September 2007 Archives

Survey Says: Google Analytics

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Have you wondered which Web analytics products are most popular? I was, so the August survey on my main Web site asked marketers which Web analytics product they use.

Google Analytics was, of course, the most used product (69%) because it's hard to compete with "free." Google's 69% is similar to other research I've conducted on professionally managed Web sites. So, it appears that Google Analytics has captured about two-thirds of the Web analytics market .

Even though this wasn't a scientific survey, it represents a wide range of marketing professionals. Most participants answered the question while viewing an article on a marketing topic unrelated to Web analytics.

Here are the complete results for the 235 people who choose to participate:

Which Web analytics software or service do you use?

Google Analytics 69%
ClickTracks 7%
Unica 6%
WebSideStory/Visual Sciences HBX 5%
Digital River Fireclick 5%
Omniture SiteCatalyst 3%
Nedstat Sitestat 3%
WebTrends 3%
Coremetrics Online Analytics 0%

For the commercial products it appears that, in general, the lower priced products are more popular than the large, expensive systems. Nothing new here - there are always many more small and mid-sized companies than large companies with big budgets.

The size of Google's share of this market is probably making life tough for the commercial product vendors. Free products create a "floor" that keeps commercial vendors from selling their new, less expensive products to smaller companies.

It'll be interesting to repeat this survey in a year to see how the landscape changes.

The process of converting interested Web visitors into a paying customers is a path of several steps, and it's up to us to guide prospective customers along that path.

Web analytics consultants frequently talk about using the conversion funnel to measure the last few steps of going through the shopping cart payment process. However, there are additional steps in the purchase process where the conversion funnel tool can be used.

For many years marketers have used various models to describe the changes that occur as a prospect becomes more likely to buy a product. One model is AIDA:

  • Attention - Recognition of a problem or need
  • Interest - Curiosity about a product's features and benefits that can meet the need
  • Desire - Emotional belief that buying the product will improve life
  • Action - Making the purchase (calling the 800 number, clicking the Add to Cart button, etc),

Each of these states requires the prospect to accept additional information and update their attitude toward your product. These changes represent a "conversion" to a new purchase belief.

You can increase overall performance by monitoring and improving how well these individual conversion points affect sales.

First, identify the pages where you want visitors to change their attitude from skeptical visitor to interested prospect. Then, use conversion tracking to measure the effect they have on close rates, order size, and other key performance indicators.

If these pages help increase sales, guide more visitors through them. If they don't help, have your best direct marketing copywriter update them until they do increase your site's performance.

When customers are making the decision to purchase, make sure you have whetted their interest and peaked their desire so they're ready for action.

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