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“Thorough use of Google Analytics” book review!

A new Google Analytics book was released on October 29, 2019. The publisher is SB Creative Co., Ltd., and it was written by four people belonging to NRI Netcom Co., Ltd. NRI Netcom Co., Ltd. is a sales partner of the Google Marketing Platform, and it can be said that they are top-class people in Japan when it comes to using Google Analytics. I also purchased this book because it was written by such elite people and because it has a large volume.

In this article, I will give a review of this book.

About the book “Thorough Use of Google Analytics”

The title of the book, including the subtitle, is ” Thorough Use of Google Analytics: Operation Guide for Analysis and Improvement that Leads Digital Marketing to Success “. A Google Analytics book written by four people belonging to NRI Netcom, Inc., released on October 23, 2019. The page volume has reached 500 pages, including the appendix, and you can feel the enthusiasm of trying to cover all the information about Google Analytics. Amazon sells the Kindle version and the book version, but it can be said that it is a book that should be purchased as a book.

Preface to this book review

In this book review, I think that there are many harsh evaluations, critical comments, and negative expressions, but I do not think that this book is “a bad book” at all. In fact, I think it’s one of the most rewarding books I’ve read on Google Analytics in recent times. However, if you praise only the good parts, it will go against the policy of this blog, so please keep in mind that there are points that are deliberately harsh evaluations, critical comments, and negative expressions.

Book review

Chapter 1, 2, 3

I really liked the fact that the concept of configuring the account properties view described in Chapter 1 was written. It goes into great detail on how to separate properties and views in common situations. In fact, I don’t think many people understand exactly how different values ​​come out depending on whether you separate them by property or by view. If I may be greedy, I think it would be good to describe a little more various patterns, but I think it’s worth purchasing this book just for this point.

Chapter 4, 5, 6, 7

Just as Chapter 1 touched on Google Analytics account configuration, Chapter 5 touches on Google Tag Manager account configuration. In common use cases, the advantages and disadvantages of each possible pattern are described, so the content can be used immediately in actual battles.

on the other hand,

  • How to use the “Google Analytics Settings” variable
  • Event tracking using dataLayer variables such as “eventCategory”, “eventAction” and “eventLabel”

I had a question about 3 points. I would like to write my own opinion.

First, let’s talk about how to use Google Analytics configuration variables. In this document, it seems that Google Analytics setting variables are created for “pageview” and “event” respectively. However, I think that the standard is to create and use one Google Analytics setting variable for one property. Rather, I couldn’t think of a case where setting variables should be switched between “page view” and “event”.

It’s not a big deal, so I think you can ignore it. However, if you use the “page” dimension for the values ​​that can be obtained with the Page URL, you will not have any problems in the report phase. Rather, if you put it in an event-type parameter, the value will be dispersed due to the URL query parameter, and you cannot solve it with the Google Analytics view settings, so I do not recommend such a setting. Is not …

Finally, it is the point that “eventCategory of dataLayer variable etc. is used for event tracking parameters”. Of course, it is possible to make it work as implemented. However, if you do this, you will not be able to separate “website source code” and “marketing source code”, which is one of the original purposes of Google Tag Manager. Because of that, I basically try not to do this kind of design myself. However, I understand that this kind of implementation is done in many places, and that the settings on the Google Tag Manager side will be simple (the complicated part is implemented on the JavaScript side), so it can’t be helped. I think there is a place.

Chapter 8, 9, 10

Chapters 8 and 9 also touch on data import functions for product data and user data . There is very little information about this area, so it would be good to refer to those who want to use the data import function.

Chapter 10 lists the specifications of the referrer/media system. However, since this chapter is limited to the range that is often discussed in various blogs and seminars, it may feel unsatisfactory for intermediate and higher learners.

Chapter 11, 12, 13, 14

Chapter 11 is about custom reports in Google Analytics, and Chapter 12 is about reports using Data Studio. I don’t think there was anything particularly noteworthy about this area.

Chapter 13 is about A/B testing using Google Optimize. While I would have liked to see more detail on the anti-flicker snippet, there was very little mention of activation events . I can understand why you’re omitting it because you don’t know how often you should use the activation event.

Chapter 14 is about remarketing that integrates Google Ads and Google Analytics. While the basic content is also summarized here , I felt that it would be better if it touched on the difference between remarketing using Google Ads tags and remarketing using Google Analytics .

Chapters 15, 16, 17, 18

In Chapter 15, I have the impression that it is an application version that focuses on improving conversions. As for “defining content groups and using action flow reports”, I myself have practiced it in various places, and I have a good impression that it touches on that point. Also, the “Sample Flow Report” using Data Portal was very helpful. However, while watching this, I remembered that I made something similar a long time ago, but if I try to make this, it will be necessary to create a large number of advanced segments, so I seem to be worried about how to manage them. .

Chapter 16 is about Search Console. I don’t think there are many books on Google Analytics that touch on Search Console, but since it only covers the basics, it’s better to use it as a way to reinforce your knowledge.

Chapter 17 is about personalization with Google Optimize. I haven’t used Google Optimize myself recently, but I was able to find out that various updates were made just by looking at 10 pages of this chapter. In particular, I learned that you can now send non-interaction hits to Google Analytics when viewing personalization pages.

Chapter 18 describes how to “detect problems on your website” based on four examples. I think that the content around here is a game of ideas, but I thought that all of them were good content. There are some that we have already implemented, but we would like to be able to incorporate the ones that are not as soon as possible.

Appendix 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Appendix1 is about user management. When it comes to user management, it seems that many people are familiar with it, but it is new that “organization” and “user group” are also mentioned here. Especially when a large company uses Google Analytics, the problem arises that it must be clearly defined who has what authority and must be operated according to that definition. A smart solution to this problem is the “user group” function that has been launched in the last few years, but there are not many companies that can effectively use this function, so we would like to take this opportunity to raise awareness of the “user group” function. I thought it would be good if it spread.

Appendix 2 is about AMP measurement, but rather than covering AMP, it is just basic knowledge. Probably, when implementing AMP Analytics in earnest, it is necessary to know the contents of this book and read the official documents etc. firmly.

Appendix 3 and later are full of various information, but I don’t think it’s necessary to describe them here, so I’d like to omit the rest.


As I mentioned at the beginning, I think there were many dry evaluations, critical comments, and negative expressions, but it was a very satisfying book. However, I don’t think it’s written for beginners, so if you’re a complete beginner, don’t take this book. I think it’s good. Also, if you have been using Google Analytics for about 2-3 years and already have basic knowledge, I think it would be a good idea to pick up this book to acquire more knowledge.


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