Articles related to Web Analytics.

How to Make a Benchmark

Yesterday I had the pleasure of teaching the first session of the new edition of Digital Marketing Course for Cultural Industries organized by the SDE (Servei and Business Development, the Catalan Institute of Cultural Industries).

This course consists of two parts, one aimed at discovering how it should be the website of a company dedicated to some kind of cultural industry and the other more properly dedicated to Digital Marketing part. At the beginning of this second part we saw 2 of the main techniques to attract visitors (SEO and the tools of Web 2.0). The other techniques will be discussed during today's class.

In my class yesterday one of the points we saw was the Benchmarking and explained to the students that can not be Marketing regardless of the market and therefore it is essential that we know what our position on the companies with which we compete or regarding companies similar to ours.

How to make a benchmark?

This requires defining the variables we want to analyze, to know what our position is based on these variables, see what the position of the competition, then, is ideal capture it all in a positioning map.

The variables that I propose in my classes are as follows:

Benchmark technical level:Ficha de competencia/benckmark

  • How many pages indexed in Google have a website? (: (Without quotation marks and domain name who wish to analyze) in Google this information looking for " site" is obtained).
  • What PageRank has a website? (Obtained from the Google toolbar, any SEO plugin or from an online tool).
  • How many pages are linking to the page you analyze? (I recommend obtaining these data from which offers).
  • What position does that website ranking in

Marketing Benchmark level:

  • What is the target audience for that enterprise and which segments attacks through its online communication?
  • What is your value proposition?
  • What Digital Marketing actions have detected that performs this company? (This can see watching who linkea to page [online news, blogs, directories ...] and looking for his name on Google [see social networking profiles, quotes, articles, etc.]).
  • What features we would highlight their website.

With this a good record for each of our competitors and also for our own company is obtained. And these data will help us know where we want to be, where we want to go and how we will do it.

The positioning map that I use is a graph showing bubble techniques 3 variables: the PageRank (the radius of the bubble), the position in the Alexa ranking (egComo hacer un benchmarkand abscissa) and the size of the page (vertical axis).

The attached image is of one of these maps, the other image corresponds to a record of competence (in this case corresponds to a theater).

Yesterday I promised the students would write this post and would hang up Excel I had created from the websites of some of the companies attending the class, so that you have sample and was not needed to start it from scratch (the graph it is complicated to make, the axis scales are logarithmic, the axes are reversed so that the best position appears on the top right, and definitely not a chart by selecting data from a table is displayed by pressing a button ... of Hence recommend students to use mine as a basis for their work).

Anyway ... here goes the Excel worksheet for creating the graphic benchmarking.
Excel Chart "How to Make a Benchmark"For you to base.

(If you do not see the graphic good or bubbles are not 3D is because you are using an older version of Excel. Although I have saved the file in .xls format so that everyone can open, you are actually created using the .xlsx )

I hope you find it useful and now already know cow do a good benchmark.

If you attended the event and want the full-slide of the entire course of Digital Marketing for Cultural Industries, recalls that shortly the SDE will send an email with a link to their servers from which you can download.

A hug.

5 things we should all testing using techniques A / B Testing

The past 19 and 20 May, under the Practitioner Web Analytics 2009 and in one of his presentations, Avinash Kaushik We talked about the importance of A/B Testing when increasing the performance of a website.

He A/B Testing It is to test different versions of a web page or an area of ​​the website, and decide which of these versions is the one that gets better results. Although this service is offered from GeaIPC, Few companies decide to use it even when the results are truly spectacular. Indeed, my presentation at the PWA09 It was to explain a case in which the booking engine one of the hotels AC Hotels spent to double the number of bookings due to changes implemented in said engine, testing it with techniques A / B Testing.

And it was also under the PWA09 that Avinash said the 5 things we should all test our site:

  1. All "call to action" on our website. That is, all the buttons and texts that incite to action. For example: the typical "Call us now ….", or the "Click here to contact", O "Subscribe now and get... ". We should try colors, fonts, different phrases, etc ...
  2. The steps of the home to inland areas that interest us. That is, is supposed to have determined conceptualize our navigation different routes ... so we must test if the page is designed so that these routes are followed by our visits.
  3. Las “pain pages” (Avinash and called them and I think it aptly named). Are pages that have a lot of traffic, but also a high bounce rate (people coming directly to them and leave the site without having sailed). Must review and test different versions of the same to get lower bounce rate.
  4. Try if it improves performance or scroll page without scrolling. This point is interesting. In the study Usability Eyetracking we published in January and indicated that very few of those under 25 we tested, did scroll in the Google results pages (which were those testeábamos in that study). If our website has a user such as target audience, this is a good thing to test.
  5. "Dramatically different" designs (English is better than in Castilian, but good). Avinash what I meant is that we must try to completely different designs we are using. We may find one that also has "dramatically positive" results.

A/B testingThe good thing about A / B Testing is that it is easy to make and if we use Google Website Optimizer, may not even cost us money. Google offers free Website Optimizer that allows the real-time test as many versions as you want, and then indicates which of the tested versions have better results. The image we can see along these lines shows the control panel of Google Website Optimizer.

Getting information on the profiles of visitors of a website

Things are changing on the internet and luckily, every time we learn more about the web pages you visit people and what behaviors and which profiles have the people who visit.

If we had so far few sites that actually offered information on visiting a website either, these last few months things are changing and we have really useful tools in estimating traffic on a website and when knowing the characteristics of people who visit this website.

Consider some of these new services:

The new Alexa: A principios de abril Alexa cambió su interface y pasó a proporcionar muchos más datos sobre las páginas que aparecen en su índice. Ahora por ejemplo, podemos saber hacia qué páginas navega la gente que sale de un site, o bien qué páginas traen tráfico a una página web. También por qué palabras se posiciona una página y las páginas que contienen links a ese site. Pero lo más interesante, aunque no lo ofrece para todas las páginas es información sobre las vistas (edad, sexo, nivel formativo, lugar desde el que se conectan, etc.) Toda esta información la obtiene del registro que la gente rellena al descargarse la barra de Alexa. Aquí podemos ver, por ejemplo, el perfil demográfico de las visitas de Softonic:

Quantcast: La información que provee Quantcast es parecida a la de Alexa pero más completa, por ejemplo, podemos obtener información sobre la raza de las visitas, si hay niños que visitan el portal, el nivel de ingresos de las visitas, etc… Quantcast funciona sobre todo para Estados Unidos. Para ofrecer datos fiables Quantcast invita a los sites a que instalen un pequeño código en sus páginas que a su vez instala una cookie en los usuarios y que permite realizar el seguimiento de su navegación en los sites que Quantcast tiene asociados y una estimación para los que no tiene asociados. Esta es la ficha para Softonic en Quantcast (Softonic no es un site asociado, pero aún así la información es realmente interesante):

Compete: This is a really interesting service. It works much like Alexa and also uses a bar to collect data from users' browsing a website, but also use American ISP logs to know which people visit and how. And other data services using American ISP, the data provided are unrealistic for Spanish sites, yet, here we can see the tab Softonic:

Google Ad PlannerThis is a new Google service that serves agencies can plan campaigns on sites associated with Google, but also provides information on sites that are not. The information is not as detailed as in previous cases, but at least provides information that until now could not access. All plans can be made for different countries and Spain is one of them.

The four services are interesting both when performing a benchmark positioning of a site (especially if the site is international), as well as when planning an advertising campaign taking into account the demographic characteristics of the target audience of the campaign.

Objective: conversion of 4% on the website of a hotel

What is the conversion of a website of a hotel and what should be? Converting the website of a hotel is the ratio we get if we take the total number of bookings made through the website, divided by the number of visits to the website.

With a web page without knowing freshly cooked thoroughly to the users of that website, we should start with a 1% conversion. That is, for every 100 web visits, 1 visit becomes reservation.

If the website of a hotel is below 1% it is having a problem (or several problems, but is too long to treat it here and you can find more info on our corporate blog).

If the website of a hotel is above 1% is so good to begin with. And we can raise the set ourselves an ambitious goal. This goal is to reach a figure between 3% and 4% on average (see below that this percentage varies depending on certain profiles and origin of visits).

Why should we have so clearly the conversion of our website?

Above all, to make forecasts billing: if we clear the conversion and is a correct figure, then we can focus on attracting our target audience to the website of the hotel.

In addition, we calculate the cost of acquiring a new customer and with this figure, we can know that the advertising campaigns we undertake to attract visitors are profitable or are not.

Por ejemplo, si dedicamos 500 euros al mes a atraer visitas a través de anuncios en Adwords de Google y sabemos que la web convierte un 3%, antes mismo de iniciar la campaña podemos saber el coste de adquisición de un cliente, podemos fijar en Google Adwords el coste máximo por adquisición de visita (0,75 euros por clic, para empezar) y por lo tanto, podemos prever que con 500 euros, obtendremos 667 visitas como mínimo. Si sabemos que convertimos un 3%, podemos prever que de las 500 visitas obtendremos 20 clientes. Por lo tanto, el coste de adquisición de un cliente es de 25 euros (500 euros / 20 clientes). Con esta cifra, podemos preguntarnos si tenemos margen suficiente para atraer clientes siguiendo estas premisas y si la campaña es rentable o no.

Why are hotels that do not know the conversion of your website?

For conversion to client site enough to know the number of visits that have the page and the number of bookings they come through it. This is easy to obtain, with a minimum of data organization. The tricky part is to get the user profiles that become customer to take action just to get these users.

But still, there are hotels that do not know this ratio. This should not be. Any site manager must know your goal and conversion. Although the booking engine on the web does not allow the inclusion of tracking codes (common problem). I have already indicated that this is only know 2 data. This may not be so complicated!

The conversion differs according to socio-demographic characteristics of the user

If our booking engine allows you to include tracking codes and conversion, then the task of obtaining a high ratio is much easier because we can focus on meeting users who become more and get attract only those to the website.

For example, if our website is in English and Castilian, surely we will have a ratio higher conversion between English, Dutch, Scandinavian, etc ... that between Italian, French or German, as the former speak better English than the latter.

With a good web analytics program can get conversion rates for each of the socio-demographic variables for which we are permitted segment.

Well segmented data conversion can also make changes to the website to help users make now are not converting.

The conversion differs according to the origin of the visit to the website

In our web analytics program we will also see that certain keywords convert more than others.

Por ejemplo, la gente que busca en Google el nombre de nuestro hotel, se convierte más que los que buscan “hotel barato en Barcelona” por ejemplo. Esto es porque los primeros o bien ya conocen nuestro hotel, o bien han leído sobre él, o bien tienen referencias sobre él. En cambio los que buscan términos generales no lo tienen tan claro y cuestan más de convertir.

El ratio de conversión de alguien que busca en Google el nombre del hotel puede llegar a ser del 8% y hasta del 10%. De ahí que sea tan importante para un hotel aparecer bien en las páginas web de intermediación hotelera, ya que un gran número de usuarios visita éstas páginas y luego busca en Google el nombre del hotel para ver si encuentra precios más baratos, para ver más fotos del hotel y para ver paquetes y ofertas tentadoras. Y también sea tan importante para el hotel gestionar bien su reputación online.

There are many more factors influencing the conversion of a visit. We can go treating them in the comments of this post if anyone dares to participate. I invite you to do and so get together a good compendium of factors.

We talk to each other.

Google Trends, now also for websites

Google has just introduced the new version of Google Trends that lets know the trends search web pages.

As in the previous version Google Trends, Google allows to know the percentage of searches, the provenance of its users and the language of their browsers. Also lets you compare up to 5 different searches. But this time, not content with presenting data about search words, but attempts to whether these words refer to the domain name of a website, the information you show us as a result, also refers to possible traffic from Google, to this website.
Let us have no illusions, they are not data such as Alexa or those of Nielsen Netratings. Only reflect search trends, hence if for example we seek to compare in Google Trends, Google traffic vs Yahoo vs MSN, we take a fiasco, since only obtain data about what people look ... and who seeks google on google? ... so we can not extrapolate this information for purposes that might be of some use. In addition, Google has indicated that it will not give data about searches of some of its businesses (did not say which).
Still, the information provided to us is interesting for certain marketing activities, for example, when knowing the profiles of people doing certain searches.
For example, we can perform a comparative search for the main sites of social networks:, and, and analyze your search by country, which will give us indications about which networks are most popular in each country, and therefore will allow us to better plan our actions in these web pages.

Where does Google data?

As it indicated by Google in its information document about

combines data from their searches, with Google Analytics, adds some data collected from surveys of Internet users and includes information market research (or at least, so says Google). All these data are integrated into Google Trends using an algorithm known only to Google and not use personal information that permits identification of users on which data have been obtained.
According to Google, updates data every 30 days.

Google Trends

Not all web pages appear in Google Trends

As in the old version, only search data traffic that have offered, so do not worry if it does not appear in Google Trends. Google has not informed at what number of searches or what figures must reach to be visible on Google Trends.

Undoubtedly it is interesting to play with this version of Google Trends. A priori, will be useful, but as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, you must be careful when analyzing the results.

Learn how to get the most out of the "Comparison" feature Google Analytics

This article will try the following:
How do I activate the "Compare" function? and How do I can get the most out?

During March 2008 Google has launched a new feature in Google Analytics: Benchmarking Comparative or (in English versions). This function, which is still in beta, allows us to compare our statistics with those of companies operating in similar markets, comparing data anonymously.

We can compare data are as follows:

  • Our visits and our page views, compared to other pages in our industry and with similar sizes.
  • Time that visitors stay on our website, compared to staying in other pages similar to ours and as bounce rate.
  • The number of new visits that are able to attract, compared to those who reach other sites.

How active function Comparison:

First you have to tell Google Analytics you want to share your data anonymously. This will entitle you to gain access to comparative data. To activate the "data sharing" You must enter your Google Analytics, and before going to see the report on the same screen (in the "Settings of Google Analytics") search a link called "Edit Account and configuration data sharing "(it is in the middle top) and enters.

Once inside, select the "Share my Google Analytics data" and then activate "Anonymously with Google products and the benchmarking service".

It is done. Within minutes the new service will be activated ...

You will see the results if you enter "View Reports" (the control panel that normally you access to see your stats) and you click on "Users" in the left menu. You will see that on the menu under "Users" will appear a new feature: "Comparatives (beta)". Click on this link to access comparative. You will see the data that Google Analytics compares you as graphic gray overlay to your data.

But your job is not finished ...

How do I can get the most out?

Do not settle Google Analytics data gives you compared with other sites of a similar size to yours. Interested comparison is with the companies of the same sector.

Let's see how you indicate the topic of your website.

You must do the following:

On this same page (the "Benchmarking (Beta)"), look for a link called "Open category list" (in the upper central area) and click on it. Once inside select your sector and displays the list to select a subsector and if possible, a hierarchy. In our case, for example, it would be to select:

Business -> Advertising & Marketing -> Marketing Services

You will see that when you choose your category, the graph of comparative data more responsive to your graph.

Now you can start analyzing your data against which to offer.

You should get the following:

  • graphs of page views and your users should follow the same pattern as those of the comparative. If not, something is happening and you find out.
  • El ratio de páginas vistas por usuario debería ser el mismo (o superior). Si no lo es, márcate como objetivo conseguir el mismo ratio y emprende acciones para que así sea. Por ejemplo: mejorar la usabilidad de tu site, incluir textos que persuadan al usuario para que navegue más, incluye contenido interesante que pueda complementar la información que el usuario busca en tu página, etc.
  • El porcentaje de rebote o número ratio de usuarios que abandonan tu site debería ser igual o menor que el de la comparativa. Si no lo es, algo falla: o bien estás atrayendo usuarios a tu página web que no son tu target (tu público objetivo) y por eso se van sin navegar, o algo pasa con la gente que llega a tu web. Tener este ratio elevado a veces puede ser indicativo de fraude en las campañas de marketing (la gente entra pero no navega… hay empresas que se dedican a pagar a falsos usuarios para que hagan esto y ellos se enriquezcan con los anuncios que muestran en su página web). Analiza este ratio por palabra clave, por campaña y por cualquier tipo de segmento que puedas ver desde Google Analytics, y descubre por qué está por encima de la media.
  • The average time on your site should be equal to or higher than the comparative. If it is not, again you need to review the content, usability and persuasion of texts.
  • The number of new visits should also be equal or higher. If it is not, something happens on your site: either no action is marketing to attract new users, or you need to analyze everything that relates to attracting new users and traffic sources to see what's wrong.

My recommendation is to do comparative tracking for a while and go performing corrective actions so that your data are equal or superior to it.

Google has published a complete Questions and Answers about this service.

You can read it by clicking here: Questions and answers about Google Analytics and Comparative Function


Find out what is the conversion rate of visitors arriving through a search engine

A study by WebSideStory reveals conversion rates to client visits come from search engines.

Most marketers agree that the conversion ratio of customer visits is one of the metrics to follow monthly and to try to improve day after day with actions to optimize their sites and campaign optimization actions. But when you already have that ratio, we miss the power compared to other sites, to see if it is above or below the average.

Last week, WebSideStory published a study on conversion averages customer visits, the four major search engines.

The study was conducted from statistics collected by the websites of electronic commerce B2C (business to consumer end) using WebSideStory HBX as of analytics software.

The study analyzes data from millions of users who visit these pages and includes data on both organic positioning come as buying traffic keywords. Total analyzed sites totaling more than 3,000 million dollars in annual sales.

The study shows that during the month of January was the AOL search engine which got more customer conversions on ecommerce sites (6.17%), followed by MSN (6.03%), Yahoo (4.07 %) and Google (3.83%).

Una posible explicación para entender el hecho de que los ratios de conversión de usuarios de portales generalistas sean mayores que un portal orientado 100 % a búsqueda podría ser que los portales que además del buscador incluyen otros contenidos y servicios, atraen a un tipo de usuario que está más predispuesto a comprar. En cambio, los portales como Google, 100% enfocados a búsqueda, atraen más a gente que busca información y que tiene menos intención de compra.

El estudio muestra que los cuatro grandes buscadores ofrecen ratios de conversión mucho mayores que el resto de buscadores: el promedio de conversión durante del mes de enero 2006 para el total de buscadores fue de 1,97 %. Cifra que contrasta con el 2,30 % que era el promedio de los 3 últimos meses del 2005 (aunque es normal que el índice haya bajado, ya que en esta última cifra se incluye la campaña de Navidad 2005).

Another consideration about this study is that the conversion ratio of e-commerce sites that have been analyzed are certainly above average for the sector. This is because the fact of using HBX web analytics as a system allows them to optimize their sites to maximize customer conversion users:

  • On the one hand, using HBX web pages have already abolished search campaigns that are not financial performance.
  • On the other hand, this type of software allows to know step by step what users do on their websites and can, for example, to know which parts of the forms users abandon their purchase, which allows them to modify forms the maximum number of users reaches the end of the purchase.

Still, the study is interesting and allows us to place the figures obtained from our website or by our customers in a much larger context, and to know that if we improve to increase it, or whether we should congratulate ourselves for being over the average.

A final consideration about the study: The study was conducted based on e-commerce websites mainly the United States. Hence the ratio of AOL is so high. It would be interesting to have this same study, but with figures that refer to electronic commerce in Spain ... the question is: would we see Terra appear among the seekers of higher conversion?

The data:

Average conversion ratio for the 4 major search engines, e-commerce sites in January 2006:

AOL: 6,17 %
MSN: 6,03 %
Yahoo: 4,07 %
Google: 3,83 %
average figure of all search engines: 1.97%

More information about the study Internet News and in Websidestory