Sunday, November 30, 2008

Web Analytics Tools to Measure Online Business Performance

Web analytics is the study of online behaviour of visitors.

To know how successful is a website, web analytics tools are highly important. Only when you understand 'how your visitors interact with your website you can measure your online business performance.

For every online business there should be some actions they expect visitors to take to sustain and excellence. These actions could be mere clicks to the website, filling in online forms or purchasing products.

There are two types of web analytics tools available in the market. They are log file analysis softwares and page tagging tools. Irrespective of which type of web analytics tools you choose, you can measure your websites performance using the following e-metrics.

E-Metrics:

1) Visits
2) Unique visits
3) Pages/Visit
4) Avg. time on site
5) Bounce rate
6) Exit rate
7) Country, city
8) Keywords
9) Sources
10) Navigation path
11) Entrance path

Here are few steps to measure your websites performance:

1) Track all the pages that Visitors tread while moving towards the penultimate conversion pages.

2)Identify your checkout conversion page and observe the navigational path taken by your customers.Compare the actual conversions naviflow with the above stated step.Through this we can ascertain the successful path that lead to conversions.

3)Now you would be having the figures of "how many visitors moved to the penultimate conversion page and how many got converted into customers.

Segregate the visitors moved to just the penultimate sales conversion process and exited as group I. Segregate the visitors who completed the conversion process as group II.

Analyze group I to identify the stumbling blocks. Pick up each every page pursued by the visitors. Start your analysis using the following KPIs viz. bounce rate, exit rate, keywords, sources, navigational path, entrance path etc.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Review of ClickTracks Logfile Analyzer Tool

ClickTracks is a good log file analyser tool that comes at an affordable cost. Below are the four major valuable reports ClickTracks can render..

1) Navigation report.
2) Search Report.
3) Site Overview report.
4) Visitor labelling.

1)Navigation report

Navigation report contains three parts. They are website view, page analysis & path view.

The website view allows you to navigate to any page just like you type websites in your browser.Website view displays information on how frequently visitors click on each link.















The page analysis frame displays further information about the page currently displayed in the website view.The page analysis frame presents further information related to the current page in the website view.Below are the metrics displayed in the page analysis frame.























1.Visitors that see the page
Here we can see the total number of visitors that saw the currently displayed page.Of all visits to your website, this shows the percentage that viewed this page. Please note that a single visitor will not be counted more than once if they hit the page numerous time in a single visit. In the parenthesis after the percentage, the first number shows the number of unique visitors to this specific page, and the second number represents the total number of unique visitors to the site.

2.Average time at this page.

3.Average time to this page.
Shows how long it took visitors to reach the page from the moment they hit any page in the site.

4.Visitors entered at this page.

5.Exits from this page (as % of page views)

The path view details the pages visitors were on prior to the current page in the website view and also list the pages they visit next.























The percentage and colored bar underneath each hyperlink on the report indicates all traffic to this page, what percentage clicked on each link.

2) Search report.

Search report lists the keywords and search engines that referred visitors to your website.Along the left side are the
search terms that were used, and along the top are various search engines. Cells that are darker indicates the greater number of referrals.























3) Site Overview


Site overview provides information in a more traditional table format.
























1.Total number of visits to the page.
First is the total number of visits to the website. Visits are not unique to an individual; one individual might generate several visits.

2.Average pageviews

3.Top search queries
Here are the top keywords entered into the search engines that generated referral to the website. Unlike those on the search report, the search terms on the site overview are not separated by search engines.

4.Top Referrers
These are top websites with links that referred visitors to your website, for eg:- a search engine, or an online campaign.

5.Pages with most visitors

6.Top entry visitors

7.Top exit pages

4) Visitor labelling

Visitor labelling shows segmentation of the visitors by their behaviour. This can be done by on-demand basis. Group of visitors are tracked under visitor labelling. There are several predefined ways of grouping, or labelling visitors.















Suppose you want to see how the visitors that actually bought the product behave on the site compared to general population. First, select "reached check out or other goals." This wizard allows you to select any page of your site from drop down menu. If you are interested to see people who have purchased the product behave, select the checkout page.
























Now a label has been assigned to this group of visitors. Click 'go" to re-analyse. You now have a color coded visitor label showing your segmented visitors.The percentages and totals shown on the new label reflect the visitors that satisfied the action you identified, in this case those visitors that hit the checkout page. The new label shows of all the visitors landed on the checkout page- or bought something 'what percentage clicked on each link.' The visitor label now show the information about particular group of visitor on all reports.And on site overview, you can see specific information about this visitor.

By examining the behaviour of visitor groups you value most, you can target your site to these most important users. group.

Click here
to get more information on ClickTracks.

Review of WebTrends8 2008

The presentation of emetrics in WebTreds Analytics8 is awesome. Even a newbie to web analytics can easily understand the complete behaviour of website visitors by having WebTrends analytics tool. The problems most companies using web analytics tools confront is the inability to make decisions to improve the website conversions. But WebTrends is an exception in the way it facilitates easy decision making for improving website conversions.

WebTrends renders the following features to measure the performance of marketing.

1)Performance Dashboards
2)Interactive Reporting Console
3)Business Intelligence Integration
4)Custom Reporting
5) 5-Point Scenario Analysis
6)First-Party Cookies


1)Performance Dashboards provides accurate benchmark KPIs. "What if" scenarios in Perfomance dashboards facilitates identification of focus points in Marketing.


























2)Interactive Reporting Console assists each and every member of the company to filter, drill & query the emetrics to realize their business results.














3)Business Intelligence Integration provides you with the capability to use any business tools.

























4)Custom Reporting aids you in generating advanced reports to measure your marketing performance.























5) 5-Point Scenario Analysis portrays the point at which your website visitors are dropping and why they take such actions.

























6)WebTrends uses WebTrends First-Party Cookies.

Read more about WebTrends8 here.

Friday, November 28, 2008


The presentation of emetrics in WebTreds Analytics8 is awesome. Even a newbie to web analytics can easily understand the complete behaviour of website visitors by having WebTrends analytics tool. The problems most companies using web analytics tools are facing is the inability to make decisions to improve the website conversions. But WebTrends is an exception in the way it facilitates easy decision making for improving website conversions.

WebTrends renders the following features to measure the performance of marketing.

1)Performance Dashboards provides accurate benchmark KPIs. "What if" scenarios in Perfomance dashboards facilitates identification of focus points in Marketing.


2)Interactive Reporting Console assists each and every member of the company to filter, drill & query the emetrics to realize their business results.

3)Business Intelligence Integration provides you with the capability to use any business tools.

4)Custom Reporting aids you in generating advanced reports to measure your marketing performance.

5)5-Point Scenario Analysis portrays the point at which your website visitors are dropping and why they take such actions.

6)WebTrends uses WebTrends First-Party Cookies.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Comparison of Google Analytics & Web Trends

How WebTrends is different from Google analytics



Google Analytics

WebTrends Analytics 8
Standard
WebTrends Analytics 8
Advanced

On Demand
Both
Both

Ease of Use



Dashboard Summaries
Comparative Reporting
Drill Across Reporting
Product Resource Center
Ad Words Integration


Browser Overlay (static pages only)
Browser Overlay (dynamic pages)

Report Bookmarks
Quick Query





Reporting Power



1st Party Cookie support
(Unique)

Visual Scenario Analysis

Search Engine Marketing Analysis
Search Rank Reporting
Basic Commerce Reporting
Basic Campaign Reporting
Geographic Segmentation
  • (Akamai Database)
  • (Akamai Database)
Content Groups
Real-time Analysis





Enterprise Class



Reporting Templates
Customizable Dashboards
Full Merchandising Drilldown
Full Campaign Drilldown
Visual Path Analysis
Ad Hoc Query and Reporting
WebTrends Smart Reports



Google Analytics


WebTrends Analytics 8
Standard


WebTrends Analytics 8
Advanced
Custom Reports

Custom Drilldown Reports

Custom Segmentation

Dynamic Segmentation

1st Party Cross Domain Tracking




Customer Support


Technical Support
Implementation Services
Strategic Business Services
Account Management

Online Training Programs
Online Resource Center






No of websites Limited
UnLimited
UnLimited
No of user login Limited
UnLimited
UnLimited
Report storage – duration Limited
UnLimited
UnLimited
Log files storage Limited
UnLimited
UnLimited
No of Templates Limited
UnLimited
UnLimited
No of Client visit Limited
UnLimited
UnLimited
Page views Limited
As per the purchase
As per the purchase


1. Google is targeting small and medium business.
2. The product is hard-coded one size fit all tool.
3. Customer support is through e-mail only with an SLA of 1 week, where WebTrends is 24X7 support with 1 hour of SLA. And database available in webtrends itself is a solution for most of the problems.
4. The service is free to Google Adwords customers. The non-Adwords customer are limited to 5 million page views per month
5. A license allows customer to create up to 50 profiles. The report will be surface level. In WebTrends you can create unlimited user and unlimited profiles.
6. As part of the license agreement a customer agrees to be used as a marketing reference in google’s material – No question asked.
7. No customizable reports- In webtrends we can tailor the report according to the user and department as decision making is streamlined.
8. This is not possible with google- campaign reporting to depth, Content group, Full path analysis, Unique visitor tracking for campaigns.
9. WebTrends has real time analysis.
10. Can create our own template, Customizable dashboards, Smart view reports, Full campaign drill down.
11. Apart from this we track user by 1st party cookies.( First party cookie is the small amount of information stored in users browser when a person request for a page first time. When next time he visits the page, with that that cookie ID he will be identified as repeated visitor). Also we have 4 other options to track visitor according to your requirement.
12. Your data is not safe as Google have access to your Data.
13. You can not have your reports for long period for comparison of the report ( Ex: report of 2008 March and 2006 March). This kind of report is essential for growth metrics. Date comparison you will find on spot in webtrends where in google you have to pick and see.
Read the head to head comparison here Google Analytics vs WebTrends.
Search Marketing Guide

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Log file analysis tools Vs Page Tagging Softwares for Measuring and Improving Success Metrics

The internet has changed the speed at which marketing was travelling. Prospects are interacting with your website every minute and innovative marketing programs are launched every day.

The measurement of success is the key metrics for all the marketing programs launched. How do your prospects behave in your website? What action do they take? Are they proceeding to purchase your services or products? Why your prospects are abandoning the purchase of products or services?

Unless you analyze and measure the interactivity of your website prospects you cannot eliminate the hurdles encountered by your prospects. It could be a small hurdle in the path way of your prospects, you may not be able to understand it with your naked eye. For this you require proficient web analytics tools which can give you proper insights of your prospects behaviour.

There are two types of web analytics tools available in the market. They are

1) Log file analysis tools.
2) Page tagging software.

1) Log file analysis tools:

As the name suggests log file analysis tools process the log files from the web server into their engine. Once the log files are processed into log file analysis tool, they generate web analytics reports. Log file analysis softwares can be easily customized.

Few examples of log files analysis tools are Web Trends, Omniture Site Catalyst, ClickTracks etc.

2) Page tagging software:

Page tagging softwares are completing different from the way log file analysis works. Page tagging softwares requires tagging of each web page in a website with a snippet of code. The snippet of code can be placed either in the head section or just above the closing body tags.

Examples of Page tagging softwares are Google analytics, SiteStats etc.

Google Analytics Case Study

InstantSSL is one among the world’s renowned SSL certificate products.

Challenges: Not only the traffic to InstantSSL website was on the higher side but also the abandonment rate.

We started analyzing the reason for the increased abandonment rate. Using Google analytics we identified the top web pages(in terms of traffic)of the website and started analyzing the reason for the low conversion rate.

We began analyzing each pages in an effort to eradicate the stumbling blocks that hinder the purchase process. The first web page we picked for analysis is the index page, the mother of all pages.

Here is the analysis for the index page. We collected the metrics viz. visitors, page views, unique page views, time on page, bounce rate, exit rate and furnished it in an excel sheet. Then we gathered the information about "how visitors reached the web page using the below stated metrics."

1) Top search engines through which visitors reached the web page.
2) Top referral sites.
3) Top keywords

We further moved on to our most important part of analysis known as click stream analysis. We discovered what actions visitors are taking after entering this page either directly or from some other pages of the website. Following are the synopsis of the discovery.

1. Majority of visitors navigate to free SSL certificate page and products page. These were the actions we actually wanted visitors to take.

2. There was no explanation for our main products displayed namely InstantSSL, EV SSL, Wild card SSL & Essential SSL. In a bid to showcase the distinction between products we recommended the developers to introduce a tool tip carrying the main features for major products.

3. Even though "EVSSL" promotion links are placed at the top of the page, visitors rarely click on the links. The reason could be the 'price' quoted near the product. We recommended the developers to remove the price quote so that the visitors will click on the link to visit the page and learn more the product and make a decision.

4. Even though the anchor text for the "why Comodo" URL is colored differently from the rest of the page, the link fails to grab the attention of majority of visitors. We recommended the developers to increase the font size of the anchor text "Why Comodo" to 12 points.

We passed on to the second most powerful page of the website, the products page. Here are the findings.

The detailed description about the products from the products page can be found by clicking on the products name. There exist a Hyperlink which takes the customer to a separate page to know the features of the product. But the Hyperlink is not visible to the customer. Since the “Buy” button is more prominent visitors click on that to reach the buy page. Features of the product are not properly explained in the buy page and exit rate of this page is severely high. On the other hand very less people reach the learn page from the products page simply because it is invisible to the visitors. We were happy to have diagnosed the problem of experiencing the high abandonment rate and appreciated the insights provided by Google analytics.

We recommended the developers to introduce a “learn” tab on all the products in the products page for the customer to know more about the products. After getting an overview of the product the customer could go ahead to purchase the product by clicking the “Buy” option on the learn page. By this way we can make sure the features of the product has clearly reached the customer and the flow of the customer can also be tracked. We also recommend the developers to stick a learn more button in the buy page.

We didn't stop here we went forward to analyze the purchase page.

Features of the product are not properly explained in the buy page and exit rate of this page is severely high. Prospects look up to check for any links that could provide them the features and benefits of the products, but to their dismay they have wander through the links available in that page. We recommended the content writers to provide an idepth feature list to get furnished in the page.

We also found out that more number of prospects who have made up their mind to purchase the product move back to the products page. We wondered why visitors take such action and researched to find the answer. The reason we observed is when visitors click on the buy button in the products page they are shown a shopping cart adjacent to the buy button. This gives them an impression that the product got added to the shopping cart when they clicked on the buy button. They reach the buy page and they are asked to select number of years by changing the drop down menu. Thinking that they actually added the product to the shopping cart they click on "proceed to checkout" button. And when they say proceed to check out a pop up appears saying "Select an item to purchase" on a blank webpage and then takes the customer back to the products page. This was creating great inconvenience to the prospects. We recommended the developers to revoke the redirect and allow them to stay on the page to add the product to the shopping cart to enable them to purchase the product easily.

The conversion rate of the website has increased manifold after implementing these changes. The reason for the improved conversion rate is due to the fabulous insights Google Analytics rendered us.

More Google Analytics case studies

Do not forget to browse through the Search Marketing Guide.