Archive for Web Analytics

Data Driven Internet Marketing: Measuring Equals Success

You cannot manage what you cannot measure…And what gets measured gets done.” Bill Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett Packard

This quote entails the essence of data driven Internet marketing. Do you know where your customers come from, how much the average customer spends or how often your customers come back? Powerful decisions can be made from looking at the answers to these few questions alone. You could target your marketing efforts to the places where most of your customers come from. You could try up-selling techniques to improve your average profit per sale. You could give your most loyal customers tools to spread your message via word of mouth to their friends.

Wal-Mart keeps track of the number of items per hour each of its checkout clerks scans at every cash register, at every store, for every shift as a means of measuring their productivity. These obsessive data gathering habits are at the heart of Wal-Mart’s strategy. A small business cannot afford to ignore the importance of marketing accountability and measuring success.

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How Web Analytics Will Help Your Website Grow

An excerpt from Web Analytics:An Hour A Day by Avinash Kaushik:

Imagine walking into and out of a supermarket. If you did not purchase anything, the supermarket managers probably didn’t even know you were there. If you purchased something, the supermarket knows something was sold but that’s about it.

Visiting a website is a radically different proposition if you look from the lens of data collection. During the visit to a website, you leave behind a significant amount of data, weather you buy something or not.

The website knows every “aisle” you walked down, everything you touched, how long you stayed reading each “label,” everything you put into your cart and then discarded, and lots lots more. If you do end up buying, the site manager knows where you live, where you came to the website from, which promotion you are responding to, how many times you have bought before, and so on. If you simply visited and left the website, it still knows everything you did and in the exact order did it.

With this kind of information, imagine the kind of improvements you could make over time to help your website grow.

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Page Views, Hits & Visitors in Measuring Traffic

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the data the Google Analytics provides. Here’s a look at three units to measure – hits, pages views and visitors.

A “hit” DOES NOT actually refer to the number of times a user visits and/or clicks on a Web page. A “hit” refers to the user request for a Web Page “hitting” the web site’s server. Thus, you could have multiple “hits” to the server but only one view of the Web page. For example, if you have a page with 10 pictures, then a request to a server to view that page generates 11 hits (10 for the pictures, and one for the html file).  A page view can contain hundreds of hits.

A page view is each time a visitor views a webpage on your site, irrespective of how many hits are generated.

A visitor counted only once in a specific time frame. So if someone visits the site today and tomorrow, they’re are counted as 1 unique visitor and 2 page views.

Google Analytics Blog does a good job of describing how to measure visitors accurately on Google Analytics.

The ultimate goal is to measure quality. One way to measure the quality of a site is a low bounce-rate or the visitors who move onto another site immediately after visiting your site. What does a high bounce rate tell you? Avinash Kaushik defines it as, “I came, I puked, I left.” So in other words a high bounce rate isn’t good.

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Keywords Determine a Customer’s Stage in the Buying Process

The key to a successful PPC campaign is determining the keywords/phrases that your target audience will search for to find you.

The first step is creating a “keyword universe”

  1. Think about what words your customers use when referring to your product/service.
  2. Use a keyword tool to get a list using those initial keyword ideas. Google’s keyword tool and the SEObook keyword tool work great.
  3. You can also have Google go through your site and come up with more ideas.
  4. With that list expand it with common misspellings, plurals and abbreviations.

Now, all of these different keywords can be used by customers at different stages of their buying cycle. With some analysis you can understand to a degree what the customer’s motivation may be.

Learning Stage: the customer is gathering information. They use broad keywords like TV.

Shopping Stage: the customer is comparing products, brands and features.They use a little bit more refined keywords like Plasma TV or High Definition TV.

Buying Stage: the customer is ready to buy. They will use exact keywords of model numbers like Sony BRAVIA 46″ 1080p HDTV.

Is this strategy fool proof? No. But utilizing your web analytics to measure the success of certain keywords will allow you to see those keywords that are catching people too early in the buying process. If a lot of people are bouncing quickly, they may be too early in the buying process.

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