Now that we have Coremetrics installed on the site and have run a few reports to make sure the reports were showing up the way that I wanted and worked on a low hanging fruit (checkout process), now I had to come up regular reporting to see how the site was doing on a regular basis to see how the site was doing on continuous basis. Over the years, I used different variations of weekly and monthly KPI reports. In this post, I am going to have an example of a couple of different weekly KPI reports that I have used and a monthly KPI report that I have used. In the weekly KPI report example, the KPI’s will media based and in the monthly KPI report, the KPI’s will be retail based so you can see the different KPI’s that I have used in both industries. You will notice a similar format to what Eric Peterson has in his BIG Red Book of KPIs. I have used part of his suggested format, but changed the format around for each company that I worked. Since I first got into web analytics, I have had several challenges with the KPI reports. The first challenge is getting people to care about the KPI’s as much as I do. Well, getting people to care at all about the KPIs especially if they are not familiar with web analytics. The second challenge is really a continuation of the first challenge and that is getting people to even look at the KPI reports. If you get them to care about the numbers, then they will look at the reports. The question is how do you get people to care about the numbers so they will look at the numbers? I care about the numbers and that should be enough, right? Well…..unfortunately it is usually not enough. You need to get the other people to care about the KPI’s. The question then becomes, how do you do that? Continue Reading!

Now that we have set up Coremetrics, tagged the site, and de-bugged the Coremetrics tags, now what? The first thing that I did was run some reports and make sure the reports where showing up the way that I wanted them to and I ran a few Clickstream reports. Since I worked for an eCommerce company, after I got used to the interface and ran a few reports, I wanted to concentrate on the checkout process. Since we really never had a web analytics tool before, we never really knew how well our checkout process worked (or did not work). Our checkout process was five to seven pages, depending if you had one our catalogs (the longer checkout process if you had a catalog). I had a hypothesis that the longer checkout process was confusing and frustrating to our customers. Of course it was just a hypothesis and I wanted to have the numbers to back up my theory. After looking at all of these reports, I need to find a few reports that would best give me the information to determine how well the checkout process was working. When you go into a project like this, you really need to have a hypothesis of what you think is going to happen. My hypothesis in the case was that the longer checkout was confusing and frustrating and that we had a high shopping cart abandonment rate. To help me determine if my hypothesis was correct or not I first ran a funnel (or fall-out) report to see which step in the checkout process, if any, the visitors were abandoning the most. Continue Reading!

Now that we have spent the last couple of months talking to the different web analytics providers and finally choosing one (a trick that I have learned through the years is to try and sign the contract at the end of a quarter, that is where you will usually get the best deals), now is it time to implement it. Again, keep in mind that at this point in my career I was still new to web analytics and did not know all of the tricks and tools that I now today (will get to those in a later post). I have never installed a web analytics tool before, so what am I supposed to do? As I mentioned before, one of the reasons why we choose Coremetrics was because of their customer service and at that time they assigned an Account Analyst to every client. Each Account Analyst had no more than 10 clients, which seems like a lot, but not every client utilized them. I knew that being new to web analytics and no one else in my company knew anything about web analytics that I was going to utilize the Account Analyst. The first thing that I did was go through the implementation manual and find out what I needed to do. After reading the implementation manual, I realized that Coremetrics had several JavaScript tags that needed to be put on the site on different pages at different times. Continue Reading!

As I mentioned in my last post, my first task was to find a web analytics solution. So let me get this straight, I need to find a web analytics solution and I do not know anything about web analytics or even which tools are the best ones to look at. So where do I start. Since this was several years ago and the web analytics landscape was slightly different than it exists today and most of the web analytics tools where still separate companies at that time. Here are the following steps that I took to help select a web analytics tools:
1. Sit down with the business owners (Marketing and IT in our company) and find out what they wanted to know about the site.
2. Go to Forrester Research and see who they listed at the top 10 web analytics companies.
3. Go to each of the sites and read more information about each of the sites solutions.
4. After reading more information, I cold called 6 of the 10 companies
a. Omniture, Coremetrics, Fireclick, Web Side Story, Net Tracker, Web Trends
5. Talked to the sales rep for each of the companies and ask them the business questions from the business owners.
6. Narrowed down the list of 6 down to 4 based on the answers that I felt would best answer the business questions and set up a demo for the 4 remaining companies.
a. Omniture, Coremetrics, Fireclick, Web Side Story
Continue Reading!

This is one of the most common questions that I have seen on the Web Analytics Yahoo Groups. Web Analytics has been one of biggest growth positions in the last several years and people want to find a way to get a job in web analytics. And why not, it is a very exciting career opportunity and has the potential for pretty big salary. Of course, it takes several years to get to that point. With all of that being said, here is my story of how I got a job in web analytics. First, let me being one step back. Before web analytics, I had a few jobs in the finance field. My employer at the time was a government contractor and I was a financial analyst, make sure we stand within budget for the various projects. Well, the local government that we contracted with decided not to renew our contract (they thought they could do it cheaper). I can not say that I was totally surprised by the government’s decision. We had heard rumors that this decision might happen. So, here I was about to loose my job in 60 days and had not idea of what I was going to do. I did the typical thing; I went to monster and hotjobs and even called a few recruiters (this was in 2003). Continue Reading!

Welcome!

December 23, 2008

Welcome to my web analytics blog. My name is Richard Calentine. I have decided to enter the blogging world. 🙂 Though, there are already a lot of web analytics blogs and you can find a most of them at All Top . There are a couple of my personal favorite blogs listed on the right as well some of the most resent posts on the Web Analytics Yahoo Groups. I need to do something different to make my blog standout from the other web analytics blogs. I will talk about some of the same topics that the other blogs cover with my own take on the topic, such as: KPI reports and engagement. However I am going to focus on some different topics, such as: how I got involved in web analytics and internet marketing, my process for picking a web analytics vendor, how I got my internal clients to look at KPI reports, switching vendors, how I go about debugging web analytics tagging, and more topics. There are also blogs and documentation on tips and tricks on how to use Omniture and Google Analytics. I will not focus a lot on this, though from time to time I will mention a few tips that I learned in Omniture and Google Analytics. I have been reading the Web Analytics Yahoo Group board for several years and I always see someone ask a “newbie” question. I am going to try to give as much insight as I can on some of these topics and share my personal experiences that I have spent in web analytics for the last five years.