Cover image for Web Site Measurement Hacks

Book description

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

It's the technology companion that every site administrator needs.

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.

Table of Contents

  1. Web Site Measurement Hacks
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Copyright
    3. Foreword
    4. Credits
      1. About the Author
      2. Contributors
      3. Acknowledgments
    5. Preface
      1. Why Web Site Measurement Hacks?
      2. How This Book Is Organized
      3. About the Use of Screenshots and Vendor Information in This Book
      4. Conventions Used in This Book
      5. Using Code Examples
      6. How to Contact Us
      7. Safari Enabled
      8. Got a Hack?
    6. 1. Web Measurement Basics
      1. 1.1. Hacks 1–13: Introduction
        1. 1.1.1. Why Measure Your Site?
        2. 1.1.2. A Brief History of Web Site Measurement
        3. 1.1.3. What Web Measurement Is Not
        4. 1.1.4. Why Not "Web Analytics?"
        5. 1.1.5. About the "Build Your Own" Hacks
          1. 1.1.5.1. Requirements
      2. Hack #1. Talk the Talk
        1. 1.2.1. Hits
        2. 1.2.2. Page Views
        3. 1.2.3. Visits
        4. 1.2.4. Unique Visitors
        5. 1.2.5. Referrers
        6. 1.2.6. Tying It All Together
      3. Hack #2. Best Practices for Web Measurement
        1. 1.3.1. Identify Your Objectives Before You Begin
        2. 1.3.2. Make Sure You Have Executive Buy-In
        3. 1.3.3. Build the Right Team
        4. 1.3.4. Measure and Improve: The Continuous Improvement Process
      4. Hack #3. Select the Right Vendor
        1. 1.4.1. Software
        2. 1.4.2. Hosted Services
        3. 1.4.3. Popular Vendors Providing Software and Services
        4. 1.4.4. Tying It All Together
      5. Hack #4. Staff for Web Measurement Success
        1. 1.5.1. Staff for Measurement Success
        2. 1.5.2. Skills for a Web Data Analyst
        3. 1.5.3. Finding a Web Data Analyst
          1. 1.5.3.1. Put the word out that you're looking for some serious talent.
          2. 1.5.3.2. Be prepared to hire someone senior enough to be truly effective.
          3. 1.5.3.3. Provide additional financial incentive based on successful attainment of goals.
      6. Hack #5. Get to Know Your Visitors
        1. 1.6.1. Totally Anonymous Visitors
        2. 1.6.2. Mostly Anonymous Visitors
        3. 1.6.3. Known Visitors
      7. Hack #6. Understand Common Data Sources
        1. 1.7.1. Problems with Web Server Logfiles
        2. 1.7.2. Enter the Packet Sniffers
        3. 1.7.3. JavaScript Page Tags Are Born
        4. 1.7.4. Evaluating Data Sources
      8. Hack #7. Understand Visitor Intent
        1. 1.8.1. Determining Intent Explicitly
        2. 1.8.2. Determining Intent Implicitly
        3. 1.8.3. Once You've Determined Intent, Then What?
      9. Hack #8. Know When to Use Packet Sniffing
        1. 1.9.1. The Ugly, Ugly Details
        2. 1.9.2. How to Use a Network Collector in a Switched Environment
        3. 1.9.3. Using a Network Collector with Encrypted (SSL) Traffic
      10. Hack #9. Write a Useful Web Measurement Request for Proposal (RFP)
        1. 1.10.1. Focus on Your Current Needs
        2. 1.10.2. Ask Only Well-Qualified People for Input
        3. 1.10.3. Send Your RFP to as Few Vendors as Possible
        4. 1.10.4. Remember, Less Is More
      11. Hack #10. Find a Free or Cheap Web Measurement Solution
        1. 1.11.1. Free Web Measurement Solutions
        2. 1.11.2. Inexpensive Web Measurement Solutions
      12. Hack #11. Use Analog to Process Logfiles
        1. 1.12.1. Analog: Where to Get It!
        2. 1.12.2. How to Install Analog
        3. 1.12.3. Telling Analog Where Your Logfiles Are
        4. 1.12.4. Creating Basic Reports in Analog
        5. 1.12.5. Running the Hack
      13. Hack #12. Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: An Overview and Data Collection
        1. 1.13.1. Collecting the Data
        2. 1.13.2. Returning the Image and Logging the Page View
        3. 1.13.3. The Code
        4. 1.13.4. Running the Code
      14. Hack #13. Build Your Own RSS Tracking Application: An Overview and Data Collection
        1. 1.14.1. The Data Collection Code
          1. 1.14.1.1. Tracking code to be placed into the feed or article you want to track.
          2. 1.14.1.2. Tracking code to be referenced externally (the track_rss.js file).
          3. 1.14.1.3. Code to parse the JavaScript into an RSS logfile (write_rss_tag.cgi).
        2. 1.14.2. Running the Code
        3. 1.14.3. The Results
    7. 2. Implementation and Setup
      1. 2.1. Hacks 14–36: Introduction
        1. 2.1.1. Once You've Selected a Vendor
        2. 2.1.2. Relax, and Don't Forget to Breathe
      2. Hack #14. Optimize the Implementation Process
        1. 2.2.1. Know What to Collect in Advance
        2. 2.2.2. Work Closely with Your Vendor
        3. 2.2.3. Get the Five Most Important Reports Right Away
        4. 2.2.4. Get Training, but Have the Right Expectations
        5. 2.2.5. Know Who to Call
      3. Hack #15. Improve Data Accuracy with Cookies
        1. 2.3.1. Session Cookies for Short-Term Accuracy
        2. 2.3.2. Persistent Cookies for Long-Term Measurement
          1. 2.3.2.1. First-party cookies.
          2. 2.3.2.2. Third-party cookies.
          3. 2.3.2.3. When a first-party cookie is a third-party cookie.
        3. 2.3.3. Improve Accuracy with Persistent Cookies
          1. 2.3.3.1. Use true first-party cookies whenever possible.
          2. 2.3.3.2. Use DNS to make it look like you're using first-party cookies.
          3. 2.3.3.3. Make sure your privacy and P3P policies accurately reflect what you're doing.
      4. Hack #16. Know When to Use First-Party Cookies
        1. 2.4.1. The Advantage of First-Party Cookies
        2. 2.4.2. Third-Party Cookies Have Their Place
        3. 2.4.3. How Can I Tell If I'm Using a First- or Third-Party Cookie?
      5. Hack #17. Alternatives to Cookies
        1. 2.5.1. Reasonable (If Not Great) Alternatives to Cookies
          1. 2.5.1.1. Using the IP address.
          2. 2.5.1.2. Using IP address and user agent strings.
          3. 2.5.1.3. Using the authenticated username (when available).
          4. 2.5.1.4. Using a session identifier (when available).
        2. 2.5.2. Alternatives to Cookies for Identifying Repeat Visitors
        3. 2.5.3. Tying It All Together
      6. Hack #18. Use Macromedia Flash Local Shared Objects Instead of Cookies
        1. 2.6.1. The JavaScript Code
        2. 2.6.2. The Flash ActionScript Code
        3. 2.6.3. Running the Hack
        4. 2.6.4. A Note About Whether This Is a Good Idea
      7. Hack #19. Fine-Tune Your Data Collection
        1. 2.7.1. Web Server Logfiles
        2. 2.7.2. JavaScript Page Tags
        3. 2.7.3. Why Not Just Collect Everything?
          1. 2.7.3.1. It takes time to reprocess data.
          2. 2.7.3.2. There are costs associated with collection and storage.
      8. Hack #20. Define Useful Page Names and Content Groups
        1. 2.8.1. Good Names, Bad Names, I Know You've Had Your Share
        2. 2.8.2. Rules for Naming Pages and Content Groups
      9. Hack #21. Understand Where Data Gets Lost
        1. 2.9.1. Data Collection Issues Common to Page Tags
          1. 2.9.1.1. A page tag did not get placed in the page.
          2. 2.9.1.2. The page tag doesn't work as intended.
          3. 2.9.1.3. Page tagging is your only data collection method.
          4. 2.9.1.4. The visitor's browser has JavaScript turned off.
          5. 2.9.1.5. The request was blocked by security software.
          6. 2.9.1.6. The information is never received by the data collector.
        2. 2.9.2. Data Collection Issues Common to Web Server Logfiles
          1. 2.9.2.1. The browser serves the request from the local cache.
          2. 2.9.2.2. The content is served from a content distribution network (CDN).
        3. 2.9.3. Knowing All This, What Should You Do?
      10. Hack #22. Deconstruct Web Server Logfiles
        1. 2.10.1. Anatomy of a Web Server Logfile
        2. 2.10.2. Types of Web Server Logfiles
        3. 2.10.3. The (Occasional) Need for Translation
      11. Hack #23. Exclude Robots and Spiders from Your Analysis
        1. 2.11.1. Strategies for Limiting the Impact of Robots and Spiders
          1. 2.11.1.1. Identify known robots and spiders.
          2. 2.11.1.2. Be on the lookout for new robots and spiders.
          3. 2.11.1.3. Build and deploy a robots.txt file.
        2. 2.11.2. Remember That Some Spiders Are Good!
      12. Hack #24. Bust the Cache for Accuracy
        1. 2.12.1. Bust the Cache Using Document Headers
        2. 2.12.2. How Cache Busting Affects the Visitor Experience
        3. 2.12.3. "Unbusting" the Cache for Images and Scripts
          1. 2.12.3.1. Deploy an "images never expire" policy.
          2. 2.12.3.2. Use caching defaults for occasionally changing content.
          3. 2.12.3.3. Consider a content distribution network (CDN) for images and code.
        4. 2.12.4. The Obvious Alternative to Cache Busting
      13. Hack #25. Use Query Strings Effectively
        1. 2.13.1. Some Common Uses for the Query String in Web Measurement
          1. 2.13.1.1. Properly identifying dynamically generated pages.
          2. 2.13.1.2. Identifying marketing campaign response.
          3. 2.13.1.3. Collecting HTML form data for analysis.
        2. 2.13.2. Putting the Query String to Work
      14. Hack #26. Web Measurement and Visitor Privacy
        1. 2.14.1. It's Not About the Technology, It's About the Practices
          1. 2.14.1.1. Notice.
          2. 2.14.1.2. Choice.
          3. 2.14.1.3. Access.
          4. 2.14.1.4. Security.
        2. 2.14.2. How to Assemble a Good Privacy Policy
          1. 2.14.2.1. Know where you're collecting personably identifiable information.
          2. 2.14.2.2. Explain clearly and truthfully what you're going to do with the data.
          3. 2.14.2.3. Consider third-party privacy certification.
          4. 2.14.2.4. Beware of the spookiness factor.
        3. 2.14.3. P3P Technology
        4. 2.14.4. For More Information
      15. Hack #27. Establish a P3P Privacy Policy
        1. 2.16.1. Sounds Great, How Do I Set One Up?
          1. 2.16.1.1. Step one: Create a written privacy policy.
          2. 2.16.1.2. Step two: Determine which policies apply to which pages.
          3. 2.16.1.3. Step three: Select a P3P policy generator.
          4. 2.16.1.4. Step four: Enter the information.
          5. 2.16.1.5. Step five: Create a policy reference file.
          6. 2.16.1.6. Step six: Validate your policy.
        2. 2.16.2. Wait, How Do I Deliver the Compact Policy?
          1. 2.16.2.1. Apache Web Server.
        3. 2.16.3. Consequences of Omitting a Privacy Policy
          1. 2.16.3.1. The "red eye".
          2. 2.16.3.2. Visitors will wonder why you don't care about their privacy.
          3. 2.16.3.3. Eventually, the press will wonder why you don't care.
      16. Hack #28. Deconstruct JavaScript Page Tags
        1. 2.17.1. How Do Web Measurement Tools Use JavaScript?
        2. 2.17.2. How a JavaScript Page Tag Works
          1. 2.17.2.1. Step one: JavaScript in web pages is executed.
          2. 2.17.2.2. Step two: JavaScript source file is requested and returned to the browser.
          3. 2.17.2.3. Step three:The page tag collects data and reports back.
          4. 2.17.2.4. Step four: A cookie and P3P privacy policy are returned.
        3. 2.17.3. Deconstructing an Archetypical JavaScript Page Tag
      17. Hack #29. Understand Web Bugs
        1. 2.18.1. Really, What Is a "Web Bug"
        2. 2.18.2. The Consumer Mindset About Web Bugs
        3. 2.18.3. Be Explicit About Your Use of Web Bugs and Beacons
          1. 2.18.3.1. Ensure that your privacy policy reflects your use of page tags.
          2. 2.18.3.2. Ensure that your P3P policy reflects your use of page tags.
          3. 2.18.3.3. Have a good explanation ready if people complain.
      18. Hack #30. Hack the JavaScript Document Object Model
        1. 2.19.1. Placing the Beacon
        2. 2.19.2. Returning Document Information
        3. 2.19.3. Finding the Browser Width
        4. 2.19.4. Track Form Entry Errors
        5. 2.19.5. Form Analysis–Manna from the DOM
      19. Hack #31. Use Custom Variables Wisely
        1. 2.20.1. Uses for Custom Variables
        2. 2.20.2. One-to-One Direct Marketing and Custom Variables
        3. 2.20.3. Custom Variables in Action: An Example
      20. Hack #32. Best Practices for Data Integration
        1. 2.21.1. Examples of Common Data Integrations
          1. 2.21.1.1. Integrate cost data to calculate gross margin contribution.
          2. 2.21.1.2. Integrate marketing cost data to determine real campaign ROI.
          3. 2.21.1.3. Integrate customer registration data to drill into demographics.
          4. 2.21.1.4. Integrate customer satisfaction data.
          5. 2.21.1.5. Integrate data from targeted email campaigns.
        2. 2.21.2. Taking Action to Integrate Non-Web Data
          1. 2.21.2.1. Identify the problem you'd like to solve.
          2. 2.21.2.2. Identify the sources of web and non-web data that will be required.
          3. 2.21.2.3. Determine how you're going to tie the data sources together.
          4. 2.21.2.4. Integrate the data.
          5. 2.21.2.5. Generate reports and take action.
      21. Hack #33. Measure Your Intranet or Extranet
        1. 2.22.1. Justifying Return on Investment
        2. 2.22.2. Measuring Content and Application Adoption
        3. 2.22.3. Examining Internal Searches
        4. 2.22.4. Named User Analysis
        5. 2.22.5. Tying It All Together
      22. Hack #34. Measure Your Mistakes
        1. 2.23.1. Types of Mistakes
          1. 2.23.1.1. Web site is slow or fails to respond.
          2. 2.23.1.2. Broken hyperlinks.
          3. 2.23.1.3. Aborted page views and downloads.
          4. 2.23.1.4. Client-side script errors.
        2. 2.23.2. How to Measure Your Mistakes
          1. 2.23.2.1. Using logfiles as a data source.
          2. 2.23.2.2. Using page tags as a data source.
          3. 2.23.2.3. Measuring client-side JavaScript errors.
        3. 2.23.3. Investigating Your Mistakes
          1. 2.23.3.1. Investigate errors in relation to traffic loads.
          2. 2.23.3.2. Investigate errors in relation to web browsers.
          3. 2.23.3.3. Investigate errors in relation to your servers.
          4. 2.23.3.4. Investigate errors in relation to dynamic URLs.
      23. Hack #35. Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: The Core Code
        1. 2.24.1. Parsing the Data into Sessions
        2. 2.24.2. The Code
        3. 2.24.3. Next Steps
      24. Hack #36. Build Your Own RSS Tracking Application: The Core Code and Reporting
        1. 2.25.1.
          1. 2.25.1.1. RSS_Article.pm.
          2. 2.25.1.2. RSS_Articles.pm.
          3. 2.25.1.3. RSS_Data.pm.
          4. 2.25.1.4. RSS_Event.pm.
          5. 2.25.1.5. RSS_Request.pm.
          6. 2.25.1.6. Bringing the packages together with rss_report.pl.
        2. 2.25.2. Running the Code
        3. 2.25.3. The Results
        4. 2.25.4. Hacking the Hack
    8. 3. Online Marketing Measurement
      1. 3.1. Hacks 37–53: Introduction
        1. 3.1.1. It's Only Data
        2. 3.1.2. ROI
      2. Hack #37. Understand Marketing Terminology
        1. 3.2.1. Reach and Acquisition
          1. 3.2.1.1. Click-though rate (CTR).
          2. 3.2.1.2. Cost-per-click (CPC).
          3. 3.2.1.3. Response rate.
          4. 3.2.1.4. Cost-per-acquisition (CPA).
        2. 3.2.2. Conversion
          1. 3.2.2.1. Conversion rate.
          2. 3.2.2.2. Cost-per-conversion (CPC).
          3. 3.2.2.3. Revenue per visit or visitor.
          4. 3.2.2.4. Order and buyer conversion rates.
          5. 3.2.2.5. Return on investment (ROI).
        3. 3.2.3. Retention
          1. 3.2.3.1. Visitor retention rate.
          2. 3.2.3.2. Lifetime value of a campaign.
      3. Hack #38. Identify Your Business Objectives
        1. 3.3.1. Every Site Has Business Objectives
        2. 3.3.2. Translate Business Objectives into Measurable Activities
      4. Hack #39. Define Conversion Events
        1. 3.4.1. Identify Your Conversion Events
          1. 3.4.1.1. Be open-minded.
          2. 3.4.1.2. Don't limit your definition to a single session.
          3. 3.4.1.3. If you're not sure how to set conversion events, consult your vendor.
          4. 3.4.1.4. Make an attempt to assign a dollar value to non-revenue conversion events.
        2. 3.4.2. Measure Conversion
          1. 3.4.2.1. Overall conversion.
          2. 3.4.2.2. Scenario conversion.
        3. 3.4.3. Bringing It All Together
      5. Hack #40. Measure Banner Advertising
        1. 3.5.1. Impressions
        2. 3.5.2. Response
        3. 3.5.3. Conversion
        4. 3.5.4. The Measurements You Need to Make
          1. 3.5.4.1. Click-through rate (CTR).
          2. 3.5.4.2. Click-to-conversion rate (CTC).
          3. 3.5.4.3. Cost per acquisition (CPA).
        5. 3.5.5. Measuring Banner Advertising: A Checklist
      6. Hack #41. Measure Email Marketing
        1. 3.6.1. Things That Can Be Measured
          1. 3.6.1.1. Hard bounces.
          2. 3.6.1.2. Tracked opens.
          3. 3.6.1.3. Tracked click-through.
          4. 3.6.1.4. Unsubscribes.
        2. 3.6.2. The Fundamental Email Response Metrics
          1. 3.6.2.1. Response rate and basic response metrics.
          2. 3.6.2.2. Click-through rate.
          3. 3.6.2.3. Landing page "stickiness".
          4. 3.6.2.4. Conversion events and rates.
          5. 3.6.2.5. Value metrics.
        3. 3.6.3. Things That Should Be Tested
          1. 3.6.3.1. Format and layout.
          2. 3.6.3.2. Length and tone.
          3. 3.6.3.3. Date and time of delivery.
          4. 3.6.3.4. Return email address.
          5. 3.6.3.5. The subject line.
          6. 3.6.3.6. The call to action.
        4. 3.6.4. How to Put This Data to Work!
      7. Hack #42. Measure Paid Search Engine Marketing
        1. 3.7.1. How to Identify Paid Search Traffic
          1. 3.7.1.1. Low data gathering strategy.
          2. 3.7.1.2. Medium data gathering strategy.
          3. 3.7.1.3. Large data gathering strategy.
        2. 3.7.2. Which Data Should You Be Collecting
          1. 3.7.2.1. Response rate (click-through rate).
          2. 3.7.2.2. Cost-per-click (CPC).
          3. 3.7.2.3. Conversion rate by search engine and keyword.
          4. 3.7.2.4. Revenue (or loss) by search engine and keyword.
          5. 3.7.2.5. Lifetime value of visitors from paid search marketing.
        3. 3.7.3. What Do You Do with the Data?
          1. 3.7.3.1. Low data gathering strategy.
          2. 3.7.3.2. Medium data gathering strategy.
          3. 3.7.3.3. Large data gathering strategy.
      8. Hack #43. Measure Organic Search
        1. 3.8.1. The Nature of the Problem
        2. 3.8.2. The Solution
        3. 3.8.3. Welcome to the World of Tracking URLs
        4. 3.8.4. Tell Your Web Measurement Software to Ignore the Paid Search Traffic
        5. 3.8.5. Now That I Can Tell Them Apart, What Do I Do?
          1. 3.8.5.1. Cost-per-click.
          2. 3.8.5.2. Conversion rate by engine and keyword.
          3. 3.8.5.3. Revenue (or loss) by search engine and keyword.
          4. 3.8.5.4. Lifetime value of visitors from organic search.
      9. Hack #44. Contrast Paid Keywords Versus Actual Search Queries
        1. 3.9.1. Paid Search Visits Versus Organic Search Visits
        2. 3.9.2. Paid Search Keywords Versus Actual Search Queries
        3. 3.9.3. Exact Matching Versus Broad Matching
        4. 3.9.4. How Can I Capture the Necessary Information and Create This Report?
      10. Hack #45. Measure Affiliate Marketing
        1. 3.10.1. Pay for Clicks, Leads, or Revenue: Which Is Better?
        2. 3.10.2. Use Web Measurement to Identify Affiliate Successes
          1. 3.10.2.1. Paying for clicks? Determine your per-affiliate click-through rate.
          2. 3.10.2.2. Paying for leads? Measure lead generation rates.
          3. 3.10.2.3. Paying for performance? Paying commissions based on sales.
          4. 3.10.2.4. Other useful metrics used to measure affiliate marketing.
        3. 3.10.3. Tying It All Together
      11. Hack #46. Use Unique Landing Pages
        1. 3.11.1. Unique Landing Pages Are Focused
        2. 3.11.2. Unique Landing Pages Are Not Always Unique
        3. 3.11.3. Hacking Unique Landings Pages: The Mini-Site Model
        4. 3.11.4. Measuring Unique Landing Page Activity
      12. Hack #47. Measure Content Syndicated via RSS
        1. 3.12.1. Easy Things You Can Do to Measure RSS Readership
        2. 3.12.2. Hacking Your Web Measurement Tool to Track RSS
          1. 3.12.2.1. Simple RSS tracking using web server logfiles.
          2. 3.12.2.2. Simple RSS Tracking Using JavaScript Page Tags.
        3. 3.12.3. Treat RSS Like Email or Banner Advertising
      13. Hack #48. Segment Visitors to Understand Specific Group Activity
        1. 3.13.1. Examples of Visitor Segments
        2. 3.13.2. General Requirements for Segmentation
        3. 3.13.3. Defining Good Visitor Segments
        4. 3.13.4. Tying It All Together
      14. Hack #49. Measure Conversion Through Multiple Goals
        1. 3.14.1. How to Measure Conversion Through Multiple Goals
          1. 3.14.1.1. Understand the capabilities of your web measurement application.
          2. 3.14.1.2. Clearly identify your value events.
          3. 3.14.1.3. Clearly delineate multiple value events.
          4. 3.14.1.4. Decide what information is to be captured at each value event.
        2. 3.14.2. Types of Calculations for Visit Conversion
          1. 3.14.2.1. Calculation of conversion to one value event.
          2. 3.14.2.2. Calculation of conversion to one or more value events.
          3. 3.14.2.3. Calculation of conversion through more than one value event.
      15. Hack #50. Leverage Referring Domains and URLs
        1. 3.15.1. How Referring URLs Are Typically Reported
        2. 3.15.2. Common Problems with Referrers
        3. 3.15.3. Using Referrers to Your Advantage
      16. Hack #51. Calculate Click-to-Visit Drop-off
        1. 3.16.1. Make Sure Your Measurement Strategy Is Working
        2. 3.16.2. The System Is Working, So Where Did the Clicks Go?
          1. 3.16.2.1. Is your landing page a bandwidth hog?
          2. 3.16.2.2. Is your tracking code in the optimal location (for tag-based solutions)?
          3. 3.16.2.3. Is your tracking code still deployed properly (tag-based solutions)?
          4. 3.16.2.4. Are you tracking page views, visits, or visitors?
      17. Hack #52. Create Visitor Loyalty Segments
        1. 3.17.1. Use Visitor Segmentation to Measure Visitor Loyalty
        2. 3.17.2. Profitable Loyalty Segmentation Strategies
          1. 3.17.2.1. By media source of the visitor.
          2. 3.17.2.2. By the "offer" you make to the visitor.
          3. 3.17.2.3. By the advertising copy you use.
          4. 3.17.2.4. By content area.
          5. 3.17.2.5. By category or item of purchase.
      18. Hack #53. Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: Marketing Data
        1. 3.18.1. The Code
        2. 3.18.2. Running the Code
    9. 4. Measuring Web Site Usability
      1. 4.1. Hacks 54–67: Introduction
      2. Hack #54. Measure the Value of Pages and Clicks
        1. 4.2.1. Measuring the Value of Clicks
          1. 4.2.1.1. Link tracking.
          2. 4.2.1.2. Browser overlays.
        2. 4.2.2. Measuring the Value of Pages
          1. 4.2.2.1. Page allocation.
          2. 4.2.2.2. Page participation.
        3. 4.2.3. Tying It All Together
      3. Hack #55. Measuring Clicks the Old-Fashioned Way
        1. 4.3.1. The Code
      4. Hack #56. Use Language to Drive Action
        1. 4.4.1. Know Your Visitors Motivations and Create Scent Trails
        2. 4.4.2. Use Two Types of Hyperlinks
        3. 4.4.3. Put More Effort into Copy
          1. 4.4.3.1. What Matters to People Matters to Search Engines.
      5. Hack #57. Deconstruct Time Spent on Site
        1. 4.5.1. The Basic Terms and Concepts
          1. 4.5.1.1. Time spent per page.
          2. 4.5.1.2. Time spent on site.
          3. 4.5.1.3. Visit expiration.
        2. 4.5.2. Sources of Inaccuracy When Calculating Time Spent on Site
          1. 4.5.2.1. Delays due to download and rendering time.
          2. 4.5.2.2. Variability in treatment of the final page in a visit.
          3. 4.5.2.3. The randomness of human behavior.
        3. 4.5.3. Hacking Time Spent on Site
        4. 4.5.4. Assessing Page View Times
          1. 4.5.4.1. Think about your pages in context.
          2. 4.5.4.2. Compare page times to ideal ranges.
          3. 4.5.4.3. Identify why problems occur.
      6. Hack #58. Use the Entry, Exit, and Single-Access Page Report
        1. 4.6.1. Entry Pages
          1. 4.6.1.1. Page caching.
          2. 4.6.1.2. Missing page tracking tags.
          3. 4.6.1.3. Expiration of visit session.
        2. 4.6.2. Exit Pages
        3. 4.6.3. Single-Access Pages
        4. 4.6.4. Using All Three Reports Together
          1. 4.6.4.1. Page "stickiness."
          2. 4.6.4.2. Ratio of page entries to exits.
      7. Hack #59. Measure Multi-Step Processes
        1. 4.7.1. Identify the Leaks
        2. 4.7.2. Analyzing Multi-Step Processes
        3. 4.7.3. The Payoff
      8. Hack #60. Measure Usability in the Checkout Process
        1. 4.8.1. Stylized Checkout Process
          1. 4.8.1.1. Step one: Adding a product to the shopping cart.
          2. 4.8.1.2. Step two: Logging in.
          3. 4.8.1.3. Step three: Billing and shipping.
          4. 4.8.1.4. Step four: Payment and confirmation.
      9. Hack #61. Measure "Internal Campaigns"
      10. Hack #62. Use Browser Overlays
        1. 4.10.1. Optimize Site Design
        2. 4.10.2. Identify and Minimize Page Abandonment
        3. 4.10.3. Optimize Multi-Step and Transactional Processes
        4. 4.10.4. Engage the Previously Unengaged
      11. Hack #63. Run Your Own Split-Path Tests
        1. 4.11.1. The Code
        2. 4.11.2. Check for Test Participation: Pages and People
        3. 4.11.3. Assign to a Test or Control Group
        4. 4.11.4. Tag the Visitor
        5. 4.11.5. Redirect Test Subjects to the Appropriate Page
        6. 4.11.6. Monitor for Completion of Goals
        7. 4.11.7. Running the Hack
        8. 4.11.8. Hacking the Hack
      12. Hack #64. Measure Internal Searches
        1. 4.12.1. Understanding How Visitors Search Your Site
          1. 4.12.1.1. Percentage of visits using search.
          2. 4.12.1.2. Searches per search visit.
          3. 4.12.1.3. Percentage of exits from the search return page.
          4. 4.12.1.4. Conversion of search visits to sales, leads, or other desired conversion.
          5. 4.12.1.5. Average items per order for search visits versus non-search visits.
          6. 4.12.1.6. Percentage of searches with no results ("zero results" searches).
          7. 4.12.1.7. Percentage of searches that generate no clicked links ("zero yield" searches).
          8. 4.12.1.8. Top search terms.
      13. Hack #65. Take Advantage of "Zero Results" Internal Search Results
        1. 4.13.1. Measuring "Zero Results" Searches
          1. 4.12.1.9. How to track "zero results" searches.
        2. 4.13.2. Decreasing Search Failure
          1. 4.13.2.1. Point your search index to the "right" information.
          2. 4.13.2.2. Improve site navigation.
          3. 4.13.2.3. Loosen spelling requirements.
          4. 4.13.2.4. Make sure new pages are indexed correctly.
          5. 4.13.2.5. Take Advantage of "Zero Results" Searches
      14. Hack #66. Effectively Measure the "Known" Visitor
        1. 4.14.1. Identify Known Visitors
        2. 4.14.2. Types of Known Visitors
        3. 4.14.3. Reports That Help Build Relationships with Known Visitors
          1. 4.14.3.1. Application usage/activity reports.
          2. 4.14.3.2. Content consumption reports.
          3. 4.14.3.3. Customer support reports.
          4. 4.14.3.4. Sales analysis reports.
        4. 4.14.4. Hacking Known Visitor Reporting Using Content Groups
        5. 4.14.5. Tying It All Together
      15. Hack #67. Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: Usability Data
        1. 4.15.1. The Code
        2. 4.15.2. Running the Code
    10. 5. Technographics and "Demographics"
      1. 5.1. Hacks 68–80: Introduction
        1. 5.1.1. Why the "Quotes" on Demographics?
      2. Hack #68. Measure Site Performance
        1. 5.2.1. Web Performance Measurement: The Basics
        2. 5.2.2. Integrating Performance and Visitor Data Meaningfully
          1. 5.2.2.1. Basic aggregate performance and availability integration.
          2. 5.2.2.2. Detailed performance and availability integration.
          3. 5.2.2.3. Geographically correlated performance and availability integration.
      3. Hack #69. Measure Connection Type
        1. 5.3.1. The Code
        2. 5.3.2. Running the Code
        3. 5.3.3. The Results
      4. Hack #70. Know How to Use Screen Resolution Data
        1. 5.4.1. Use Your Screen Resolutions Report
        2. 5.4.2. So When Do We Switch Over?
        3. 5.4.3. The Code
        4. 5.4.4. Running the Code
      5. Hack #71. Know How to Use Browser Version Information
        1. 5.5.1. Build for Your Top Five Browsers
        2. 5.5.2. Pay Attention to Emerging Trends
        3. 5.5.3. Monitor Internet Averages
      6. Hack #72. Know if People Are Bookmarking Your Site
        1. 5.6.1. How to Measure Bookmarking with favicon.ico
        2. 5.6.2. Hacking the Hack: Differentiate IE from Firefox Requests
      7. Hack #73. Measure Browser Plug-ins
        1. 5.7.1. Ask the Browser
        2. 5.7.2. The Code
        3. 5.7.3. Hacking the Hack
      8. Hack #74. Know Which Technographic Data to Ignore
        1. 5.8.1. Technographic Data to Use
        2. 5.8.2. Technographic Data to Ignore
        3. 5.8.3. Technographic Data that Depends on Your Specific Needs
      9. Hack #75. Know How to Use Visitor Language Reports
        1. 5.9.1. Visitor Language Reporting
        2. 5.9.2. How to Use Language Information
        3. 5.9.3. Knowing When and How Much to Translate
      10. Hack #76. Hacking into Page-Level Details for Language
        1. 5.10.1. The Code
        2. 5.10.2. Running the Code
        3. 5.10.3. The Results
        4. 5.10.4. An Alternative to Hacking for Page-Level Details
      11. Hack #77. Track Demographic Data Using Custom Variables and Visitor Segmentation
        1. 5.11.1. How to Pass Demographic Data to Your Measurement Application
          1. 5.11.1.1. Pass demographic data to a server log analyzer.
          2. 5.11.1.2. Pass demographic data to a client-side page tag.
        2. 5.11.2. What to Do with Demographic Data Once You Get It
        3. 5.11.3. Things to Keep in Mind
          1. 5.11.3.1. It is usually not easy to do.
          2. 5.11.3.2. It requires tremendous planning to pull off properly.
          3. 5.11.3.3. Most often your sample size will not be significant.
          4. 5.11.3.4. Some consumers are liars when filling out forms.
          5. 5.11.3.5. Not every report is always available for every segment.
          6. 5.11.3.6. Occasionally the payback is hardly worth the effort.
        4. 5.11.4. Simple Demographic Segmentation
      12. Hack #78. Track Your Geographic Visitor Distribution
        1. 5.12.1. Geographic Distribution Reports
        2. 5.12.2. How Do They Do That?
        3. 5.12.3. How to Really Use Geographic Distribution Data
      13. Hack #79. Accurately Measure Downloads
        1. 5.13.1. Multiple Levels of Measurement Can Be Used to Track Downloads
          1. 5.13.1.1. Mine basic HTTP requests.
          2. 5.13.1.2. Mine basic HTTP requests for download completion.
          3. 5.13.1.3. Compensate for download managers.
      14. Hack #80. Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: Technographic Data
        1. 5.14.1. Installing IP::Country and Geography::Countries
        2. 5.14.2. The Code
        3. 5.14.3. Running the Code
    11. 6. Web Measurement and the Online Retail Model
      1. 6.1. Hacks 81–90: Introduction
      2. Hack #81. Know How to Use Retail Analytics
        1. 6.2.1. Optimize Your Marketing Spend
        2. 6.2.2. Analyze Product Placement and Look to Book
        3. 6.2.3. Streamline the Checkout Funnel
      3. Hack #82. Measure the Shopping Cart
        1. 6.3.1. Measuring Products Being Added to the Cart
        2. 6.3.2. Measuring Products Being Abandoned in the Cart
        3. 6.3.3. Measuring Maximum Shopping Cart Value
        4. 6.3.4. Measuring What Matters in Shopping Carts
        5. 6.3.5. When Is a Shopping Cart Not a Shopping Cart?
          1. 6.3.5.1. The cart as a shopping list.
          2. 6.3.5.2. Persistent shopping carts.
      4. Hack #83. Measure the Checkout Process
        1. 6.4.1. Step One: Establish a Baseline
        2. 6.4.2. Step Two: Diagnose Problems
        3. 6.4.3. Bringing It All Together
      5. Hack #84. Understand Frequency and Lifetime Value
        1. 6.5.1. The Limits of the "Percent Returning Visitors" Metric
        2. 6.5.2. Use Frequency and Lifetime Value to Better Understand Your Visitors and Customers
          1. 6.5.2.1. Frequency.
          2. 6.5.2.2. Lifetime value.
        3. 6.5.3. Use Frequency and Lifetime Value to Segment Your Customers
        4. 6.5.4. Use Lifetime Value per Visit to Drive Action
      6. Hack #85. Measure Potential Customer Value Using Recency and Latency
        1. 6.6.1. Recency
        2. 6.6.2. Use Recency to Drive Revenue
        3. 6.6.3. Latency
        4. 6.6.4. Use Latency to Drive Revenue
      7. Hack #86. Manage Lifetime Value Using the Visitor Segment Value Matrix
        1. 6.7.1. Use the Matrix to Drive Content Decisions
        2. 6.7.2. Hacking the Hack
      8. Hack #87. Use Cross-Sell Data to Sell More Products
        1. 6.8.1. Quantify the Value of Product Recommendations
          1. 6.8.1.1. Step one: Track cross-sell links separately.
          2. 6.8.1.2. Step two: Measure cross-sell performance.
          3. 6.8.1.3. Step three: Take action.
        2. 6.8.2. Data-Driven Analysis: Find the Low-Hanging Fruit
          1. 6.8.2.1. Tracking cart overlap.
          2. 6.8.2.2. Tracking common buyers.
        3. 6.8.3. Leverage Cross-Sell Data
      9. Hack #88. Use Geographic Segmentation to Measure Offline Marketing
        1. 6.9.1. Key Measurements
        2. 6.9.2. An Example
      10. Hack #89. Measure New and Returning Customers
        1. 6.10.1. Serve Your Own First-Party Cookie
        2. 6.10.2. Have Your Application Provider Serve a First-Party Cookie for You
        3. 6.10.3. Using the Information
      11. Hack #90. Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: Commerce Data
        1. 6.11.1. The Code: Page Tag and Tag Processor
        2. 6.11.2. The Code: readlog.pl
        3. 6.11.3. Running the Code
    12. 7. Reporting Strategies and Key Performance Indicators
      1. 7.1. Hacks 91–100: Introduction
        1. 7.1.1. Sometimes It's How You Say It
        2. 7.1.2. Patience, Patience, Patience
        3. 7.1.3. Microsoft Excel: the World's Most Popular Analytics Application
      2. Hack #91. Distribute Reports Wisely
        1. 7.2.1. Give the People What They Want, or Better Yet, What They Need
        2. 7.2.2. Use the Same Language Your Audience Uses Whenever Possible
        3. 7.2.3. A Picture Says a Thousand Words
        4. 7.2.4. Ratios Are Better than Counts
        5. 7.2.5. Distribute Reports Regularly
      3. Hack #92. Know If the News Is Good
        1. 7.3.1. Comparing Your Site to Industry Standards and Competitors
      4. Hack #93. (Don't) Benchmark Your Site
        1. 7.4.1. The Foolproof Benchmarking Hack for Anyone
        2. 7.4.2. The Only Way to Benchmark Against External Data
          1. 7.4.2.1. Fireclick Index ().
          2. 7.4.2.2. Coremetrics LIVEmark ().
      5. Hack #94. Use Key Performance Indicators
        1. 7.5.1. Best Practices for Defining Key Performance Indicators
          1. 7.5.1.1. Use KPIs to drive action.
          2. 7.5.1.2. Present KPIs visually whenever possible.
        2. 7.5.2. Use the language of the business to increase familiarity.
          1. 7.5.2.1. Explain the how and why of KPIs.
      6. Hack #95. Know the Difference Between a KPI and a Measurement
      7. Hack #96. Key Performance Indicators for Online Retailers
        1. 7.7.1. Basic Key Performance Indicators for Online Retailers
          1. 7.7.1.1. Sales per visitor.
          2. 7.7.1.2. Average order value (AOV).
          3. 7.7.1.3. Percent new and returning visitors.
          4. 7.7.1.4. Ratio of new to returning visitors.
          5. 7.7.1.5. Customer retention rate.
        2. 7.7.2. Advanced Key Performance Indicators for Online Retailers
          1. 7.7.2.1. Order conversion rate.
          2. 7.7.2.2. Buyer conversion rate.
          3. 7.7.2.3. Cart add to purchase conversion rate.
          4. 7.7.2.4. Checkout-to-purchase conversion rate.
          5. 7.7.2.5. Search to purchase conversion rate.
          6. 7.7.2.6. New and returning visitor conversion rates.
          7. 7.7.2.7. Percent of visits less than 90 seconds.
        3. 7.7.3. Other Important Measurements
      8. Hack #97. Key Performance Indicators for Advertising and Content Sites
        1. 7.8.1. Basic Key Performance Indicators for Content Sites
          1. 7.8.1.1. Average pages viewed per visit.
          2. 7.8.1.2. Average visits per visitor.
          3. 7.8.1.3. Percent new and returning visitors.
          4. 7.8.1.4. Ratio of new to returning visitors.
          5. 7.8.1.5. Average time spent on site.
        2. 7.8.2. Advanced Key Performance Indicators for Content Sites
          1. 7.8.2.1. Percent of visits less than 90 seconds.
          2. 7.8.2.2. Percent committed visits.
          3. 7.8.2.3. "Stickiness" for key pages.
        3. 7.8.3. Other Important Measurements
      9. Hack #98. Key Performance Indicators for Customer Support Sites
        1. 7.9.1. Basic Key Performance Indicators for Customer Support Sites
          1. 7.9.1.1. Average pages viewed per visit.
          2. 7.9.1.2. Percent new and returning visitors.
          3. 7.9.1.3. Average time spent on site.
        2. 7.9.2. Advanced Key Performance Indicators for Customer Support Sites
          1. 7.9.2.1. Percent "zero results" searches.
          2. 7.9.2.2. Support satisfaction rate.
          3. 7.9.2.3. Percent "zero yield" search results.
          4. 7.9.2.4. Percent of visits less than 90 seconds.
          5. 7.9.2.5. "Stickiness" for key pages.
          6. 7.9.2.6. "Information find" conversion rate.
        3. 7.9.3. Other Important Measurements
      10. Hack #99. Key Performance Indicators for Business Sites (Lead Generation)
        1. 7.10.1. Basic Key Performance Indicators for Business Sites
          1. 7.10.1.1. Lead generation conversion rate.
          2. 7.10.1.2. Average visits per visitor.
          3. 7.10.1.3. Percent new and returning visitors.
          4. 7.10.1.4. Ratio of new to returning visitors.
          5. 7.10.1.5. Average time spent on site.
        2. 7.10.2. Advanced Key Performance Indicators for Business Sites
          1. 7.10.2.1. Average hours to response (online inquiry).
          2. 7.10.2.2. Percent of visits less than 90 seconds.
          3. 7.10.2.3. Percent interested visits.
          4. 7.10.2.4. Percent committed visits.
          5. 7.10.2.5. "Stickiness" for key pages.
        3. 7.10.3. Other Important Measurements
      11. Hack #100. Build Your Own Web Measurement Application: Reporting
        1. 7.11.1. Running the Application
        2. 7.11.2. Extending This Application
          1. 7.11.2.1. Add simple visitor segmentation.
          2. 7.11.2.2. Clean up duplicate page names.
          3. 7.11.2.3. Improve the reporting.
          4. 7.11.2.4. Add user configuration.
          5. 7.11.2.5. Improve program efficiency.
          6. 7.11.2.6. Add error checking.
          7. 7.11.2.7. Track exits from the site.
          8. 7.11.2.8. Add multi-session tracking functionality.
          9. 7.11.2.9. You could get the logfile from a remote location via FTP.
    13. About the Author
    14. Colophon
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