CAT | Analytics / Tracking

There has been some chatter about upgrades to Google Analytics planned for 2013.  There are a few opportunities that may present themselves and a few issues that could arise from the possible changes.

People ask us all the time, how can I track the value of a lead generated online when they are buying in the store. This was something that we solved using Yahoo web analytics.  When the lead was generated it received a customer id number, the information of that customer is stored with their permission and if a sale occurred the revenue was attributed to the marketing channel or channels in a multi-channel attribution model.  The ability to upload revenue tracked from a CRM like salesforce allowed our clients to make informed budgetary and strategic decisions. This is the case with many brick and mortar stores, businesses that require quotes, or any business that you cannot assign a given value to each lead.

Googles new regarding Universal analytics can be seen here.  The basic news reveals Googles plan to allow the ability to track across multiple devices as long as the user is signed in from that device, the ability to sync online and offline data, and an increased ability to track Mobile Application analytics.  It will allow users to create custom dimensions as well, such as store visits and so on.

The opportunities to pair mobile app metrics, location information, crm data and attribute revenue to each impression or visit will open up another niche of mobile and brick and mortar marketing and could mean big changes in analytics for showroomer’s and lead generation marketing alike.  The insight into quality of lead generated will allow users to make excellent decisions on budgets, impression frequency, channels used and collect ROI data that is unavailable without being hindered by technology costs.

Recently after opening the AdCenter Editor and attempting to download an account we would be confronted with annoying message “Microsoft.adCenter.Desktop has stopped working”.

We tried uninstalling and reinstalling about 20 times as well as every other solution we could find.  Nothing solved the problem.

Here’s what worked for us…

Renaming the old user.config file.  C:\users\<username>\AppData\Local\Mirosoft\MAF\LocalStore – Find the user.config file and name it something like user1.config

Let us know if it works for you.  Good Luck!

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People keep asking us what will become of Conversion Analyst / Yahoo Web Analytics?

The current state of the software seems as though it will only be available for Yahoo customers, specifically large advertisers or Yahoo Store users.  While it is not a complete demise of this analytic platform, it is another disappointing use of a technology purchased by Yahoo.  This is especially disappointing since it had some serious advantages over Google Analytics.

  1. Ip tracking allowed more insight into conversion attribution and customer visits prior to purchase
  1. Last Visitor Details Which Displayed individual visitor sessions, allowing you to see the referring url, keyword, pages viewed, conversion, etc. to a specific visitor
  1. Revenue & Cost retrieval of data for both Google AdWords and MSN AdCenter. YWA could also calculate your ROAS for each channel as well.  This can now be done with reporting software but not google analytics.
  1. Increased demographic dataincluded users areas of interest data along with the user location, age and gender.
  1. Increased access to historical data. YWA would allow access all the way back to 2002.
  1. Tracking up to 50 unique conversion goals and actions.

Unfortunately, this leaves Yahoo Web Analytics users in a bind and in need of a quick solution to their web analytics software.

The Situation:

As of August 31st 2012, clients using YWA will lose all data prior to the last 2 months and will no longer gather additional data.  On Oct 31st these users will lose all of their historic analytic data.  At that point they will no longer be able to access their accounts unless they are a Yahoo Store Customer.

The Problem:

With no past data, the benchmarking process of marketing channels and campaigns starts over.  All A/B testing, traffic data, keyword and KPI data will all be lost.  This is highly important information for analysts, marketing managers, executives and all personnel all the way to the top. Without knowing your history, you are doomed to repeat the past. Marketing decisions based on very short term data may miss the larger scope of a strategy.

The disappearance of valuable data that has been gained over past months and even years is what we all use to optimize our own marketing initiatives and to show improvement strategic results to our clients. While much data can be salvaged with a professional migration service, much of the data that is unique to YWA (such as user IP information) will inevitably be lost in the process.

The Solution:

The first course of action is to export the data into CSV files that has been gathered in YWA.  You can do this yourself, however the data is not displayed in a friendly way and unless you are an excel wiz, it will be difficult to decipher. An analytics professional will be able to do this for you easily. Our tech support has a process in place to export the data, refine it and upload it in reporting software so that it can be usefully displayed and acted on.

Anyone who is using YWA as their main analytics platform needs to choose, and install their next analytics platform. We recommend contacting a Google analytics professional and having a discussion about the key performance indicators that are valuable to you and your analysts. (Engine Ready can help with this) These may include on site actions, conversion data, revenue data, traffic data etc. Not all of the same data can be tracked specifically in Google analytics so there may be a need to shift the KPI focus depending upon your new analytics solution. A program like Strategy Analyzer is able to display the specific data that you focus on and can be customized depending on those metrics.

Strategy Analyzer is one program that will allow you to visualize the exported data and compare it with your next analytic solution. Automate your reporting and visualize your data with Strategy Analyzer.

Knowing the power of Analytics and how important it is to successful marketing strategies, Engine Ready and MOZ will be hosting an SEO meetup in downtown San Diego on Tuesday night, December 21st. Come on out to learn about the latest developments in the SEO world, and to see some short presentations. MOZ CEO, Rand Fishkin, and Engine Ready CEO, Jamie Smith, will be there among other professionals to network with.

San Diego SEO Meetup

SEOmoz San Diego Meetup

The event will be held at the San Diego Beer Company, located at Broadway and 6th Ave. For more information, check out the MOZ event calendar or Eventbrite. And by the way, if for some reason you need more incentive to come, the first two drinks are complimentary.

If you are part of the YWA situation feel free to contact us and we can help you!

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Occasionally, AdWords likes to add in nifty new features to its interface that even the most on-the-ball search marketers never really notice until a few months later, when they suddenly ask themselves (or the entire office at large), “Has this always been here?”

Such is the story of the new Segments feature, which AdWords first implemented in November of 2009 under the Filter tab.

Now, though, it gets a tab of its very own, sandwiched between All but Deleted Keywords and the aforementioned Filter tabs. Just click on that handy dandy little Segments tab, and you can sort all your performance data by network, day, week, month, quarter, year, day of the week, click type, device, and… oh, that’s it?

I think you get the picture.

Needless to say, this is a really cool and versatile new feature, made even cooler by the fact that it saves a lot of time as well. Instead of going through and selecting one day or week or month at a time in the date range in order to view your data, you can view it all at once and, blessedly, compare numbers without having to lay a finger on Excel.

Of course, since the initial discovery and subsequent whoas, we here at Engine Ready have been putting the new Segments tab to use. So far, we’ve mostly been segmenting by week, so that we can get a really good picture of why performance increases or decreases week to week. To do this, select a month (or two or three) as your date range, then segment by week. You end up getting something that looks like this:

Adwords Segment Reporting Feature

Each of the four weeks of data is broken down, so that you can easily take a look at the changes in cost per click, conversion rate, position, and anything else that might be affecting your account’s performance. Which makes it much simpler to answer the question: why?

Which makes it much, much simpler to go for the impossible: true optimization.

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Choosing a Shopping Cart

There is a list of do and don’t when it comes to building a website or redoing an existing one. But have you ever thought about how these decisions can affect your online marketing? This post is intended for the decision makers of businesses, those who might have so many things on their plate that sometimes the obvious questions get skipped over.

One specific I’d like to bring up is the process of picking a shopping cart. In the past couple of months, we have come across shopping carts that do not host 3rd party analytics or at least the shopping cart customer service says this. Meaning the shopping cart will not support the analytics to track your online marketing efforts such as PPC, Organic Search, and Email Blasts.

But if your website is dependent upon ppc marketing, email blasts, organic rankings, banner ads, etc it is even more imperative to keep track of these channels. The great advantage to online marketing is the ability to track your leads or sales.

Okay, I know most of you already know this and the importance of tracking so I’ll get to the point. For those in the position to make the final decisions…you may want to All data recovery services you have on a hard drive, RAID array, flash drive, memory card or mobile phone will remain private and confidential. ask the shopping cart vendor if they’ll support 3rd party tracking from the get go. Below is a quick check off list to help you on your way.

1.       Do you support 3rd party tracking?

2.       Who will or is allowed to implement the tracking?

3.       Is there additional cost if the shopping cart vendor installs the tracking?

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