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.


"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:

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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.

Analytics audit evolves

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The times, they are a-changing, and so must our key services.

web-analytics-auditAfter delivering dozens of web analytics audits -- and having them cited as a best practice -- in the past three years, this service is evolving to keep pace with advances in the capabilities and complexity of Google Analytics, Webtrends, Coremetrics, and SiteCatalyst. We've also revamped the pricing for our most popular offering so that every client can be sure that fundamental website visitor behaviors are tracked accurately.

For instance, the Basic Audit ($3,000 for the free Google Analytics, $3,000 for premium tools) now includes a checkpoint once reserved for the Advanced Audit: "Ensure all social sharing tools, downloads, and exit links are tracked." Many not-for-profit clients -- the target for the Basic Audit -- rely on downloadable PDFs, so we now test their sites and reporting to make sure file downloads are recorded.

Social media plugins from AddThis, ShareThis, and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn et. al. allow clients of any size to encourage content sharing, and Google Analytics has a standard report dedicated to it. So we make sure this word-of-mouth marketing is captured so clients know how to get more of it.

The Basic Audit got another upgrade: Empirical Path will now "Confirm that conversion paths and confirmations are counted as funnels and goals for more detailed reporting." In the past, the Basic Audit excluded revenue-generating conversions, since the Advanced Audit addressed full-on ecommerce tracking. But those not ready for ecommerce measurement still want to know how often the cash register rings, and what traffic sources, landing pages, and geographies ring it.

Likewise, the Basic Audit now looks at exit links, which when tracked can be a poor man's cross-domain tracking, another checkpoint in the Advanced Audit. Even if a college, for example, is not ready to invest in cross-domain tracking to roll up all domains and de-duplicate visits that span domains, it wants to know at least when domain A sends a visit to domain B, and vice-versa.

Both tiers share the same deliverables: We "document audit findings and recommendations in writing, then review by phone for as long as needed" and "recommend improvements to dashboard layouts, summaries, sharing, and underlying reports." Contact us for a sample report to see the detail we provide.

So what's left in the Advanced Audit ($6,000 for the free Google Analytics$7,000 for premium tools), beyond validating revenue, product and item reporting, and cross-domain tracking that connects conversions on one site to campaigns on another? As before, we:

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HTTQ hosts "Track, Report & Optimize" talk

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web analytics presentationsUPDATE: please see the slides here; HTTQ is now ABQ Web Geeks.

Empirical Path founder Peter Howley will deliver a talk on how to "Track, Report & Optimize Your Web Creations" to HTTQ on May 1 at O'Niell's Pub, in Albuquerque's Nob Hill. Howley admits 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."

All HTTQ events are free, but space is limited. Sign up here!

HTTQ "is dedicated to supporting the growth of web professionals in the broader Albuquerque area.We strive to promote knowledge across all facets of web creation while embracing the open nature of the medium." Get more details at the HTTQ site.

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.

New Analytics features revealed

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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:
Read more...

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