Google Analytics Short Cut

As some of you may have noticed, my book PDF e-book has been published! Google Analytics Short Cut hit the web on August 31 and is now available for purchase at O’Reilly’s website.

In my opinion, and I’m a bit biased after writing for all those hours, it’s a pretty good deal for $10 US. Let me tell you why…

#1 Structured Information
There’s a lot of Google Analytics information out there. We have the GA group, blogs and some books. But, in my humble opinion, the one thing that is missing is a basic manual that provides a structured description of the system’s architecture and features. This was the real driving force behind the PDF. I wanted to explain how things work so users understand the results of certain configurations.

I didn’t want to create a web analytics book. Some pretty smart people have already written wonderful books that discuss web analytics. I wanted to create a work that can help people implement different web analytics strategies using Google Analytics and I think I did that.

#2 Free Updates
O’Reilly provides free downloads of updated PDF documents that you have purchased. How cool is that! We’ve seen Google make some pretty interesting changes to the product in the last 6 months. In fact, they just updates how time-on-site is calculated yesterday. I intend to update the PDF twice a year to cover any new features or major modifications. I might update it more if Google rolls out major changes.

But there’s a caveat… O’Reilly will only update the PDF if sales are good. You know where I’m going with this one. :)

If you’re interested in learning more about GA Short Cut please visit and please make sure you read the acknowledgments. If you’d like to hear what others are saying you can read the reviews on O’Reilly’s site or check the reviews on (If you’re interested in writing a review please let me know. I would be honored.)

Finally, I’d like to thank all of you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, questions and ideas with me. Thanks for adding to the discussion and helping me grow and learn. I had no idea that blogging would lead to so many opportunities. But, more importantly, I had no idea it would lead to so many new friends.

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    1. Rich says

      I just bought and downloaded this book – not had a chance to read it but I just wanted to say thanks anyway as it looked useful from the skim I’ve done of it.

      I’ve installed G Analytics on personal sites just to gather basic info but now my work want me to do more useful stuff I thought a bit of heads up was going to be useful!

    2. says

      Just bought the book for some light reading, the content seems really good so far.

      For those ordering, if you enter the coupon code ‘DSUG’ you receive 30% off, which makes a bargain even better – $6.50

    3. naoki says


      I read some of your posts and just bought PDF book.

      We have some books on GA in Japan but none of them are great and usefull like yours!

      I think I have so many thing to learn from the book and your posts.

    4. Cavan says

      Hi Justin,

      Just bought the book and it looks great, but I haven’t seen an answer to one of my questions. I know it’s possible to track a non-AdWords cost per click campaign such as Yahoo Search Marketing in GA, but is there a way to track the actual keyword that triggered the ad without creating a separate ad group in Yahoo for each keyword? Sorry if this is obvious, but I haven’t seen this issue addressed on other analytics sites or forums.


    5. says

      Hello Justin. I just heard about your book and will be ordering it in just a couple of minutes, $10 is a deal. I’ve been using the service for a while and am familiar with it’s capabilites (and limitations), but could alway use more tips and techniques. I hope you keep getting enough sales so that the updates keep coming. I also posted about your book, Google Analytics Shortcut on my site too.

    6. says

      Hi Cavan,

      Yes, you can track keyword level data from other CPC services without creating additional ad groups. By default, if you do not tag a destination URL with the utm_term parameter, GA will pick up the keyword that the search engine passes to your website. Remember, this may or may not be the actual keyword that the visitor searched on. It depends on the the search engine. The key is that you still need to use the utm_campaign, utm_medium and utm_source parameters.

      Hope that helps and thanks for the comment!


    7. Danny Smitherman says

      Hi Justin.

      I’m reading your GA Short Cut pdf right now, and getting some needed clarification on things.

      I understand how to connect an Adwords campaign with Analytics, and have done so. But in setting up the two – the Adwords campaign and the Analytics profile – they both required the insertion of a code snippet into the same page – an order confirmation page. Will these two code snippets interfere with each other? Here they are, as they appear in the page (they exist one right after the other):

      _uacct = “UA-XXXXXXX-X”;

      The urchinTracker variable renames this otherwise dynamically named page, per Google instructions. The reason for my question about the two code snippets interfering is that Analytics is tracking landings on this page, but the Adwords conversion tracking is not.

      Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    8. says

      The O’Reilly payment process is ridiculous:

      1. No info on payment options.
      2. Multiple pages and emails to register.

      So I did not buy your book.

    9. says

      Hi Danny,

      The two codes do not interact or interfere with each other in any way so something else must be breaking the AdWords conversion tracking. I would check the browser for JavaScript errors using the FireBug plugin for FireFox.

      Thanks for buying the book! I appreciate it.


    10. Eric Purwaka says

      Hi Justin,

      I just bought and read your e-book, it’s a very good reading source to understand GA better. Thanks for your book.

      I do have some questions about GA which I believe is not covered in your e-book.

      In section “Tracking Across Multiple Subdomains” you mentioned in the warning box that the filter will break the site overlay report. So does this mean that we can’t have both the subdomains tracking and the site overlay feature?

      Would you cover more about site overlay in the future?



    11. says

      Hi Eric,

      You’ll only be able to use the site overlay for a profile that has a single, defined sub domain. The reason is that when the site overlay report is created, GA takes the website site URL, as defined in the profile settings, and adds it to the request URI. It then requests that URL from your site. So, if the website URL, or the request URI is not perfect, then GA will not be able to retrieve the page and overlay the data.

      Hope that helps and thanks for buying the book and reading the blog!



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