Who moved my traffic?

Your site traffic is down, you are running up and down the hallway freaking out.  Wait before you get all anxious about the traffic, downturn in your traffic might not be something to freak out.
Below are some of the things to look at to find out why your traffic is down. Some reasons are within you control (stop freaking start working) some out of your control. Some might be very obvious and some might not.

  •  Seasonal Impact – Do year over year comparison and see how the traffic pattern was last year.
  • May be overall traffic is down even for your competitors (do comparison at http://www.alexaholic.com/ )
  • Has a new competitor entered the space? How is their traffic?
  • Traffic drivers – How was the traffic from these sources?
    • Campaigns (Banners, Search, Emails) – Has anything changed.
    • Email – Did anything change there? Did you send out your regular emails, newsletters?
    • Search – Did you change anything here, have search engines changed their algorithm.
    • Search – Did you change your site? Meta Tags? Content?
    • Affiliates – Has any affiliates changed their site.
  • Environmental Factors – How is the weather in the geographical region where you have most visitors from? Nice weather can keep people outdoors, resulting in lower traffic.
  • Was there any site outage
  • Have you made change to your web analytics tool configuration? If yes, investigate what those were? Problems in filter could be filtering out a lot of traffic.

This was originally written in 2006 at – Web Analytics, Behavioral Targeting and Optimization by Anil Batra

Online KPIs – Back to Basics

Those who have been doing web analytics for a while know how important it is to define proper online Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). But believe me, there are a lot of marketers who are confused about online KPIs, difference between KPIs and metrics and how to define them. So I am going back to basics with this post.

What are KPIs

Web analytics tools collect a lot of data and provide a lot of metrics and reports. In fact most of the web analytics tool vendors proudly talk about number of reports that can be created in their tool. These reports, metrics and data might look interesting but we all know interesting is not necessarily important. KPIs, on the other hand, are the important metrics; the metrics that provide a view into the health of the business and are tied to the business goals. They allow business owners to focus on the things that are important to drive their business. Key Performance Indicators tell a business owner whether he or she is meeting their business goals or not. Good KPIs provide context and hence are usually represented as ratio, percentage, indexes etc and not as raw numbers. KPIs drive actions within an organization.

KPIs are specific to a business role. So, not all people in the organization have the same KPIs though all the KPIs should ultimately be tied to overall business goals. The CEO has a set of KPIs, a merchandising manager has a set of KPIs and a marketing manager has yet another set of KPIs. However, all of the respective executives (departments) need to be defined keeping overall business goals and CEO’s KPIs in mind.

Another way to understand KPIs is that they are the metrics that make people freak out when they go in the reverse direction from the expected and call for immediate actions.

Since so much is riding on the KPIs, it is very critical that you pay due attention in defining your KPIs. Understand what business goals are and then think about what activities and/or user behaviors relate to your business goals. Put together a list of all the metrics that will measure those activities and/or user behaviors. Weed out the unimportant metrics, figure out what are important metrics and what are critical few (and hence KPIs) that have an impact on the business goals. Note: For your analysis you will need to look at more than your KPIs to provide you a bigger picture. Remember, all KPIs are metrics but not all metrics are KPIs

Characteristics of KPIs

Dennis Dennis R. Mortensen lists following 7 KPI characteristics on his blog “Visual Revenue”

    1. a KPI echoes organizational goals
    1. a KPI is decided by management
    1. a KPI provides context
    1. KPI creates meaning on all organizational levels
    1. a KPI is based on legitimate data6. a KPI is easy to understand
    1. a KPI leads to action!

Those are all great characteristics of KPIs. I however differ a little on point number 2. In my opinion great KPIs are those that are agreed upon by those it directly impact and will be taking actions so they are not just handed down by the upper management. And as I said above they should all be tied to overall business goals.

How many KPIs should you have?

I don’t think there is any rule but in my experience you should limit it to no more than 6.

Reporting on KPIs

KPIs should be presented in an easy to consume dashboard. Web Analytics tools have built in dashboards but most of them are limited in terms of the functionality and flexibility. My recommendation is to present KPIs in a separate dashboard that not only shows KPIs but also trending and brief analysis. Without trending and analysis the KPIs might not provide a complete picture. Excel, PowerPoint or third party dashboard tools work the best for reporting the KPIs. Since they are outside the web analytics tool they also allow you to integrate other data sources, as needed.

Books on Web KPIs

Eric Peterson has a great book on the subject, called The Big Book of KPIs

Originally Posted on Web Analytics, Behavioral Targeting and Optimization by Anil Batra

How to grow your web analytics skills (within your current role)

If you are an analyst looking to further develop your skills, what can you do (within your current role) to further grow and develop? Here are a few of my thoughts, though I am certain there are many others.

In no particular order …

1. Interact with others in the industry

  • Join Twitter, follow your web analytics peers. Twitter can be an amazing educational resource if you use it for something other than “I ate a ham sandwich today.” You get to hear about the challenges that analysts working with different business models or analytics tools face, what is going on in the industry, what the vendors are saying and perhaps new functionality they’re releasing.
  • But more importantly than reading what others say on Twitter: contribute. Voicing your views will force you to think them through. And everyone disagreeing with you (it will happen one day!) will be a great learning experience to see those other viewpoints.
  • Go to Web Analytics Wednesdays
  • Take the time to go to lunch/happy hour/etc with your peers within your company and “geek out”. While you may work in the same company, your responsibilities and experiences may still differ, and you can learn from the experiences, thoughts and views of others.

2. Take advantage of free learning opportunities

  • Attend free webinars. There are so many out there (you’ll find out about them through Twitter, blogs etc) and they can be a great resource
  • Attend free trainings (yes, they do exist. I can’t tell you how many emails I get from MicroStrategy about free one-day trainings.)

3. Attend conferences

  • This one can be tougher if your employer doesn’t support this. However, make an argument for why it is of benefit to the business. Trust me, the vendors give you plenty of information about how to sell their conference to your company!
  • If you can swing the cost, you do have the option to pay for it without your company’s support (or “financial assistance”) …!

4. Volunteer

  • Join the Analysis Exchange, a program that brings web analytics students, mentors and non-profit organisations together, to give more web analytics experience to the student and analytics assistance to the organisation.
  • Know a friend/family member/co-worker with their own site? Blog? Small business site? Volunteer your time to help them set up a free web analytics solution, and take time out of your schedule to analyse their site on a regular basis. Don’t know anyone? Why not start your own site? It doesn’t have to be big. It also doesn’t have to be about web analytics. But it will certainly give you a taste of analysing a different type of site, as well as some of the challenges of getting traffic!
  • Volunteer to work on things outside the scope of your standard role within your company. Is there a project out there that you think analytics could help with, but no one is asking for help? Volunteer it!

5. Read
6. Read
7. And then read some more

  • There are a lot of great books out there. Start with one. (A hint: If this sounds completely dull to you, and you can’t imagine anything worse than reading about analytics in your spare time, really take a look at whether you are in the right field …)
  • Read both corporate blogs (e.g. web analytics vendors: Omniture, Google Analytics, etc) and those of your peers
  • Ask your peers for their recommendations of books, blogs, journals, magazines, articles, etc
  • But don’t stop just at web analytics books. Start reading about related fields. Product development. Design. Usability. Marketing. Social media. Statistics. Even cognitive psychology!

8. Keep your eyes open to what employers are hiring for

  • Sure, maybe you’re happy where you are at your current company. Maybe you don’t feel you’ve extracted all the learnings you can from your current role. (That’s a great position to be in!) But keep your eyes open for what positions are out there.
  • Why? Seeing what employers want will allow you to keep a mental checklist of what skills you need to improve on, prior to your next promotion or job change. Better yet, think about what you want your next move to be, and monitor the companies that are hiring for that type of role. What are the requirements and responsibilities they have for it? This ensures you’re working towards filling those requirements in the future. You can’t grow into a position if you don’t even understand what it involves!

What other advice would you give?

[Originally published at MicheleHinojosa.com]

Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started in Web Analytics

I remember what it was like to walk through the door at my brand new job, my very first job as a web analyst, wondering what I’d gotten myself into. In retrospect, what did I wind up learning the hard way? What would been helpful to know up front? What should I have been prepared to expect? With that in mind, here are 10 things I wish I knew when I started in web analytics:

  1. You will sit between the techies and the marketers. Figuratively, and maybe literally. Make friends on both sides of the fence.
  2. You will learn all about your business. Not just the stats part. Not just the web part. The work you do in web analytics will only make sense once you’ve put it in the general context of your business.
  3. Ahem, what is this thing you call a “Visit”? Know your standard web metric definitions by heart, and be able to recite them concisely for people who ask. They will ask.
  4. Dirty, dirty, dirty. Numbers won’t match, they won’t add up, they won’t make sense, sometimes they won’t even exist. Know how much dirt you’re willing to live with, then accept it and move on.
  5. You will learn to love the query string. You will come to see it as a beautiful haiku. You will know it backwards and forwards. You will repeatedly explain its usage to people who need to append campaign codes to URLs.
  6. CSV stands for “comma-separated value” … it’s a file format, every data analyst’s friend, and – inexplicably – it doesn’t even have to be comma-separated. Huh.
  7. Operators are standing by. Know the support hotline number for your commercial web analytics vendor of choice, and don’t be afraid to call. If you have one sticky note on your monitor it should be that number. Actually two sticky notes. The other one should say, “Patience is a Virtue.”
  8. Don’t fall into the “report monkey” trap. Manually-repetitious activities are not a good use of your time, so automate wherever possible. Strive to spend your cycles doing thinking fellers work, and leave robot work to the robots.
  9. You are not alone. Right now there are other web analysts sitting at their own desks, somewhere between the techies and the marketers, and they’re facing exactly the same issues that you are. You will meet them at Web Analytics Wednesday.
  10. Think long-term. From the very beginning, think about where you want your career to go and make every effort to develop in that direction. Your entry-level position in web analytics can/should/will lead to other things, so know what you’re targeting and go for it.

Originally Posted at: http://june.typepad.com/june/2010/03/index.html

 

Looking to fill your Web Analytics or Online Marketing position?  Post your open jobs on Web Analytics Job Board.

Individual Visitors Tracking or Aggregate Data – Which One Is The Right Method?

Should web analytics tool track visitors as unique individuals or at the aggregate level? John Squire, Chief Strategy Office of Coremetrics says that tracking at Individual level is the way to go and this is how his company is differentiating itself (from Google analytics). Brian Clifton, former heard of Google Analytics in EMEA, responded by saying that aggregation is the way to go.

In my opinion both of them are right. Which route to go really depends on what you want from the web analytics tool?

Aggregate Data

If you are new to web analytics or you just want to track and analyze the overall health of your website, aggregated data will work for you. If you want to know how your marketing efforts are performing in terms of driving traffic or online conversions than aggregate data will just work fine for you. If you want to know which pages of your site are bleeding and then conduct A/B testing or Multivariate testing to improve them then aggregate data will work for you.
Individual Visitor Tracking

However as companies mature in their use of web analytics data they will need individual level tracking.

A company which is ready to do personalization will need to understand each individual browsing/purchase behavior to put the right offers/products in front of her. That is not possible with aggregated data.

It sounds perfectly ok to know that 75% of visitors abandoned the shopping cart but won’t it be nice to know who those 75% are or a way to convert at least some of those 75%? This is where individual tracking will come in handy. If visitors, who abandoned the shopping cart, leave an email during the process then you can send them a targeted email based on how far along they were in the shopping process, what products they had looked at, what product they had in shopping cart, etc. You don’t need to analyze every single data point but you can have business rules that can trigger those emails. However, to do so you will need to track at individual level. Even if you don’t want to send an email if you know the cookie id of the visitors you can put a personalized offer in front of them when they return back to your site and this will require tracking at individual level.

Individual tracking also comes in handy when the sales people call the lead that they just got from the website. Knowing what the person, who filled the contact us form, did on the website could provide a lot of information to sales person who can then tailor their conversation based on this information.

There are several more scenarios where aggregate data just won’t work. You will need individual level tracking.

I agree that tracking individual has privacy implication that need be properly addressed before tracking each person. However privacy issues also exist when you anonymously track visitors at aggregate level and those need to be addressed too.

So should you choose a tool that aggregates the visitor data or the one that tracks them individually? It all depends on what you want to do with that data. If you need help in figuring out what tool will work best for you feel free to email me at batraonline at gmail.com

Comments/Questions?

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Looking to fill your Web Analytics or Online Marketing position? Post your open jobs on http://www.web-analytics-jobs.com/
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Originally Posted at : Individual Visitors Tracking v/s Aggregate Data – Web Analytics, Behavioral Targeting and Optimization by Anil Batra

Web Metrics Pitfalls and Incentives

Website managers operate in a data rich environment. If it happens on your web page, & you decide you care about it, you can track it. And if you can track it, you can set goals around it & hold people responsible for meeting those goals…. The marketing team is responsible for transfers. Repeat visits are the responsibility of the engineering team. John is responsible for new account sign ups. With appropriate instrumentation & tracking (sometimes more difficult than it sounds!!), an organization can evaluate whether individuals & groups are meeting their goals. Evaluation is step one towards compensation, and when compensation is on the line, you can be damn sure people are going to be focused on making. their. numbers.  If you are a boss, YOU better be damn sure you are giving your people the right numbers to focus on.  In large organizations esp., many people end up  managing to a single number.  And throughout large organizations, even when many metrics are consulted, the drive for simplicity & collective understanding (and hopefully the organizational focus that results) will often lead people to a single number. One metric to rule them all, if you will.

One obvious way to go wrong when using this model is by picking the wrong metric(s). Again, focusing on a single number magnifies this danger.  For example… driving transfers to your site is your goal. Single-minded pursuit of THAT number can easily result in driving unqualified, unproductive traffic to your site. All while you comfortably make your goal. Oops. In this case it would be best to balance w/ length of session and/or repeat visits. Admittedly, this introduces complexity.

The more insidious way of going wrong is gaming the system. Metrics are about measurement. And measurement requires a known process. And known processes are gameable. You could change your URL structure to get previously uncounted pages counted; you could split articles into multiple pages to spike page views; you could redirect established traffic funnels.

And let’s not forget about who’s at the wheel… a bunch of type-A achieveaholics.  And that’s life, but if you give a type-A achieveaholic resources or an established traffic funnel and a number to make… suddenly massive amounts of traffic are being redirected to achieve goals. And on the collateral damage side of the equation.. the users.  They end up getting jerked around so people can make their goals & get paid (worthy goals, no doubt!).

And here’s an additional downer, if an independent party is responsible for measurement & you get caught gaming their system, it could sully your relationship w/ them & look bad publicly. Internally, the consequences are potentially worse. You’re going along thinking you are doing fine, all the while you could be undermining yourself.

So what do you do?  Most people say to go simple.  But single-minded focus on achieving a number can blind you to the complexities of what is happening on your website.  Instead, I recommend countering the drive for simplicity with some supplementary complexity.  Single numbers (or small numbers of numbers) are powerful tools for clarity & focus.  This is especially valuable in a large organization where people can easily lose sight of their goals.  But there have to be additional numbers that people watch.  Ideally these would be metrics that can provide contrary evidence to success in the face of growth in the key metric.  To repeat the example from above, if driving trials is your goal, stay focused on that number, but also keep an eye on repeat visits, & length of session.  Ultimately, you want to direct your numbers towards your users.  Of course, in a cookie based tracking system, you can’t really identify the user all that well.  But that’s why the job is fun, or at least, they need someone to do it.

Originally Posted at: http://www.menggoh.com/63/web-analytics/web-metrics-pitfalls-and-incentives/

Analytics Mission Statement and Team Structure

Analytics Mission Statement: “Bring data to the masses and make data-driven decision making a reality”


How do you build an analytics team? Tell your manager you need money to measure social media! No seriously, I heard it’s easy to hire people, everyone on the “interweb” is “social media experts”. For some of us, we have multi-channels analytics need, SEM, Display Advertising, good ole fashion Direct Marketing and a whole bunch of other internal data we need to deal with. Building a team could be quite daunting.

Before I starts the usual blah blah on how to do hiring, I want to share a story.  In the not so distanced past, I had my career review(here at the mother ship we take it seriously), the memorable feedback I received stand in my way of promotion is leadership. “You have excellent management skill, Meng; but you need to improve you leadership” said my manager.

What is Leadership? For me, leadership is to have vision, to anticipate future growth and direction of the company, have the courage to take calculated risk and execute. So…do you have the vision, courage and patience to bring ass-kicking analytics practices, insights and in turn “mucho mullah $$$” to your company? Do you have the courage to take calculated risk? Be the Hokage of your clan, leads your ninjas to bring insights to your organization against the corporate hacks, bureaucrats and simple-minded marketers (I kid, I kid, I am a marketer at heart). Have you been wrong many times? If you haven’t, it’s time you try something new because you haven’t been “A/B testing” everyday and doing your “MVT”. In fact, My A and B both sucks many times!

Our team has very rigorous process of setting yearly commitment tied to precise deliverable. Having a analytics mission statement help guides me to focus on the right thing and not waste resources. I know mission statement is corny, I don’t care, I am writing it anyway. My team’s mission statement is “Bring data to the masses and make data-driven decision making a reality”. Here are a few sub-objectives to bring more clarity to that mission statement:

  1. Build a sustainable data infrastructure (must..resist..the urge..to knock..Google Analytics) to measure multi/cross-channels digital marketing ROI. I have two types of audiences: a. the big bosses, you know, the gazillions Directors, GMs, VPs around here. b. the marketers and agencies. For the big bosses, we deliver “BI” and KPI, for the marketers, we delivers data (see #2). We build platforms and tools to enable marketing operation, reporting and analytics, share best practices and improve Go-To-Market efficiency. For example, we build our own data warehouse and segmentation tools, our own marketing process management workflow tool and execute our direct marketing, all in-house because scale is the challenge with everything we do here. Our scale is enormous in comparison to other companies, we collect petabyte of data, from which I need only a few drops of marketing traffic, a strict qualitative ROI model would’ve #failed as our primary objective is still mainly to build brand. We have our internal awareness and perception tracking system to measure traditional media such as TV ads and brand improvement. We use comScore and Compete for research, out of those insights we then have to build targeting capabilities, it’s useless if we can act on these finding.
  2. Knows where my team fit in and build efficient organization structure. I am part of centralized Business Intelligence and Customer Intelligence team, we serve both product management and marketing and I am on the marketing side.  On the marketing side, each marketing department from different business groups have their own marketing analytics people, they are our partners. The reason behind this structure is ..well, it’s your money, if you wasted it buying $20 CPC keyword because your relevancy and quality score sucks, well it’s your fault. Simple as that.
  3. Review and improve our processes, conduct researches on various marketing campaigns and channels, share best practices across different business groups. Publish training and information so that marketers worldwide can efficiently leverage our capabilities.

Now I have a better idea on what type of resources I need to deliver my commitment. I have databases to maintain so I need a SQL expert. I have campaign sites to tag so I need an instrumentation consultant. I need to pull data regardless of what all the expert say, so I need reporting robot. Lastly I need “Analyst”, my ninjas, the one who dig into the data and find the golden nuggets. I am ready to build a team. As you can see, my needs are very different from yours, so my team would be very different from yours even though we are in the same analytics field of work.

If you have a mission statement for your team, I would love to hear it. If not, maybe it’s time to create one.

Originally Posted at: http://www.menggoh.com/72/management/analytics-mission-statement-and-team-structure/

Web Analytics – Tool For Measuring Off Line Efforts

Web Analytics, as the name suggests, is used for measuring and analyzing the web traffic. Online campaigns can be effectively measured by almost all of the web analytics tool in the market.
To measure online campaigns you assign a unique campaign identifier at the end of the landing url and then use your analytics tool to see how many people responded to the end and then track them all the way to end conversion. It is easy (sort of) to calculate your Return on Investment on online campaigns.

You can use the same method to track offline campaigns, print, in-store display ads, billboards etc.

Here is how it works

  1. Create a campaign tracking code(s) to track this campaign just like you do in online campaign
  2. Create a easy to remember unique URL e.g. http://www.SeattleIndian.com/saveondining
  3. The URL created in step 2 above redirect the users to actual landing page passing the campaign variables.
  4. When a user arrives on page created in step 2, the user will be redirect as in step 3 and it will appear in the web analytics tool as the user is coming from a campaign.
  5. Add the URL created in step 2 to your print advertising and you are done.

Example:
I will be using Google analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics) for this example

  1. You have a campaign called “Save on Dining” running as a Half page color in local newspaper
  2. Your campaign variables are
    utm_source=Newspaper
    utm_medium=Print
    utm_content=HalfPageColorAd
    utm_campaign=SaveOnDining

  3. Create a easy to remember unique Vanity URL e.g. http://www.SeattleIndian.com/saveondining
  4. The URL created in step 2 above redirect the users to actual landing page passing the campaign variables.
    http://www.seattleIndian.com/dining.asp?utm_source=Newspaper&utm_medium=Print
    &utm_content=HalfPageColorAd&utm_campaign=SaveOnDining
  5. When a user arrives on http://www.SeattleIndian.com/saveondining will be redirect to http://www.seattleIndian.com/dining.asp?utm_source=Newspaper&utm_medium=Print
    &utm_content=HalfPageColorAd&utm_campaign=SaveOnDining

Note: You can also set some variables on the Vanity URL web analytics tracking code instead of redirecting to a new URL.

Add the URL created in step 2 to your print advertising and you are done.

So why did I write this article? Well, there are two reasons why I decided to write this article today.

  1. I have been involved with tracking campaigns for a fortune 50 company and this topic has come several times. So I had to write this one day.
  2. I just read an article by Kevin Newcomb (http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3623461) about how one company successfully tracked offline campaigns so I thought this is a good time to write it so that users not only know that it can be done but how it can be done.

As always, I would like to hear your experiences with offline campaign tracking.

Originally Posted at : Web Analytics – Tool For Measuring Off Line Efforts – Web Analytics, Behavioral Targeting and Optimization by Anil Batra

3 Tools for Measuring the Virality of Your Content

Several studies have shown that people trust the link and site recommendation they receive from their friends or experts in the field. To capitalize on this opportunity websites have long used features like “Recommend to a Friend” or “Email this” kind of functionality. Recently we have seen a rise in usage of tools/widgets that make it easy for the visitors to share links via email and social media.

Measuring Virality
Many of the tools/widget that allow you to add easy sharing now also have built in analytics to help you track things such as which content is getting shared, how many people like to share etc, what methods do they use to share etc.

3 tools that you should look into are:

Tool Comparison

ShareThis and AddThis

ShareThis and AddThis are very similar in functionality with some minor differences but they look more like each other.

Both this widgets have very similar reporting and tell you

  • How many links were shared
  • How many people shared them
  • What content was shared
  • Number of clicks back to you site from those shares
  • Sharer’s interest
  • Geo locations of the sharers

AddThis and ShareThis only capture the information if a user uses the widget provided by these companies. However, these widgets won’t’ track the content shared by old fashioned copy and paste of either the URL or the actual content of the page. This is where Tynt comes into picture.

Tynt

Unlike AddThis and ShareThis Tyne does not have any share widget. Instead it works by automatically appending a unique hash value (a number folder by #) to each URL and the copied content. It uses that hash value (sort of like unique cookie) to determine metrics such as how many times the links/content was copied from your site, the number of visits it brought back and various other metrics.

Most of the reporting is very similar to AddThis and ShareThis widgets. Here is a list of some of the data that Tynt reports on:

  • How many times your content was shared
  • How many visitors you got back from those shares
  • What content was shared and how much
  • It even tells you how your sharing compares to others
  • Geo locations of the sharers and clickers

However, There is one report that only Tynt provides and that is the keyword report. It shows you

  1. Inbound keywords – keywords that visitors searched to get to your site (AddThis has a different variation of keyword report)
  2. Outbound keyword – the keywords that visitors found on your sites but left your site to find out more about them. This is a really cool report because it tells me what else I can write more about on my site so that my visitors don’t have to leave the site to find out more about them. I will be using that report to add more content to my blog/site.

I will cover some more details on these tools and how we use them for our clients in future but for now I suggest you look at these tools and let me know what you like or don’t like about them.

Do you know of or use any other service? Send me the details.

Note: In addition to above three there is “Facebook Like” button too.

Originally Posted at : Web Analytics, Behavioral Targeting and Optimization by Anil Batra

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Looking to fill your Web Analytics or Online Marketing position? Post your open jobs on http://www.web-analytics-jobs.com/
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QR Code Analytics

QR codes have started to pop-up in lot of places such as store display, business cards, online ads, postcards etc. Whether QR codes are here to stay or not but from the measurement perspective they do present a huge opportunity in measuring advertising’s (particularly offline) effectiveness.

If you are one of those marketers who have embraced QR code or are thinking about it or just curious to know how QR code measurement works then this post is for you.

Measuring URLs in QR Codes

You won’t be able to measure the number of impressions of the QR codes if they are distributed offline. What you can measure is how much traffic those QR codes are driving to your site or to your pages on 3rd party sites like facebook page, twitter account etc.

  • Measuring QR code links to your siteMeasuring QR codes that sends user to your site is as simple as campaign tracking. Just add the campaign tracking variable to the URLs that you have in your QR Codes and treat it like any other campaign. Then you can use your campaign reports to see how much traffic QR codes are bringing and how valuable that traffic is.

    (Note: The tracking code, that you should append, depends on your Web Analytics tool.

    For Google Analytics, you need to append add at least 3 variables, Source, Medium and Campaign Name. to the URL for it to be tracked in the Google Analytics (Check out URL Shortner, http://clop.in as it’s URL builder let’s you append the variables for tracking in Google Analytics, Omniture, WebTrend and Unica NetInsights )

    Example
    Say I want to create a QR code to send people to
    http://webanalyis.blogspot.com

    Instead of simply creating a QR code to http://webanalyis.blogspot.com I appended Google Analytic campaign tracking code so my URL looks like the following http://webanalysis.blogspot.com?utm_source=qrcode&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=qrcodeblogpost

    Now I can use the campaign tracking in Google Analytics to see the stats on my QR code advertising.

  • Measuring QR links to offfsite URLs such as Facebook pageSince you won’t have your own web analytics tool running on a Facebook page you can use a URL shortener like http://clop.in or http://bit.ly (or better yet get a URL Shortener for your own domain with built in analytics from http://clop.in) to shorten the destination URL and then build a QR code using the shortened URL. This way you can use the built in analytics functionality of the URL shortener.

    Example:
    Say I want to send user to my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TheAnilBatra

    Rather than sending user to the facebook page, via my QR code, I created a short URL using http://clop.in, http://clop.in/PByJfv and then used this shortened URL to build my QR Code.

    Now I can use the analytics reporting of http://clop.in/short-url-clopin.aspx?utm_source=qrcode&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=qrcodeblogpost to see the stats on my QR code advertising.

Tracking Phone Numbers in QR Code

To Track phone numbers, that get dialed when someone scans a QR code, use a unique phone number that you have tracking for. If you don’t have unique phone number then you can use 3rd party services likes Marchex to get a unique phone number for each QR code that you publish.

Note: To create a QR code use a service like http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

Questions? Comments?