Articles in the Advanced Analytics Techniques Category

November 26 2008

The top 15 things to test on your website

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It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about testing (which I love and encourage you to embrace with open arms as I have). I like to use Google Website Optimizer whenever I have an experiment to run, but you can use any program, such as Omniture Test & Target. As long as you are testing, you are “in the game” (and, if you are not testing, why not?).

I found an article within the Google Website Optimizer help section that I’d love to expand upon, called “The Top Five Elements to Test“. This help section article lists 15 specific elements, but it does not cite any examples, which I feel help visualize each point, even though some of them are very obvious. So, I have beefed up this very good list of possibilities below. Enjoy, and, seriously consider testing as many of these 15 things as you can:

1. Title -Short versus Long
Short: High-Quality Product
Long: High-Quality Product that will last for generations to come!

2. Title – Question versus Statement
Question: It’s 10 PM – Do you know where your kids are?
Statement: It’s 10 PM – Your kids are in bed.

3. Title – Formal versus Informal
Formal: Good Evening, Sir / Madam.
Informal: Yo, what up, dogg?

4. Title – Emphasizing selling point A versus B
Selling Point A: 100% Recycled Material!
Selling Point B: 100% Money Back Guarantee!

5. Image – Big versus Small
Big Image: Takes up half the screen
Small Image: 100 x 100 square in the upper-right corner of the page

6. Image – Photo versus Illustration
Photo: A nice, vibrant stock photo, or photo taken by a professional
Illustration: A nice, vibrant drawing, sketch, or animation created by a professional

7. Image – Customer versus Product
Customer: Happy customers, smiling and laughing on a warm sunny day
Product: Close-up picture of your awesome product against a smooth background

8. Layout – Long sales letter versus multi-column layout
Long Letter: A very long page outlining every possible detail and customer testimonial about your product
Multi-Column: A table with visible rows and columns displaying tidbits of information and statistics about your product

9. Layout – 3 page pitch versus one dense page
3-Page Pitch: Three pages, including the landing page, with “Click for More” or “Continue” buttons at the bottom
One Dense Page: All of the information contained in the three-page pitch on one single page

10. Selling Proposition – Quality versus Convenience
Quality: Made with 100% Imported Leather!
Convenience: Never buy another pair of boots again!

11. Selling Proposition – Features versus Service
Features: 256GB of Disk-Space!
Service: 24/7 Customer Support!

12. Selling Proposition – Make Money versus Save Money
Make Money: Make $100 for every friend that you refer!
Save Money: Save $100 on your next trade-in!

13. Conversion Incentives – Free Shipping versus Money Back Guarantee
Free Shipping: We offer Free Shipping to every city in the United States!
Money Back Guarantee: We will refund 100% of your money if you are not satisfied.

14. Conversion Incentives – List All Incentives versus None
All: List every possible incentive imaginable on Landing Page
None: Simply promote the product price, image, and / or availability on Landing Page

15. Conversion Incentives – Telephone Order conversion versus online form
Telephone: Call us at 1-800-555-1234 and get started today!
Online: Fill out our simple online form and get started today!

October 9 2008

Yahoo! Web Analytics has finally arrived!

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Yahoo! Web AnalyticsThe hottest news in the world of Web Analytics this week arrived on Wednesday the 8th, when Dennis Mortensen, the director of data insights at Yahoo, officially announced the release of Yahoo Web Analytics.

The web analytics community, and myself personally, have been waiting anxiously for this day, ever since Yahoo acquired IndexTools 5 months ago. IndexTools was always considered to be a great program for the price. In fact, a common slogan used by bloggers that referred to IndexTools was “…it’s 80% of WebTrends at 20% of the price.

So what is Yahoo! Web Analytics, and what can I do with it?

Yahoo! Web Analytics is a tag-based Web Analytics platform, like Google Analytics. However, that’s about as much as they share in common, barring some of the basic reporting features found in any analytics package. Yahoo! Web Analytics has worked really hard over the last 5 months to distance itself from Google Analytics, to claim its spot in the Web Analytics industry, and so far, it has been well received by almost everyone in the analytics community.

What are some of the benefits that Yahoo! Web Analytics offers?

Here are some of the goodies that Yahoo! Web Analytics offers:

1. It’s Free – In 2009, most every customer of Yahoo will be able to have access to Yahoo! Web Analytics (YWA). These include Sponsored Search marketers, Yahoo! Store owners, Small Business customers, and anyone else that is conducting some kind of online business with Yahoo.
2. Real-Time Reporting – YWA is going to provide up to the minute updates in its reporting interface, so you won’t have to wait a few hours or even a full day to see results. This will be great for Sponsored Search marketers, as you’ll be able to refine and optimize your efforts on the fly – and make intelligent decisions along the way.
3. Executive Dashboards – Fully customizable dashboards, where you will be able to create a separate dashboard for anyone within your organization.
4. Live Cost Analysis – This allows you to view Google, Yahoo, and MSN data, integrating it with the revenue that your website collects (Ecommerce).
5. Side-by-Side Comparative Reporting – This allows you to compare two different reports, one right along side the other.
6. Advanced Path Analysis – Drill, baby, drill! This report lets you drill down all the way to individual visit levels.

There are many more features outlined in the Yahoo Web Analytics features section.

My personal thoughts:

This is the best thing that has happened for the Web Analytics community in 2008, and into 2009. Everyone knows that I love Google Analytics, and that I even sometimes wear my Google Analytics T-Shirts in public (Oops…I wasn’t supposed to say that out loud…). Competition that YWA is going to provide against GA will only make BOTH platforms better over time. Each organization will likely try to one-up the other, introduce new reports or features that the other doesn’t have, and try their best to be the #1 “Free” Web Analytics platform out there. Ultimately, the true winners are you and I, the consumers. We’re going to get awesome reporting tools from both programs, and they are both going to improve and offer even more cool stuff over the course of time.

One feature that Yahoo Web Analytics will also provide users by default is data privacy. If this part of IndexTools has lived on in YWA, users will need to upload the necessary JavaScript file on their servers, meaning the data is never sent to a Yahoo server for processing. With GA you can do this, but the default option that is used by mostly everyone is having the JavaScript file reside on a Google server, meaning your data gets sent there for processing before you see it in your reports. This should be something very attractive for customers where privacy is a big concern.

Stay tuned folks – 2009 is going to be a great year for Web Analytics!

August 15 2008

Make Your Life Easier – Segment Stuff

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It’s a bit surprising to me how many folks do not make use of their segmenting / cross-segmenting options in their Web Analytics Packages. Some folks don’t even know or aren’t even aware of what it means or what it does. So for today’s blog post, I would like to explain what it is, and how you can make use of it.

Segmenting Options

What is Segmenting?
In Analytics, segmenting is basically viewing one particular set of data by another set of data. It allows you to “drill-down” or “dig deeper” on a particular page, traffic source, or keyword.

For example, let’s say I am looking at data from my Google.com Organic Traffic. I can see how many Visits, Pageviews, and so on that came from the Google.com Organic Search Results. The next thing that I think about is to discover what keywords from the Google Organic Search Result sent me the traffic. In whatever analytics program you use, you should have a “Segment” or “Drill-Down” option that will allow you to do this, either from a drop-down menu or a series of checkboxes and submit buttons. Then, you’d be able to see the keywords that brought you traffic from Google.com on one page.

This, like the title of this blog, “makes your life easier”, because you don’t have to open multiple report windows or spend a lot of time trying to find things in your analytics package of choice.

Can you give me some more examples of things that I can do with segmenting?

Yes. Here are some of our favorites here at MoreVisibility:

  1. Segmenting any Organic Traffic Source (Google Organic) by Keyword, to see which keywords brought traffic to your site,
  2. Segmenting any Organic Traffic Source (Google Organic) by Landing Page, to see what visitors saw upon arriving at your website,
  3. Segmenting any paid (Cost-Per-Click or CPC) Traffic Source by keyword or landing page,
  4. Segmenting any page (like the homepage) by Visitor Type (New or Returning), to see how each group of individuals behaves on the pages of a website,
  5. Segmenting a Landing Page (a CPC Landing Page) by Source, to see which initiatives were responsible for bringing in the traffic, and how each performed,
  6. Segmenting a Campaign by Ad Content or Ad Group, so that you can see how each individual Ad Group performed in a cost-per-click program,
  7. Segmenting a country in your Map Overlay or Geographical Areas report by Revenue (my favorite), so that you can see which states and cities brought in the most revenue,
  8. Segmenting Browser or Operating System by Screen Resolution or Screen Colors (our graphic design team loves doing this),
  9. Segmenting a Source by Hostname, to see what domains are collecting data on my account and which domains have tracking code on them
  10. Segmenting anything by the User-Defined value in Google Analytics (which is already custom segmentation – so this is double segmentation!)

If you are someone who has never really made use of segmenting before, you need to start doing so right away. It’s a very powerful feature, and arguably the most important feature of all of web analytics, and you can really dig deep and slice & dice data in countless ways. It also saves you a bundle of time – and makes you look good, too!

As far as custom segmentation goes, this is great if your web analytics package has it. Play around with it and make use of creating custom segments to make you look even better! 🙂

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