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Google Analytics™ Third Edition by Mary E. Tyler, Joe Teixeira, Jerri L. Ledford

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Chapter 2. Why Analytics?

If you've picked up this book, you probably have at least a general idea of what Google Analytics is and does. You know it's a free application that Google makes available for web-site owners to measure their web-site traffic with. What you might not know is exactly why you want or need to measure this traffic. They have said that if you want to succeed, you should measure.

Yes, they have said this. And they advise you to know who visits your site. And obviously if they tell you to do it, then you should. But do they tell you why? (And for that matter, who are they and why do they think they know so much?)

We'll explain a little about why you should use Google Analytics as you go through this chapter. And try to give you some examples along the way. As for who they are ...

Let's just say that they're the people who have "been there, done that," and they might even know a little about what they're telling you to do. So let's assume for now that they are correct and that you need Google Analytics, and then let's figure out why.

What Are Analytics?

According to the most basic definition, analytics are software programs that generate metrics. Metrics are measurements. And measurements can help you benchmark desired results. Now that may seem as clear as mud, but if you'll hang in for just a bit, maybe we can strain some of the mud out together and make the picture a little clearer.

Clarity starts with understanding a bit about what measurements are available for ...

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