I have moved my explorations from social media back to interactive marketing and website metrics. I wanted to call out a couple of free services and sources of insightful information I have been using lately.
I believe your first stop for learning web analytics, industry best practices should be one of my favorite blogger and website metrics gurus: Avinash Kaushik. I have had the opportunity to hear him speak in person twice and I love his irreverent writing and presenting style. He has a humorous approach to the explanation of website metrics. Also very logical and practical. His most recent post on metrics averages and ratios is outstanding: Actively Avoid Insights: 4 Useful KPI Measurement Techniques. He has also written a book on website metrics: Web Analytics: An Hour A Day. Or you can just read his blog: Occam's Razor, which has all the content of the book for free. He always talks about how the content is free and you do not have to buy the book, just read the blog. There are also some excellent videos on YouTube. Here is a nice short one, but there are some 1 hour presentations as well:
Google Analytics - Non-Ecommerce Sites: Beyond Averages
A couple services I highly recommend for obtaining web metrics on your branded site, as well as your competitors, are Compete and Quantcast. Quantcast provides some qualitative information as well that includes estimated demographics. Remember that both services use estimates and can be off by as much as 20%. These are nice services to use in addition to your internal web metrics tools. You should also check out Google Trends for additional, online insights into your brand, competitors and industry.