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.

Washington DC office certified


All roads may lead to Rome -- Washington, DC these days -- but our path to the capital was circular.

washington dc maryland virginia google analyticsWe're pleased to announce that our partner Google Analytics has "certified" our Washington office and listed it among their Certified Partner locations, joining our Atlanta and New Mexico offices. In one sense, this is just a formality, as we've served Google Analytics clients from the DC office for years...hell, Empirical Path started in Dupont Circle in 2003, with one client in Georgetown.

That's why, in another sense, Google's certification means a lot to us: Jim and Peter hail from Virginia and Maryland, respectively, and Peter started his .com career at washingtonpost.com and Advertising.com. Our campaign measurement expert Daavi Zain is based in Rockville. We hosted a Web Analytics Wednesday in the District last year and will do so again. We led a volunteer Analysis Exchange project for a not-for-profit in DC as well.

And on the less warm-and-fuzzy side of the ledger, we want to build on our great history of direct and agency partner clients in Maryland, DC, and Virginia: media players like The New Republic, commercial businesses like 2U and EZShield, communications firms like Noral Group and Sage Communications, and of course government agencies, including Peace Corps, Health & Human Services, GSA, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

So we're proud to deepen our Google Analytics Certified Partner relationship, which has grown -- since we were chosen as the first GACP to co-present a webinar with Google -- to include Google Tag Manager certification and joint case studies on video measurement and split testing.

And if you're in Bethesda, Arlington, Germantown, or McLean and need your markets or marketing measured, please call Peter at 703-629-9929 or Jim at 202-656-0702. Or contact us via email to see if we can help.

Google features our split test


Angry Birds make for a happy split testing client (and happy software partner).

Once again, we teamed with our Partner Google Analytics to jointly publish a case study, "Kapitall uses Content Experiments to drive a 44% conversion increase." The two-pager recaps Empirical Path's success tracking usage of our financial services client's game-like user experience and optimizing its key landing page.  How?  By deploying Event tracking in Google Analytics and A/B testing entry pages with Google's new Content Experiments.

We're proud to deepen our Google Analytics Certified Partner relationship, which has grown -- since we were chosen as the first GACP to co-present a webinar with Google -- to include Google Tag Manager certification and a joint case study on video measurement.

And we're proud to jump on the Angry Birds bandwagon by proving that the video game's theme was the biggest driver of conversion, besting Mario, Space Invaders and Pac-Man themes. Read on...


Our New York client's goals were typical of service sector businesses:


Spreadsheets import, visualize & share web data

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Measurement is critical to making data-driven decisions, but web analytics and other data must be shared, visualized, and put in context to have the most impact in an organization. Google Analytics, for example, is a powerful tool with good “out of the box” tools to view your website data. But its reporting, charting, and collaboration features are relatively limited, so that your ability to factor in other data, identify findings, and convince others to take action is limited, as well.

Luckily, it’s easier than ever to import web analytics data into a tried-and-true tool for sharing, visualizing, comparing, and performing calculations on data: the spreadsheet. Tools such as Excellent Analytics, GA Data Grabber, and Nick Mihailovski's Google Apps Script automatically access the Google Analytics API to drop data into your Excel or Google spreadsheets, without manual exporting or pasting. Now functionality like the ReportBuilder tool we use with the premium Adobe SiteCatalyst powered by Omniture is available to users of free web analytics.

Once data is in Excel and Google Spreadsheets, all of the usual functionality is available to manipulate data to your heart’s content, compare it to goals and other metrics, and share it with colleagues. This means that all of the spreadsheet’s formulas and functions can be used to slice and dice the data, and pivot tables and charts can be used to customize reports and dashboards to communicate the meaning behind the data.  More customized output translates to more buy-in, better recommendations, and better data-driven decisions.

google analytics excel

Imagine you just launched a campaign to increase engagement on your website. It’s the second campaign in two months, and the third campaign since this month last year. You want some of your reports to specify the exact landing page URLs, but you want other reports to roll up the data.  You also want to update these reports in a heartbeat.

How would you do this with Google Analytics standard reports?  The short answer is – you can’t.  Google Analytics will provide you with trend lines, and you can even compare them to one prior time period.  But you can’t create one report of the data the way you need it.

But with a spreadsheet import tool, all of the analysis you need is possible, if you are willing to do a fair amount of setup.  Some examples:


Split testing boosts conversion rates

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As a marketer, you've probably taken the necessary steps to collect data about your website. Most likely, the web analytics solution you have in place gives you a solid understanding of your online audience, along with some key factors that lead to conversions on your website. That’s a great place to start, but are you leveraging those baseline analytics to test, target and truly optimize the offers, calls to action and processes on your site? 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.

Many companies begin by using free options like Google Analytics Content Experiments, then migrate to more robust paid tools like Optimizely or Visual Website Optimizer, which feature split testing and more sophisticated targeting functionality at an affordable price. Using these 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.

Testing in Action at Kapitall

google analytics content experiments case study

We recently helped an online brokerage boost its conversion rates by testing its website content. Kapitall’s gaming-style interface enlists traders to sign up for brokerage accounts, then use the site to trade stocks. Every incremental sign-up is key, so having a truly effective landing page is critical. We took these steps to choose the best:


Webinar to highlight new analytics features

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google analytics new featuresPerformance enhancing drugs have no place in marketing, but performance enhancing measurement can give marketers a legitimate edge on the competition.

That's why our Jim Snyder is presenting a webinar, "Google Analytics on Steroids - New Features: What You Need to Know," with one of our agency partners and clients, Seattle search engine marketing firm Point It.  Wednesday October 10 at 11 am PDT, Jim and Point It Director of Strategy Ian Mackie will teach attendees:

  • Powerful new features in Google Analytics and why that's important to you
  • How to get actionable, impactful, data out of Google Analytics
  • How to integrate data into Salesforce and other CRMs
  • How to use attribution modeling & remarketing in Google Analytics

UPDATE: please see slides and video here.

Interested?  Please register here. Want everyone to know? Join the Facebook Event.

Point It's press release lays out the agenda and why Jim is so qualified to guide viewers through it:


Google selects us to support new Google Tag Manager

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Empirical Path is excited to join the launch of Google's free tag management tool as one of the only Google Tag Manager partner companies.

UPDATE: here's how GTM now automatically tracks Google Analytics events such as exit links, form submissions, and time spent.

Businesses demand more sophisticated levels of tracking on websites and mobile apps, so tag management tools have gained popularity by offering a quicker and easier way to deliver on complex tagging requirements.  Google Tag Manager frees I.T. departments from the burden of managing complex analytics tags and let marketers quickly configure Google Analytics and other tags. Here's a 4-minute video as overview:

As Google Analytics told us during certification:

"Google Tag Manager is a free tool that consolidates your website tags with a single snippet of code and lets you manage everything from a web interface. You can add and update your own tags, with just a few clicks, whenever you want, without bugging the IT folks or rewriting site code. It gives marketers greater flexibility, and lets webmasters focus on other important tasks.

Key Benefits of Google Tag Manager

  • Run campaigns on your schedule, without being gated by I.T.
  • Adopt new marketing tools quickly
  • Have confidence in your data

Feature Highlights

  • Free
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Supports all Google and 3rd party tracking and marketing tags
  • Accurate and dependable data
  • Reliable and fast"

The certification process consisted of demonstrating an advanced understanding of Google Tag Manager by migrating a currently tagged sample site to being managed by GTM.  During the certification process, Empirical Path consultants found some specific capabilities that we know we'll use for clients:

  • Consolidate all of your tagging in one place
  • Set rules such as having a re-marketing tag fire on an "add to cart" action
  • Enable Google and non-Google marketing and measurement tags
  • Support multiple accounts, so agencies can manage several analytics and marketing campaigns in one place

Contact us today to talk about how we can help you simplify your website tagging.

Or learn how GTM now automatically tracks events like exit links, form submissions, and time spent with Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and other tools.

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