The web analytics category is certainly hot these days. The category used to be populated by expensive consultants and equally expensive software packages that took an advanced degree to understand fully.

Part of the web analytics explosion can be attributed to Google's purchase of Urchin in 2005 and its subsequent decision to offer Urchin for free (as Google Analytics) as a hosted solution. Another part of it is attributable to the success stories stemming from the use of other analytics platforms (like those from Omniture) for strategic leverage and a better understanding of Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs.

The reams of signal intelligence an online marketer can glean from analytics reports certainly help to lend visibility to web efforts, but they can also be misunderstood. From time to time, in speaking with clients and prospects, we come across situations in which the feedback from web analytics software leads online marketers down the wrong path.

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