19 May 2007

Win-Loss Analytics: New or Evolving Practice of Actionable Analytics

Today I took some time to look up what Wikipedia.org had to say about web analytics and where they were drawing their information from. No surprise WAA and Mr. Eric T. Peterson were cited on the page. There was some talk about emetrics and the "Hotel Problem" which I thought was interesting but somehow trivial. Then, I took some time to read about and look into something called Win/Loss Analytics.

As it turns out, the definition is basically stating that Win/Loss analytics and analysis is a true single user path analysis. You look at a single customer experience compared to others and cite whether or not the path converted. A conversion is a win, a non-conversion is a loss. I've been interested in this for sometime but was unsure of how to arrive at a methodology. Using SiteCatalyst, we've been able to look directly at a single path of conversion from the referrer or entry all the way through to the closure of the path or at the departure post-conversion. It can be a little tricky at times, but the value derived from the information is quite high.

Try it yourself.

Take a solid look at the referring domains into the site through the "Finding Methods" provided in conversion. Then, take a look at the same thing in your traffic reports. Match the keywords up to the path, if collected upon loading your site, or available in the URL provided by the traffic report drill-down blender available. Trace the path all the way through to conversion. It will take some time to really refine your technique and to do some checking to ensure that the information which you are using is correct, but I have found it very useful for a variety of reason.

1. It can help improve your keywords campaigns. Granted, its a little work intensive to do it, but the value can be derived over time to justify the efforts.
2. You get a picture of where your customers, the one's who buy, come from, how they react to areas within the site, and, now that we have the Forms Analysis, where they bump into trouble in the path.
3. You can compare the conversion structure (I think that's probably a new term) posited by the type of referrer you are seeing produce traffic to the site. For example, you can manually segment (which I say only because I haven't found a method yet to automate the process) the referring domains into a couple categories: Primary Search Engines, Sub-Primary Search Engines, Product Feeds, Forums, etc. and measure them versus each other. In the end, you can sort these and find out where it make the most sense to concentrate your efforts.

There's really quite a bit more which can be provided by this. I'm available for discussion as necessary so long as it doesn't interfere with my job functions. Email is best.

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