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Web Site Measurement Hacks: Tips & Tools to Help Optimize Your Online Business [Kindle Edition]

Eric T. Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: £16.50
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Book Description

In order to establish and then maintain a successful presence on the Web, designing a creative site is only half the battle. What good is an intricate Web infrastructure if you're unable to measure its effectiveness? That's why every business is desperate for feedback on their site's visitors: Who are they? Why do they visit? What information or service is most valuable to them?

Unfortunately, most common Web analytics software applications are long on functionality and short on documentation. Without clear guidance on how these applications should be integrated into the greater Web strategy, these often expensive investments go underused and underappreciated.

Enter Web Site Measurement Hacks, a guidebook that helps you understand your Web site visitors and how they contribute to your business's success. It helps organizations and individual operators alike make the most of their Web investment by providing tools, techniques, and strategies for measuring--and then improving--their site's usability, performance, and design. Among the many topics covered, you'll learn:

  • definitions of commonly used terms, such as "key performance indicators" (KPIs)
  • how to drive potential customers to action
  • how to gather crucial marketing and customer data
  • which features are useful and which are superfluous
  • advanced techniques that senior Web site analysts use on a daily basis
By examining how real-world companies use analytics to their success, Web Site Measurement Hacks demonstrates how you, too, can accurately measure your Web site's overall effectiveness. Just as importantly, it bridges the gulf between the technical teams charged with maintaining your Web's infrastructure and the business teams charged with making management decisions.

It's the technology companion that every site administrator needs.

Product Description

From the Publisher

This convenient guidebook helps organizations and individual operators alike make the most of their Web investment by providing tools, techniques, and strategies for measuring their site's overall effectiveness. You'll learn the definitions of commonly used terms, how to gather crucial marketing data, how to drive potential customers to action, and more. It's the technology companion that every site operator needs.

About the Author

Eric Peterson has been working in Web analytics since 1998 in both a technical and a marketing capacity. Currently, he is an analyst at JupiterResearch, a well-respected analyst firm focusing exclusively on the Internet, covering analytics, search, content management systems and related application technology. In his short tenure at JupiterResearch, he has been quoted in a number of well-respected publications, including InternetRetailer, InfoWorld, The Deal, Ecommerce Guide, Datamation, MediaDaily News and Clickz. He regularly give Webinars on a number of site operations subjects including Web analytics, key performance indicators, search, usability and content management.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2961 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (19 Aug. 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043EWVIS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #690,562 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful introduction to the subject 14 Jan. 2006
Web site measurement seems to be all the rage at the moment. Look at the source code for just about any commercial web site that you visit and you'll find code that is there to grab as much information about you and your browsing habits and store it in the company's database. I spent some time last year putting code like that into every page of a client's web site.
So, it would seem to be the perfect time for Eric Peterson's new book. Like all of O'Reilly's "Hacks" series, it starts with the basics of its subject matter and in a series of a hundred small chunks of knowledge it introduces the reader to the topic in hand.
This time the topic in hand is how to measure how successful your web site is being. "How successful it's being at doing what?", you might ask. And that's a good question which is also covered in the book. You need to know what your web site is trying to achieve in order to be able to measure how well it is achieving it. It's a basic point, but one that is often missed.
That comes later in the book though. We start with an introduction to web measurement vocabularly. If you're unsure of the difference between hits, pages and visits, then the first chapter will soon get you up tp speed. It also talks about the different kinds of users that you will get and gives a good overview of the various technologies that can be used.
Whilst the book talks about a number of different companies that provide web measurement software, it also demonstrates that you don't necessarily need to spend all that money to get good results by creating a do-it-yourself web measurement application which is expanded and enhanced in each chapter.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a conversation with a mentor 23 Oct. 2005
By Jase T. Wolfe - Published on
No matter which page I read in this book, I always felt like I was a student in the area of web site statistics and had been afforded the privilege of speaking one on one with someone who really knows their stuff. Unlike other Hacks books I've read, in this text, all the sections flow together, redefining "Hack" as sub-topics of the current sections primary focus. Although you are expected to have a basic understanding of the underlying technology, the author writes in a very easy to follow, natural language fashion that neither dumbs the topics down nor makes the reader skip ahead passed fluff. In fact, there is a refreshing lack of sidebar or call-out sections, author's useless opinion about the weather in Albuquerque, or paragraphs dedicated to promoting some commercial product. Which leads me to another positive point about this book; any topic presented that requires a third party application to demonstrate with - uses freeware products readily available and without hitches.

After spending a few pages explaining what networking traffic tools are appropriate for web site visit tracking and which are appropriate for internal network traffic monitoring, the reader is then introduced to what is / is not appropriate data to monitor, and why. Once a foundation has been laid, time is spent reviewing the different mechanism of gathering usage statistics from your web site, including the web server's intrinsic logging, cookies, Macromedia Flash Local Shared Objects, RSS, JavaScript page tags, and Web Bugs. This book considers the last two to be the primary data gathering engine and are well covered, from general flow and browser trends, to implementing the code and ensuring you have a good privacy policy posted. The bulk of the book is then dedicated in showing you how you you can implement these tools into your web site, RSS feed, and emails to best gather real-time user environmental settings, dynamically display information or reconfigure your presentation based on said settings, and learn if parts of your presentation need to be reworked.

There is no end of good information in this book for anyone who wishes to learn the basics & intermediates of web site usage measurements. An abundance of code examples and plain-English presentation ensure that you understand the material and are never lost due to overly complicated presentations of concepts, or put-off by over simplifications. The author has brought an abundance of real-world experience into this text and it shows.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting The Most Out Of Your Web Site 19 Oct. 2005
By Dan McKinnon - Published on
In order to keep a web site going, not only do you have to have a great portal for users to view and buy the service you are providing, you also need a way to determine WHO is going to your site. Without the proper tools and analysis, you are stumbling in the dark while plays darts, only occasionally hitting a bullseye, usually just by pure chance.

With Eric Peterson's 'Web Site Measurement Hacks', you can maximize not only how you interpret the data you retrieve from visitors, but how to get more users to come to your site and why they are doing so. Chock full of 100 hacks (I would rather call them suggestions), the author uses his 10+ years of vast experience in web statistical analysis to provide a highly educational book that would be useful for anyone that needs to work with web traffic data.

This is a very useful guide for the following individuals:

Engineer concerned with harvesting of web traffic data for reporting purposes

Any marketing individual that is concerned with their online presence (that should be nearly everyone in the field)

Web analyst whose job is to sift through web data and track where business is coming from

Most of O'Reilly's "Hacks" books are very helpful that provide lots of great information and this guide is no exception.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall OK, but a lot of typos, and repetition 7 Sept. 2006
By Rommil Santiago - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I personally disagree with the use of "Hacks" in the title - as less than 10% of the hacks in the book are truly hacks. In anycase, it's a decent book to learn about the technicalities of web "measurement" - but I found it really repeated itself a lot. Granted a lot of the KPIs are different for different types of sites - it could of been arranged better. It felt like I read the same thing 10 times, with only minor differences. (Could of been shown in a table maybe).

The perl code could of been put all together under a section called "create your own analytics program" instead of breaking it up into parts.

The index was incomplete - many abbreviations were not there. Towards the end of the book, the hack cross-references disappeared and abbreviations and other terms just popped up without explanation. This is where the incomplete index caused the most annoyance.

There were a LOT of typos - every 20 pages, there was a typo. Frustrating.

An appendix summarizing all the KPIs, terms, abbreviations, etc would of been of great use... as the index is incomplete, and there is no true table of contents - finding things with respect to "hack number" is tiresome.

But at such a cheap price - worth the money.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A smorgasbord of great ideas 30 Aug. 2005
By BP - Published on
Practical advice from Eric and an amazing number of contributors (disclaimer: I contributed to one hack). A lot of best practices are represented here. Like other books in the Hacks series, this one is not philosophical, but gives you hands-on tools. If you're dealing with Web data, this is one of the best books on the subject.

The focus here is on measurement and reporting. If you're a marketer looking strictly for deep insights into consumer behavior, this is not the book. However you should still check this out .. it lays the solid foundation that you can build on.

And at 16 cents a hack, why wouldn't you? This book will pay for itself.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare one-size-fits-all book! 8 Nov. 2006
By Daniel Waisberg - Published on
Web Site Measurement Hacks is the best book in the Web Analytics field. The book explains introductory topics as well as the most advanced ones in a chronological natural way. Subjects like what is web analytics, how to choose a vendor, how the technology works, and how to implement a web analytics program in your company are covered extensively.

Besides being well written and almost encompassing, it presents also the point of view of several of the Web Analytics' experts and vendors. Many of the Hacks are co-authored by big names, such as:

* Bob Page (Yahoo!)

* Bryan Eisenberg (Future Now)

* Jim Sterne (Target Marketing!)

* Jim Novo (Drilling Down Project)

* Jim MacIntyre (Visual Sciences)

* Jason Burby (ZAAZ)

* Brett Hurt (Coremetrics)

* Xavier Casanova (Fireclick)

* Jeff Seacrist (WebTrends)

* Akin Arikan (Sane Solutions)

* Jay McCarthy (WebSideStory)

* John Marshall (Clicktracks)

* ... and many more!

The index is very helpful and you find subjects very easily. The book is well organized and I refer back to it every time I have doubts. It works for me as a Web Analytics' Encyclopedia.
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