facebook sdk

google tag manager

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Are Ads in Blogs Successful?

Ads have been present in blogs for awhile now, and larger companies are getting into the act. The NYTimes reported that Budget Rent a Car ran a four week promotional campaign by inserting ads in 177 targeted blogs. They spent $20k, received 19.9M impressions and 60k click-throughs to the Budget blog. $.33 CPC. Is that good? Does anyone else have any blog ad CPC to compare?

An interesting quote from the article:
Even so, "the jury's still out on the metrics," Mr. Deaver said. "I'd be lying if I said I know what to measure to determine success."
This is a good opportunity for bloggers to consider better understanding their audience, so they can get in on the advertising action. I'm not talking about Adsense-Overture advertising where site content (and visitor preferences!) dictate which ads are shown. I'm more intrigued by seeing that marketing consultants are checking Technorati for information about the relevancy of the blog to determine where to place ads. Know thy visitors!

On a slightly separate note, ABSOLUT has announced that their print, TV and outdoor advertising would be taking a "back seat to the Web". This is just one example of a very big shift...will we be seeing their ads in any of our favorite blogs? (They have a great website btw...worth checking out).

Monday, November 28, 2005

What Are They Missing at the Harvard Business School?

Ok...head on over to this ivy-covered article and then come on back. What are they missing? Wouldn't it be great if they were also helping current and future business leaders understand how important it is to measure success with their web presence? If someone is going to take the time to write openly and honestly about their expanding business, future directions, or their ups and downs, I'm sure they're going to want to know a little about their audience and what keeps them coming back (and where did they come from, and how often do they come back, and do they visit other properties, etc, etc.).

I believe our friends at UBC could help the folks in Cambridge augment their curriculum a bit. We wouldn't want the mighty Crimson falling behind the curve... (disclaimer: my wife is a big red alum)

Thanks Dustin!

Filed in:

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Are Mars and Venus close enough?

Guy Creese notes that vendors often don't seem to understand their customers. He cites a couple of examples where training and support were extremely important factors to customer success (and vendor selection). No doubt. It is an excellent time to be a vendor right now, as long as you're paying close attention to your customers needs and requirements (and innovating!).

Guy notes that, especially in a maturing market like web analytics, execution is critical to success. In a parallel industry to ours, blogging tools, the market is less mature, and the tools are far less complex, but customers are no less forgiving. As I noted previously, SixApart has had some growing pains recently with their Typepad service, and won praise for communicating well with their customers during the tough times.

This week, they went a step further to mend the fences. Typepad customers received an email from Barak Berkowitz, the CEO of SixApart. In the email, customers were given options as to how much of a credit they would like, based on how much of a disruption the customer felt the recent service issues caused them.

Good idea. Taking care of customers. Others thought so too. Now they need to execute!

Filed in:

Monday, November 14, 2005

Open Source is Quick(er than Google)!

Xavier Casanova notes that folks have already created a Wordpress plugin that will add the Google Analytics (GA) code to each blog page automatically. An excellent idea. Matt Labrum created the plugin, and it's really very straightforward...and probably very useful for Wordpress users...nice work.

Two things strike me as interesting about this. First, that this plugin looks so easy to put together, and was created so quickly for a GA implementation. Of course, many other integrations have been created between content management tools and web analytics vendors. But this tool will help Google obtain faster adoption with the (growing) Wordpress crowd. I'm sure other greasemonkey scripts and plugins will follow to help enable the blogging crowd to better leverage GA. And google doesn't even have to lift a finger! Wow.

The second thing that's interesting to me about this situation is how google's blogger tool (which I'm using for this site) isn't google analytics "aware". I was curious how google was implementing analytics into blogger, so I ran a quick search in the blogger help before posting this article and got this:

Not surprising really...Google is a big company now. They have so many simultaneous projects going on, it must be a real chore to keep up with everything. I'm sure Blogger will be adding some nifty features soon. In the meantime, it's very cool to see others out there innovating tools quickly!

Filed in:

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

LiveJournal and Privacy Issues

KevinK posted a very interesting article that everyone in web analytics should read. It covers the deployment and subsequent removal of a web analytics tracking tool on the LiveJournal site.

Web analytics vendors walk a very fine line with regard to privacy. Third party tools collect almost any data that customers would like to forward to them. Customers can sometimes make mistakes and send information that their visitors would suggest is personally identifiable (as in this case with LiveJournal users).

Some important takeaways for me from the article:
"Since the [vendor] javascript is complex and hard-to-deconstruct, we cannot say unequivocally what else, if anything, the code also tries to collect."

Note 1: Vendors need to make sure their customers understand everything that is and/or can be collected with their javascript.
"[Vendor] is legally bound to do nothing with the information other than report it back to us as anonymous and aggregate data. That's a strict legal commitment they've made to us and they make publicly via their privacy policy."

Note 2: Vendor privacy policies are extremely important and must accurately reflect exactly what they say they will do with the data they collect.
"COPPA -- we completely respect the letter and spirit of COPPA (refresher). Again, we do not share personally identifiable information with [vendor] or enable [vendor] to collect it about any users, including those under 13. There are two types of under 13 users on LJ -- those whose parents have given us permission and those who have not and therefore can only view public pages but cannot use the application."

Note 3: This is serious business. Vendors must be very clear about privacy issues and regulations surrounding the data they collect. COPPA is just one example...there are many others.

I'm impressed with LiveJournal's thoughtful response on this topic that has clearly upset some of their users. All site operators should make sure they review their privacy policy on a regular basis and match what they are saying with the data they are collecting.

Also, for sites that determine they collect sensitive data that seems inappropriate to send to a third party collection environment, they should investigate options to keep the data in-house.

Filed in:


webtrends reinvigorate analytics