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The Portable Conversion Analyst

Posted By Bryan Eisenberg On January 16, 2009 @ 8:15 am In Books,Improving Conversion | 25 Comments

[1]In my last several columns, I’ve reviewed some basics of conversion optimization. “The Sciences and Disciplines of Web Site Optimization [2]” covered some of the science and professional disciplines needed when doing conversion analysis. That got us talking around the company water cooler, and someone suggested creating a list of the best books and resources that a conversion analyst can not do without.

So we debated, scoured our bookshelves, debated, and finally came up with a list of several team favorites and grouped them into a few categories. The resulting list, below, is in no particular order and is far from comprehensive. It includes books and a few other resources that we know to be unavoidable if you want to talk shop and play like a real conversion analysis.

Usability and Information Architecture

Web Analytics

Copywriting

Direct Marketing Techniques

Psychology, Human Behavior, and Persuasion

Testing

There is a lot of science and rigor in the area of testing and statistics. And while marketing is becoming more accountable, we aren’t quite ready for the amount of rigor possible in this critical area. But we will be, and when we are there will be a few more books that make this subject palatable for the average marketer and conversion analyst. Until then these are two solid choices to devour and have more than enough info to get you started testing and testing well:

Marketing, Branding, Selling

No doubt this is the hardest category because there are plenty of fine marketing, traditional advertising, and branding gurus. What we wanted to identify some books that will influence a lot of the great books still to come. Every one of these books is still relevant to marketing and the challenges we face online. You simply can’t go wrong reading anything on this list:

SEO, SEM, Social Media

When it comes to search marketing and other dynamic markets, most of the treasured resources are blogs or sites like this. Search Engine Watch and ClickZ are a must (like Mike Grehan who writes about SEO ( [52]define [53]); he’s a friend and a fave). Here are a couple recent books worth mentioning:

Get Reading

As you can see, we likely left a few out. But every resource we listed will move you well on your way to understanding the ins and outs of how to be a great conversion analyst. Many of these books are required reading for our analysts, and they should be for yours.

Did we leave out one of your must-reads? List it in the comments section below.


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/reading.jpg

[2] The Sciences and Disciplines of Web Site Optimization: http://www.clickz.com/3632225

[3] Designing Web Usability: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/156205810X?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=156205810X

[4] Web Site Usability: A Designer’s Guide: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0966064100?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0966064100

[5] UIE.com: http://www.uie.com/

[6] Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0596527349?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0596527349

[7] Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933820241?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1933820241

[8] The Persona Lifecycle : Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0125662513?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0125662513

[9] The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web (VOICES): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0735712026?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0735712026

[10] Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321344758?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0321344758

[11] Web Analytics: An Hour a Day: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470130652?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0470130652

[12] Occam’s Razor: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/

[13] Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470253126?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0470253126

[14] Web Analytics Demystified: A Marketer’s Guide to Understanding How Your Web Site Affects Your Business: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0974358428?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0974358428

[15] Marketer’s Common Sense Guide to E-Metrics: http://www.alancharlesworth.eu/pdf/marketers-guide-to-e-metrics.pdf

[16] Information Anxiety 2 (Hayden/Que): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0789724103?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0789724103

[17] Envisioning Information: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0961392118?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0961392118

[18] Persuasive Online Copywriting: How to Take Your Words to the Bank: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0971476993?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0971476993

[19] e-book version: http://shop.futurenowinc.com/prod-FND06.htm

[20] Image: http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/011609-eisenberg-lg.jpg

[21] Breakthrough Advertising: How to Write Ads That Shatter Traditions and Sales Records: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0932648541?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0932648541

[22] Advertising Secrets of the Written Word: The Ultimate Resource on How to Write Powerful Advertising Copy from One of America’s Top Copywriters and Mail Order Entrepreneurs: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1891686003?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1891686003

[23] The Associated Press Guide to Good Writing: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0201103206?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0201103206

[24] Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316014990?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316014990

[25] Copyblogger Blog: http://www.copyblogger.com/

[26] Scientific Advertising: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1434102467?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1434102467

[27] Tested Advertising Methods (Prentice Hall Business Classics): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0130957011?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0130957011

[28] DRILLING DOWN: Turning Customer Data into Profits with a Spreadsheet – Third Edition: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591135192?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1591135192

[29] The Copywriter’s Handbook, Third Edition: A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Copy That Sells: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805078045?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0805078045

[30] Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1400064287?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1400064287

[31] Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0785218971?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0785218971

[32] Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (Interactive Technologies): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1558606432?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1558606432

[33] Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0688128165?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0688128165

[34] Your Key to Sports Success : How Understanding Your Brain Type Will Enhance Your Athletic Ability: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0916309010?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0916309010

[35] Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0960695400?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0960695400

[36] The Art of Speed Reading People: How to Size People Up and Speak Their Language: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316845183?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0316845183

[37] Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0684849143?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0684849143

[38] Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470174625?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0470174625

[39] Always Be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470290633?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0470290633

[40] Ogilvy on Advertising: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039472903X?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=039472903X

[41] Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads: Turning Paupers into Princes and Lead into Gold: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1885167393?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1885167393

[42] Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/078521965X?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=078521965X

[43] The Psychology of Selling the Art of Closing Sales (Book and 6 Audiocassettes): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000SVAP9W?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000SVAP9W

[44] How to Master the Art of Selling: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446692743?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0446692743

[45] The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource, New Edition: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061379409?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0061379409

[46] Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446520942?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0446520942

[47] 5 Steps To Successful Selling: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743520718?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0743520718

[48] Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060799900?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0060799900

[49] Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006135323X?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=006135323X

[50] Seth Godin: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b_0_7?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=seth+godin&x=0&y=0&sprefix=seth+go

[51] How to Win Friends & Influence People: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0671027034?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0671027034

[52] Mike Grehan who writes about SEO (: http://www.clickz.com/mikegrehan

[53] define: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/SEO.html

[54] Winning Results with Google AdWords, Second Edition: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0071496564?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0071496564

[55] Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470344024?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0470344024

[56] Dave Evans: http://www.clickz.com/daveevans

[57] Email Marketing: An Hour a Day: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470386738?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwcallto-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0470386738

[58] Jeanniey Mullen: http://www.clickz.com/jeannieymullen

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