Dennis Mortensen in-depth Q&A, sneak peek at SES New York

Dennis Mortensen of Yahoo Web AnalyticsI’m a big fan of Search Engine Strategies because it’s one of those shows that really draws the best and brightest in online marketing and web analytics.  My special guest today is Dennis Mortensen, former COO of IndexTools, currently the Director of Data Insights at Yahoo! and member of the Board of Directors at the Web Analytics Association.  Dennis is a frequent speaker at SES events, and will be co-hosting a panel entitled “Meaningful SEO Metrics: Going Beyond the Numbers” at SES New York. Continue reading Dennis Mortensen in-depth Q&A, sneak peek at SES New York

Meaningful SEO metrics and where to find them

An unfortunate recent statistic unearthed from the Factual Blog has shown that less than 30% of businesses worldwide are using Google Analytics on their websites out of a 4 million site sample set (via Manoj Jasra at Web Analytics World Blog).  Unfortunate only because there seems to be a booming interest in search engine marketing, namely search engine optimization.  By no means does one need Google Analytics to measure indicators of success in SEO, but it sure helps.  Any web analytics tool should top your list of priorities when embarking in online marketing, but there are lots of other resources freely available to webmasters. Continue reading Meaningful SEO metrics and where to find them

Custom variables are frosting on your web analytics cake

There is a lot to be said about implementing web analytics on a site, and using that data to improve customer experience and a company’s bottom line.  Guys like Avinash Kaushik, Eric Peterson and Jim Sterne all advocate that baseline implementations provide a boat-load of traffic data that will never be looked at in a million years, with segments out the ying-yang.  However, I’m going to argue that although free tools do offer a whack of great reports out of the box, the real power of web analytics solutions comes from custom variables.  Your web analytics tags are the cake, and custom variables are the oh-so-delicious frosting on top.  Regardless of your tool of choice, here are some of the best custom variables to implement on your site for segmentation bliss. Continue reading Custom variables are frosting on your web analytics cake

Measuring ROI – Lesson 2: Becoming a data diplomat

Divorcing yourself from opinion, or qualitative analysis, or wishy-washy suggestions can be a tough task.  Some stakeholders are statistically savvy and can look at numbers objectively, opting to do their own analysis – perhaps by using separate business intelligence. However, most people want to read interesting insights, even if it’s just to look smart at the water cooler.  For everyone to get on board, the trick is to stop saying, “I think” and start saying “the data shows.” Continue reading Measuring ROI – Lesson 2: Becoming a data diplomat

Measuring ROI – Lesson 1: Don’t just look at Web Analytics

Return on investment is a sexy KPI right now; everything and everyone claims to provide easy calculations of ROI, value added services that show ROI, and other far-fetched promises.  Probably one of the hardest things a web analyst can do is measure ROI — true ROI.  We’ve become accustomed to using the term “return on investment” to include subjective value propositions; soft and cuddly marketing statements.  True ROI is just not available through analytics tools and web analysts do not have the luxury of full financial disclosure. Continue reading Measuring ROI – Lesson 1: Don’t just look at Web Analytics

Perfect tagging: mission impossible or holy grail?

Based on just the title of this post alone, can you guess what the #1 sticking point is between web analysts and the I.T. department?  You got it, tagging up pages across your organization’s website usually falls to the coders, webmasters, outside consultants, or I.T. folk within your company, and not the research, marketing, or business development department.  Although many software solutions are turning to single smart tags that can be defined later from within the tool, lots of enterprise class vendors still require on-page variable calls or customized javascript functions to assist in segmenting visitors.  So is perfect tagging mission impossible or the holy grail?  A rare discussion plus a Dwight Schrute bobble-head after the break. Continue reading Perfect tagging: mission impossible or holy grail?

How to avoid being wrong as a web analyst

Due to the fact that this discipline is so young, web analysts constantly have to combat the duality of their trade.  On one hand, the web analyst weighs fairly concrete numbers and patterns to formulate recommendations, on the other hand they take a stance on the interpretation of those facts and figures.  At what point do we draw the line between insight and speculation, and how can web analysts avoid mistakes and eating crow? Continue reading How to avoid being wrong as a web analyst

Why web analytics data is better than 99% of other stats

Regardless of the tool you use today to measure your website traffic, even if it’s an antiquated server log parser (boy I’m dating myself here), you can be proud that the information you’re collecting is by far the cleanest statistical data on the planet (booyah!).  Many will argue that there are still a ton of flaws associated with web analytics data, but truth be told, information available to a web analyst today is far more trustworthy than the majority of audience measurement options out there. Continue reading Why web analytics data is better than 99% of other stats

Predicted Top Web Analytics KPI’s for 2010

Happy New Year and welcome back to what will be a make or break quarter for many of us. It’s time to hunker down and turn what was a pretty terrible economic run last year, into the building blocks of recovery.  Many of us will have to focus our efforts on hitting hard in early 2010, gaining an important early foothold amongst strong competition.  That makes measuring continued success so much more difficult, especially if you haven’t yet established clear KPI’s on which efforts will be judged.  So with all the vague “just measure ROI” discussion aside, I’m predicting the following to be the most important key performance indicators for early 2010. Continue reading Predicted Top Web Analytics KPI’s for 2010

Welcome to

A new year, a new decade, a new web analytics blog.  For those of you that know me, you’ll know that I’ve been blogging about pay-per-click advertising, online marketing, web analytics, and social media for about three years at my original blog,  In writing my yearly recap on, it occurred to me that the volume of web analytics-related articles was growing significantly.  The volume of tools available to marketers, analysts, and agencies are increasing and also becoming more accessible.

Since I’ve had the domain name for a while, it only made sense that I finally start up the new blog in 2010.  Thank you to everyone who continues to support (it’s not going away anytime soon), and I hope will prove to help, educate, and connect yet another passion of mine with the world.