Social & Search: Rock Both Worlds with Data

Well, I’ve been studying Lisa, Barry, Virginia, and the other live bloggers, so when I saw they weren’t at SMX Toronto I figured I could give live blogging a try. Sadly, it’s even harder than I thought, which is why I’m publishing this at 6 AM the next morning. Think of it like watching the Olympics on NBC. Live-ish blogging.

Avinash Kaushik
Avinash Kaushik

Avinash Kaushik gave a fun presentation about analyzing data. Not many people can pull that off.

Some highlights:

  • I know my books were successful because the top search results for the book’s topics are the pirated versions of the book.
  • The books have raised over $100K, and it all goes to charity
  • Keep in mind the power that the internet brings to you, in terms of how well you can do your job, and about how much you can do for others.
  • My hope is just to tell you a bunch of short stories, and hopefully you’ll build mental models and be able to take them to do your job.
  • You get more clickstream data for free from Yahoo! Web Analytics than God wants you to have. If you’re paying for clickstream data you’re just flushing money down the toilet. Of course, you may like to flush money down the toilet because it makes such a nice sound.

Focus on Outcomes

Web Analytics is so much more than what you get from a tool.

What always disappoints me is how little people pay attention to Outcomes. If you shut down your tools for a few weeks probably nobody would notice. And it’s not because you’re not great, we all love you.

The important question is the Why. The internet is full of weird people and they’re all on your Website, simply trying to screw with you.

The order of questions is: The What / The How Much / The Why / The What Else / Yes!

Context is Queen

The reason we can’t convince people to use data is the people on the other end  have no idea if the numbers you presented are good or bad.

I try to provide context for every dollar that I provide.

You have to describe things so the person on the other end can understand. Your child or your CEO.

I love direct traffic because it’s free.

He mentioned 2 tools that he likes: Fireclick and Compete

The question isn’t how am I doing. It’s how am I doing relative to others.

Say no to Data Puking

Break down limits

If you do search and don’t do long tail you won’t be around for very long

Yahoo! Wordle is cool. And useful.

Juice Analytics.

Focus on Life Beyond the Top 10

Segment or Die

I look at distributions rather than averages.

Look at the people who came to your site more than twice, see who they are.

Love your loyalists!

The Long Road to Conversion

Microsoft did a study: The Long Road to Conversion

The Session is Dead. People think that PPC visitors either convert in that session or not at all, but it’s not true. Many of them get information and decide later, perhaps returning using a branded search.

Using this insight, he worked on a travel site where he tried to maximize for subsequent-day conversions.

He added 3 things:

  1. Learn more instead of Buy
  2. Save my itinerary
  3. E-mail me if the price goes up or down by more than 10%

Conversion doubled in 3 months. $18m worth of improvement. Just by segmenting and giving the computer what they wanted.

Visits good, profits better

Calculate Customer Long Term value

Social Media:

Lots of Goals

Retweets per thousand followers

Shouting at you is a dumbass Twitter strategy

The outcome you want is conversation

I measure conversation rate. Replies sent / day, received / day

Inbound msgs per outbound msgs

What + Why?

“Sentiment Analysis” Stinks because it doesn’t work, and it’s not actionable

Alternative? Nuance. Tool called “Analyze Words”

Controlled experiments for life’s tough problem

How to measure cannibalization of search

Do the basics right

Where are your ads showing up and why

Bounce Rate: “I came, I puked, I left”

“Aggregate Marginal Gains”

  • There are a lot of small things you can do every day, and they’re usually more important than the big things
  • Or said another way: “Don’t suck.”

Question (from Barbara Coll): I would overwhelm any client if I tried talking to my clients about the stuff you talked about

Answer: I have 2 strategies.

  1. You have to make it profoundly personal. Everybody is greedy. Talk about the outcomes
  2. Just show me 3 stats. Visitor Loyalty. Days to Purchase. [I would have expected an analytics expert to be able to count to 3, but whatever]. Because you already stressed the outcomes you’ll give them, they’ll listen. Most of the time they just want you to puke data out at them, because they think they’re smarter than you.

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