Now that you've been given the grand tour of Google Analytics, let's take a step back before we take a giant step forward to understand the industry that is web analytics.
There are a lot of moving parts, definitions, explanations, and rationales in this chapter. I'll talk about how web analytics works, define some metrics, and debunk some common misconceptions. I'll talk about the tools that you'll need to understand to become a great web analyst. It's not the most exciting and entertaining subject matter you've ever read, but if you're into being successful online, you don't want to skip this chapter.
As an industry, web analytics is young. It's extremely young. It's so young that only now are online business owners coming to the realization that they need to be able to measure what's happening with their initiatives. I strongly believe that web analytics is the next big thing. And as in the mid-'90s, everybody will be jumping on board.
When you launch a browser and visit a website of your choice, a lot of things happen behind the scenes within a few seconds. After you connect with the Internet (using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, or some other browser), your home screen or homepage will load, along with browser preferences, plug-ins, settings, and privacy options. Then you can type the URL of a website into the browser's address bar or access it from a bookmark. Sometimes you'll use ...