Lessons in Segmenting

July 9, 2007

We have now been live with Site Catalyst for exactly 7 days (minus a few hours). We get enough traffic to actually have some data to look at, which is nice, but we aren’t fully implemented yet, which isn’t so nice. It actually leaves me in a slight state of limbo able to see something and come away with interesting observations, but I’m unable to segment much of the data yet as we are still implementing. And so much of my time is spent watching and think “wow, I wonder if that means anything.”

For my own edification a breif story in segmenting and so what. One of our web properties is a subscription site. In the past week visitors to the home page (which also doubles as the login page) have navigated away in under 15 sec at a rate of 37%. Gee that seems high.

So I dig a little further, where are people going? Well it turns out that 32% are actually logging in. It would be my guess that most of those are on that home page for under 15 sec, but here is where segmenting would be nice (does anyone know how to correlate time on page with next page in SC? I’m unable to figure it out yet). Potential, that <15sec crowd is made completely of members loggin in, but I really don’t know that yet. And if that’s the case, why are so many non-members (68% – and yes I know I can’t really say that, but for arguments sake) sticking around the home page but not signing up?

Man I’ve got bunches to learn yet.

Information Frustration

June 28, 2007

My brain is ready to explode. Is there any simple, cookies on the bottom shelf kind of information about beginning the process of “So What Adventures” out there in the blogosphere?

I subscribe to a number of different blogs. All of them seem to offer very strong and helpful information, opinions and guidiance. But they only seem that way to me because my experience is so limited and I’m so naive that I don’t know that I could differentiate good from bad advice.

I started my learning process reading Avinash Kaushik’s book. It seemed the right thing to do, and as a result I’ve devoured as much of Occam’s Razor as I can get through. But so much of everything is over my head. I need (well really I’d rather) a central location to help me get my feed under me and learn to walk, but I can’t find anything of the sort so far.

Yes, I have stumbled across various posts and articles that have been good for my current situation, but I had to stumble across them. If this industry is growing as quickly as it seems to be, I think it would be a very good idea for someone to set a portal designed specifically for the WA debutants like me. I’d do it, but I don’t know anything yet.

Correlating KPImportance

June 27, 2007

Brent and I sat down with Site Catalyst today to begin building what we want for our traffic correlations. We made a critical error that I only see now looking back over our meeting, we didn’t bring with us our KPI’s nail them to wall in front of us.

In the moment it just seemed like maybe the heat (the air conditioning is out on our floor and as I type this it is a balmy 85 degrees in the office – but it’s getting fixed tomorrow) was making the thinking harder as we asked questions of each other about what do we really care about correlating and what’s important and what we may be over looking.

But now with a cool glass of water and a bit over an hour gone by I can see so clearly how much more easily that process would have gone had we had our KPI’s right there, not just to reference, but to build directly from. Rookie mistake?


June 25, 2007

I’ve joined the Web Analytics Yahoo group and I’m really digging it. Lots of nuggest of useful ideas come across my email daily. Some I can use soon, some are just discussion ideas I’ll have to think about in the future.

There is consistent reference to Web Analytics Wednesdays in various cities. It seems to me that a bunch of web analysis go out for drinks and what-not after work on a given Wednesday (some seem to meet for lunch) and talk trade. So who are the analysts in Nashville I can meet and learn from?

Specifically my trouble is with goals. While we at my real job are busy implementing I’ve been busy practicing these “So What” adventures using GA with one of my own sites for an event I have coming soon (in my spare time I swing dance, teaching and event planning). Little by little I’ve been learning the ropes, though I haven’t made any attempt at optimization yet, for the moment I’m just studying what means what and the implications.The trouble is that I’ve established a couple of goals in GA, and while I know the goals have been reached on multiple occasions I cannot, for the life of me, using any URL format, get GA to report any conversions even though the page that supposedly indicates a conversion event appears within the content reports. I’ve gone over the documentation, tried numerous formats, and still can’t get any conversions to appear. 

Oh the irony

June 20, 2007

I am loathe to live in detail work land. I don’t operate very well there, it makes me feel crazy. So the idea of web analytics excites me, lots of thinking and looking, asking, etc. with only a small amount of detail work (required from me specifically). So how ironic is it that as we implement Site Catalyst most of this week has been spent tediously weeding through the duplicate page names of our web sites and make each unique.

We have had GA implemented for some time now, though yesterday was the first day I ever looked at the reports for our company (though I have been trying to use it for a personal site for a couple weeks). Maybe it’s the result of Omniture University training, maybe it’s my lack of experience period, maybe it’s the tool itself, but it doesn’t feel like I can actually find much in GA. There are lots of reports yes, but I’m having a terrible time trying to figure out how to really drill into the data and segment by anything meaningful to me.Of course my frustration assumes that what I think is meaningful really is (remember my lack of experience). So maybe my frustration is really just further evidence of what I have to learn.I’ve read in lots of places that GA can be used quite effectively. Maybe I’m naive to assume that I should be able to use it effectively within just a few hours of practice, but what are people finding with GA and how are they actually finding it?