Technology, WordPress

Leveraging Web Analytics

Many people look at the typical site configuration and they see a Web Site that points to a Call to Action and then they measure that Call to Action through Analytics, calling it a conversion. If you were to draw that out, it looks like this:

The problem, of course, is that the Web Analytics is housing TONS of hidden jewels of data that no one pays attention to or leverages. Typically, Analytics is utilized only to measure sources, searches, clicks and conversions. Utilizing those reports, the Marketing professional then makes some adjustments and watches to see what happens in the reports. This cycle of hope (you hope something changes) happens over and over.

The paradigm of looking at Analytics simply as a reporting interface has to change. Analytics isn’t simply a reporting interface, it’s a priceless repository of visitor behavior. Used skillfully, you can integrate the actual content of your website with your analytics data to dynamically render content to better target your visitors.

Some Examples of Web Analytics Integration

You have 2 visitors to your website that your Analytics application is tracking. One visitor is always visiting your site from the same geographic location. The other visitor visits but his movement is tracked all over the United States and Canada. In other words, you have 2 engaged visitors, but one is a traveler and the other isn’t.

How can your product, service, or even simply your message be tailored to a traveler rather than a non-traveler? Perhaps you’re selling electronics on your site. The traveler should see lightweight laptops, travel bags and other tools. The non-traveler should have displays of your home and business computers – perhaps your series of large displays.

Maybe you have a ‘road show’ where you’re visiting major metropolitan cities to demonstrate your products. For the non-traveler, you should limit the details of the road show to the region that they are at. For the traveler, you can tailor the display of the road show to the cities around the person’s travel routes.

If you’re a restaurant, perhaps you want to show some of your chains along the traveler’s route with a message about your rewards program that’s available nationwide. To the non-traveler, a message from the owners or chefs or your new take-out menu.

If you’re an Advertising Agency, perhaps you should be showing local client work to the non-traveler, and national accounts to the traveler.

Geography is simply one aspect of leveraging Analytics. If you’re a Jewelry store, you may want to advertise your Anniversary sale to the visitor who purchased the Anniversary bracelet 50 weeks ago. If you’re a bank, perhaps you want to promote your loan rates a week before the next payment is due. If you’re a dealer, you may want to advertise your trade-in values on the car I purchased from you.

Dynamic Content has been around for quite a bit in the Email Industry. There’s mounds of evidence that customizing content to visitor behavior yields much higher results. It’s time that Web development companies and Content Management Systems started to pay attention to this. Integrating Web Analytics into your CMS will drive huge results.

Unfortunately, free packages like Google Analytics do not offer an API or a level of integration where you can leverage the data internal. However, most major Web Analytics companies do. This difference in features can cost your company tens of thousands of dollars – but if you leverage it correctly, the return on investment will be positive.

3 Comments

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    Earlier this week I spoke with a company called Xtract, based in Finland. They specialize in behavioral targeting and most recently, specifically for social media. Since speaking with them, I started looking into similar companies and found a startup called Sometrics (US Based). The common factor was the ability to provide new social networks with analytic information about their audience. This, in turn, increases the advertising value of running campaigns with these 3rd party social networking sites.

    In addition, I looked into the acquisitions made by Google over the past few years and how they are building their empire. You mention that Google analytics doesn’t currently offer an API, but I think they will do sooner rather than later. In addition, the example that you for the use of Geography when targeting can be taken to the next step with all of the available mapping and tracking technology currently available on the market. I made a post earlier today about Google and Yahoo Maps.

    Purely speculation at this stage, but what if a company such as Garmin were to enter the analytic and marketing business. They would be able to give away their GPS systems and replace it with an advertised supported model. Using overlay technology that does not interfere with the viewer routing information, ensuring the user experience does not change, ads could be served that are completely localized to the traveler. Take it one notch further and add in your Jewelry store example and you have mobile 3.0 advertising. Targeted, user friendly and educated with campaign analytics.

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      Google is very API oriented so I’m surprised there hasn’t been one thus far. I would love to see Analytics ‘triggers’.. in other words.. the ability to make outbound requests. API’s are fantastic, but you still don’t can’t act on an event until it’s over.

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