September 28, 2005
Web Site Measurement Hacks: Optimize Your Online Business Through Data Analysis
Sebastopol, CA--Most companies measure their web activity because they want to know how well their marketing and advertising budget is being spent. It just makes sense. You wouldn't want your doctor to recommend a treatment for you after just glancing at you, or your mechanic to tinker with your car based on his gut feeling. As Eric T. Peterson observes in his new guide for beginning to intermediate analytics users, Web Site Measurement Hacks (O'Reilly, US $24.95), "Our entire world is run using data collected from the environment around us. Why would you think your web site is any different?"
Until recently, many regarded web measurement as a murky subject loaded with confusing and ambiguous terminology, that was often considered the domain of data-loving geeks. But great strides have been made in the field of web measurement in the last few years resulting in applications that are easier to understand and use.
"In 2005, web measurement applications are as important to the Internet business framework as web servers and commerce engines," says Peterson. "Few serious businesses spend money online without having a tool in place to measure the effect of that expenditure, providing data for critical analysis of the question, 'Was that money well spent?'"
Web Site Measurement Hacks is designed to help readers learn how to gain insight into how people use their web sites: it offers bits and bytes of information that can be used to better explore, understand, and unearth information about how people interact with sites. "There are scripts and technical tricks," says Peterson, "but the essence of hacking in this context is analysis. This compendium of interesting ideas, built upon a foundation of relevant and important information about how the Web is measured, is designed to turn you into a sophisticated web data analyst (or at least push you in the right direction)."
The book comprises 100 hacks written by some of the best and brightest minds in web measurement today. Among the wide range of topics in the book, there are hacks to show readers how to:
Get up to speed on what's needed to build an effective measurement program
Implement a measurement solution that will help them learn about visitors while respecting their privacy
Quantify the effectiveness of banner ads, email campaigns, paid search, affiliate programs, and RSS feeds
Use technographic data to guide design decisions
Enhance a retail site's effectiveness by improving the shopping and checkout process and identifying valuable customer segments
Above all, Web Site Measurement Hacks will help readers better understand how to get the full value from their investment in web measurement technology and make better marketing decisions. It was written for anyone involved in the process of designing web sites or the marketing and support of products, service, and content through those sites. "We cover all four major business models: retail, advertising, marketing, and customer support," says Peterson. "IT staff will benefit from our hacks on technographics just as much as marketers will benefit from our hacks on marketing measurement, or merchandisers from our entire chapter on retail measurement hacks." The book is a must-read for anyone charged with improving or maintaining a web site.
Web Site Measurement Hacks
Eric T. Peterson
ISBN: 0-596-00988-7, 405 pages, $24.95 US, $34.95 CA
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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