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Introduction to Google Analytics : a guide for absolute beginners
Kelsey T., Apress, New York, NY, 2017. 141 pp.  Type: Book (978-1-484228-28-9)
Date Reviewed: Apr 17 2018

Kelsey considers the acquisition of digital/online marketing skills as an integral part of business intelligence. Knowing about the performance of websites and ad campaigns helps businesses track the return on their investments (ROI) by being able to see what they are making in relation to what they are spending in terms of online ads. This book purports to help the reader with web analytics, a core skill for understanding the role played by online marketing in the success of a business. As such, the book claims that it is “geared towards employees who may be working at a company or non-profit organization, for students at a university, or for self-paced learners.”

The main focus is Google Analytics, which allows one to see how many people visit a site, where they come from, and what they do. The main platforms are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. The assumption is that businesses should pay more attention to online marketing as well as to social networking. According to the author, Google is a big help to companies because it does a good job of tracking precisely that ROI. The book focuses on three methods of keeping track of it: AdWords, Shopify, and Gumroad.

In the process of reading this book, one learns a few new terms associated with analytics such as what constitutes a session, what the bounce rate is, and the idea of trending. It also talks about several metrics, such as the amount of time on average a user spends during a visit to a site and where people are visiting from.

The book may be helpful for absolute beginners, but there are two things that detract from its usefulness. The first stems from the blatant and shameless plugging of the author’s book(s). I counted at least nine times in eight chapters that the author inserts this statement: “Take a look at my book entitled Introduction to social media marketing”; that means it is mentioned more than once in some chapters. Every single activity needs to refer to his book, which may indicate to the reader that one needs to read the other book to be able to obtain the most from this one.

The second major drawback to the usefulness of the book stems from the inability to try any of the activities suggested unless you’re willing to expend some cost to try things out. Services such as Gumroad may be free initially, but in order to really see how it works, one may need to use the paid version. For others, like AdWords and Shopify, a minimum amount needs to be paid in order to even try them. I guess that is the way business operates, but it discourages one from trying these services out.

Even though the author tries really hard to convince the reader that this is fun, easy, and could lead to benefits in the future, it may not be that fun to a reader who only sees the self-marketing of the author’s other products.

More reviews about this item: Amazon

Reviewer:  Cecilia G. Manrique Review #: CR145980 (1807-0377)
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