ComScore has released it’s usual monthly roundup of industry data based upon their 2 million user survey. Some of the highlights of the survey are:
Top five web properties
Yahoo, Google, Time Warner, Microsoft Sites, and Fox interactive media. No interesting change there, those are the typical big five.
The leading Advertising networks are: Advertising.com, ValueClick, Google Ads, Tribal Fusion, and Blue Lithium
Web Campaigns and Seasonal Trends
“The Simpsons Movie drove traffic to the Burger King site, resulting to increase of 4.2 million customers or increase of 774%.
The release of several anticipated films including Transformers and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, traffic to movie ticket sites also propelled the tickets category up 12 percent to 44.9 million visitors for the month.
The month also saw traffic increase to car rental and ground/cruise sites as travel season continued its strong presence in the monthly rankings, while job search sites experienced gains as Americans sought summer jobs and new careers.” (Analysis by 901)
It’s interesting to see how the successful Simpons/Burger King campaign is doing. Rohit has a comprehensive list of how the Simpsons have been marketing themselves online.
Tim Kopp from Webtrends, one of the largest and oldest Web Analytics companies, shares with me the goal to measure Engagement, a term I’ve tried to define for some time. According to the news page on the Webtrends site, they are launching “WebTrends Unveils the Power to Measure Customer Engagement with Launch of WebTrends Marketing Lab 2″. They new product? It’s called “Score”.
“WebTrends Score is the industry’s only patented solution that measures and reveals which visitors offer the most potential value to your business. It’s a revolution in the measurement of visitor engagement that gives you the power to target your messaging, improve your conversions and build long-term loyalty.”
Engagement is a difficult attribute to measure (but highly coveted as the advertising dollars shift from TV to the web. For other videos, check out my interview with Eric Peterson or Avinash Kaushik of Google Analytics.
Yesterday on a call with a client who’s a Fortune 100 company, the Web Strategist of a community program confirmed that The Corporate Website is Irrelevant and needs to evolve and his analysis of the web analytics agreed with that.
“Web Analytics revealed that users would spend more time (attention) on objective (product info content), and less time on subjective content (we are the best).” (paraphrased) The need to build a community site to return bring credible and authentic conversations to the brand was key.
I typically find the Fortune 1000 is more savvy than smaller companies who don’t have the resources to be as aware to the changes around them. That’s certainly a trend, but not a rule, as some smaller companies have really jumped on to social media.
There are four questions I get which really helps me to gauge the level of sophistication the organization is 1) What is it? (just starting) 2) Why does it matter? (waking up) 3) How do we do it (ready) 4) How do we measure (proving to management) 5) Let’s integrate (running).
I’m seeking folks that can translate the Irrelevant Website post, it’s already German, Greek, and Italian. Can anyone translate to Spanish? Chinese? Japanese? or any other language?
I’ve many friends that are in the web analytics space, in fact, I’ve interviewed many of the top names in that industry on my show. Web Analytics has it’s place, it’s important, and it’s only going to increase in value. Web Analytics is great for understanding what’s happened on the server in the past. The rest is inferences and educated guesses.
[Relying on Web Analytics ONLY for web decision making is the same as driving on the freeway, but only looking backwards]
The limits of Web Analytics
Web Analytics can’t tell us, why did someone come to our site, what they want to accomplish, what their emotional experience was like, what their eyes actually looked at, and what they told others later. But we’ve got to stop ourselves and realize that it’s only ONE form of understanding the direction of a website. In addition to using Web Analytics, the serious Web Strategist will be using other methods and processes to understand what users have done, and what they want.
A partial list of understanding users
While Web Analytics is important, there are many other methods that should be done to find out what users want:
-Social Media listening (on other sites)
-And most important: just ask them (interviews)
Many other ways to understand users
This is not a comprehensive list by any means, as there are complete industries devoted to User Experience (UX), Human Computer Interaction (HCI), User Interface Design (UI), and Information Architecture (IA). The newest group to the bunch? Social Media Measurement, which measures what is said or gestured by who, when, and where. It’s assumed that the web user experience has spread off the website, so start planning accordingly. Web Analytics is limited in that it only measures the activity on your corporate site –not other areas where customers may be talking.
The User and Customer Experience has moved off your website
What are some other examples that your website has moved off your domain? There’s a list of third party extranets (yes, this impacts YOUR customer support site) and my theory that Web Marketing is not limited to two domains (your website and google search results).
I’m here in Portland at the Internet Strategy Forum and heard a brilliant speech from Tim Kopp the CMO of Webtrends.
During his presentation he showed videos of the died coke and mentos mashup, and showed how the views and visits skyrocket up for coke.
The subject of Engagement has been discussed frequently, my own definition has been simplified to “apparent interest“.
Webtrends The product is called Score, and will be released in 10 days. Keep an eye out, we’ll see what this brings.
Also, I’ll be speaking at the eMetrics conference in DC on Oct 14th.
To many marketeers and advertisers, nothing matters more than click stream data. While this has recently fallen under attack (as user engagement can be measured in ways that have nothing to do with clicks) there’s still a need to observe the holistic experience by using a wide variety of tools.
Crazy Egg is one of those tools for your chest to use in your ways of finding out what users are doing, and guess what? There’s a free limited version that can get you started on your homepage. Crazy Egg is a heat map tracker, which means it will help to tell you the story of WHERE your users clicked on your site and WHEN. This is yet another tool in the web measurement toolset.
“Crazy Egg makes it easy to: Test different versions of a page to see which works better, Discover which ad placement gives the best results, Find out which design encourages visitors to click deeper, Learn which content leads to improved sales”
Useful features: The overlay helps you to find out what was clicked and when did it happen? (after how long) The confetti tool was interesting, as you can clearly see exactly where users clicked on your site.
What did I learn?
I knew that my index page was used frequently on my blog (google analytics tells me this) and now I can confirm that they click on the upper left area of my banner.
I also learned that users click on the ‘more comments’ section on my post, rather than clicking on the title text, maybe I should bring more attention to that to make it easier to find.
People want to know who I am and often click on my profile link, but not my ‘face’ which goes to the same page, interesting.
Users also went to previous pages (down at the bottom of my blog), maybe I should display more posts per view.
It appears that users were clicking on the Guy Kawasaki ustream player
Please remember that this is just one tool of many that you should be using to gauge your website, don’t forget, the most important one is to just ask your users what they think.
I recommend you try this free tool for your blog, your company homepage, or consider expanding and purchasing it for major landing pages, another great free tool that should be in your arsenal of Web Analytics, Feed tracking, Google Alerts, and Technorati.
Handbook: Observing the User Experience (I’ve used this book quite a lot when I was a web manager)
All posts tagged User Experience
All posts tagged Web Analytics
Crazy Egg Dashboard
Overlay screen: After installing a script, CrazyEgg will track your site, and let you see a realistic overlay
Overlay screen with exploded flyouts that provide additional info
Heatmap shows high area of clicks on your site
This “Confetti” feature shows with pinpoint accuracy where users clicked.
Website Analytics video by Newfangled Web Factory
This helpful primer video on web analytics by Eric Holter. Find out “What in the world is your website doing?”
If you want to check out some other videos, I’ve interviewed some of the top names in Web Analytics, see all posts tagged Web Analytics.
As you know there’s been a recent surge in new users signing up for Facebook, now that it’s open for anyone (not just college students like before). Comscore released some results, here’s a few stats that should be highlighted (and what they mean to us):
The largest segment area appears in the 35+ age.
Comscore didn’t break out that age group, so it’s somewhat skewed
The 25-34 age group (my range) has the highest percentage growth
I’m not surprised, most people I know are moving to Facebook
The average time spend on site per month is 130-200 minutes per user. that’s 2-3 hours
Of course, we know attention is a horrible metric to track as users can leave tabs open
Features and Applications will mature
While I’m being somewhat sensational with that title, I predict in addition to the ‘best friends’ API that let’s people poke, hug, and kiss each other, that we’ll start to see some practical APIs from investment groups, maybe a classmates.com plug in and other tools that let older demographics benefit from the network effect. It’s a good thing!
One example of that is already coming true, as Zoho has released an office application to use within Facebook. You can now created, edit and share documents (word processor, spreadsheet, and other tools) with your network of friends.
What would be really interesting if Sharepoint finally opens up and becomes relevant by having a play within Facebook, watch Sharepoint Buzz to find out if they ever do.
By the way, have you read my predictions on the future of Facebook, LinkedIn, APIs and Identities? A lot of my predictions came true.
A few days ago I questioned if Digg traffic would sustain a long-term growth. It’s been a few days after the spike of my post on Marissa Mayer’s keynote speech (I was the only blogger in the audience that posted in real time) and it paid off.
I live my blog traffic pretty transparently, (I mean, why hide it anyways) as a social experiment as I’m very focused on Social Media Measurement to see what works and what doesn’t. You can also see previous metrics I posted on the 1 year birthday of this domain.
Findings? I don’t believe that Digg traffic provides long-term sustainable traffic for the following reasons: 1) It’s more of ‘viral’ or ‘spike’ traffic that hits and moves on 2) I’m not writing about the right content that the Digg audience cares for. I may be wrong, are any of you from the “Digg Army” and have stuck with me?
While I see a little bit of a long term effect, I can’t conclude that it’s a direct result of Digg traffic. I don’t see any growth in feed subscriptions either. Maybe there’s a long term ‘imprinting’ type of effect that may happen if one gets on Digg over and over, but I doubt that will happen in the near future.
Above: Click to view a screenshot of Google Analytics, and see bump from Digg.com: Nearly 12,000 readers in 48 hours.
Above: The free service Alexa has a similar trend, although it appears more smoothed out
Above: little uptake in subscribed readers according to feedburner (which the pro account is now free for everyone)
Nick Denton at Valleywag has some an excellent resource of which social networks are dominant in which country. Sadly, the map doesn’t have China, the largest population on the planet.
Although a bit dated, Read Write Web has a list of the top Chinese websites (be sure to click on the other countries listed). When in Singapore last week, I asked some of the top bloggers what they thought were the top websites in Asia.