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Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks


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The concept of community has always been huge in the online marketing and especially analytics space. From Eric Peterson’s Yahoo group to the creation of the web analytics association by Jim Sterne, there has always been a place you could go and learn/discuss strategies with other professionals. Community played a large part in my decision to create this eBook. I could have very easily come up with numerous tips & tricks from my own experience, however by extending the offer to other professionals I thought readers could gain insight from a broader range of experiences/ backgrounds. In this eBook you will find strategies form a plethora of different topics including: • Customer Satisfaction • Search Engine Marketing • Conversion Optimization • Social Media • Web Analytics Tools • Site Search • Implementation • Mobile This is the inaugural release of this book and I am hoping we can publish later versions at least twice a year. So if you’re interested in participating or have any feedback, please send me an email to

Enjoy! Manoj Jasra Twitter: @WaWorld

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Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks You are already measuring your SEM campaigns with your analytics tool, but why are the numbers so different? Have you also experienced this? The numbers your traffic agency (marketer) reports to and charges you differ immensely from those which you yourself have measured on your website? Doubts arise concerning your traffic agency and your own web analytics tool. As a consequence you get yourself involved in endless discussions over bills, pricing, range of coverage and counting methods with your marketer. People often ask me how this could be, where the difference originates from and what can be done about it. One thing has to be made clear in advance: The numbers from your marketer (which are generated via his pixel) will ALWAYS differ from the ones from your analytics tool, no matter whether you got them via log files or website tagging. It would be a miracle if they would match perfectly. The question should rather be: How much do the numbers differ? As a rule one could say that variations of +/-520% could be considered normal. If they should deviate further, I would strongly recommend a deeper investigation. Where do these deviations derive from? There are a number of explanations that could apply. Among others: • Different positions of the evaluation pixel on your webpage. The pixels are placed below each other. It could happen that one is activated, the other not. This might happen for example, if the user has already clicked on the next link although the page hasn’t completely loaded yet. • Your webpage is too big and doesn’t load completely. As doesn’t the pixel. • Different counting methods, for example AdClicks vs. page loaded

Nothing happens without clear goals. Do expect web analytics reports to give you any answers. They’re only valuable if they get you to ask questions. Data by itself doesn’t offer any insight. Data is never accurate or complete or perfect. Chasing perfect data is a perfect waste of time. It need not be precise, it need only be compelling. Segmentation is where the money is. All statistics are political. The only metrics that really matter are income, expenses and customer satisfaction. Figure out how your organization rewards its people and find the data that will help them get those rewards. Analysis is all about communication. If you can’t explain it, it doesn’t matter. It’s better to tell stories than show graphs. Hire people who like puzzles, detective novels, science fiction, crosswords and whose eyes light up when they learn something new. Read Author Bio: Jim Sterne is an international consultant focused on measuring the value of the online marketing for creating and strengthening customer relationships. Sterne has written eight books on using the Internet for marketing, produces the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit www. and is co-founder and current Chairman of the Web Analytics Association



Why you should measure your SEA campaigns with a (your own) web analytics tool

Every SEA company will tell you, you only need to integrate their pixel, then you’ll get the correct numbers and everything is fine. But in the past I have experienced very different numbers from different SEA companys (sometimes twice the amount of the other one) for the same campaign. It’s because they are using different counting methods. To get more transparency for what you are paying for I would recommend to measure the SEA campaigns also with your own web analytics tool and use this to settle the right numbers.

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• You pay for AdClicks, but the user quits straight after he has clicked on your banner on an external page before he gets to your website or landing page. No arrival is counted on your page • In contrary to him being counted by AdClicks. • Here are some suggestions that have proven useful in practice: • Pay for the generated sales / leads not the AdClicks or AdImpressions • The marketers pixel should always be the last one on your page • Arrange with your marketer in advance whether you bill according to his numbers or the numbers generated by your analytics tool • Get it straight who gets the reward for a purchase or lead: the campaign that has generated the first or the one that has generated the last contact – or distribute the claims linear alongside the campaigns via which the customer or lead has visited your website • Be attentive to when your marketers evaluation pixel is activated on the confirmation page of the shopping or lead process • Make sure that your landing page is small sized, as it only serves as a transit for your customers This should help to optimize your SEA campaigns, to reduce the CPC and to get more transparency about the campaigns. Author Bio: Matthias Postel is an expert for online marketing optimization, especially in web analytics, usability and conversion optimization


Why/how to get external help for web analytics tool evaluation

6 advantages of booking an external web analytics consultant rather than accepting the one offered by the vendor and how to find yourself a good one The external consultant • Will take the time it needs – the vendor usually will not have the resources to guarantee you the attention necessary to fulfill your needs. • Will offer you an individualized solution – not one size fits all as is often the case with vendors. • Ideally will be able to speak comprehensible both to your technical department and to your marketing (as I often say: there is no use for analytics if you do not think marketing at the same time - and vice versa). • Will provide an individual training of your staff, while the most you will get from the vendor will usually be a standard training – hopefully at least using your data... • Will save you money – both by preparing your employees better for the job and thereby getting more out of the tool as well as simply because he will cost you less: In general the price per hour of your vendor will be more expensive. • Will be able to explain to you the advantages and disadvantages of different tools and will be free to offer you the one most suitable to your needs. • This will probably save you money as well.

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Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks 1. Define your KPIs 2. Measure and analyze aggregate behavior 3. Test and pick the winners 4. Rinse and repeat This is extremely worthwhile and there are published case studies from Unica web analytics clients such as Citrix who have been able to improve conversions by as much as 1900%. However, marketers may be squandering a huge opportunity if they do not also leverage web analytics for driving the second cycle of continuous improvement. Here web analytics serves as a rich source of behavioral insights on individual prospects and customers. 1. Define your visitor identification strategy on the website (and ideally also mobile site, Facebook app, etc.) 2. Measure, score, and profile individuals’ behavior 3. Target individuals behaviorally with relevant content and marketing offers delivered through site personalization, email, or other channels 4. Rinse and repeat In the first cycle of improvement you aim for improving KPIs over time. In the second cycle of improvement you aim for improving customer lifetime values and wallet share over time. Author Bio: Akin Arikan is Director of Product Strategy at Unica Corporation, responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction with Unica’s web analytics and Internet marketing solutions. Arikan has worked with analytics practitioners for more than a decade. A noted speaker and writer, he has presented at many conferences throughout the world, and in 2008 wrote the book, Multichannel Marketing: Metrics and Methods for On and Offline Success.

7 points to ensure expertise • Does he know the difference between Google Analytics and the chosen web analytics tool? He should be able to answer this question! • Has he done a project for one of your competitors before? (That is a difficult one...) • Look out for references concerning projects he has handled before. • Is he accredited for the tool he offers you? • Ask him to disclose his project plan and his working methods. In general, he should start with an analysis of your website, your business model and also with a workshop to define your goals and requirements. • Take a close look at the documents he provides. • Will he be willing (and able) to coach one or more of your employees during the conception and implementation phase? Author Bio: Matthias Postel is an expert for online marketing optimization, especially in web analytics, usability and conversion optimization. He looks back on more than 15 years of experience in the online business and was involved in many web analytics projects, e.g. for the Deutsche Post, AOL, BMW, TUI etc. Matthias Postel is founder and managing director of the iCompetence GmbH in Hamburg, Germany.


There are two (not just one) cycles of continuous improvement with web analytics.

Conventionally, we speak of “the” cycle of continuous improvement as something similar to the following

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Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks that it is always the actual newsreader who pays, something which I very much believe to be true, we should conclude on the currency in which he pays, before we even debate the actual monetization strategy. I have recently presented a theory that the newsreader can only pay in the following three currencies: • Time • Data, and • Money I am not going to add any suggestions on where I believe we could or should optimize, as we need to agree on the above currencies first. Before that, no optimization can take place.


Money spent on PPC may be wasted by weak efforts further down the stream

SEM efforts have traditionally focused only on the top of the funnel, i.e. keyword research and rankings (for either SEO or PPC bids). Yet, SEM optimization cannot be done without managing the entire chain of events that begins with research, continues with optimizing bids and refining ads, pursues landing page and site optimization. And don’t forget the use of remarketing and cross-/up-sales programs either. For example “abandoned shop cart” emails help you catch the rebound, i.e. prospects that don’t convert on the first attempt and wouldn’t be likely to return on their own. Key point: Unless every step in the SEM conversion process is optimized, you may be wasting money by increasing PPC traffic. Author Bio: Akin Arikan, Director of Product Strategy at Unica Corporation.


Author Bio: Dennis R. Mortensen is an Entrepreneur, Author and Director of Data Insights at Yahoo!. Visit my Analytics, Media and Marketing blog or read about my Analytics book

Conversion Rates: What you need to know for your business

Conversion is arguably the most important measurement for business website success. It is what defines whether your business actually benefits from the website. Perhaps you realize you need a “good conversion rate,” but you may not understand exactly what that means. That’s okay. Here’s what you, as a business owner or marketing professional, need to know. Definitions: Conversion: A user of your website completes a desired task (such as making a purchase, initiating contact, signing up for an eNewsletter, leaving a blog comment, etc). The desired task is completely relative to your business website. Here’s an offline example: A customer walks into your store and makes a purchase. Page | 7


TIP about News Media Monetization and available Currencies

In my opinion and as we examine Online News Media, it very much seems like there is a mixed understanding of the actually currency in which the newsreader can pay for the product. If we focus on the statement,

Summer 2010

Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks Things are laid out and designed in such a way to create a seamless, easy interaction. An offline example is interior design. Creating a product experience online isn’t easy. In fact, it takes a lot of work. Once a user has become aware of your website, they either bounce (leave) or consume information. If your user experience is planned and implemented well, they might progress into participating, converting or even advocating on your behalf.

Conversion rate: The percentage of ALL website users who complete the desired task. If your conversion rate is 5%, this means 5 out of every 100 website visitors have completed your desired task. You may have multiple desired tasks; each will have a unique conversion rate. Bounce rate: The percentage of all website visitors who immediately leave your website once they arrive. If your bounce rate is 30%, this means 30 out of 100 website visitors saw your one page of your website and left immediately. My favorite way to illustrate this concept is with the bouncy ball. A user is a bouncy ball. Your website is the wall. Unless your wall is permeable and friendly, the ball bounces right off. How do I track conversion rates? Your analytics tool (such as Google Analytics) must be set up to accurately track conversions. Website developers typically do this for you when installing the analytics tool, though you must define what counts as a “conversion.” How do I impact my conversion rate? Qualified traffic: Driving traffic is often a large part of the online marketing budget; it is completely for shame if the traffic being driven doesn’t convert. Ensuring your website visitors are actually relevant or interested in your business website’s content is critical to success. Do not waste time blindly pushing people to visit your website. Understand your target market, know where to find them, then work on traffic building. Information architecture: The way the content on your website is organized needs to intuitively make sense to users. If it’s confusing, they’ll probably just leave. (As a bonus, your information architecture also impacts your search engine visibility.) User experience: The way a user interacts with your website is essentially the “user experience.”


3 Great URL Shorteners with Analytics

URL shorteners trim down regular links so they can be shared more easily on Twitter and other social media platforms. My favorite side benefit of URL shorteners is that every link click can be tracked as it’s redirected to its final destination. Not all URL shorteners actually offer analytics, though, so if you need tracking you must choose wisely. To help you along, I recommend these 3 URL shorteners with analytics: 1. It’s the Twitter default, and therefore very popular. Full-featured analytics are available to whoever creates a short URL and any other person who cares to look. The trick to seeing stats for any link: add a “+” sign at the end of the short URL. Best for you if you want to stick with a popular choice and you don’t mind sharing your stats with the world. 2. This URL shortener has many of same features as, but stats for URLs are not public. In other words, you must be logged in to view your own stats, and you cannot view stats for URLs you did not create. Best for you if you need full-featured analytics and privacy. Page | 8

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Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks as your online presence, creating conversion paths with a nice eye tracking design and a clear call for action message; you will turn your website traffic into conversions.

The URL shortener and associated reports are embedded within Hootsuite, a social network management client. You get analytics for individual messages as well as a summary roll-up. Also useful: an optional form helps you append campaign codes to your URLs before you shorten them. Best for you if you’re looking a comprehensive system for managing posts OR you want help appending tracking codes as you shorten URLs. Author Bio: June Dershewitz is VP of Analytics at Semphonic, where she specializes in helping companies improve their day to day Web analytics practice. She is a member of the Web Analytics Association Board of Directors and is an Omniture Certified Professional. She cofounded Web Analytics Wednesdays, a global networking event series. Since joining Semphonic in 2007, Dershewitz has led implementation, analysis and training initiatives for companies including Nokia, Blue Shield, Kohler, Charles Schwab, Intuit and Delta Dental. She has spoken at conferences such as X Change, eMetrics, SMX and SES. Blog: http:// Twitter: @jdersh.

First things first! Define your Objectives A simple thing you must consider before creating a landing page or even better, before creating your website, is to clearly define your objectives; your goal is the conversion variable. You decide whether it will be a sale, a newsletter submission, a comment for your blog etc. Being absolutely specific is a matter of high importance for your online strategy plan. Turning traffic into sales So, now that you have defined your primary goal, you have the channel and the proper media (images, videos etc), the next step is to use them in order to achieve your goal in the most effective way. Think that you have one shot to get the conversion you need in one single page. Take advantage of this shot in your landing page. Simply by placing your message in the middle of the page, highlighting your value proposition and communicating a call for action. Use attractive images, an effective copy hook and drive your traffic into conversions. Note to repeat the call for action message for better results. All your pages must be designed as landing pages; it is important to follow the strategy plan using every single page. Remember to stay in your primary objectives and give the chance to the users to do the right thing in the right way.


Conversion Rates and Landing Pages

From the internet user’s side, a landing page is the one displayed as a result of a search or just a click on a link, either from a SERP as an organic result or a paid one (banner, text ad, video ad) or even a link in a direct mail. From the website owner’s side, a landing page is the vehicle to drive the visitors through a conversion path to the reach the desirable goal. Optimizing your landing page is as important

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Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks Author Bio: Eric Feinberg is an Industry Director at ForeSee Results, the leading customer satisfaction management company with solutions based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Eric’s background includes roles as web marketing analyst at financial services company Gruntal & Co., multichannel strategy consultant at Wheelhouse, usability specialist at Vividence (Keynote Systems) and focus group moderator at Kelton Research. As technologies and trends change and evolve, Eric maintains his awareness and command of how best to understand and motivate the online consumer on behalf of his clients. We recently added “sharethis” buttons to our websites. This is a fairly popular service which allows you to email, post to twitter and post to facebook via their javascript code. Up until recently they had no way to track clicks on these links. However after a little reading and research I found I could easily insert Google Analytics event tracking into their code and have the ability to track clicks on the sharethis buttons. I simply inserted: o n C l i c k = ” j a v a s c r i p t : f i r s t Tr a c k e r. _ trackPageview(‘/Emailchicklet/612495’)Into each event. In this code, we are tracking clicks on the email chicklet with a unique tracking identifier (612495) so we know which page was emailed. We also did this for the other visible chicklets so we can track those events as well. What’s more, we have 2 tracking codes on each site so we are able to further modify this by adding a javascript : secondTracker onclick event to record the click to the event to the second account.

Experiments will enhance your effectiveness. Try to test different variations in your messages, change details in headlines try different buttons, colors, and shapes but keep in mind that the page must have a logical flow from the top to the end. Author Bio: Dimitris is an SEO Engineer, Online Marketing Specialist working for http://www.

The mindset must precede the toolset. The biggest challenge facing the digital marketing industry is our ability to paint the complete picture of the visitor, customer and prospect – and attribute the accolades of success to the appropriate people. What impact does our visitor have on all facets of our marketing and sales: media mix modeling, ad sales, engagement, user experience, future intent to consider, recommend and purchase? Please, please, please take a minute, or an hour, or a day, or an offsite and think through why you want to manage customer insights with your stellar team (hopefully increased satisfaction and profitability), what you need to measure to help you do that (clearly defined, attainable goals), how you are going to enable that (well-selected tools), and how you are going to accomplish that (again, your stellar team). People matter. The days of having technology solely solve your problems are over. 50% or more of your investment in solving your business problems and thriving in a competitive environment should be invested in the people. The styles, tools and types of connections we are able to make with our visitors are more impressive and powerful than ever before. But we’ve still got a long way to go since most of the conversations that I have with executives are still talking about tools and technologies and not enough about solutions and profitability and massive ROI. No one provider does it all.


Mindset Precedes Toolset


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Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks Take this for example. Your goal is to increase the number of purchases by women over 50. Your business objective is to acquire X number of new “boomer” customers by the end of Q4 2010. Strategically, you’re going to hire a famous “boomer” blogger to create content that you can seed onto boomer blogs, appropriate Facebook Pages and Twitter channels. Your social media analysis finds that boomers are in many places online, not just reading blogs, posting on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, there are many private social networks for boomers. What do you do? Do you abandon your original strategy to focus on the ladder? Of course not. You integrate, cross market, as your audience is relatively the same from one channel to the next. The bonus, as derived from your social media analysis is that there is an additional medium for you to target. The new challenge is to now use the data from your social media analysis to develop a plan on how to craft messaging for that new (and the old) audience, how to engage with those audiences differently on those channels as it will apply to achieving your goal and business objective. Sound too simple? That’s because it is. It’s real-time engagement. You know your business. Find the opportunity. Leverage your communication channels to best fill that need and drive people to talk about and purchase from your business. If you do the opposite, and are always looking for “surprises,” then you’ll be let down. As I said earlier, find the opportunity, the one that will move the market and your business forward. Author Bio: For over 15 years, David Libby has been at the forefront of leveraging and integrating today’s communications technologies, traditional media and social and digital platforms. He has led social media initiatives for clients including General Motors, Bayer Healthcare, Nestle CRUNCH, Obopay, Accera / Axona, Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), among

We use google analytics for our tracking purposes and have found it quite flexible in allowing us to do some basic A/B testing. I know it can do more but here’s what we did: On many of our sites pages we have text links and graphic buttons which both go to the same page. I used onclick events to track clicks on both the text links and buttons to see which were used more. To my surprise, in our case text links outperformed graphic buttons 3 to 1. Just thought I’d share this tip to show how you can use analytics to help make design decisions. Author Bio: Rob Sullivan has been performing search engine optimization for 10 years. His clients have included anything from mom & pop sites to fortune 500 networks. His experience in dealing with technical issues as they related to search engine rankings has earned him speaking invitations to various industry specific conferences throughout the years. Rob currently works for a company whose focus is helping clients optimize local business listings so they are found at the top of the search engines. When it comes to social media analytics, I’ve seen experts throw everything into the sink. The problem with that strategy is nothing really surfaces to the top and the most important data point could be hiding at the bottom of the pile. Rather than look at what does the data tell us. Start with, what do we want to achieve from the data? What is our goal? What is our business objective? Then drill down from there. Of course, you’ll often find some surprises, as I have in my sink. But, with a focus on what you want to achieve, the “surprise” will not stand on its own and either be in parallel or concert with your overall analytics program and business strategy.


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others as well as pro-bono campaigns for The San Francisco Bay Area Interactive Group and The Internet OldTimers List Foundation, a members only list of more than 500 advertisers, marketers and public relations professionals from leading global brands.

It’s safe to say that Google Analytics is by and far one of my favorite analytics tools available for tracking and analyzing visitor data. What used to be a paid version of Urchin, it’s now freely available to anyone who takes the two minutes to sign up and implement on their website. Though many paid analytics solutions exist, few are as robust – and did I mention it was free? Having said that, and as great of a tool Google Analytics is, it’s not perfect. I spend a good portion of my day reviewing, analyzing, and reverse engineering the traffic data that comes into Google Analytics. Though you can view the data in a thousand different ways, sometimes it’s nice to be able to export the particular page you’re on to an Excel file and manipulate the data for your own use. Google Analytics gives you the ability to export to PDF, XML, CSV, Excel or TSV formats. Very handy.


Export more than 500 rows of data – Google Analytics

The solution is to go to the page within Google Analytics that you want to export data from. In this example, I’m at the Traffic Sources > Keywords area within Google Analytics. Once there, go up to the address bar in your browser and enter “&limit=5000″ (without the quotes) to the end of it and hit “enter” or “go”. After hitting enter, you should still be able to see the “&limit=5000” at the end of the URL. The resulting URL should look something like: https:// reporting/keywords?………… …..&limit=5000 You can now export the data to a CSV file with all your rows of data, not just 500. It’s important to note that you have to export to CSV format, not the CSV for Excel.

Let me know how that works for you, or if you have any other Google Analytics tips! Author Bio: Nicholas Perez is an SEO, SEM and Social Media Consultant. Technology Consultant and Project Manager. I’ve worked on SEO/SEM projects for Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses. That’s all fine and dandy, but when you use the Google Analytics export feature, you’re limited to exporting no more than 500 rows of data. For large accounts, you’re certainly going to have more than 500 rows of data! Formerly worked as a Project Manager for the top RFID Medical Location Solution Company in the United States working with break-through technology in large institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic. Also worked on small to large scale enterprise level technology projects in the greater Southeast Michigan area as a Project Manager. Page | 12

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Problem: How do you take a static list of hyperlinks on a set of pages and go about setting up some method to tag each of these links with a Javascript call to Omniture. Also trying to put in some type of future proofing so that ongoing updates to this file(s). Environment: ColdFusion8 Server / jQuery My Approach: [code]$(document).ready(function() { $(‘#divToBeTagged a’).each(function(i) { var hrefval = $(this).attr(‘href’); $(this).bind(‘click’,function (event){ omnitureJSCall(‘Product Category’,hrefval)}); });});[/code] I went with this for a few reasons, the main one being the ease of future updates to this page. I work on a small team of dev’s and anyone else could be making updates to this page and with this method, we will always have the correct tags on our product downloads on this page. Is it perfect? Nah... but it does work well for me. Author Bio: Rudi Shumpert’s 14+ years of web development experience in the Atlanta, Georgia area have centered on building successful, robust and capable web based applications and sites/portals. Working with technologies like ColdFusion, ASP, jQuery, XML and a variety of other languages and tools, Rudi creates and expands the functionality of his projects. Of late, he has become more involved with all things Analytics and has enjoyed and excelled working with the various platforms at Ariba. Leveraging his tools and making innovative use of Omniture, he has expanded the capabilities of Ariba systems and has extended Ariba’s data and analytics gathering. Rudi’s website: www.


Using jQuery to auto tag sections of a site or specific items in a div.

In analyzing our site searchers keyword usage, I confirmed my opinion that Site Searchers are Lazy! 1 word “keyphrases” dominate. In a 90 day sample of our top 500 keyphrases, 95% were two words or less. 50% of all keyphrases were 1 word, 45% were 2 words and 5% were 3 words, with only one keyphrase being a four word string. Our team began to ask questions, as good analysts do. Q: What is the effect on the rate of Search Refinement? A: There is a direct correlation between number of words initially searched and the rate of refinement of their search query. The fewer words used, the higher the Search Refinement. Naturally. Q: What is the effect on conversion rate? A: While conversion rates for 1 and 2 word search queries were nearly identical, the 3 and 4 word search queries resulted in conversion that were 2.5x greater. We then began to ask the more important question for web analysts – WHY? Q: Why do our site searchers do the opposite of what is considered normal search behavior? Google reports that their average keyword string consists of 4 words. Why is our site search so different? A: Many theories were exhaustively put forth. • They [searchers] expect our search results to know what they want. • They are not the average [sophisticated] searcher. Page | 13


Site Searchers are Lazy Searchers!

Summer 2010

Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks I consider Google Analytics my baby. So I went to my colleague, Rehan Asif, to discuss this and in less than twenty minutes we came up with the following concept: • Categorize pages into groups of related content. • Collect these pages together on one page and treat them as a single entity. • Specify the URLs that you want to include in each group by defining URL patterns. • Create a filter for each group. Each filter will search for the group identifier and replace the entire URL with a new URL. Here is a real example on an online shoe store where we want to take all pages that focus on specific brands (for example, Converse, Timberland, Vans, and Reebok) and treat them as one content group. 1. First, we studied the URLs and found that they contain the brand name. 2. Using an advanced filter, all pages with “vans” in their URL will be renamed to “/ vans.html” 3. Now create filters for each brand and apply the filters to a new profile called “Content Groups” 4. Now we have created content groups that allow us look at all pages for any brand as a single entity. We can now study the links where people exit, the entrance keywords, the entrance sources, other pages they visit on the site, and more. Page | 14

• They expect our site search to deliver product listings, by keyword. • They are lazy. We all went with #4, and called it a day. Author Bio: Rob Cox is founder and president of, and a recognized expert in internet marketing strategies within the Home & Garden vertical. An early adopter of ecommerce, Rob Cox started in the basement in 1995 as an informational website surrounding pool care and repair. $100M in sales later, is a category killer, with over 100,000 annual orders for 27,000 products for pools and outdoor living.

The other day I was doing my daily reading and I came across the following paragraph: “Analytics people who like to cull patterns from massive amounts of data like to aggregate rather than split data. In web analytics this means treating several pages as one unit in order to know about visits that saw one or more of a certain set of pages that the analyst thinks belong together. In WebTrends and other software this is done with “content grouping” and Google has no parallel to it.” Chris Grant, Got Analytics? blog


Content Grouping in Google Analytics

“Google has no parallel to it!!” I have to admit that I took this statement personally as

Summer 2010

Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks you need to think about before you start your implementation. Author Bio: As a Digital Marketing Associate Director for The Nature Conservancy, Amy Ganderson manages the Conservancy’s evergrowing social media networks. In addition, she manages the web analytics program, natural and paid search, and content licensing partnerships. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Amy worked in e-commerce for Discovery Communications. Amy received an MBA from The George Washington University and a B.S. from Cornell University. Analytics in a global multinational company is very different to accomplish successfully than in a small company with a one or very few sites. The work needs to be distributed to the correct teams and functions. Management can’t expect small teams of one or two people to do it all from tagging, QA, reporting building, reporting, analysis, and optimization. Tagging should be a Development function. Tag testing should be a QA function. Reporting should be done by formal report writers. Analysts should analyze the data to answer specific “business questions” based on pre-determined business goals. Site Optimization is a function unto itself that needs leadership to drive it across user experience, analytics, product, and marketing. One size does not fit all organizations. Best practices work until they don’t. Strategy works until it doesn’t. Doing Web Analytics well and successfully is a massive investment in people alignment, process creation, and the judicious application of a set of different technologies that reach across all functions. Companies that are successful with Web Analytics understand it’s complexityand difficulty. They are willing to make appropriate investments to become datadriven companies and, hopefully, analytical competitors. Page | 15

Now, as I like to say, the real analysis begins!

Author Bio: Allaedin is a technical web analyst in the Bay Area, California, an analytics blogger and a Google Analytics Evangelist. Through his blog and involvement with the analytics community, Allaedin has become recognized as an advocate and a technical reference for Google Analytics.


My number one suggestion of implementing a new web analytics system is to first sit down and scope out your strategic plan for analytics and your business objectives (if you haven’t done so already). A new tool like Google Analytics, Omniture, or Web Trends is there to help you understand how you can achieve those business goals. I feel like a lot of people rush into implementations thinking they just need to get a new system up and running - that’s the end result. That’s not the case for our organization. We spent a lot of time determining our business requirements and asked ourselves some tough questions - like what information do I need to do my job and hit my goals? what data will help me make decisions? Those are the questions


I’m currently in the middle of an Omniture implementation, so my tip will be on the implementation topic.

Summer 2010

Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks

Author Bio: Judah Phillips is an expert at using Let me show you by example what I mean: digital measurement to drive business strategy. 1. JetBlue’s Twitter page has 1,397,089 As Senior Director, Global Site Analytics at followers, and they link to their corporate Monster Worldwide, Judah is responsible for web site. Unless I’ve missed something generating actionable insights on user behavior there is no link from the website to from the web data for Monster’s global Twitter. Now, if I wasn’t curious as to properties (including whether they had a facebook page Prior to Monster, Judah was the Director of Web and googled it, I wouldn’t have known Analytics at RBI (Reed Business Information). about their Facebook page with 57,369 He is on the board of advisors for YieldBot, an fans, (facebook by the way, links to their advanced segmentation analytics and real-time website, two twitter pages, and their ad matching and targeting platform and holds flickr page.) And, if I hadn’t googled an MBA and an MS. jetblue youtube, I wouldn’t have known they have videos posted. I’ve been wondering lately about the concept of integrated 2. Rubbermaid’s Twitter page with 5,920 social media strategies for followers, links to their blog. On their blog businesses. there are links to their flickr, friendfeed, facebook and youtube profiles. But in There’s no mistaking it but some social media none of those places could I find a link to will work better for certain types of businesses their corporate website, where one would and industries than others. Some will excel with hope to find links to those respective the use of videos, and some with the written profiles. I looked on the “Contact Us” page word. Some will adopt the use of multiple social thinking maybe I would find something media— running the gamut of blogs, twitter, there. Rubbermaid’s Facebook page links linkedin, youtube, and facebook. to their website and blog. The homepage of the website only has a link to the blog. So here’s the question which has been plaguing me for a while: Who’s doing it well? I mean, 3. Duncan Donut’s Twitter page with who’s doing a good job tying them all together, 37,518 followers, links to their website. cross-linking and integrating them into a full The website doesn’t have any links to user experience. their social media profile pages. When I searched for a corporate blog, I found the I became even more curious yesterday after last post was published in July 2009. And reading a post, Which Twitter Strategy is Right what about their youtube channel with for You, by Rodger Johnson. The post describes 337, 566 views, how would anyone know the twitter strategies of six companies you may about that? have already heard about: JetBlue, Rubbermaid, Dunkin’ Donuts, Dell, Zappos, and Comcast. So, 4. Dell’s Twitter Page links to community with these key twitter players in mind, I thought tools, ideas, facebook, flickr, videos, I’d do a little experiment, and see whose blogs, as well as their website. Under doing what and how well are they linking all Community Tools on their website there their profiles and web sites together e.g. how are links to join the discussion, share your would a user know about all the profiles these ideas, read our blogs. The Blogs have links companies have? to youtube, flickr, facebook, linkedin, and twitter.


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Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks Care and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston included marketing project management, strategic planning, web information architecture and content management, and collateral design. Most recently, she has published personal essays and poetry, including essays in All that Matters, (The Paper Journey Press, 2006) and poetry in Survivors Review, an online literary publication. Debbie’s role at Weber Media Partners is as Social Media Manager, blog author and SEO writer. You can follow Debbie on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

5. Zappos Twitter page links to follow the ceo on twitter, and the ceo’s twitter page links to zappos website. The home page has two youtube videos embedded on the very bottom of the page, but no direct link to zappos youtube channel with their 42,944 views. It also doesn’t link to their facebook page, which has 23,226 fans. The facebook page links to follow our ceo, two company twitter pages, corporate website, zappos jobs, and youtube. Within the content of the wall there are links to the zappos running blog, but nowhere could I find a link to zappos corporate blog. On the blog there is a link to rss, subscribe to all blogs, but I wondered, how many are there? 6. Comcast’s Twitter page, ComcastCare’s with their 32,449 fans, links to their website, but there aren’t any links from the web site to twitter. Or links to their facebook page (not sure if there is one or not there was a search result for a group page), and no links to a clearly defined comcast youtube channel.

Measuring social media has some nuances not found with other media. When combined with traditional media social media can significantly improve the effectiveness across all media channels. Social media has long term value not found with other media. Social media drives both search and drives consumer engagement Of these six companies, Dell appears to be in such a way that there is short term value doing the best job in terms of cross-linking and long term value. Short term value can be all of their social media profiles from their measured based on the immediate engagement corporate website. Everyone seems to have a that takes place with the blog, the Facebook Long slightly different approach to where and how page or the branded community. they are linking. What’s up with not linking all term is driven by improved search. All those these pages from corporate websites? It makes conversations act as ‘link juice’ for the search me wonder if corporate websites have outlived engine algorithms. They drive activity, inbound their usefulness in terms of being the place links and a broader portfolio of search terms which points visitors to all relevant company that can be indexed. pages. Social media also drives long term value through What do you think? Is there a disconnect in increased engagement with the brand. If a linking social media profiles for businesses? consumer engages with a brand in a social What companies do you know of who are doing community that engagement drives positive brand awareness, consideration set and purchase it well? intent. It also drives higher levels of brand imagery Author Bio: Debbie has a unique combination by supporting particular aspects of the brand of web marketing and content creation attributes that make up a brand. All of these experience that span the last 15 years. Her roles aspects add up to delivering extraordinary results in organizations such as Harvard Pilgrim Health for a brand through the use of social media. Page | 17


Social Community Engagement Value

Summer 2010

Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks Focus on your forms

Author Bio: If you would like more information on this topic, please go to and review our list of available white papers ( Or if you would like feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @GuyPowell.


Nearly every website uses a form at some point in the conversion process, ut they are too often overlooked. Design signup forms and checkout pages to be as simple as possible. The leastintrusive and fewest-question forms are the top Wouldn’t it be great to be able to connect all performers. The more you ask of site visitors, your marketing activities to their impact on sales the less likely they are to provide information. revenue? Wouldn’t it be great to remove the guesswork from putting your marketing plans Test, revise, repeat! together? Over the last 20 years Guy R. Powell, based in Atlanta, GA, USA, has done just that in Sometimes minor adjustments can make a senior level sales & marketing across the globe major impact on site performance. By making both on the client and consulting sides. As part small changes - and testing the results each of his current consulting activities he has trained time - you can fine-tune each page to achieve and/or presented his findings and methods to the optimum results. The ability to observe thousands of marketers all across the globe. His visitor interactions with real-time behavioral recent book, Marketing Calculator: Measuring analytics provides near-instant feedback on site and managing your return on marketing adjustments to help you know when you’ve hit investment (http://www.Marketing-Calculator. the sweet spot with a particular feature - or com) illustrates how marketers can now prove when to pull the plug to stave off disaster. and improve their marketing effectiveness. Author Bio: Shmuli Goldberg is the Director of Also, information about his to be published Marketing and Communications at ClickTale, book on the ROI of Social Media can be found the industry leader in Customer Experience at Analytics. After watching countless hours of

Optimizing for Conversions

Based on extensive analysis of thousands of visitor browsing sessions across many multitudes of websites, there are some best practices that can be employed to help improve site performance: Give visitors what they want.

To create the optimum level of engagement and How to track unique visitors conversion, you must cater to your audience. in Web 2.0 Analytics Design the site in such a way that it serves your customer - not you. Ask yourself whether the site/page/form, etc. offers real value to your Paradise Analytics audience, why should they care and how useful In the ideal world, web analytics tools are it is to them. able to track unique visitors without occurring in data accuracy doubts. In this world, every customer has one site with a unique domain


user browsing sessions and dabbling with most web analytics solutions on the market, Shmuli has gained an uncanny insight into the world of web analytics and usability. London born and bred, Shmuli has studied in both the London School of Advertising and the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzlia. He now lives in Israel, where the ClickTale head

How many heads does a hydra have?

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Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks - if the visitor accepts the connection, a welcome message (a kind of “Welcome Visitor, you are signed in with your Facebook account”) will appear on the site; - all the most relevant data provided by the Facebook profile, as gender, day of birth, geolocation and so on, are collected in the web analytics tools in conjunction with the visitor’s behavior on the site;

( and the tracking tool is based on first party cookies, so that it can bypass the browsers’ security settings. In this scenario, the cookies used to track the unique visitors are written from the same domain that is tracked. The only elements that could affect/inflate the counting of unique visitors are the cookies deletion (by the users or by cleaning tools) and the usage of different browsers, different PCs or different devices by the same visitor. The hard truth

This integration offers the big opportunity to segment your offer based on the visitors’ By the way, unluckily the real world is more behaviour on the site and their own Facebook something like this: one site with several information (social-demographic data, domains (e.g. one domain for country) and thoughts, and so on). The Facebook visitor ID several sub-domains (e.g. for minisites). The is the only keystone that ensures that the cross biggest issue in this scenario is the impossibility browser and cross device tracking works right. to activate the first party cookies tracking. The worst case of the real world scenario is when a As you can imagine, the Facebook solution is in unique visitor browses and mysite. conflict with the user’s privacy, and this is why it during the same session using the PC on the this solution is the most talked-about. There’s morning, his mobile device on the afternoon a trade off between the greatest accuracy to and the iPad on the evening! Which are the identify the unique visitors and the privacy possible solutions in this complex world? Some that seems to be not granted. If this scenario customers are experiencing the Local Shared will take place, the web analytics world will Objects (LSO) commonly called flash cookies, in switching from an anonymous data collection order to track the visitor cross browser. The flash to a one-to-one data collection. cookie is written in your computer, and even if Author Bio: Moira Fascioli is a Senior Web you delete your browser’s cookies, you still are Analyst in BitBang (Bologna-Italy), BitBang is a recognized as the same visitor. Anyway there is company leader in Italy into web analytics and still an issue: Flash technology is not supported web marketing solutions from 2003. by the great majority of mobile devices.

Connected, RealBy the way, another solution is recently coming Time Data is the to the light: the Facebook solution, so the visitor that uses PC, iPad and Iphone to navigate either Future of Marketing and could be uniquely Analytics identified by the connection with his Facebook user’s profile. We are just testing this method Lyris provides customers with the tools to run right now and the following steps can give you and analyze connected, online marketing an idea of how it works: campaigns. And while the concept of integrated or connected marketing across - the visitor lands on the home page of mysite. multiple channels is nothing new, we strongly com and a popup appears to the visitor, asking advocate its importance, and have worked him if he wants to Connect the site with his with customers to provide the tools needed to Facebook account (typically rewarding some make this happen. As a connected marketing discount or special offers); Page | 19


Summer 2010

Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks

approach across web, email, social, mobile, search and SEO channels is best, the same holds true for the marketing analytics that measure success.

Author Bio: Blaine Mathieu is responsible for Lyris’ brand and product strategy, including driving marketing initiatives for the company’s Lyris HQ hosted integrated marketing suite and its award-winning ListManager email marketing To date, analytics have tended to be siloed and software product. Most recently, Mathieu was far from real-time. Marketers have had to work general manager and vice president of product with two types of data aimed at two different and marketing at Corel Corp. There, he was audiences: web analytics data for web analysts responsible for creating global marketing and but also discrete campaign data for marketers product strategies for a wide range of software like clickthroughs or open rates used to track products targeted at consumers, businesses campaigns. As an industry, we must work to and professionals. Mathieu also held a variety shift the customer mindset away from this siloed of senior management positions at companies approach that separates web analytics from such as Adobe Systems and Gartner Group. He discrete campaign analytics to one of broader received his MBA from Athabasca University in marketing analytics. This holistic marketing Canada in 1999, and his bachelor of commerce analytics approach, coupling campaign data degree from the University of Alberta in 1989. with web analytics data, measures the success of online campaigns from clickthrough to web Online Marketers: traffic to conversion and ultimately to revenues 3 Tips to Make generated. With this, marketers will better understanding how customers respond to online marketing efforts and the specific actions that lead to As a direct marketer, you’ve tested print and email, but have you used multivariate testing on conversions. your website? In a multivariate test, variations And as we free marketers from being data of your site’s content are presented to visitors, analysts by merging often-complex web and whose behavior is tracked to determine how campaign data into a complete, easily digestible each content variation affects your marketing view of marketing analytics, we must also do goals, such as conversions and registrations. so in real-time. Marketers need the ability to follow customers as they pass through the While multivariate testing is an effective and conversion funnel, capturing data and reports proven technique for optimizing a site, some as they happen. This type of tracking allows sites can be made easier to test than others. marketers to take corrective and optimizing Doing so will help you out-test, out-learn, and out-optimize your competitors. actions while the campaign is still “hot.” As marketers continue to embrace and Here are 3 top tips to prepare your site for implement a connected approach to online multivariate testing success, which represent campaigns, we can expect the future of analytics the fundamentals of making content testable: to be one of holistic marketing analytics in real-time for greater campaign visibility and optimized ROI.


Your Website More Testable

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Web Intelligence: Tips & Tricks Another important tip to keep in mind is to use fluid design wherever possible. Fluid design is a general approach where a site’s elements can be added, removed, or rearranged without interrupting or breaking the layout of the surrounding content. Besides being a good design principle that makes the site more accessible across varying screen sizes, fluid design makes multivariate testing much easier because you can determine which layout is most effective. The truth about layout is that different types of visitors scan content in different ways. For example, older visitors who grew up without computers may view a page’s sections in a different order than younger visitors who have been “wired” since birth. Similarly, behavioral differences exist based on gender, education level, and language spoken. By making it easy to adjust page layout through the use of fluid design, you’ll be able to test and optimize for the audience that is unique to your site. Summary Overall, you’ll want your website to be modular, flexible, and easily testable. These are the qualities that make a site usable for your visitors and will support thorough testing and optimization tow ards reaching your online marketing goals. Author Bio: Eric Hansen is the founder and CEO of SiteSpect, and the chief architect of the firm’s non-intrusive technology for multivariate testing, behavioral targeting and digital marketing optimization. Eric is a frequent speaker at conferences covering web analytics and optimization, and writes regularly on topics dealing with the intersection of marketing and technology.

1. Use cascading style sheets (CSS) CSS is a popular choice for web design consistency and standardization, and that’s great news for multivariate testing. Among other things, CSS centralizes sitewide styles such as text and headline specifications (font, style, color, size), page layout, and positioning of elements. So, when you make a CSS change, you change it in one place and the style is updated everywhere on the site. This makes it much easier to test multiple variations of site elements since you don’t have to wrestle with changes in multiple places. For example, a recent test for a B2B site revealed that by increasing the font size of copy by 20%, the time-per-visit increased by 21% and pageviews-per-visit increased by 18%. This test was highly fruitful, and because only one line of CSS was changed it was very easy to design and deploy. 2. Employ text-oriented navigation In the past, web designers often relied on images or Flash for navigation text elements, particularly for sites that were built before 2004-2005, since browser technology was such that CSS couldn’t be relied on for precise positioning or stylization of text and labels. Unfortunately, using images or Flash for navigation has the side effect of making it difficult to test alternate text labels — for example, to test “My Preferences” vs. “My Profile” vs. “My Settings.” Over the last few years, however, browsers have become much better at supporting most CSS standards, so there’s little reason anymore to rely on images or Flash for navigation. Text links are much easier to modify and control, and thus are much easier to test and optimize. 3. Apply fluid design

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Measurement - at the heart of mobile advertising

Mobile advertising is now becoming an integral part of many brands’ digital marketing strategy. It is now recognized by marketers as an effective platform to reach millions of customers worldwide and most importantly build customer engagement. At the heart of all this is mobile metrics, however measurement is the key area highlighted by the media, analysts, agencies and brands as the “black hole” in the mobile marketing mix today

Only this way they will be able to fine tune their mobile advertising proposition and the complete visitor experience and most importantly build customer engagement and maximize ROI.

Author Bio: Ray is Chief Executive of Bango, a leading provider of mobile payment and analytics products, which enables businesses to deliver and sell their products and services directly to mobile phone users on all networks world-wide. He co-founded Bango in 1999 after realizing that the convergence of the internet with the ubiquity of mobile phones could open up huge opportunities for content and service There is a widespread belief that mobile providers. campaigns are hard to measure with any Ray is an entrepreneur, innovator and investor accuracy and that mobile users are difficult to with over 20 years experience. He holds a track. Determining if mobile campaigns really 1st Class Degree in Computer Science from offer value for money is too much down to Cambridge University. He is a keen pilot and personal opinion over objective analysis. fashion photographer. This viewpoint, well formed or otherwise, is part of the explanation for why mobile marketing budgets are not growing more quickly. In a recent survey of over 100 brands, agencies and content providers carried out by Bango, the results were surprising – 27% admitted to not measuring their campaigns, with only 17% saying they use a mobile-specific analytics tool. For brands to succeed in building customer engagement, they need to realize the importance of measurement and using a mobile specific analytics tool. One which accurately provides: • Unique visitors count, not just visits • Which ad placements are delivering the best conversions and which ones aren’t • Tracks engagement levels, shows visitors paths and behavior • ROI across all ad campaigns and networks

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