Posted January 27, 2006 1:23 pm by with 3 comments

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After Brett Crosby of Google Analytics teased me from the audience about the “tricks� search marketers use to optimize web sites, during my session, I was looking forward to heckling him during his session on web analytics. Alas, Brett’s role was mostly as moderator and the opportunity to return the favor, was limited.

That being said, Brett did a great job of keeping the conversation flowing and threw in his own thoughts along the way. I’ve listed below some of the interesting soundbites from the panel.

Katherine Craig (Starwood Hotels) – they tag everything. Need to understand which marketing vehicles were most effective. They tag banners, search, emails. They can then measure cost of each medium.

They learn a lot about the landing pages they use. Data allows them to shift marketing focus even in the middle of a campaign.

Brett Crosby – sees industry wide that only one person has access to the web analytics data when it really needs to be shared with the entire company.

Katherine Craig – she is in a constant mode of translation. Different people in her company need to see the data in a different format. She asked “at what point do we stop being marketers and become analysts? It becomes binding�.

Brett Crosby – Sees the analytics industry shifting towards greater control of reports. He would like to see a bookmark option that would allow you to create your own customized report and then come back to that report, any time you wish and see those data-points. He’d like to see the option to email that report to the marketing department or CEO as a PDF or spreadsheet. (a hint of things to come?)

Some sites will accept a loss on the first purchase because they see the long-term value of a repeat buyer. They can afford to take a loss because they make it up in the long-term. It’s important for businesses to figure out not just the ROI from the sale, but the long-term value of a customer.

Web analytics allows you to find problems faced by a company. Gave example of a client that realized they were only getting orders from the west coast due to a caching problem for visitors from the east coast.

Brett also stressed the importance of analyzing the keywords used to bring in organic search traffic and using the data to find new keywords to buy on PPC.