Archive for January, 2010

Jan 25

You probably have seen the earlier post on the Google Analytics Workshop that Dr. Brian Clifton and I are holding at SMX West on March 5, here in Santa Clara. The early registration ends this Saturday, so if you are planning on attending the workshop, take advantage of the 10% discount and sign up by this Saturday 1/30/2010, the discount code is GA@SMX.

In addition to the GA workshop, I’ll be speaking at the Conversion Ninja Toolbox – A Review of Tools & Technologies session on Thursday March 4, 2:45-3:45pm. Stop by and say hi! I’m certain you’ll pick up a tip or two on improving conversation rates, sales & profits. The session will also cover ideas on what to test and practical information on available tools and technologies.

The session will be moderated by Chris Sherman, the Executive Editor of Search Engine Land and the co-panelists are:

  • Tim Ash, CEO,
  • Patrick Bennett, Co-Founder, BLVD Status
  • Nicholas Ward, Product Manager, Range Online Media
  • Feras Alhlou, President,

I’ll be focusing on the Google Website Optimizer (GWO) and how website owners should use A/B and Multivariate testing to find site bottlenecks and improve the performance of marketing campaigns by adopting a testing methodology. I am hoping that your takeaways will include:

  1. Benefits of Testing and Google Website Optimizer – Free but powerful!
  2. Features – what should you test?
  3. Advanced Testing Strategies with GWO
  4. Testing Best Practices
  5. Sample Reports & Results

I look forward to seeing you at SMX West. Meanwhile, if you have a question, a comment or a suggestion, feel free to leave a comment or email me at feras

I am speaking at SMX West


Related Post:

Jan 13

I tuned in to the HubSpot webinar a couple weeks ago, which was called “The Science of Social Media Marketing.” It was one of the first webinars on Social Media that I attended that I actually learned from. Usually webinars about social media introduce the different funnels of micro-blogging, which is something many of us already know. What I’d like to know is how to USE these funnels to benefit my clients! ConnectionsDan Zarrella from HubSpot gave some excellent tips on how to use micro-blogging to engage your audience.

When I look at popular blog posts, videos, and tweets, I often wonder, “How in the world did this spread virally?” when it isn’t particularly good or even entertaining. Dan described it perfectly in saying that news spreads simply because of “contagiousness.” It has nothing to do with whether a video is good or not. People seem to be more attracted to posts that have many views; it seems to add credibility that many people have seen this post. The problem here is how do we get our social media content to reach a viral popularity?

Pressures of Micro-Blogging

The pressures of micro-blogging are much different today than they were even a few years ago. The problem with micro-blogging before was there was a limited amount of people that you could reach. Seeing as nowadays the amount of people you can reach is not an issue because of sites such as Twitter, and MySpace, where you can add people who are in your field, and in most cases they’ll add you because of your connection through the field. A new problem has occurred though, there is so much information that is being thrown at us daily, how do we make our content grab the user’s attention. That is the new issue arising with micro-blogging.

The way to grab a user’s attention is through finding a person in your field who has the power over influencing a large amount of his followers. Once you find this influencer, as Dan calls it, your next step is to make people aware. When you post your information, make sure your influencer reposts it. In terms of Twitter, post your information as a retweet so that it is simply passed on exactly as you posted it. A good tip is that you shouldn’t post very often; many people think to get a lot of people interested post as much information as possible. The problem with doing that is people will start to get frustrated with seeing multiple tweets and posts that it will get ignored or they will stop following you. So when you post information, make sure it’s relevant and don’t bombard your followers with updates.

Benefits of Social Media

Many traditional companies seem to shy away from social media; they fail to see the benefit. But what they don’t realize is that their competitors are one step ahead of them. Just being involved in the conversation about your company that is happening in the social universe is beneficial for you in itself. Having a Facebook fan page, or a Twitter, and the conversation in those spaces or directly on your page (through posts and updates) can help you identify problems that you may not have known were there otherwise. Through your pages you can instantly address problems. For example, If you are getting negative publicity, the more time you allow without addressing such issues can make your company seem stale or irrelevant. Your social media outlet will be the perfect place to catch these problems quick.

Having a presence in these spaces can also enhance your marketing efforts in ways you may not have thought of – announce sales, promotions, and posting live information as soon as they occur.

So, go out there find your influencers; stay connected, and don’t forget your calls to action!

Quick Tips:

  • Stay active on your social media funnels, check your profile, and keep up with your followers inquiries
  • Keep it personal; after all social media is about a human interaction with a company, not just a logo! For example, share pictures from your office, store or warehouse.
  • Use URL shortening tools for Twitter, since you are only limited to 140 characters.
  • Try to participate in conversations about your company where it makes sense.
  • Don’t forget to comment, retweet, and respond to tweets because this will build a community around your brand!

Related Links:

  1. Dan Zarrella’s Twitter: – Very useful tweets! :)
  2. – Article about how to use social media for a small/local businesses
  3. Follow E-Nor on Twitter! —

Jan 11

It’s that time of the year to review 2009: “Top 5 Google Analytics Posts in 2009″! We want to thank our blog readers for their time, input and comments and we look forward to offering you more useful tips in 2010 and additional methods and strategies to leverage Google Analytics and take your marketing optimization efforts to the max. This post lists the top viewed Google Analytics blog posts, as well as a couple of bonus points related to measuring blogs.

Let’s get started!

  1. Content Grouping in Google Analytics: this is our top viewed post in 2009. Marketers loved it and techies loved it too :) , it showed you the what and the how. This very handy method allows you to categorize pages into groups of related content and collect these pages together and treat them as a single entity (for further analysis as a group). For example, if you have an online store with women and men clothing categories, you can use this technique to group the women pages as one “content group” and the men pages as another “content group” and then, as Avinash mentioned in his comment on this post, “content grouping can really help make a complex site much easier to understand from a macro perspective”. You can also, apply the same content grouping concept to brand pages, or to a groups of landing pages.
  2. Monetize your SEO effort by Leveraging Google Analytics: this was one of my posts and it had to be marketing & analysis focused, since I am not the javascript guy :) . If you are running a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program, you’d want to take a few minutes and read this post, if you haven’t already. The post uses a case study and real numbers to help you answer questions on how ranking, or lack thereof, impact the bottom line, and help you get decision makers to act and get the most out of your SEO program.
  3. Tracking Press Releases in Google Analytics: again, another method to enhance your measurement system and get a better sense of how your marketing initiatives are performing. Granted Press Releases fall under the “branding/awareness” marketing category, and we don’t just measure branding/awareness by immediate visits/outcomes, it’s still nice to have performance data for each press release. Check out this method, some coding is involved, but the implementation is detailed for you.
  4. The Cost of Misinformation: a popular post addressing the mis-information (by some fee-based web analytics vendors) about Google Analytics. In additional to the advanced capabilities and enterprise-level features that Google Analytics has been introducing, this post highlighted Google’s innovative, open and global eco-system for support, training and consulting, available around the globe by some of the brightest in the industry.
  5. Problems with Bounce Rates: this post was an answer to a lot of questions we get on how to correctly read and analyze one of the most useful metrics, the bounce rate. Hint: look at your top landing pages report.

And some from 2008!
And since we are talking about top posts, here are three posts that were published in 2008 but continue to be very popular, check them out and put them to use!

And another bonus – E-Nor’s Guest Posts on the official Google Analytics Blog

In addition to the top posts on the E-Nor site, here are few posts that were well received (based on the limited qualitative data we have) on the GA blog:

A couple of notes on measuring blogs and posts

Note #1- Normalize your data

If you really want to measure the most popular post in a year, the aggregate data might not tell the entire story. A post that was published in January will have a whole lot more time to get traffic/visits/comments/feed subscriptions/retweets than a blog that is published in December. This reminds me of what Malcolm Gladwell describes in his book “Outliers – The Story of Success” and how Canadian hockey players born early in the year all have a huge advantage and how this advantage compounded over time (he showed the stats and the numbers to back up his findings). So if you truly want to compare how each post did, you might want to normalize the data, add a weighing factor to compensate for the sequence of the month in the year, or simply measure stats for each post in X weeks after it has been posted.

Additionally, and for the visually inclined, you can use a Google Analytics’ Motion Chart to “play” the graph over time and watch how each post did and compare the various metrics concurrently over the span of the year.


For example, the chart above represents a number of blog posts (from the GA Top Content report) along with few metrics. The x-axis represents pageviews; y-axis: average time on site; size of the bubble represents $index, and each color represents a specific post.

You see how the blog post represented in dark blue behaved differently than the post represented in lighter blue. For example, you see a “big bubble” on the right hand side of the graph, ~550 unique pageviews with a relatively larger $index value, both are positive outcomes compared to other posts. One can then do a bit more digging and find out what led to this positive result and repeat it!

Note #2: Blog Engagement Metrics

When it comes to blogs, you don’t just want to measure visits & pageviews (that is so 2009! :) ), you want to have more meaningful metrics. Who cares if you are pumping out posts like there is no tomorrow and no one is engaged. I’d look for things like feed subscriber rates, comments per post, words per comment, posts per blogger, among other things.

Here are a couple of snapshots from two bloggers that are active authors on the E-Nor blog, you’ll notice completely different patterns and user interaction.

A couple of observations

  • Blogger A is more active in blogging 1.2 posts per month compared with 0.6 per month for Blogger B
  • Blogger A gets fewer comments, 0.8 per post while Blogger B gets 8.4 per post
  • One conclusion is that while Blogger A can write, his posts are not as engaging (ouch!) but Blogger B has a knack for getting people’s attention and input. Both bloggers can learn from this quick analysis and improve their posts in 2010 (Blogger A do something to get your audience attention, and Blogger B, charm us with more posts).

I hope you have found our 2009 posts useful! We’d love to hear from you for ideas, issues, questions and areas you like us to address in 2010. Leave us a comment below or email us directly at info @

Related Posts

Jan 06

Seminar Announcement: “Using Google Analytics to Improve Your Online Marketing & Business” 1-day Google Analytics seminar hosted by Dr. Brian Clifton and I on March 5, 2010 in Santa Clara, CA. The workshop is conducted in cooperation with Search Marketing Expo SMX West.

You don’t want to miss out on SMX or this seminar and the opportunity to meet and learn from Brian. The Search Marketing Expo – SMX West conference features 50+ sessions on the latest search and social media topics. Check out the full agenda, and sign up for the conference and for the Google Analytics Seminar.

For those of you that don’t know Brian, he is an internationally recognized Web Analytics expert who consults on website performance optimization for global clients. He is the author of the best selling book, Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics (if you haven’t read it, you should :) ).

You can view the seminar details on the SMX West site and register online as well. Brian and I will be covering both strategic as well as tactical aspects of Google Analytics. CMOs, marketers, business owners, IT managers and staff would benefit from this seminar.

All the material will be provided to the seminar attendees. Also Brian and I will have a number of “on-the-fly” site audits during the seminar. Bring your toughest technical implementation and marketing questions and you’ll get expert answers. Here are the registration options:

Registration Options Now to
Jan. 30
Jan. 31 to
Mar. 1
On site
When Purchased with SMX West
(SMX West tickets additional)
$700 $800 $900
When Purchased Separately $795 $895 $995

If you are still undecided, check out the testimonials from previous Google Analytics Workshop attendees.

Brian and I look forward to seeing you at SMX! Feel free to contact us, email, call or leave a comment if you have any questions about the seminar.

Update, 1/7/2010 - we now have a 10% discount when you use the following promo code: GA@SMX.  Note that the code is case sensitive. 10% discount on All Access, Workshop Only and All Access + Workshop Passes. One more reason to attend!

Update, 2/7/2010 - due to unforeseen circumstances, Dr. Brian Clifton will not be attending the Google Analytics workshop @ SMX. Feras will be conducting the workshop according to the already published agenda, for both the morning and the afternoon sessions.

I am speaking at SMX West