Don’t Let Your Analytics Deceive

If John F. Kennedy were an internet marketer, I think he would say, "Ask not what your marketing can do for your site. Ask what your site can do for your marketing." Kennedy understood the idea of cause and effect in his original quote: that people make a nation effective, and not the other way around. Online, the site makes marketing effective because the majority of what determines your ROI is not the media itself but what happens after the user clicks. And that's what marketing analytics needs to focus on. The problem In the world of marketing web sites, we tend to treat the site a [...]

Behavioral Targeting Is Easier Than You Think

In a previous post, I discussed the importance of using behavioral targeting to increase your conversion rates. I also wrote about how to use Google Analytics to understand personas of the users who visit your site. This post will present a fast and easy way to get your behavioral targeting (BT) process up and running. Although any discussion of BT can sometimes turn into a PhD-level conversation, it is really important to pluck some low-hanging fruit to convince executives that it is a worthwhile journey. If you do, your path will likely be paved with gold. Recently, BTBuckets, a free [...]

Attribution: What It Is And Why It’s Important

Forrester Research, Inc. recently released their Interactive Attribution Q4: 2009 report, a 44-criteria evaluation of interactive attribution vendors. The report opens with a statement of why accurate, interactive attribution is so crucial: "The de facto industry standard of measuring the value of campaigns or media placements by the most recent click or interaction is ripe for change." The report continues by defining interactive attribution as "the practice of measuring the correct partial value of each interactive ad that drove a desired outcome." Reading the report will give you an un [...]

Behavioral Targeting & Google Analytics: How To Create Personas

Following my last post on behavioral targeting, which was an overview of the field, I will provide a more hands-on approach in this post. To briefly recap, behavioral targeting involves creating multiple "personas" that represent multiple users of your site, and using analytics to create a unique experience for each persona group based on observed and predicted behavior. The first step to a successful behavioral targeting process is finding the right targets. It is not always obvious which users should be "bucketed" together. Creating effective buckets requires knowledge about the site and [...]

Q&A With Avinash Kaushik, Google Analytics Evangelist & Customer Insight Guru

Avinash Kaushik is Google’s well-known and widely respected analytics guru. In this wide-ranging interview, he talks about his passion for metrics, why they’re critical for success, and how search marketers can use analytics to take their campaigns to the next level.

How To Measure The Value Of A Fan Or Follower In Social Media

It's hard to justify the time spent on social media account management. But there are ways to measure the real value (monetary or otherwise) of fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter. These top two social media websites offer free advertising, an open customer service and communication platform and a demographics database all wrapped up in one, so knowing the value of fans and followers can be a big help when deciding how much time should be allotted to social media efforts. Here are some of the ways to measure how much Facebook and Twitter users are really worth. Number of quality fans [...]

A Primer On Website Testing

Search marketers can learn a lot from scientists. Scientists spend their life testing things, one after the other, incessantly trying to discover new interactions between atoms, molecules, viruses, bacteria, etc. One of the greatest scientists of all time, Albert Einstein, said, "A theory is something nobody believes, except the person who made it. An experiment is something everybody believes, except the person who made it." Want everyone to believe in your website? "Experiment" with it—in other words, test it and tune it for optimal performance. Websites are laboratories, not sculpt [...]

How To Use Google Analytics Motion Charts To Maximize Results

Last year Google Analytics released a few new features, among them the Motion Charts. The feature is based on software developed by Gapminder, acquired by Google in 2007. According to the Google Analytics blog, "Motion Charts provide a multi-dimensional, over-time analysis of the data in your report." This feature provides a powerful way to visualize data in five dimensions: x-axis, y-axis, size of bubble, color of bubble, and time. In fact, if you choose metrics that are combinations of more than one metric, such as conversion rates (number of conversions divided by number of visits) [...]

How To Choose A Web Analytics Solution

Choosing the analytics tool you will use to track what's happening on your web site can be a time-consuming, expensive, and incredibly frustrating experience. There are a number of good candidates to choose from and each touts an impressive feature set that promises to significantly improve everything about your web site. But while there's a lot of hype about what these tools will do to improve your life, it's important to remember that you're not actually choosing an analytics provider, you're choosing a reporting and data gathering system—in other words, a very pretty database. I can't str [...]

The What, Whys & Hows Of Multiple Metric Optimization

The beauty of online marketing is that every step in the click path is visible. A searcher clicks on an ad, lands on a merchant's site and navigates to purchase—all of which can be viewed and analyzed. This process is often referred to as multiple metric optimization. However, this term is often misused so it is worth spending some time on explaining the process and how marketers can use it to their advantage. Simply put, multiple metric optimization refers to the class of methods that seek to maximize a marketing goal (for example, ROI/Revenue) using more than one event in the cl [...]

Using Analytics To Measure SEO Success

I've previously discussed why rankings are a poor measure of success, but only touched upon how to instead use web analytics to measure SEO success. My hope is that once you have a good grasp of what to review and how to use that info, you'll be more inclined to wean yourself (and your clients) off rankings reports once and for all! For purposes of this article, let's assume that you've already optimized your website for a number of keyword phrases across a variety of pages within your website. Let's also assume that you've kept a list of those phrases handy, as you'll need to refer back to [...]

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