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.

New Analytics features revealed


Performance 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 presented 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.

UPDATE: Point It hosted another webinar featuring Jim's walk through of Google Analytics' attribution modeling, Universal Analytics, and split testing in September.

Jim and Point It's Preston Parshall taught attendees:

  • Powerful new features in Google Analytics and why they're 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
Slides are available here. And please see the webinar recording below, where you can fast-forward to these specific topics:

Great year caps first decade


It's our tenth anniversary as a business -- and third as an LLC -- but please don't send tin or leather, the traditional presents.  The past year was gift enough.

experienced web analytics consultantThe firm more than doubled revenue and completed large web analytics engagements for new clients Dice.com, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and the General Services Administration. We delivered yet another market research project for one Fortune 100 client. We inaugurated mobile measurement for retail and insurance clients. And Empirical Path deepened its Google Analytics Certified Partner relationship by jointly publishing a case study on Content Experiments, certifying our DC office, and partnering on Google Tag Manager.

Empirical Path started in 2003 as a Washington, DC market research consultancy, and is now a team of experts in marketing measurement and split testing with offices, clients, and partners around the country and the world. In January 2010, we changed our legal structure from a sole proprietorship to a Limited Liability Company to enable a geographic and leadership expansion. We've achieved more in the past three years than the previous seven thanks to the addition of Jim Snyder to lead our web analytics practice. Jim cemented a partnership with Google Analytics that has made us to thought leaders and kept us on the cutting edge of the digital measurement field.

In the past 12 months, Empirical Path also:


Metrics key to integrated marketing

User Rating: / 5

No one wants dis-integrated marketing, so we were happy to help an agency partner make the case for integrated marketing at an event last August. integrated marketing analytics

Longtime agency partner McKee Wallwork & Company put on a two-day Integrated Marketing Symposium for its client The Dwyer Group, the parent company for seven service-based franchise companies, including Franchise Times Magazine "Top 200" awardee, Mr. Rooter. The agency's "Stalled, Stuck or Stale" blog explains integrated marketing:

"...the best way to develop and foster an ongoing relationship with a customer is through a seamless experience with the brand. Integrating tactics across the Four Ps and ensuring each stage of the customer life cycle is addressed are crucial to a brand’s success. Integration is possible – but not always easy to execute – because it requires consistency, continuity, perseverance and patience across the entire organization."

Consistency and perseverance are also critical to measuring marketing, so our presentation detailed a number of best practices for counting conversions, segmenting audiences, and sharing insights.


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

User Rating: / 4

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:


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