Archive for 2007
Earlier this week, I had a very interesting meeting with one of our clients. The client is in B2B and they offer a turn-key product/service. I was reviewing the monthly KPI report with the president of the company and one of metrics showed a significant improvement in conversion (it is a lead gen site). The goal we were tracking was to submit a request for more information.
So we were excited about the increase in conversion and the number of the leads the client is now getting. The increased in leads showed a solid trend, every month of last quarter and in October as well. Everyone is happy! Cost per lead is dropping down, the sales team is busy with leads, etc. We also looked deeper and traced the conversion to one referring site that we started to advertise on heavily few months ago. All is good and we are now thinking of increasing the ad spend on this one particular site.
Maybe not so quickly! One thing I learned from reading all the Web Analytics books and blogs is that you always want to question the data and verify data accuracy and assumptions quantitatively and qualitatively. We started by reviewing the stats from the referring site and they more or less matched up with the stats in our analytics tool.
We are now very close to celebrate, until we started to look at the actual lead submission data. The client was reluctant to give us access to the qualitative data (or maybe we didn’t articulate its importance as effectively as we should have). It turned out that in a 3-day period we had 13 leads (through our lead gen form) and 12 out of the 13 were not relevant at all, they were actually submissions from suppliers pitching their own services to our client! Unbelievable! If we had 100 visits generating this number of leads our effective conversion rate has now dropped from 13% to 1%!!!
So what is the actionable insight here? Improve the analytics process to include review on lead submission data (or a sample of it). We have since improved our KPI reporting and made it part of the process to verify the quality of the leads, and not just the number of leads. The good news is we have a very specific action plan to improve the conversion rate off this referring site and attract future quality leads. And the other piece of good news is that we have other campaigns are generating very good leads (so the client is still happy with us )
As our friend Avinash reminds us, it is not just about reporting or analysis, it is about data accuracy.
Yesterday I attended the Conversion University conference at Google here in Mountain View. Avinash had a couple of very informative sessions on creating a “data driven” culture in your organization (or your clients’ organization). I really recommend you get his book, Web Analytics – An Hour A Day, if you haven’t done so.
These sessions will soon be available on YouTube and the sessions from the previous Conversion University Day have been available for a while now. Even if you are not using Google Analytics, the sessions are still very applicable.
There were a number of very informative sessions on Adwords, Google Website Optimizer (GWO), GA Hacks , a number of case studies, as well as a review of the new features that will be rolled out soon in Google Analytics.
There were also a number of very friendly and helpful Google engineers and specialists that were around to answer questions from the audience in the breaks and in the lab time.
Many thanks to Brett, Jeff, and the others who put this event together.
PS. Lunch was excellent too!
You may find it useful to segment your Google Analytics data by medium at the profile level. Reasons for this include that there are quite a few reports where you cannot segment at all, and being interested in analyzing the behaviour of only one type of visitor such as organic or ppc visitors.
If this sort of segmentation strikes your curiosity, please follow these steps:
- In your Google Analytics account, click on “Filter Manager”.
- Click on “Add Filter”.
- Filter name can be something like “Data Filter – Organic”.
- Filter type is Custom Filter”, and the selected option must be “Include Filter”.
- The filter field will be “Campaign Medium”.
- Filter pattern can be any of the default mediums in Google Analytics, such as organic, cpc, and referral, or custom mediums such as banner, e-mail, and ppc.
- Case sensitive should be set to “No”.
- Do not apply these filters to any listed profiles.
- Hit “Save Changes”.
- Repeat steps 2-9 if you want to create any other medium segmentation filters.
- Go back to the main screen of your Google Analytics account.
- Click on “Add Website Profile”.
- Choose “Add a Profile for an existing domain”
- Select your domain from the dropdown (normally there should only be one).
- Give the profile a name like Organic, PPC, or Referral.
- Back on the main screen of your Google Analytics account, edit your old profile in one window and your new profile in another window.
- Copy and paste your profile information, goals, and user access settings from the old profile to the new profile.
- In the “Filters Applied to Profile” section of the new profile, click on “Add Filter”, then select “Apply existing Filter to Profile”.
- Select the appropriate new filter for this new profile and any IP address filters you might have already applied to your old profile, then click on “Add”.
- Hit “Finish” and your new medium segmentation profile is ready!
- Repeat steps 11 – 20 if you made several medium segmentation filters.
There is also a way to segment direct visitors at the profile level. Other interesting profiles include a PPC Keywords profile to help you generate negative keywords and an E-commerce keywords profile to match order numbers with traffic sources and keywords.
For information on any of these filters or any other Google Analytics topic, please contact us and we will make arrangements to help you.
This tip is for web developers, consultants, and also for webmasters that rely on other entities to provide content for their site. In my experience, getting quality & relevant content for the website you are working on is one of the most challenging tasks in the project cycle.
A friend and a partner of ours, Burns Smith, (who had a previous guest post on this blog), showed me an email he sent to a joint client of ours asking him for updates on content. I thought Burns’ note was very creative, funny, and effective. Check it out below (name of client was removed for privacy purposes):
Let me introduce myself: I am your new website www.domainname.com. However, I am very sad because I am content poor and do not have any pictures of the great products you build. I feel very naked and the other websites on the internet are making fun of me. Can you help me out?
I know articles are being published in two Magazines that will highlight your products. That will undoubtedly cause people to come view me. I am going to be very embarrassed for them to see me like this.
If you will just help me out then I promise I will make you money. I really do know how to entice internet door buyers to come see me but I need more content and images to be able to tell your story properly.
Burns, this was very creative!!!
I just returned from my Internet marketing and web analytics training session in Melbourne, Australia. The training session went very well (my user engagement metric was calculated as the number of trainees awake after a heavy lunch divided by total number of trainees ).
Seriously though, in the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) optimization session, one of the consultants asked about Adwords account structure for clients that have campaigns targeting different geographies/countries. It is best practice to set up a unique/separate campaign for each geography, even if you are using the same list of keywords.
For example, if you have a client in the hospitality industry and they want to drive traffic from the UK, Australia and Japan, one campaign per country should be created. You’ll then have control, at the campaign level, for each of the following attributes:
- daily click budget
- language preference
- ad serving and distribution options
- start and end date
Following the same example above, if we see high traffic potential and good conversion from the UK campaign, we can increase the daily spend for that specific campaign with one click. And while the UK campaign is performing well, we can examine the other campaigns that might not be performing as well and make the necessary adjustment.
Another benefit of having different campaigns for different geographies is that it will make your analytics and ROI measurement much easier.
I also recommend you use a campaign naming convention that relates to the content of the campaign. For example, AirportTransportation_UK and AirportTransportation_Japan are much more meaningful than Campaign#1 and Campaign#2.
Will have a more detailed post on campaign naming conventions sometime in the future.
If you are running PPC campaigns in Google Adwords and you are not taking advantage of the enhanced Adwords Editor, you are missing out big time!
The Adwords Editor is a free desktop application that you can download, import your Adwords account into, work on them offline, and then upload to Adwords when you are ready to take the changes live. The application might take some getting used to (especially for making changes <–> approving changes <–> sharing files with changes) but once you get the hang of it, you’ll love it.
Check out these top ten features and put them to use right away. You’ll save yourself a whole lot of time and effort and end up spending more time on analysis and campaign performance improvements than edits and updates.
Over the last three months or so, we have been providing the E-Nor consultant community with a two parallel training/educational series, a web analytics webinar series and a Business Edge webinar series. We have been alternating these series with one topic every other Friday.
The response has been very positive with tens of ICs attending these webinars. We are in the planning phase for the August and September schedule and welcome your input and suggestions on what specific topics you like us to cover. As a matter of fact, if there are other topics in our niche of Internet Marketing, Web Analytics, eCommerce, Business Edge, or large scale project and custom development implementation, we would be happy to look into it as well.
Leave us a comment with your questions and suggestions! Thanks!
Here is a cool tool to help advertisers see how their ads are shown on Google. Check it out at the following link; it is referred to by some as the “Ad Preview“.
I recommend you use this tool instead of you (or your colleague or clients) going on Google and searching for your ads. This way you don’t add unnecessary impressions to your keyword/ad performance.
Along the same lines, clients often ask why they can’t see their ads on Google. Here is a recent post on Google’s Inside Adwords blog that addresses this issue.
Hope you find this useful!
In a recent E-Nor analytics webinar I touched on the topic of landing pages. I interact with a fair amount of Internet marketing consultants and I see a lot of effort focused on driving traffic to websites and building custom landing pages. And I see efforts focused on enhancing landing pages (redesign, new marketing copy, different call to action, etc.) but little effort to measure and analyze key metrics on these landing pages.
What I recommend to site owners and consultants is to direct some of that energy from just driving traffic (and just focusing on cost per click and click through rates) to examining how users are engaging with the landing page.
Measuring and analyzing KPIs such as bounce rates and conversion rates, especially after a level of segmentation (based on visitor type, campaign, etc.) is done will yield amazing results. If you are not setting up goals on your site and not tracking conversions, now is the time to do so. A/B testing and multi-variate testing are also invaluable methods to find out what works best.
Would love to hear your comments on your experiences with landing page metrics and what worked for you and your clients. Thanks!
If you happen to be reviewing your Google Analytics reports and digging for some useful piece of data to help you improve your website’s visitor experience, you’ll definitely want to make use of the new features that were introduced today by the Google Analytics team. Check out the following post for more details http://analytics.blogspot.com/2007/06/you-asked-for-it-you-got-it-new.html and put these features to use.
One of the features that we found very useful for a B2B client of ours is the time-of-day conversion. You can review the hourly report and see the highest converting time of day and optimize your marketing spend based on these findings.