There were no losers at the Startup Weekend here in Indianapolis. It was an amazing collection of fantastic ideas – many of which were already acted on with some serious prototypes. Kudos goes to Lorraine Ball for singlehandedly putting together this amazing event – as well as Purdue Research Park – an incredible venue to hold it at. The winner was Stats Squared, a tool for monitoring the impact that Twitter has on your site through referring links.
The problem, which I’ve written about, is that virtually all businesses underestimate the referring traffic they get from Twitter because they simply look at the referring domains for Twitter.com. Twitter.com is only about 18% of all Twitter traffic.
There are some solutions – like utilizing campaign codes when shortening and distributing your URLs… but that only works for the links that you distribute. Another solution is to use Bit.ly Pro… again, only measuring links that you distribute. Bit.ly Enterprise allows you to monitor any of your URLs shortened anywhere on Bit.ly. But not everyone uses Bit.ly.
Sigh… next up is using a tool like Backtweets which approximates the reach of each link that you put out there, but still doesn’t provide you any onsite statistics on how many visits actually arrived to your site.
What a mess.
The perfect solution, of course, would be for Twitter to allow businesses to add their own campaign codes for domains which they own. That way, anytime a link placed by anyone to your domain, a campaign code was automatically appended and all Analytics would be able to register the information on where the visit arrived from. Ironically, Twitter does this with many of its own links – like the ones they distribute in Emails.
Stats Squared hopes to help ease this conundrum… at least by measuring the impact of your own tweets on your own site. Stats Squared combines with your Twitter stream and Bit.ly to provide stats back to your site. Although it only appears to work with Bit.ly and not Bit.ly Pro… ie. our URLs are shortened as mkt.gs but it doesn’t appear to register.
I do have a wishlist for Stats Squared:
- A fixed right column that is an aggregate, providing the top Tweets and subsequent click-through rates (CTRs) by day, week and month.
- The ability to see the distribution path, from the original tweet to the folks who retweeted, and how many times the links were clicked.
- The ability to see the folks who RT your links the most and, if possible, the traffic they drove to you.
It was exciting to be on the judge’s panel of the startups that went from idea to execution in a single weekend. Stats Squared has some house-cleaning to do and some additional development, but it’s a great foundation right out of the box. It’s nicely laid out, visually appealing, and already appears to work well.