Empirical Blog

Empirical Blog is our roughly weekly take on web analytics, market research, and online marketing, plus interesting nuggets from our alliance partners and past, current, and future clients. Subscribe here.

Demographics coming soon to Google Analytics

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google analytics demographic reports

I’m 35-44, Male, my Interests include Pro Football, and soon you will know that when I visit your website.

Google Analytics announced Audience Reporting at the Certified Partner Summit that Jim and I just attended, in my mind the most intriguing of the new features and integrations with other Google products. Audience Reporting – when available -- will leverage DoubleClick cookie data to report age, gender, and interests in the aggregate and as dimensions that enable segmentation analysis…but only for some sites that use GA.

I say “some,” because these new dimensions are pulled from Google unit Doubleclick’s inference about its cookies’ owners. GA can only borrow -- anonymously and in aggregate -- this DoubleClick data when it can read that cookie, which requires a change to most sites’ GA Tracking Code. We can help, the change can be simple in Google Tag Manager, and here is some additional background:


We're Mixpanel "consultants who get it"


Our newest partner has a mission we can get behind: "...to help the world learn from their data."

mixpanel consultantEmpirical Path is excited to announce a partnership with mobile and web analytics platform Mixpanel. More than 1,000 businesses use Mixpanel to analyze 12+ billion actions every month to understand how their combined 225 million customers use their products.

Mixpanel sets itself apart from other analytics tools by focusing on tracking funnels composed of actions rather than pageviews, and individuals rather than aggregates. Mixpanel’s interface is easy to use, and simplifies segmenting your data to generate useful reports.

Key features of Mixpanel include:

  • Real Time Data - No more waiting for updated data; all data in Mixpanel is real-time.
  • Advanced Querying - Mixpanel’s customized approach to analytics allows you to ask any question of your data.
  • Conversion Experiments - Identify where you are losing conversions, and run experiments to find a solution.
  • Customer Retention - Track and measure user engagement.
  • User Analysis - Learn about your users and how they interact with your site.
  • Notifications - Keep your users up to date and keep them coming back through scheduled or push notifications.

Three Empirical Path consultants completed training in Mixpanel and learned the ins and outs of implementing, customizing, and interpreting the tool. Now we are among a small group of "consultants who get it" and the only such firm in the Washington DC and Atlanta regions; in CEO Geddes Munson's words:


Attribution, testing to be featured in webinar


Our web analytics practice lead Jim Snyder will be featured in another webinar with one of our agency partners and clients, Seattle search engine marketing firm Point It (and we're trying out Facebook's new Embedded Posts to tell you about it). Click here to see the previous webinar in this series.

UPDATE: please see below for video and slides for each of the three topics covered:

"Track, Report & Optimize" presentation up

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Empirical Path founder Peter Howley delivered a talk on how to "Track, Report & Optimize Your Web Creations" to HTTQ (now ABQ Web Geeks) on May 1. Howley admitted to being one of the "green-eyeshade-wearing bean-counters" in the summary below:

"You create a cool web experience using cutting-edge tools and techniques.  Then some green-eyeshade-wearing bean-counter — who admittedly paid for it — inevitably wants to know if anyone’s using your site/app/feature, and how it can do more for his bottom line.  That’s where web analytics and conversion optimization come in.  Peter Howley from the ABQ office of Google Analytics Certified Partner Empirical Path will present techniques to track visitor interactions with rich user experiences that don’t follow the traditional URL-to-URL path. He’ll review how to roll up, segment, and deliver that tracking as reports that a marketer and accountant can understand.  And he’ll show techniques to get more widgets/signups/donations/shares from key pages on sites and apps via split testing."

The presentation detailed how to improve digital properties and communicate results by:

Please contact us to learn more about Google Analytics and other web analytics and split testing tools.  And see our other speeches and webinars here and here.


Web analytics boosts power of CRM

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We've long beat the drum to encourage the best practice of tracking online and offline marketing campaigns and other traffic sources in detail, to prove which channels, creative and placements “ring the cash register.” But what if conversions in your business model take place weeks or months later, or offline by phone or in person?

web analytics crm integrationEven if you are religiously tracking website visitor behavior with web analytics, and tracking leads in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system like Salesforce.com, neither source tells you out of the box which campaigns and landing and offer pages brought your sales team the leads that later closed. They represent two separate sets of data, but when combined, they provide valuable information about individual customers. By configuring Google Analytics to integrate with your CRM, you can tie key web analytics dimensions to downstream revenue, right in your CRM.

Case in point: we just taught a top-ranked business school how serious applicants -- as opposed to “tire-kickers” -- find and use its website. We customized JavaScript to integrate Google Analytics into Salesforce.com so that traffic source, content consumption, and other data is passed to CRM along with form submissions. This enabled the university to see the quality of prospective students referred by various websites, and to differentiate among paid and organic keywords searched at the “top of the funnel” vs. at the bottom. With this information, marketers now have the ability to focus on the traffic sources, keywords, and website pages that drive the most valuable potential applicants, resulting in additional student enrollments and more efficient use of admissions staff time

Likewise, we recently helped a national restaurant chain -- which derives a healthy percentage of its revenues from wedding receptions and parties -- understand how meeting planners research their locations. By integrating Google Analytics with the restaurant’s Salesforce.com dataset, we linked the “first-click” and “last-click” traffic source to each lead record to understand the role of other websites in attracting the most valuable prospects. For the first time, catering management was able to see that both Urban Spoon and Open Table play an important role in directing customers to the website. By understanding how to attract more of these prospective customers, the business now has the ability to quickly translate this newfound knowledge into millions of dollars in revenues.

In both cases, we helped our clients answer targeted, specific questions about the website usage of the best customers and leads. Customizing Google Analytics to capture and send information to Salesforce.com or any other CRM can provide valuable insight into data such as:


Optimizely added to split test toolbox

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Empirical Path has gone Platinum! Now we can save you some gold while tuning your website.

optimizely split testingWe are proud to be a Platinum-level partner with Optimizely, the leading A/B and multivariate testing platform in the world. To celebrate, this month we’re offering 50% off split testing software fees with our flat-fee Conversion Optimization services.

In addition to these savings and our testing expertise, our clients now have access to features and support not available in other Optimizely plans: Multi-page funnel testing, Multivariate testing, Mobile website testing, Geotargeting, and Optimizely’s Optimization consultants.

Why split test? As our Jim Snyder wrote recently:

“Do you know exactly which combination of elements actually converts visitors to take the desired action? If not, you’re not alone. Most marketers want to do more than simply capture better data; they want to test the content of their landing pages and then optimize it by targeting visitors with messages and options that will convert them to inquire, purchase, or sign up for more information. Using … more advanced tools, many marketers have seen remarkable increases in conversion rates, whether they measure success by the number of orders, registrations, and leads, or by content consumption.”

Why Optimizely? We also work with the free Google Content Experiments (see Google’s case study on our work here) and the premium Webtrends Optimize, so Optimizely fits right in between as an affordable but full-featured solution. More than 2,800 enterprises have adopted Optimizely including Starbucks, Disney, and Salesforce. According to “The Forrester Wave™: Online Testing Platforms, Q1 2013”:

“Webtrends maintains its position as a Strong Performer this year with highly robust testing capabilities. …Optimizely [is] a breath of fresh air in the online testing platform market. …Optimizely maintains a laser focus on reducing the complexity of online testing for businesses of all sizes. … Optimizely [is] most notable for their commitment to application usability and deserve[s] credit for bringing legitimate innovation to online testing user interface design."

Click here to learn more about our fixed-fee Conversion Optimization services. Or contact us in April to get half off your Optimizely fees.

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