From my FSU days

In general, I’m a big fan of for online video training. One of the modules that I learned a lot from early on is Richard John Jenkins on Search Engine Optimization. I’ve referred any number of less than technical colleagues to this movie. And I’ve used pieces of this in my how-to workshops with clients. Jenkins has several chapters on Web analytics that are excellent, particularly for the uninitiated.

Back in the fall I attended a Google seminar at the AdTechForum in NYC. I was lucky to walk away winning a copy of Avinash Kaushik’s latest book, Web Analytics 2.0. He says that it picks up on the foundation laid by his philosophizing in our very own Web Analytics: An Hour a Day. It’s a terrific book, and he continues in his charming way of writing like he’s writing just to us. But a word of warning – this one is for you, not for your colleagues at work. But share what you’ve learned in the book, especially in how you will soon use the clickstream numbers to tell a story about our site visitors, and you’ll impress the heck out of them.

Another book that’s worth passing along is Eric T. Peterson’s Web Analytics Demystified. Although it was first published in 2004, it’s a classic and his explanations of the various WA components are written in a very accessible style. It is also the name of his consulting business. You can download the eBook for free from his site. He also does free live events around the world under the banner of Web Analytics Wednesdays (there is one coming up in Chicago on Wed June 9). You can network with others wanting to advance their WA knowledge.

And one other resource that I’ll suggest to everyone is the Web Analytics Association. I don’t know much about the Association right now, but I’ve checked out the board of directors and the founding members and they are made up of representatives from the “right” companies. They have a charter that includes education and standards setting.

Check out, a handy WA consultant blog but they publish loads of WA resources.

I don’t want to offer a “what I’d change” for these resources, since they are very good, and frankly, the authors know a lot more about WA than I ever hope to know. What I’d change about myself, however, is to spend more time on their sites to pick up more current information and insights.

The tool that I would not recommend is Omniture’s HBX. It is a huge clunker of a program, very expensive, and is mired down by the enormity of it’s functionality – way too much for the average bear. Google Analytics is much easier to deal with. That said, HBX is a standard tool used by many large ad agencies, so if you are a large publisher, you may need to use it so that you see how your clients see you. But if you can avoid it, stay with the free and easier to use tools.