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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Possibly intended more for a company than the individual
When I first picked up this book I made the mistake of dipping into it at random to read. The reason that I say this was a mistake is because I happened to start reading chapter five which led me to think that this was just another book about how to design a website - it's not, and the author does recommend reading it from cover to cover. You soon realise why this is so...
Published 23 months ago by MR P J FAIRWEATHER

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3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Going for amatuers
Heavy Going for Amateurs?
I was rather hoping this was aimed at a lesser market, but it's for the big boys with endless dosh to spend on bringing their sites to the fore.
It makes us little fellows proud when a site is built and SEO'd which seems to outperform a site written and projected by the big operators maybe using these methods . But if it slips down the...
Published 18 months ago by Jeff. Clark


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Possibly intended more for a company than the individual, 26 Aug 2012
By 
MR P J FAIRWEATHER (Ayrshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Website Optimization: An Hour a Day (Paperback)
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When I first picked up this book I made the mistake of dipping into it at random to read. The reason that I say this was a mistake is because I happened to start reading chapter five which led me to think that this was just another book about how to design a website - it's not, and the author does recommend reading it from cover to cover. You soon realise why this is so when you see how the book is laid out. Each of the numerous topics is dealt with on a day by day basis, each day consisting of about an hours work (as the title implies) which follows on from the previous day and leads onto the next.

I had started out looking for a quick fix to the problem of why my website was not producing the results that I had anticipated. However, I soon realised that there was no "quick fix" on offer and that if I was serious about improving my websites conversion rate (viewers to purchasers/subscribers) that this was going to be a lengthy process.

The author suggests a methodical approach to gathering various data about your website traffic and which tools to use in order to gain this information. He explains technology such as heat maps - which will show you how a visitor reads your website, and software that can gather data about a visitors behaviour once on your website, along with how to encourage feedback.

This book is supposedly aimed at anyone who wishes to improve the conversion rate of their website, I would say that the amount of times phrases like "the company CEO" or the "marketing dept." are used (and looking at the image on the front cover) all point towards it being mainly for large companies. However, there is much useful information contained within this book that could improve any website and might even increase its productivity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, Clear and Necessary, 2 Oct 2012
By 
Mr. Stephen Redman (York England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Website Optimization: An Hour a Day (Paperback)
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Firstly, this is Sybex book. For 30 years Sybex have been producing a large percentage of the best IT reference books around; this may not be a guarantee but it is a good indicator of usefulness.

Secondly, this book scratches an itch. There are far too many people managing websites who do not understand the end -user experience or how to optimise the site for maximum exposure. This would be a great investment for anyone wanting to learn the real issues of running a website.

The `Contents' page is full of detail, breaking down chapters into their subheadings, which are themselves clear and detailed, making it easy to find particular topics.

Whereas the book is written specifically for those using the internet for commerce, the lessons and themes are just as applicable for those who do not employ a commercial angle. Being found by search engines, having the right content , directing people to it and encouraging them to return are important subjects not just for business but for charities, interest groups and even churches.

The section on social media is both timely and helpful.

This is not a `dip-in & dip-out' book; it requires a serious bout of initial reading after which it may become a reference guide. This is not a `Dummies' or `Complete Idiots' book - it requires a little more commitment, but for any person who is serious about their website this is a necessary investment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Test, test, test, 15 Nov 2012
By 
Ross Boardman "Ross B" (Staffordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Website Optimization: An Hour a Day (Paperback)
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From the beginning I liked the author. This is not Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and he makes that clear. SEO is all about getting the website front and centre of the searcher. This is all about the rigour for testing different options on your website to help that same person once they are on your site. You can have many objectives depending on how the user enters the site and for what purpose.

Do you want to make more sales? Do you want more profit per sale? Do you want more social media followers? How about reviews, names on your mail list or signatures for your campaign? All of these are legitimate goals and each has it's own flow through the site. Ideally you want the user to stay on the site and do something rather than leave in a confused state.

This flow can start at the page the user finds from their search or from one you have created for their entry point, the landing page. With the latter, you have hopefully done some work to get the right audience to the right page. It's close to Christmas when this review was written and if I was promoting a restaurant then the landing page should be relevant to Christmas. The real magic is seeing how the path weaves from the email newsletter, the Christmas landing page, around the site and onto the booking form and to making the reservation.

There are a number of tools out there that can help you see how specific goals pan out, these are well covered in the book. Then there are the ways of making a more direct path that keeps the user heading in the right direction. Different tweaks at each decision point can be tried and tested to come up with the optimum approach. Do you tweak the flow of the wording to make it more relevant to the sale? Do you change the order of the website menu? How about which variation of the landing page is best? Do your customers react better to some offers than others or at different times?

Marketing is just the same as it was 90 years ago when Claude Hopkins wrote Scientific Advertising. Research, test, test, test etc. This book applies the time honoured tradition to the web and does it without any illusions over how much hard work will be needed.

If you want to get your website working for you, start here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A goldmine of ideas for testing and improving your website, 1 April 2014
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This review is from: Website Optimization: An Hour a Day (Paperback)
When I first started to read this book I thought that it might be too basic for someone already conducting experiments to optimise websites. But I was very much mistaken. Sure, the beginning of the books does take you through some of the basics about analytics and hypothesis generation. However, the book is packed full of extremely practical and detailed advice on what to test. I found it to be a goldmine of ideas for improving the websites I optimise. Probably the most detailed book on conversion optimisation tests that I have read. Highly recommend reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Buy!!, 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Website Optimization: An Hour a Day (Paperback)
As it says on the cover:
Website Optimization: An Hour a Day
Check out Rich‘s webpage too.

Website Optimization: An Hour a Day
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4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably useful, 29 April 2013
By 
John Nunn (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Website Optimization: An Hour a Day (Paperback)
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I found this to be an engaging read with a few useful pointers to increasing the usability of website design. Probably not accessible to home website designers (as pointed out in the other reviews), I did find some useful pointers as a commercial developer.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Going for amatuers, 30 Jan 2013
By 
Jeff. Clark "arfur_daily" (Shropshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Website Optimization: An Hour a Day (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Heavy Going for Amateurs?
I was rather hoping this was aimed at a lesser market, but it's for the big boys with endless dosh to spend on bringing their sites to the fore.
It makes us little fellows proud when a site is built and SEO'd which seems to outperform a site written and projected by the big operators maybe using these methods . But if it slips down the ratings, this at least answers the questions and maybe gives one answers as to why!
But the insight into what we are getting ourselves into is eye opening! Organic SEO still has its place and simple add word campaigns/pay per clicks etc., still work to a degree, but if the competition gets hot and your sites are kept refreshed and up to date, but still slip down the ratings this may answer the why!
I am not trying to take anything away from the book, on the contrary, it is a very helpful and informative volume, and from its own advertising: -
*Zeroes in on fundamentals such as understanding key metrics, choosing analytics tools, researching visitors and their onsite behaviour, and crafting a plan for what to test and optimize
*Walks you through testing and optimizing specific web pages including the homepage, entry and exit pages, product and pricing pages, as well as the shopping cart and check-out process
*Guides you through important optimization areas such as optimizing text and images
*Addresses advanced topics including paid search optimization, Facebook fan page optimization, rich media, and more
*Includes a companion website that features expanded examples, additional resources, tool reviews, and other related information.
Nominative determinism has found its way in here too, the author is Rich Page, and he is responsible or at least part responsible for a few volumes in a similar vein.
It's a good read, very informative and maybe ideas from it can be put into practice by the little guys, but it is mainly written for main line web writers with a little more to spend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bound to be useful, 17 Jan 2013
By 
David B "Piano David" (GOUROCK, Renfrewshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Website Optimization: An Hour a Day (Paperback)
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This book is not about Search Engine Optimsation, the process by which you help your website to be found by and listed high on search engines. That is the subject of other books. It is all very well people finding your website. But what can you do to ensure that once they've found it, they stay there and do business with you instead of your competitors? That's what this book is about. What can you do to make your website say "I'm the one you shoudl call". Although the book has the subtitle "an hour a day", that doesn't mean you have to spend an hour a day reading the book and/or working on your website. The book is certainly 'dippable'. It's hard to imagine anyone failing to get something useful out of this book. I do find that the writing sometimes becaomse a bit 'clunky' and succumbs to 'corporate-speak", but the ideas covered are absolutely sound and necessary. You will certainly find things to think about for your website and you may also gain some reassurance, as I did, about aspects where you;re already getting things right.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I don't have an hour a day!, 12 Nov 2012
By 
Chappers "chappers" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Website Optimization: An Hour a Day (Paperback)
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I really wish I did though, as every time I manage to get to read some of this book, it's either re-assured me that I'm doing the right things, or it has prompted me to do something I sort-of already knew about but it had gotten lost in the back of my mind.

This book in many ways, is like a handbook to my job. Trouble is, Web Analytics/Optimisation is ever-changing. Writing an actual paper book on something like this is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge in that as soon as you reach the end, things will have changed and parts of it will need re-writing. For someone who isn't aware of what is changing all the time, you might risk taking the word of a book such as this and miss out on any newer developments.

Take Google Analytics for example, the single most popular Web Analytics tool used by over 57% of all websites (2012 estimate - Wikipedia), and in this book it is referred to as Basic in it's functionality with limited integration. While that may well have been the case a year ago, it has come on in leaps and bounds in recent times and I am starting to find that I have to give myself time every week to check on any new developments. Then you see the book refer to "Advanced" analytics tools like Adobe SiteCatalyst which he refers to as the market-leader, and every now and then there is a subtle but noticeable hint at which he prefers. Then you read the profile of Rich Page and you find that he actually works for Adobe.... doh! I've personally used both. They are both a pain in the &*! but in their own unique ways. SiteCatalyst I find not only hugely expensive, but also you require paid Agency support, it's clunky, it doesn't play as well with others as you might think, and it is full of paid options and bolt-ons. It's like a car with loads of blank spaces where there should be buttons but there aren't. For a big multi-national corporate, yes it probably fits nicely and its extra technical layers might prove valuable. For the 95% of the rest of the world's sites, it's probably expensive overkill. Google Analytics (Free edition) might be free, it might sample data if you have loads of site traffic, it might have no SLA, but it still comes up with the same conclusions, plus it has account profile-level filtering, segmentation, real-time (now with profile-filtering), social analytics, adword integration, asynchronous code. Every organisation will have had to make their decisions on Web Analytics tools, just be sure to not get lead down one track for the wrong reasons. Do your research first!

Getting back to the subject matter, there is a lot here that is close to my heart. The art of Web Optimisation is like the mortal enemy of the Web Graphic Designer. Finding the balance between the two houses is the holy grail for any website - one that both looks modern and fresh with great graphical design, but one that observes User-Centric and thought-through design principles. Take a look at Rich Page's own website and it's a vision in orange hideous-ness - a clear sign that he's firmly on one side of the fence there.

There is a lot to take in with this book, but it does legitimately make suggestions that I feel I need to spend some time on. What this book doesn't do, is find me the time in my day to actually do them! At 12.00 at time of writing, it's moderately good value, but please bear in mind that a lot of the information contained within can be found on the internet anyway. I think it is beneficial to get a grounding in Web Analytics first if you haven't already. I personally started with Avinash Kaushik and can personally vouch for this chap being a good place to begin learnings (he also authored a book in this series).

If you're going to want to gen-up on Website Optimisation, then this book currently makes a decent investment, but if you're reading this review a year from now, I'd suggest being a bit more cautious as the tides of Web Obtimisation are forever changing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive workbook, 19 Sep 2012
By 
AR (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Website Optimization: An Hour a Day (Paperback)
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As some of the other reviewers here have noted, this book is structured a bit like a textbook, with exercises to carry out each day. It's best to work methodically through the book rather than dipping in and out, especially if you don't have much technical expertise, as the language could be intimidating.

There are a lot of useful tips here, including SEO, analytics and website testing. The book will potentially work best for business users planning to build a more comprehensive site. I work in digital marketing and have also recently set up a personal website, and find a lot of the information better suited to work on my company's website.

But this would be a useful tool for a beginner too, as it guides you through the process of working on a website from the early stages. The author also recommends various tools and other websites that can help you to get the best from your own site.

Definitely a helpful and practical book, but be prepared to sit down and give it some time if you want to get the best from it. For beginners, it might help to have a more basic book to read alongside this one, if you aren't confident in technical terminology.
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Website Optimization: An Hour a Day
Website Optimization: An Hour a Day by Rich Page (Paperback - 4 May 2012)
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