Category Archives: web analytics

Anthropologie ties search to analytics for $100k gain

Anthropologie ties search to analytics for a $100,000 gain in one month

A search marketing campaign with a strong analytics underlay increased sales by $100,000 in a single month at, the online arm of women?s apparel retailer Anthropologie. Anthropologie partnered with web analytics provider Coremetrics Inc. to create, manage and optimize the campaign, which also brought in an estimated 40% of customers who were new to the site. Anthropologie is a unit of Urban Outfitters Inc., which is No. 152 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Coremetrics and Anthropologie worked together to achieve those results, with Coremetrics focusing on search engines and key word optimization, while Anthropologie focused on customer experience, designing customized landing pages and creating exclusive merchandising sections which are not normally accessible to site visitors. Key to the campaign?s success was the ability to integrate paid search management with web analytics. Coremetrics Search Marketing leverages Coremetrics LIVE profile data, which stores all visitor interactions with a site in visitor-specific profiles.

The campaign?s success and the experiences gained by Anthropologie in connection with the campaign will allow the retailer, as planned, to bring search marketing campaign management in-house. ?Coremetrics worked closely with us, knowing that we wanted to eventually bring our paid search program in-house,” says Ranjana Sharma, Anthropologie?s director of e-commerce. Sharma adds that the experience has taught the retailer which metrics to evaluate in selecting keywords and bid price for paid search.

Anthropologie plans this year to quadruple its investment in search marketing and doubling the number of people managing the program, while continuing to use the Coremetrics Search application.

How would you explain web analytics?

By Jason Burby | February 13, 2007

On the Web Analytics Yahoo Group, an interesting topic came up recently: “How would you explain what is Web analytics to your 6 year old nephew?”

After thinking about it and reviewing a few responses, it got me thinking. First of all, why does a six year old care?

I called my five-year-old son (five and a half, if you ask him) into my office and gave it a try. Though I couldn’t get him to put down his Disney “Cars” toy he was playing with, I did get a few moments of his time. I pulled up a Web site dedicated to the “Cars” movie and took a stab at explaining it. I asked him if he thought it would be cool to know where all the kids clicked on the Web site, where they went, and what they looked at. And then based on what most people liked, we could make it easier for him (the potential customer) to find what he wanted. He said, “Yeah, I like the games that are on there.” Knowing that Disney wants kids to play the games, get excided about the “Cars” brand, and buy more DVDs, I tried to explain what Disney wants him to do. My little test was somewhat successful.

What I found was that five and six years olds don’t care at all. But marketers who often have about as much experience with Web analytics as a five year old do care. This is in no way an insult to marketing people; they typically know a ton about marketing, but analytics is something new. And they’re often very interested in how it can help their businesses. But too often, Web analytics is intimidating to a new person — understanding common definitions, the tool lingo, and so on. Web analytics really isn’t that hard to understand, we just make it that way. By “we,” I mean the entire Web analytics industry — including all the tool providers.

We make Web analytics far too complicated and tech-y. When talking with people in your organization, really simplify it. Highlight the most important thing: the value, what you can do with the insight to change your business.

The Web Analytics Association defines Web analytics as “the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage.”

Here are two posts I like from the discussion:

* Jim Sterne wrote, “Web analytics is one of the ways you measure how well your website is working. Like the speedometer on your car. That usually works on my wife’s friends, just before their eyes glaze over.”

* Lars Johansson added, “Here you go: ‘I’m the 007 of cyberspace. I’m on a mission to make life easier for the good guys (called converters) and turn the bad guys (called non-converters or abandoners) into good guys (converters).’ Now your nephew will think you’re really cool.”

Obviously, there’s no right or wrong answer on this one. It all depends on your message’s audience (just like your Web site). But to get people to understand it and get excited about it, you want to focus on:

* Make explanations simple.

* Tie the description to how it can help them be more successful with their jobs.

* Share examples of how it can be used.

* Avoid Web analytics terminology and the details.

* Focus on the action that can be taken from the data, not the data itself.

I ended up losing my laptop for a few hours once my oldest son found the games on the “Cars” Web site. I didn’t get him all that excited about Web analytics, but it reminded me of the importance of staying away from the industry techno-babble that all too often is shared and once again focusing on how the data and insight can be used to improve the overall business.

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Jason Burby is the director of Web analytics for ZAAZ, a Web business consultancy implementing data-driven business initiatives for long-term clients across the U.S. Using performance scorecards, A/B testing, tool reconfiguration and other techniques, Jason helps companies better use Web analytics datato improve site business results.

He’s worked with Washington Mutual, Wachovia, T-Mobile, Converse, Alaska Airlines, Microsoft, Sprint, Levi Strauss, Qwest and A&E Television Networks. Jason speaks frequently at conferences and seminars helping spread the word on the effective use of Web analytics. In addition he is the co-chair of the Metrics/KPI committee of the Web Analytics Association.

Tracking websites becomes more difficult

Here’s a link to a USA Today story about why tracking web ads and website traffic is changing. Because of new technologies like Ajax that have changed the way websites operate, site performance is becoming less about pageviews. Check out the full story.

New technologies make gauging Web ads’ effectiveness more difficult
By Anick Jesdanun, The Associated Press

Where is web analytics headed in 2007

Here’s an interesting ClickZ article about what’s in store for us this year in the world of web analytics…

Proto-Analytics for 2007

By Shane Atchison | January 11, 2007

It’s now the new year and after a week’s vacation, I found myself reading all my favorite Web analytics writers: Avinash Kaushik, Jason Burby, and Craig Danuloff. They all made their predictions for 2007, and I thought I’d share mine as well.

* It’s a tale of two software vendors, continued. In 2006, we conducted over 50 analytics software evaluations for Fortune 2000 companies. Along the way, we saw the emergence of two clear-cut leaders in the enterprise analytics market: Omniture and WebSideStory. I expect that trend to continue.

For Omniture, the Genesis release has provided a great platform for third-party integration. I expect the company to continue in this direction and to acquire other companies, thanks to its very successful 2006 IPO.

It looks like most of WebSideStory’s enterprise customers will be encouraged to migrate to Visual Science. The reason? WebSideStory purchased Visual Science, and Jim McIntryre, founder of Visual Science, is now CEO of WebSideStory.

* Google Analytics will be a significant dark-horse vendor. Nowadays, everyone has his eyes on Google, wondering what this new player will do with its massive resources. Yet it hasn’t realized its potential in the analytics software business. I have great hope that it will develop some key innovations through its investment and perhaps acquisition of other companies.

* Innovation will come from third parties. Look for increased third-party integration in existing software platforms. In addition, we should get much better tools for behavioral content targeting, search bid management, and site and campaign optimization.

* Marketing executives will embrace Web analytics. 2007 will be the year the vast majority of CMOs and other marketing managers drink the Web analytics Kool-Aid. They’ll write marketing plans, project forecasts, creative briefs, and everything else with Web analytics as part of the process.

* Marketing execs’ biggest issue will be human capital. Wanting something and getting it are two entirely different things. While marketing professionals will want to add analytics to all their processes, the human resources needed to make those changes will be hard to find. If you’re looking for a job this year, having “Web analyst” at the head of your résumé will be a very good thing. Still, I and others in the industry worry that inexperience and unrealistic expectations will cause a lot of disappointment in companies trying to adopt data-driven processes.

* Employees will be held accountable for analytics. Nonetheless, at the ground level analytics will play an increased role in performance reviews. If you’re working in the Web organization of a Fortune 2000 company, expect to see an analytics dashboard or scorecard as part of your bonus structure.

* Optimization will be the hottest trend. It’s hard to think of a more promising area in analytics than optimization. Look to technology vendors such as Offermatica and Kefta to lead this space. These companies are prime candidates for additional capital and possible acquisition by Web analytics software vendors.

* Education will be huge. With the rising interest in analytics will come the arrival of many new books and materials on the field, including one by my colleague (and fellow ClickZ columnist) Jason Burby and myself.

Finally, it may be more of a wish than a prediction, but I hope universities will begin to create curricula around analytics. If there are any academics out there interested, please e-mail me. We need your help.

Have any questions, comments, or predictions of your own? E-mail me. I’d be happy to hear from you.