Sunday, November 11, 2007

From Web Analytics to Business Intelligence

Jonas Nielsen from Omniture had a good presentation at Web Analytics Wednesday in Helsinki this week. Basicly his message was that web analytics is not enough. To be honest, and thinking little bit ahead, I have to agree. But let's take two steps back and start with the basic definitions which I, by the way, haven't done yet.
WAA's official definition: "Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage."
Wikipedia says it differently: "Web analytics is the study of the behaviour of website visitors."
We have plenty to do and learn with the web analytics itself. According to Forrester Research 46 % says that taking action from the data is the top challenge in web analytics. Let's take one example: our company's conversion rate (contact requests) was 0,42 % in October. Is it good or bad? Well, it depends. In September the figure was 0,59 % and in August it was 0,62 %, so the big question is: what should we do about it? And do we need more customer leads at the moment? That's something what we have to look from our project management system - or recall the company's strategy.

We could get more visitors by activating a Google's ad campaign or by sending an attractive newsletter. As I said earlier, we'll promote Google Analytics for those customers which don't have any web analytics system in place. So, we have to form different kind of groups into E-mailer module which is a part of our CMS. Those companies (actually people) which are using Index Tools system, those companies which are already using Analytics and those who are using nothing. We have to collect data from the source code of customer sites (to find the possible tracking code) and compare it to our customer and e-mail lists.

After forming different kind of groups, based on their earlier customer (or visitor) behavior, we can send more customized newsletters to these people and get them convert more likely. Of course, we have to measure and learn how these recipients react on our message. And that, my friend, is web analytics and also simple business intelligence case. Some day in the future, we will have a solution where all these brilliant systems (CRM, web analytics, CMS, financial and project management) are integrated and the really usefull business information is in one place.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Advertising Professional certification and a jackpot

Sorry for being away for a while. I had a good reason as our second daughter was birth 26th of October at 16.39. And the key metrics of course: 57 minutes from home to the birth, 3410 grams and 50 centimeters. Earlier that week I had a good chance to study with Google Adwords Learning Center. I did the Advertising Professional test too and made it through by 81,2 % of correct answers (75 % needed). Now I'm officially Google certified Advertising Professional. Here's some experiences about studying and the test.
  • you can study with your own speed and whenever you have a chance, preferably in a peaceful place
  • you can study different lessions in order or jump to any section you are interested in
  • mostly it's about how Google Adwords works, but
  • there's also good stuff about internet marketing in general
  • there's a section for using the Google Analytics too
  • you can test your knowlegde with quiz in the end of every lession or ultimately do the certification test
  • you can adapt some of the information for Search Engine Optimization
Most of all, I like the return on investment part. I just keep on praising about how efficient and measurable internet marketing activities can be. By the way, it took me about 14 hours to study and take the certification test. The test costed $50 and it included 117 multiple choice questions which should be answered in 90 minutes.

It seems that we'll have raising amount of vacancies in Finland, as people are realizing how web analytics can actually have positive affect on almost anyone's business. For now, I have had two job offers in one year from web analytics/SEO consultant firms. I believe that we will have these new jobs especially in media segment. Newspapers, magazines etc. are investing big time to developing their web services to get and involve more customers as consumption of media is changing rapidly. Next week we will have Web Analytics Wednesday in Helsinki, hope to give you a some kind of report from there.