92 is all about what makes a great web analyst (aren’t you curious?), and there is an advanced analytics chapter that is sure to challenge your thinking.

Although Avinash is Google Analytics’ ambassador, it’s not a Google Analytics guide, nor is it biased to any particular analytics tool. The principles can be applied to free, mid-sized or enterprise tools.

Format

Web Analytics: An Hour a Day starts off with a few chapters to bring you up to speed on what analytics is, the different tools available and how they work, types of data and common challenges of web analytics. You’ll learn the “what,” the “why you should care” and the “what you should care about” of each item.

This is followed up with invaluable advice on what to look for in a Web analyst, a detailed guide to choosing the best analytics solution for your business (without finding out after spending a ton of money that it was the wrong tool) and how to ensure your tracking is set up properly.

Once you’re settled with your tool, the book continues with an 8 month plan for understanding the major capabilities of web analytics in — you got it — an hour a day. Each day you’ll do a little bit of reading, and the rest of the hour you’re hands on with your data. Kaushik covers all the bases – SEO, search engine marketing (PPC), internal site search, email marketing, multi-channel marketing, blogging and RSS tracking.

The content in Web Analytics: An Hour a Day is valuable for anyone who is involved in ecommerce – even if your title is not “Web Analyst.” Just like you must understand financial statements and balance sheets, even if you have an accountant, Web Analytics: An Hour A Day will help you understand your analytics data and reports.

Win a Copy of Web Analytics: An Hour a Day

If you haven’t read Web Analytics: An Hour a Day (or even if you have), please sign up for our upcoming Webinar, Thursday, July 17. Avinash will be presenting 3 Things to Die For: Web Analytics Unleashed, and every participant is eligible to win one of 6 signed copies of Web Analytics: An Hour a Day. And if you have a burning question for the analytics master, this is your chance as there is time for questions at the end. For details, and to sign up click here.

You’ll also do yourself a favor by checking out Avinash’s blog Occam’s Razor. It’s top notch content, and he responds thoughtfully to every comment and email. There’s an archive of podcasts and other media coverage on his blog, which will tide you over until next Thursday.


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