Web Analytics; An hour a day Paperback – 8 Jul 2007
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From the Back Cover
Develop a Successful Web Analytics Strategy
A Step–by–Step Guide
Learn web analytics the right way with this unique, thoroughly modern guide to today′s web analytics challenges and opportunities. Written by an in–the–trenches practitioner, this book goes beyond concepts and definitions to challenge prevalent thinking about the field and provide a step–by–step guide to implementing a successful web analytics strategy.
Web analytics expert Avinash Kaushik, in his thought–provoking style, debunks leading myths and leads you on a path to gaining actionable insights from your analytics efforts. Discover how to move beyond clickstream analysis, why qualitative data should be your focus, and more insights and techniques that will help you develop a customer–centric mindset without sacrificing your company′s bottom line.
Learn the pros and cons of data collection methodologies
Find out how you can stop counting page views and still get a rich understanding of your customers
Discover how to identify valuable metrics with the "three layers of so what" test
Optimize your organizational structure and choose the right analytics tool
Understand and apply advanced analytics concepts, including SEM/PPC analysis, the power of segmentation, conversion–rate best practices, and others
Leverage quick–start solutions for blogs and e–commerce, support, and small business websites
Learn the key ingredients of a great experimentation and testing platform
Use competitive–intelligence analysis to glean insights and drive actions
You′ll also find:
Ten steps to turbocharge your web analytics
Seven steps for creating a data–driven culture in your organization
Six ways to measure the success of a blog
Three secrets behind making web analytics actionable
Ten signs of a great web analyst
Valuable CD Included
The innovative CD includes more than three hours of insightful audio podcasts, a 45–minute video, PowerPoint presentations that mirror key topics in the book, and other useful analytics resources.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Avinash Kaushik is the author of the highly rated web analytics blog Occam′s Razor (www.kaushik.net/avinash). He is an independent consultant and currently the Analytics Evangelist for Google. Prior to that he was the Director of Web Research & Analytics for Intuit, where he was responsible for the business, technical, and strategic elements of the analytics platform that supported more than 70 Intuit websites. Avinash is a frequent speaker at such conferences as Emetrics Summits and Ad–Tech, and he is often quoted in the media as a web metrics expert.
Avinash is donating all proceeds from this book to two charities, The Smile Train and Doctors Without Borders. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
It all comes down to one concept - that of a data driven decision making culture. Or put another way, how to maximise the return on all your hard work. Avinash describes it wonderfully and provides lots of useful advice about how to achieve it.
If that sounds dull, fear not - Avinash does a much better job of making it interesting and exciting.
If you're a web analyst, you shouldn't need this review to convince you to buy the book - read some of Avinash's blog posts and you'll soon work it out for yourself. If you're not an analyst but you're involved in managing a website or sites you'll find it incredibly refreshing and useful (failing that make sure at least one person one your web team has read it).
Personally I can't recommend it highly enough. You don't have to read it cover to cover, and even the most experienced web professionals should find plenty to think about.
Avinash is an inspiration to me (and a very wide audience I do believe) and a beacon of clarity in his sedulous pursuit of web analytic principles that transform we way we see and act on marketing performance to make it work better. I truly do mean that.
The book balances both the high-level aspects of web analytics -- the philosophy, if you like -- with a huge amount of specific, practical, how-to information. It may seem like a big book, but I don't see how it could have been any shorter and still delivered so much.
Fortunately, it's an extremely readable book. I like the language and the style of the book. Avinash's enthusiasm for the subject comes singing out of the pages. He makes the subject seem fun and he sustains that over hundreds of pages. That's a remarkable achievement when you consider the length.
I have a shelf full of business or self-improvement books which try to make themselves readable and accessible by interjecting folksy anecdotes full of people with made up names every few pages. It's a very common approach. The result is often repetitious fluff. This book is very different. There is no padding of that kind: the examples given are all very clearly based on personal experience and are there for good reason. They are informative. They are not simply structural devices.
The language itself is also distinctive and entertaining. I believe that Avinash grew up listening to the BBC World Service. Although it's an American book, there are notes in the language which echoe a different world in a way which I find refreshing.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. One of my colleagues has a copy where most of the pages are thick with highlighter ink. The quality of information is that high. It really is that good. If you can buy only one book on the subject, this is the one to get.
One of the hardest part when first diving into analytics is figuring out how to focus on the right data - the data that tells you what is happening with your site.
One of the first questions Avinash gets you to focus on is: "What's the purpose of your web site?" Your analytics strategy should be very much aligned with the answer to this question.
With this attitude towards the data, we can "infer the intent" of the user - ultimately, inferring is the best you can do with this type of data. Inferences are important, as they will inform strategy. If the strategy is then met with improved performance of the site, your confidence in the data and its interpretation grows. If not, you should re-analyze and re-strategize. Early in the book, Avinash identifies this as your top priority in analytics. In fact, he says, "Is it a bit extreme to dump clickstream in favor of measuring outcomes first? Yes. Necessary? You bet."
The challenge is that the quality of the information available from your traditional web analytics tools is too poor for you to analyze outcome. In order to make sense of the data, we need broader research and analysis, so that we can find relationships between the different types of data, and infer meaning from them.
To achieve this, Avinash enriches the data with Focus group analysis, continuous surveys, multivariate testing, etc.
Avinash also integrates competitive intelligence in his interpretation of the data. Services such as comScore and Hitwise can provide direct information about what your customers are doing.
It is a great book that teaches you all this from the ground up, and goes into amazing detail. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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