Search Analytics for Your Site
Conversations With Your Customers
By Louis Rosenfeld
Publisher: Rosenfeld Media
Final Release Date: July 2011
Pages: 224

Any organization that has a searchable web site or intranet is sitting on top of hugely valuable and usually under-exploited data: logs that capture what users are searching for, how often each query was searched, and how many results each query retrieved. Search queries are gold: they are real data that show us exactly what users are searching for in their own words. This book shows you how to use search analytics to carry on a conversation with your customers: listen to and understand their needs, and improve your content, navigation and search performance to meet those needs.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


A solid introduction to search analytics

By humedini

from United Kingdom

About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

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  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly Search Analytics for Your Site:

    Search Analytics for Your Site; Conversations With Your Customers by Louis Rosenfeld is a book with a very clear target audience in mind. It is aimed primarily at those who work in user experience, information architecture, content, design and usability. That's right – anyone who works with a website and is responsible for how users interact with the site. Whether it is in relation to what they read, or how they find it – those working in these areas will have no trouble finding something to take away from this book that will assist them in their daily activities.

    Search Analytics for Your Site is all about learning how search analytics can help you to get the most out of analysing your search query data, how to gain insight from this data, and how to measure performance against pre-defined goals. In addition to this topics such as tips for improving performance and also improving navigation, metadata and content are also covered in the later chapters of the book, providing valuable assistance in utilising the data that has been gathered through the process of analysis.

    The publishers state that "This book shows you how to use search analytics to carry on a conversation with your customers: listen to and understand their needs, and improve your content, navigation and search performance to meet those needs" and I agree wholeheartedly. The author takes the time to explain the differences between Search Site Analytics (and designing and building to optimise performance) and Search Engine Optimisation and states that "Search engine optimisation looks for ways to make Web-wide searches (for example, via Google and Bing) more likely to find your site. SSA looks for ways to improve how searching works on your site, using your site's own search engine. That said, SSA and SEO share much in common, and can influence each other." This is important to remember as SSA can be used later on as a tool in order to assist in SEO, as it provides further insight into the keywords contained in the site that are of interest to users and can be focussed on in natural SEO and CPC search marketing.

    The book is written in a simple style, and I was particularly impressed that the publisher has made many of the charts and diagrams used in the book available via flickr, for use when explaining the topics discussed in the book to colleagues in internal presentations etc. This could prove to be invaluable if coming up against resistance internally caused by a lack of understanding of the topic.

    All in all I would recommend this book as a useful guide should you work in any of the earlier identified roles. It is not a terrifically exciting subject to read up on, however, what it lacks in glamour it more than makes up for in importance. Packed with useful information and written in an authoritative but not patronising tone, the book should act as a solid reference for those looking to add a little more science to their user experience works, and as such include some quantitative data to augment your qualitative user research.

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