Synopses & Reviews
Getting ROI from the Web Is Everyone's Job
Right now someone is clicking on your website, and knowing everything you can about those clicks and the people that make them is a business imperative. That's the first of a set of compelling business lessons distilled from the authors' decade of experience with the world's most powerful online brands. These lessons help executives, marketers, web managers, designers, and developers take action based on the actual behavior of site visitors.
This book is about the why, not just the how, of web analytics and the rules for developing a "culture of analysis" inside your organization. Why you should collect various types of data. Why you need a strategy. Why it must remain flexible. Why your data must generate meaningful action. Inside you'll learn to demonstrate real ROI from your website.
- Learn to use web analytics data to help make strategic decisions and set corporate goals
Ask the right questions when planning your website
Recognize how your data reflects the perceptions of your customers, information on your competitors, and your marketing costs
Develop criteria for choosing an agency to help you interpret your data
Discover how successful your marketing efforts have been
Create a culture of analysis within your organization
"Relationship marketing continues to evolve in new and exciting ways, and Actionable Web Analytics provides a clear and concise guidebook for the marketing executive. Burby and Atchison have captured the essence of creating relationships online, which lead to meaningful customer dialogues, and then measuring the success of those efforts."
—Lester Wunderman, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Wunderman
"We have been fortunate enough during the past decade to see our business grow in parallel with and in partnership with the team at ZAAZ. As true thought leaders in the web analytics and marketing space, Burby and Atchison have captured the important issues facing marketers and business people every day and explained them eloquently in Actionable Web Analytics."
—Josh James, CEO and Co-Founder, Omniture
"Burby and Atchison have spent close to a decade helping a wide variety of companies optimize their advertising spend, supersize their website value, and maximize their online marketing ROI. These guys are in an amazing position to help you figure out all of the above. But that's just the half of it. While their position is nice, their scary IQ, their awesome curiosity, and their uncanny ability to drill down to bona fide business value make this book a must read."
—Jim Sterne, President of the Web Analytics Association and Producer of Emetrics Summit
"Relationship marketing continues to evolve in new and exciting ways, and Actionable Web Analytics provides a clear and concise guidebook for the marketing executive. Shane and Jason have captured the essence of creating relationships online, which lead to meaningful customer dialogues, and then measuring the success of those efforts."
—Lester Wunderman, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Wunderman
"We have been fortunate enough during the past decade to see our business grow in parallel with and in partnership with the team at ZAAZ. As true thought leaders in the web analytics and marketing space, Jason and Shane have captured the important issues facing marketers and business people every day and explained them eloquently in Actionable Web Analytics."
—Josh James, CEO & Co-Founder, Omniture
"Some people build web analytics tools. Some work tirelessly, deep in the hearts of their organizations drawing the rich value out of those tools. And then, there are those like Shane and Jason who have spent close to a decade helping a wide variety of companies optimize their advertising spend, supersize their website value, and maximize their online marketing ROI. These guys are in an amazing position to help you figure out all of the above. But that’s just the half of it. While their position is nice, their scary IQ, their awesome curiosity, and their uncanny ability to drill down to bona fide business value make this book a must read."
—Jim Sterne, President, Web Analytics Association and Producer, Emetrics Summit
"The real money is made when the initial click leads to a customer journey filled with meaningful, relevant dialogues that motivate action. Actionable Web Analytics helps marketers take customers on that journey and generate a good ROI doing it."
—Daniel Morel, Chairman & CEO, Wunderman
"These guys have forgotten more about analytics than we mortals will likely ever understand. Most analytics folks revel in the complexity of their work. Jason and Shane know how to simplify and communicate how analytics can really change marketing, and it is incredibly effective."
—Matthew Roche, CEO, Offermatica
"If you’re one of the many people who view web analytics as a necessary evil, this book will spin your perception 180 degrees. That Jason and Shane know web analytics backward and forward (not to mention upside-down and inside-out) is a well-known fact. But these two possess another singular talent: the ability to make analytics palatable, understandable, even digestible for even the most data- and math-adverse right-brain thinker you know (perhaps you’re that person?). These two go way beyond the numbers. They can explain with crystal clarity how to use data to improve processes, businesses, and their bottom lines."
—Rebecca Lieb, Editor-in-Chief, The ClickZ Network
"Digital Marketing excellence is paramount for today’s marketers. In this book, Jason and Shane provide straightforward web analytics insight and instruction to help marketers achieve greater performance and profit from their communications activities."
—Scott Lennard, Advertising Director – Central Marketing Group, Microsoft Corporation
"Jason and Shane have been sharing their extensive experience and insight with clients and through conferences for a while, so it’s about time they committed it to print."
—Laurent Burman, VP Web, Helio
"Jason Burby and Shane Atchison are two guys in the web analytics world that truly understand what success looks like. They wisely took much of what I wrote about in The Big Book of Key Performance Indicators and attached a dollar-sign to it, dramatically improving their client's desire to understand and deploy KPIs. I have little doubt that Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions will long be considered a critical work in the web analytics body of knowledge."
—Eric T. Peterson, author, Web Analytics Demystified, Web Site Measurement Hacks and The Big Book of Key Performance Indicators.
"I have been waiting for a book like this. They’ve helped me understand some of the finer points in web analytics and taught me how I can put those concepts into action with my team. What I like best about working with them is that their knowledge goes beyond finding the data and pulling the numbers—they know how important it is to tell the story behind that data."
—Kristen Findley, Manager, Website Analytics Interactive Marketing, Ameriprise Financial
"Shane, Jason, and the rest of ZAAZ are the preeminent leaders in outsourced professional services and analysis in the web analytics space. They have helped propel the industry forward in both the high end and the mainstream through client engagements, thought-leading articles, and presentations for the past 10 years. Their presence is only growing, so watch closely as they impact the industry over the next 10-plus years."
—Brett Crosby, Senior Manager, Google Analytics
"Jason and Shane have been at the forefront of helping organizations drive actions based on data; it is indeed a privilege to have all their wisdom gelled into a book for the rest of us to benefit from!"
—Avinash Kaushik, Web Analytics Thought Leader/Blogger
"Burby and Atchison bring to web analytics the kind of practical expertise every online marketing manager should have access to. Finally, a book on web analytics that cuts through the clutter and delivers the kind of actionable insights online marketing managers need."
—Tom Taylor, Expedia
* Explains how to create a culture of analysis and addresses common stumbling blocks, such as data accuracy concerns, data overload, undefined metrics and goals, and prioritization issues
Knowing everything you can about each click to your Web site can help you make strategic decisions regarding your business. This book is about the why, not just the how, of web analytics and the rules for developing a "culture of analysis" inside your organization. Why you should collect various types of data. Why you need a strategy. Why it must remain flexible. Why your data must generate meaningful action. The authors answer these critical questions—and many more—using their decade of experience in Web analytics.
About the Author
is Chief Analytics and Optimization Officer for ZAAZ, Inc., a web design and analytics consulting firm. His clients have included eTrade, Ford, Sony, PayPal/eBay, Washington Mutual, Reuters, T-Mobile, Levi Strauss, and Microsoft.
Shane Atchison, co-founder and CEO of ZAAZ, Inc., leads its long-term strategic vision of helping companies realize the potential of the Internet and its impact on their business. Among his client list have been Converse, Sony, Ford, Microsoft, and National Geographic.
Table of Contents
Part I The Changing Landscape of Marketing Online.
Chapter 1 The Big Picture.
New Marketing Trends.
The Consumer Revolution.
The Shift from Offline to Online Marketing.
Instant Brand Building (and Destruction).
Rich Media and Infinite Variety.
The Analysis Mandate.
Some Final Thoughts.
Chapter 2 Performance Marketing.
Data vs. Design.
Web Design Today.
The Web Award Fallacy.
When Visual Design Goes Wrong.
Where Data Goes Wrong.
Performance-Driven Design: Balancing Logic and Creativity.
Case Study: Dealing with Star Power.
Case Study: Forget Marketing at All.
Part II Shifting to a Culture of Analysis.
Chapter 3 What "Culture of Analysis" Means.
What Is a Data-Driven Organization?
Data-Driven Decision Making.
Perking Up Interest in Web Analytics
Establishing a Web Analytics Steering Committee.
Starting Out Small with a Win.
Empowering Your Employees.
Impact on Roles beyond the Analytics Team.
Questionnaire: Rating Your Level of Data Drive.
Chapter 4 Avoiding Stumbling Points.
Do You Need an Analytics Intervention?
Analytics Intervention Step 1: Admitting the Problem.
Analytics Intervention Step 2: Admit That You Are the Problem.
Analytics Intervention Step 3: Agree That This Is a Corporate Problem.
The Road to Recovery: Overcoming Real Gaps.
Issue #1: Lack of Established Processes and Methodology.
Issue #2: Failure to Establish Proper KPIs and Metrics.
Issue #3: Data Inaccuracy.
Issue #4: Data Overload.
Issue #5: Inability to Monetize the Impact of Changes.
Issue #6: Inability to Prioritize Opportunities.
Issue #7: Limited Access to Data.
Issue #8: Inadequate Data Integration.
Issue #9: Starting Too Big.
Issue #10: Failure to Tie Goals to KPIs.
Issue #11: No Plan for Acting on Insight.
Issue #12: Lack of Committed Individual and Executive Support.
Part III Proven Formula for Success.
Chapter 5 Preparing to Be Data-Driven.
Web Analytics Methodology.
The Four Steps of Web Analytics.
Defining Business Metrics (KPIs).
Optimization and Action.
Results and Starting Again.
Chapter 6 Defining Site Goals, KPIs, and Key Metrics.
Defining Overall Business Goals.
Defining Site Goals: The Conversion Funnel.
Website Goals and the Marketing Funnel.
Understanding Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Creating Targets for KPIs.
Common KPIs for Different Site Types.
Chapter 7 Monetizing Site Behaviors.
The Monetization Challenge.
Case Study: Monetization and Motivation.
Top 10 Ways Monetization Models Can Help Your Company.
How to Create Monetization Models.
Assembling a Monetization Model.
Monetization Models for Different Site Types and Behaviors.
Ad-Supported Content Sites.
Chapter 8 Getting the Right Data.
Primary Data Types.
Warning: Avoid Data Smog.
Balancing Behavioral and Attitudinal Data.
Secondary Data Types.
Customer Interaction and Data.
Heuristic Evaluation and Expert Reviews.
Community Sourced Data.
Leveraging These Data Types.
Comparing Performance with Others.
What Is a Relative Index?
Examples of Relative Indices.
Methodology: Leveraging Indices across Your Organization.
Case Study: Leveraging Different Data Types to Improve Site Performance.
Chapter 9 Analyzing Site Performance.
Analysis vs. Reporting.
Don’t Blame Your Tools.
Examples of Analysis.
Analyzing Purchasing Processes to Find Opportunities.
Analyzing Lead Processes to Find Opportunities.
Understanding What Onsite Search Is Telling You.6
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Home Page.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Branding Content: Branding Metrics.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Campaign Landing Pages.
Segmenting Traffic to Identify Behavioral Differences.
Segmenting Your Audience.
Case Study: Segmenting for a Financial Services Provider.
Analyzing Drivers to Offline Conversion.
Tracking Online Partner Handoffs and Brick-And-Mortar Referrals.
Tracking Offline Handoffs to Sales Reps.
Tracking Visitors to a Call Center.
Tracking Delayed Conversion.
Reporting in a Timely Manner.
Chapter 10 Prioritizing.
How We Prioritize.
The Principles of Dynamic Prioritization.
Traditional Resource Prioritization.
Dynamic Prioritization Scorecard.
Dynamic Prioritization in Action.
Forecasting Potential Impact.
Moving Your Company Toward Dynamic Prioritization.
Overcoming Common Excuses.
Chapter 11 Moving from Analysis to Site Optimization.
Testing Methodologies and Tools.
How to Choose a Test Type.
What to Test.
Creating a Successful Test.
Understanding Post-Test Analysis.
Optimizing Segment Performance.
Example One: Behavior-Based Testing.
Example Two: Day-of-the-Week Testing.
Planning for Optimization.
Budgeting for Optimization.
Skills Needed for a Successful Optimization Team.
Overcoming IT Doubts.
IT Doesn’t Understand the Process.
Lack of Executive Support.
Learning from Your Successes and Mistakes.
Learning from the Good and the Bad.
A Quick Way Up the Learning Curve.
Spreading the Word.
New Site Launches or New Functionality.
Site Navigation and Taxonomy.
Chapter 12 Agencies.
Why Use an Agency at All?
Finding an Agency.
Creating an RFP.
Introduction and Company Background.
Scope of Work and Business Goals.
The Rest of the RFP: Asking the Right Questions.
Mutual Objective: Success.
Doing the Work.
The Secret Agency Sauce.
Chapter 13 The Creative Brief.
What Is a Creative Brief?
Components of a Data-Driven Brief.
Creative Brief Metrics.
Analytics and Creativity.
The Iterative Design Cycle.
A Sample Creative Brief.
Creative Brief: Robotwear.Com.
Chapter 14 Staffing and Tuning Your Web Team.
Skills That Make a Great Web Analyst.
Technical vs. Interpretive Expertise.
Key Web Analyst Skills.
The Roles of the Web Analyst.
Building Your Web-Analytics Team: Internal and External Teams.
Estimating Your Cost.
Key Analytics Positions.
Expanding the Circle of Influence.
Internal vs. External Teams.
Education and Training for Web Analysts.
Web Analytics Association.
University of British Columbia Courses.
ClickZ and Other Online Media.
Web Analytics Wednesdays.
Chapter 15 Partners.
When to Choose an Analytics Tool Vendor.
Methodology for Selecting a Tool.
Selecting a Review Committee.
Establishing a Timeline.
Criteria to Review and Select Vendors.
10 Questions to Ask Web Analytics Vendors.
Comparing to Free Tools.
ASP or Software Version.
Total Cost of Ownership.
Data Export and Options.
Appendix:Web Analytics "Big Three" Definitions.
How We Define Terms.
Definition Framework Overview.
Term: Unique Visitors.
Term: Page Views.