With the recent announcement from the SXSW Interactive Director to raise prices by 27% for early registration, I thought I would branch out a little bit from my usual posts and talk about what I thought about SXSW Interactive from a web analyst perspective. The reason that the Interactive Director gave for the price increase was the new price is competitive with other pure tech conferences. While SXSW also includes a music and film portions, the majority of the attendance is for the interactive portion and the price increases for music and film were not quite a steep. My personal thought for the price increase is to control the number of people that will attend the conference. There were rumors that SXSW was going to limit registration and while they did not limit registration, by raising the rates it has the same affect and if the same number of people attend as last year then SXSW will just make money. Now the question is, with the price increase or without the price increase, is it worth going to SXSW Interactive.
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In my Year in Review post I mentioned that I was not going to focus on certain tools and focus more on my experiences that could be applied to different tools. In this post, I am going to cover a little bit of each. I am going to focus more on a specific web analytics tool and how to merge data from different sources to get a more holistic view of the visitor. My experience of merging data from different sources comes mainly from a media site perspective and that is what I am going to focus on. As some of you may know, Omniture allows you to use Data Sources to import information from another source into Omniture. That is one way to get an overall view of the customer. However, I am going to focus on option from Omniture that is not as widely known called ‘Data Feed.’ The data feed is a great option if you want to export your Omniture data into another tool to do more analysis.
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In the last seven years that I have spent in web analytics one of the biggest challenges that I have had is getting adoption of web analytics in the company. This can be very challenging for a variety of reasons. Some of the people in the company might not know about, know how to use, or understand web analytics. Some people in the company might not think web analytics can help them. These are just a couple of the reasons why adoption of web analytics in a company might be challenging. This was not any different for the first company that I worked for when I first entered into web analytics. They are a multi-channel retailer and were primarily a catalog company. They are a small company and became very well known through the catalogue. They launched the website as an after-thought. In the beginning, they really did not have any type of tracking on the site. Of course this was way before Google Analytics came around. The only tracking they had were which products were purchased on the web site. I think they might have had something that told them how many visits the site received and the entry and exit pages. Though no one looked at it and all of the decisions about the site were made based on how many products were purchased through the catalogue. When I came on board, I was the second full time employee dedicated to the web site. My main responsibilities were marketing of the site and web analytics. After we picked a web analytics solution, one of the next things that I worked on was to get adoption of web analytics in our company.
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Year in Review

December 23, 2009

It was a year ago this week that I was traveling for the holidays and I made the decision to start this blog while sitting in a hotel room. I knew there were quite a few blogs about web analytics already with various opinions on different topics. When I decided to start this blog I wanted to focus on one thing, sharing my experience in web analytics both good and bad. The experiences that I have shared have been about recent topics and some as far back to when I first started my career in web analytics. I have had a great time writing this blog this past year sharing my experiences. I hope that I was to give you more information about a decision or give you an idea about some things to try. I look forward for the coming year and sharing more experiences with you. Though in the past year, I have focused on certain tools, in the coming year I am planning on sharing experiences about various tools and analysis. In the great time that I have had sharing my experiences, you may have come to my blog and not find the answer you were looking for. I compiled a list of the top search terms that brought users to my blog. I am going to try to give more information and/or links for each of the different search terms.
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As I mentioned in my Omniture Summit 2009 recap, I was fortunate enough to be a co-presenter for a breakout session – ‘Makin’ Gold Records: Turning your SEO team into Rock stars.’ One of the most difficult things to do is track SEO and to determine how successful the SEO efforts have been. I am not going to talk about tips about how to optimize your site for search engines. There are already quite a few blogs and forums that talk about how to do this. What I am going to talk about are reports and analysis that can be set up to help determine how successful the SEO efforts have been. I am going to borrow from one of the slides in the presentation that really helps with this point, ‘43% of marketers don’t or can’t accurately measure ROI from SEO. To be successful with SEO, you must accurately measure success to drive value and action. In the end, it is not about driving traffic to the site, it is about making money.’ The question now becomes where to begin? To borrow another quote from the presentation, ‘With so much data available…the most important metric is that which helps improve your site.’
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Have you ever experienced someone in the marketing department (SEM, Email, Corporate, etc) asking you how well the marketing campaign they just ran has preformed, only to realize that the campaign was not being tracked? This can be a very frustrating situation to not be able to let the marketing department know how well the campaign performed. The campaigns can be a newsletter, paid search, banner ads, twitter, facebook, widgets, or tiny URLs. The marketing department can run a marketing campaign on any combination of these. If the marketing department is not aware that the campaign needs to be tracked, then it is hard to let them how well their campaign performed. One of the things that I do is set up a weekly meeting with the marketing department to walk through their campaigns to make sure everything gets tagged. A bi-weekly meeting might be enough, depending on your company. I also created a document for the marketing department on how to add the tracking tags to each type of campaign. I am going to go cover add tracking tags for Google Analytics, Omniture, and Coremetrics.
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