Do you really understand your online presence? Are you confident that visitors can use your website? Do you know their motivations? How do online communities perceive your company? To innovate and adapt your business quickly, you must know the answers to these questions.
Complete Web Monitoring demonstrates how to measure every aspect of your web presence -- including analytics, backend performance, usability, communities, customer feedback, and competitive analysis -- whether you're running an e-commerce site, a community, a media property, or a Software-as-a-Service company. This book's concrete examples, clear explanations, and practical recommendations make it essential for anyone who runs a website.
With this book you will:
Discover how visitors use and interact with your site through web analytics, segmentation, conversions, and user interaction analysis
Find out your market's motivations with voice-of-the-customer research
Measure the health and availability of your website with synthetic testing and real-user monitoring
Track communities related to your online presence, including social networks, forums, blogs, microblogs, wikis, and social news aggregators
Understand how to assemble this data into clear reports tailored to your organization and audience
You can't fix what you don't measure. Complete Web Monitoring shows you how to transform missed opportunities, frustrated users, and spiraling costs into online success.
"This is a very comprehensive view of just about everything one needs to know about how websites work and what one needs to know about them. I'd like to make this book required reading for every employee at Gomez."-- Imad Mouline, CTO of Gomez
The Business Of Web Monitoring
Chapter 1 Why Watch Websites?
A Fragmented View
Out with the Old, in with the New
A Note on Privacy: Tracking People
Chapter 2 What Business Are You In?
Chapter 3 What Could We Watch?
How Much Did Visitors Benefit My Business?
Where Is My Traffic Coming From?
What’s Working Best (and Worst)?
How Good Is My Relationship with My Visitors?
How Healthy Is My Infrastructure?
How Am I Doing Against the Competition?
Where Are My Risks?
What Are People Saying About Me?
How Are My Site and Content Being Used Elsewhere?
The Tools at Our Disposal
Chapter 4 The Four Big Questions
What Did They Do?
How Did They Do It?
Why Did They Do It?
Could They Do It?
Putting It All Together
Analyzing Data Properly
A Complete Web Monitoring Maturity Model
Web Analytics, Usability, and the Voice of the Customer
Chapter 5 What Did They Do?: Web Analytics
Dealing with Popularity and Distance
The Core of Web Visibility
A Quick History of Analytics
The Three Stages of Analytics
Implementing Web Analytics
Sharing Analytics Data
Choosing an Analytics Platform
The Up-Front Work
Web Analytics Maturity Model
Chapter 6 How Did They Do It?: Monitoring Web Usability
Web Design Is a Hypothesis
Seeing the Content: Scrolling Behavior
Proper Interactions: Click Heatmaps
Data Input and Abandonment: Form Analysis
Individual Visits: Replay
Issues and Concerns
Web Interaction Analytics Maturity Model
Chapter 7 Why Did They Do It?: Voice of the Customer
The Travel Industry’s Dilemma
They Aren’t Doing What You Think They Are
What VOC Is
What VOC Isn’t
Four Ways to Understand Users
Kicking Off a VOC Program
Deciding Who to Ask
Advantages, Concerns, and Caveats
Voice of the Customer Maturity Model
Web Performance and End User Experience
Chapter 8 Could They Do It?: End User Experience Management
What’s User Experience? What’s Not?
The Anatomy of a Web Session
Wrinkles: Why It’s Not Always That Easy
Measuring by Hand: Developer Tools
Places and Tasks in User Experience
Chapter 9 Could They Do It?: Synthetic Monitoring
Monitoring Inside the Network
Monitoring from Outside the Network
Different Tests for Different Tiers
Beyond a Simple GET: Compound Testing
Configuring Synthetic Tests
Aggregation and Visualization
Advantages, Concerns, and Caveats
Synthetic Monitoring Maturity Model
Chapter 10 Could They Do It?: Real User Monitoring
RUM and Synthetic Testing Side by Side
How We Use RUM
Capturing End User Experience
Deciding How to Collect RUM Data
RUM Reporting: Individual and Aggregate Views
RUM Concerns and Trends
Real User Monitoring Maturity Model
Online Communities, Internal Communities, and Competitors
Chapter 11 What Did They Say?: Online Communities
New Ways to Interact
Where Communities Come from
Online Communities on the Web
Chapter 12 Why Care About Communities?
The Mouth of the Long Funnel
A New Kind of PR
Support Communities: Help Those Who Help Themselves
Risk Avoidance: Watching What the Internet Thinks
Business Agility: Iterative Improvements
Getting Leads: Referral Communities
Chapter 13 The Anatomy of a Conversation
The Participants: Who’s Talking?
The Topics: What Are They Talking About?
The Places: Where Are They Talking?
Chapter 14 Tracking and Responding
Searching a Community
Joining a Community
Moderating a Community
Running a Community
Putting It All Together
Measuring Communities and Outcomes
Reporting the Data
Responding to the Community
Community Listening Platforms
Community Monitoring Maturity Model
Chapter 15 Internally Focused Communities
Knowledge Management Strategies
Internal Community Platform Examples
The Internal Community Monitoring Maturity Model
Chapter 16 What Are They Plotting?: Watching Your Competitors
Watching Competitors’ Sites
Do I Have Competitors I Don’t Know About?
Are They Getting More Traffic?
Do They Have a Better Reputation?
Are Their Sites Healthier Than Mine?
Is Their Marketing and Branding Working Better?
Are Their Sites Easier to Use or Better Designed?
Have They Made Changes I Can Use?
Preparing a Competitive Report
Competitive Monitoring Maturity Model
Putting It All Together
Chapter 17 Putting It All Together
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Drill Down and Drill Up
Getting It All in the Same Place
Tying Together Offsite and Onsite Data
Chapter 18 What’s Next?: The Future of Web Monitoring
Accounting and Optimization
From Visits to Visitors
From Pages to Places and Tasks
Agencies Versus Individuals
A Holistic View
A Complete Maturity Model
A Complete Perspective
The Unfinished Ending
Appendix KPIs for the Four Types of Site
Tailoring the Monitoring Mix to Media Sites
Tailoring the Monitoring Mix to Transactional Sites
Tailoring the Monitoring Mix to Collaborative Sites
Alistair Croll has been an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker for nearly 20 years. He’s worked on a variety of topics, from web performance, to big data, to cloud computing, to startups, in that time.
In 2001, he co-founded web performance startup Coradiant, and since that time has also launched Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, the Bitnorth conference, the International Startup Festival and several other early-stage companies.
Alistair is the chair of O'Reilly's Strata Conference, Techweb's Cloud Connect, and the International Startup Festival. Lean Analytics is his fourth book on analytics, technology, and entrepreneurship. He lives in Montreal, Canada and tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at Solve For Interesting.
Sean Power spends way too much time on the computer and needs to get out more. He has worked as a web systems administrator since the mid 90s, has worked with online communities for companies such as MTV Northern Europe, and helped users reduce the headaches of managing and monitoring web infrastructures through Coradiant, a web performance monitoring vendor. Prior to working at Coradiant, he was technical reviewer for the Addison-Wesley book Troubleshooting Linux Firewalls.
Sean is currently working as community gardener for Akoha, a company pioneering the industry of "social games", where he handles all things community and analytics. This puts a mile on his face, and lets him sleep well at night.
He completes his full plate by supporting the companion website to the book he wrote with Alistair Croll, Total Web Monitoring, published by O'Reilly.
In his spare time, Sean makes sure that servers stay up and curses spammers in the EFnet IRC community and occasionally updates his personal music related blog, when he's not writing web optimization articles.
The animal on the cover of Complete Web Monitoring is a raven. The raven Corvus corax is a member of the family Corvidae, which includes crows, jays, and magpies. They are one of the most widespread, naturally occurring birds worldwide. While they can be found throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere in many types of habitats, they are permanent residents of Alaska, where they nest anywhere from the Seward Peninsula to the mountains of southeast Alaska. Ravens prefer open landscapes such as seacoasts, treeless tundra, open riverbanks, rocky cliffs, mountain forests, plains, deserts, and scrubby woodlands. There is no mistaking the raucous call of the raven; its deep, resonant caw is its trademark, yet the bird can produce an amazing assortment of sounds.
The raven is distinguished from other Corvus species by their massive size and is the largest all-black bird in the world. In Alaska, the raven is sometimes confused with a hawk or crow. The birds have have large, stout bills, thick necks, shaggy throat feathers called "hackles" that they use in social communication, and wedge-shaped tails, which are most visible when the birds are in flight.
Most ravens first breed at three or four years of age; once a raven finds a parter, it mates for life. Ravens begin displaying courtship behavior in mid-January, and by mid-March, adult pairs roost near their nesting locations. The female lays three to seven eggs andthen incubates them; the male contributes to the birth of his young by feeding the mother-to-be while she nests. The chicks hatch after about three weeks and leave the nest about four weeks after hatching. Both parents feed their young by regurgitating food and water stored in their throat pouches. Ravens are omnivores, but most of their diet is meat, they are known to consume a wide variety of both plant and animal matter.
Ravens are excellent fliers and often engage in aerial acrobatics as they soar to great heights. During the day, ravens form loose flocks, but by night, many of them will roost together. As many as 800 ravens have been seen in one roost. Unlike many birds, ravensdo not undertake long migrations, but they do relocate locally for nesting each year. They scavenge for carrion and garbage and also prey on rodents and on the eggs and nestlings of other birds.
The raven has played important roles in many cultures, mythologies, and writings. Ravens disobeyed Noah during the great flood by failing to return to the ark after being sent to search for land. In Norse mythology, the god Odin ordered two ravens named Thought and Memory to fly the world each day so they could inform him of what was happening. The spiritual importance of the raven to Alaska's Native people is still recognized today.
The cover image is from Cassell's Natural History. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSansMonoCondensed.
The subject of this book is Web Analytics (aka Web Metrics). If you work in this field then you know about 'Web Site Measurement Hacks.' A few remarks about that book will put what i'm going to write about CWM in perspective. First, the title "Hacks" doesn't do it justice. WSMH a primer on how do Web Metrics the right way, written by a master practitioner. WSMH gracefully summarizes the relevant portions from a dozen or so different disciplines-- page-tag coding, network engineering, ecommerce marketing, and so on--which is essential to understanding Web Metrics. It doesn't pull any punches either; most Web Analysts are not coders yet this book is filled with code. In any event, WSMH is a tough act to follow. Astonishingly, CWM is just as good--not the same, but of equal quality. I've probably read 50-60 O'Reilly books in the past decade and both of these are in my top 5. Here are a few things that make it such a great source for Web Analysts. First, the book contains five-six beautifully illustrated background sections (e.g., "The Anatomy of a Web Session", the first half of the chapter "Synthetic Monitoring" and "A Quick History of Analytics." These make great tabbed references. This is a "theory" text. The authors spend a lot of time explaining *why* you might want to implement a given monitoring technique. It's also a low-level specification--read it and you'll also know 'how.' At 664 pages, they don't leave much out. Example: what's the least utilized and least understood components in web metrics? It has to be Packet Sniffers. What does this book have to say about them? A lot; there's even a picture of one (p. 371). Second, the subject-matter emphasis seems to reflect what practitioners actually care about (or should); there are large sections on A/B Testing (as usual, in enough detail so that the reader can actually create these tests from scratch) and Online Communities. Finally, in a vendor-driven business, the authors don't defer to the vendors, instead they discuss the techniques behind the products (rather than the products themselves) to enable the reader to judge for themselves which vendor's product (if any) is right.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend