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February 17, 2009

SES London - Measuring Success in a 2.0 world

By SEOidiot

Moderator: Mike Grehan

  • Richard Zwicky, Founder & CEO, Enquisite
  • Miles Bennett, Director, Targetstone Limited
  • John Marshall, CTO, Market Motive
  • Neil Mason, Director of Analytical Consulting, Foviance


What do we need to track? 
Many years ago clients merely asked that we needed to simply track hits

Richard Zwicky - 2.0 is how user want to interact with the web.  Measure the value delivered rather than simple numbers

Miles Bennett - Usability towards growing registrations rather than simple traffic metrics.

John Marshall - Becoming tougher to measure the success of the business rather than simply the website. So much of the interaction with business now happens off the website (think RSS feeds etc)

Neil Mason - Define what you mean by success - time needs to be taken to make the client understand what success means. Analytics simply show behaviour rather than determine success in the visitor achieving what they came to achieve.

How does the client determine what the KPI's are ?

Richard Zwicky - Clients do need to be lead through the process

John Marshall - Its getting harder for the client to grasp the fact that a lot of the value happens away from the website. Email marketing for example can be difficult as so many of the savvy younger web users use mediums like social networking

Mike Grehan - In 2.0 there are so many additional factors (think user generated content video etc)

Miles Bennett - Trends, peaks and troughs as a method to show where the risks and value are. It doesn't matter what the historic numbers are if they get problems off site on things like Youtube it can still affect the brand.

Mike Grehan - How important is it to measure things like tagging - del.icio.us twitter hashtags etc

Neil Mason - The toolkits are sparse in that area so its difficult. researching using the newer tools helps large customers to start to understand the value from multi channel behaviour.

John Marshall - The analytics traditional tend to now give a more 2 dimensional view but don't tell us much about the intention and experience of the user. Surveys are an important tool as is competitive information. KPI referrals from search is better with a view of share of search as it gives a far more meaningful metric.

Richard Zwicky - Professional analytics give so much more than the basic tools like google analytics etc - we fall into that as its easier when some of the professional tools give so much more. Its like a professional photographer using a high end SLR verses the ease of use of something like a camera phone.


Mike Grehan - So how do we add value to our clients?
People give value too often to the last click rather than the whole picture

Neil Mason - To do a job you need a variety of tools. Google Analytics - good strong basic analytics tool but as you ask more questions you start to need more tools. Got to get the data in one place as you need to be able to see all the data across the different technologies and therefore be unable to understand the total picture which then in turn informs what decisions you make.

John Marshall - Admission of complexity is a first step in understanding that we need to change. Tools like Hitwise and other competitive data isn't a replacement for analytics but provides an additional layer.

Mike Grehan - tools that are out there ?

Neil Mason - Hitwise as competitive analysis
John Marshall - Compete

Many of the newer tools are expensive as we have been lulled into a sense that analytics data is free whereas many of the new services rely on work that costs a great deal to assemble.

Mike Grehan - what are the important KPI's?

Miles Bennett - its hard to give a one size fits all as they need to align with the customers objectives

Neil Mason - You have to first define what the goals of the business are and these have to be clear and confident. what does good look like (what would the indicators be of success). Then looking at how you can measure that, perhaps for an investment company good may be determined by phone call enquiries. Many of these metrics point to outcomes that manifest themselves in actions offline.

Richard Zwicky - The site isn't an island in the business and so you need to understand how to listen to those customers

Q & A

Measuring success
If the client doesn't have a clear idea of the 'value' of each lead what can you do to counter that?

John Marshall - There are tools that can help attach the real search query into the lead generation tool. this then gives the sales people the opportunity to see the types of leads and it gives them a way to value those leads. Think - if the referral from search was 'cheap widgets' that gives the client a better idea of the value of that lead versus other terms.

How much time do you suggest businesses devote to measuring success?

Miles Bennett - Web analytics and data analysis is a full time role and people need to give it the resource to get the value

Richard Zwicky - If you define the goals then you can define the amount of time that you need to spend with the data to achieve those goals

Neil Mason - The more the pressure of the current climate bites the amount of time between adjustment cycles will mirror the faster pace of changes within the client.


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