Web Site Measurement Hacks: Tips & Tools to Help Optimize Your Online Business


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...

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Web Site Measurement Hacks: Tips & Tools to Help Optimize Your Online Business

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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596009885
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Series: Hacks Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 434
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

About the Author;
Why Web Site Measurement Hacks?;
How This Book Is Organized;
About the Use of Screenshots and Vendor Information in This Book;
Conventions Used in This Book;
Using Code Examples;
How to Contact Us;
Safari Enabled;
Got a Hack?;
Chapter 1: Web Measurement Basics;
1.1 Hacks 1–13: Introduction;
1 Talk the Talk;
2 Best Practices for Web Measurement;
3 Select the Right Vendor;
4 Staff for Web Measurement Success;
5 Get to Know Your Visitors;
6 Understand Common Data Sources;
7 Understand Visitor Intent;
8 Know When to Use Packet Sniffing;
9 Write a Useful Web Measurement Request for Proposal (RFP);
10 Find a Free or Cheap Web Measurement Solution;
11 Use Analog to Process Logfiles;
12 Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: An Overview and Data Collection;
13 Build Your Own RSS Tracking Application: An Overview and Data Collection;
Chapter 2: Implementation and Setup;
2.1 Hacks 14–36: Introduction;
14 Optimize the Implementation Process;
15 Improve Data Accuracy with Cookies;
16 Know When to Use First-Party Cookies;
17 Alternatives to Cookies;
18 Use Macromedia Flash Local Shared Objects Instead of Cookies;
19 Fine-Tune Your Data Collection;
20 Define Useful Page Names and Content Groups;
21 Understand Where Data Gets Lost;
22 Deconstruct Web Server Logfiles;
23 Exclude Robots and Spiders from Your Analysis;
24 Bust the Cache for Accuracy;
25 Use Query Strings Effectively;
26 Web Measurement and Visitor Privacy;
27 Establish a P3P Privacy Policy;
28 Deconstruct JavaScript Page Tags;
29 Understand Web Bugs;
30 Hack the JavaScript Document Object Model;
31 Use Custom Variables Wisely;
32 Best Practices for Data Integration;
33 Measure Your Intranet or Extranet;
34 Measure Your Mistakes;
35 Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: The Core Code;
36 Build Your Own RSS Tracking Application: The Core Code and Reporting;
Chapter 3: Online Marketing Measurement;
3.1 Hacks 37–53: Introduction;
37 Understand Marketing Terminology;
38 Identify Your Business Objectives;
39 Define Conversion Events;
40 Measure Banner Advertising;
41 Measure Email Marketing;
42 Measure Paid Search Engine Marketing;
43 Measure Organic Search;
44 Contrast Paid Keywords Versus Actual Search Queries;
45 Measure Affiliate Marketing;
46 Use Unique Landing Pages;
47 Measure Content Syndicated via RSS;
48 Segment Visitors to Understand Specific Group Activity;
49 Measure Conversion Through Multiple Goals;
50 Leverage Referring Domains and URLs;
51 Calculate Click-to-Visit Drop-off;
52 Create Visitor Loyalty Segments;
53 Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: Marketing Data;
Chapter 4: Measuring Web Site Usability;
4.1 Hacks 54–67: Introduction;
54 Measure the Value of Pages and Clicks;
55 Measuring Clicks the Old-Fashioned Way;
56 Use Language to Drive Action;
57 Deconstruct Time Spent on Site;
58 Use the Entry, Exit, and Single-Access Page Report;
59 Measure Multi-Step Processes;
60 Measure Usability in the Checkout Process;
61 Measure "Internal Campaigns";
62 Use Browser Overlays;
63 Run Your Own Split-Path Tests;
64 Measure Internal Searches;
65 Take Advantage of "Zero Results" Internal Search Results;
66 Effectively Measure the "Known" Visitor;
67 Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: Usability Data;
Chapter 5: Technographics and "Demographics";
5.1 Hacks 68–80: Introduction;
68 Measure Site Performance;
69 Measure Connection Type;
70 Know How to Use Screen Resolution Data;
71 Know How to Use Browser Version Information;
72 Know if People Are Bookmarking Your Site;
73 Measure Browser Plug-ins;
74 Know Which Technographic Data to Ignore;
75 Know How to Use Visitor Language Reports;
76 Hacking into Page-Level Details for Language;
77 Track Demographic Data Using Custom Variables and Visitor Segmentation;
78 Track Your Geographic Visitor Distribution;
79 Accurately Measure Downloads;
80 Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: Technographic Data;
Chapter 6: Web Measurement and the Online Retail Model;
6.1 Hacks 81–90: Introduction;
81 Know How to Use Retail Analytics;
82 Measure the Shopping Cart;
83 Measure the Checkout Process;
84 Understand Frequency and Lifetime Value;
85 Measure Potential Customer Value Using Recency and Latency;
86 Manage Lifetime Value Using the Visitor Segment Value Matrix;
87 Use Cross-Sell Data to Sell More Products;
88 Use Geographic Segmentation to Measure Offline Marketing;
89 Measure New and Returning Customers;
90 Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: Commerce Data;
Chapter 7: Reporting Strategies and Key Performance Indicators;
7.1 Hacks 91–100: Introduction;
91 Distribute Reports Wisely;
92 Know If the News Is Good;
93 (Don't) Benchmark Your Site;
94 Use Key Performance Indicators;
95 Know the Difference Between a KPI and a Measurement;
96 Key Performance Indicators for Online Retailers;
97 Key Performance Indicators for Advertising and Content Sites;
98 Key Performance Indicators for Customer Support Sites;
99 Key Performance Indicators for Business Sites (Lead Generation);
100 Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: Reporting;

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2006

    GOT HACK??

    Are you an analytic user or someone charged with improving and maintaining a Web site? Well, you're in luck! Author Eric Peterson, has done an outstanding job of writing a book that is designed to help you know what to do to gain insight into how people use your web site--the bits and bytes of information that will help you better explore, understand, and unearth information about how people interact with their sites. Peterson, begins by tackling the most important aspects of web measurement, especially if you're new to the subject, including languages used and technologies deployed, then takes a look at the vendor selection process. Then, he walks you through the litany of things you need to be thinking about when you're implementing a measurement application for your site. The author continues by reviewing the fundamentals of online marketing measurement. He also explores how to measure web site usability. He continues by exploring how web measurement applications can be leveraged to improve your site's design and your internal testing and refinement strategies. In addition, the author next deals with a dozen or so of the most common measurement needs for online retailers, including shopping carts, check-out processes, and the lifetime value of a customer. Finally, he presents key performance indicators and discusses how they can be used to improve the likelihood of adoption and action for web data. This excellent book will get you up to speed on what you need to know to build an effective measurement program. This also includes best practices, common data sources, and software and vendor selection.

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