Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Review of Website Optimization

Originally submitted at O'Reilly

Is your site easy to find, simple to navigate, and enticing enough to convert prospects into buyers? Website Optimization shows you how. It reveals a comprehensive set of techniques to improve your site's performance by boosting search engine visibility for more traffic, increasing con...

Diverse, related topics in one place

By thristan from geneva, switzerland on 11/22/2009


4out of 5

Pros: Concise, Helpful examples, Easy to understand

Best Uses: Expert, Intermediate

This is a hugely useful read, particularly if - like myself - you have a range of responsibilities for managing online assets ranging from design, deployment and testing to site promotion and marketing.

Much of the information on each vertical section can be found elsewhere - for instance SEO, PPC and performance optimisation - and individually, each section provides solid information which might not surprise.

The real advantage of this book is that it forces the reader to think of each of the diverse threads as being intimately related in the customer's experience. If you are a UML geek, think of it as an answer to an end-to-end use case (find site, load site, explore site): if you are a marketeer it will expand your horizon in understanding how technical, offpage elements can contribute to satisfaction, bounce rate reduction and improved conversion; if you work in application deployment or support, it will give you some useful pre-launch direction to load and performance testing and gain you brownie points with your Sales and Marketing customers.

So, short order review is that while individual sections on their own may not deliver any surprises to someone with existing expertise, the overall remit of the book will expand the horizons of most who read it.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Corporate Programme Management for the Web

I've worked for a number of blue-chips for a number of years, and am continually surprised by the fact that - since online is not a primary or secondary revenue base - sensible, value-driven approaches to managing a Web portfolio are few and far between.

Many larger companies play lip service to the concept that the Web is (or can be) a hugely important component in the process of "doing business": they show initial interest (in terms of capital investment) in a couple of pilot projects, and then seem to rapidly lose interest in keeping up with the Internet as a "going concern".

The complexity of stakeholders, risk management, the "agility" of a larger corporation, and - of course - competing (core) investment concerns all play a role in making it difficult to apply a longer-term, strategic programme approach to online activity, and ensuring that this is delivered according to best practices.

Benchmarking helps, but - funnily enough - when speaking to colleagues working in related roles for different companies, I find that this is, in fact, an endemic problem. So this is a call for comment, input and assessment from anyone working in an internet management role where the core product is not sold online, but where the Internet is "considered" a core component of business activity - correct me if I am wrong, maybe share successes and failures, and indicate the righteous path forward...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Disentangling blended feedback

Having just been working on a project where workforce and audience acceptance of a mix of new hardware, software and content needed to be assessed & tested, I'm keen to find out the best way of gaining a blended system acceptance view without confusing the feedback for the separate elements. I know this should focus on asking precise questions, and directing users to complete specific targeted tasks, but users often seem unable to disentangle feedback in one dimension from another... (usually blaming hardware or software for eveerything). Does anyone have any helpful advice? I must confess that I'm not used to adding the hardware angle.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

This Blog is still alive...!


Having just logged into Blogger, I now realise that it is only a week shy of a year since I last posted to my blog.

In case anyone is still out there occasionally reading the blog (it's been a while since I checked out the analytics also), the main reason behind this has been moving countries, and then trying to move house.

While this isn't inline with previous post content, I suppose it does count as "information" to be shared: if you are moving to Geneva, make sure you give yourself at least 6 months to find accommodation (unless you are so wealthy, you can gazump the market!). It actually took my family 8 months to be able to move from temporary accommodation into a permanent home - and this was with sizeable local knowledge, friend networks and work & family support...phew!

If anyone is interested in knowing more, leave a comment, and I'll add some detail, otherwise, my next post will be back to normal themes of IA, KM, usability and needs analysis.