Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Yahoo Analytics: Assists...Conversions...Revenue...You Name It

To My Blog Readers:

Based on my traffic reports for this blog, I've noticed that a lot of you visitors have been using search queries that include phrases such as "yahoo assists", "yahoo analytics", "tracking revenue with yahoo full analytics", "javascript code needed for conversion tracking yahoo", "what is an assist yahoo conversion", etc.

I'm here to say that if you have any questions or comments regarding Yahoo Analytics and its reports (such as Assists), I'd be more than happy to answer your questions directly. Simply send me an email at with your question(s) and I'll get back to you ASAP.

Why waste your time trying to get answers to your questions by reading documentation (like you have to do with "other" web analytics vendors). Yuck. Just because analytics is free, it doesn't mean you have to miss out on quality customer support.

I'll see you in my inbox....

Kind Regards,
Matt Lillig

Friday, September 14, 2007

Have You Played With ClickTale Yet?

For those who haven't seen the new ClickTale tracking service yet, here you go. It's a new visual tool that monitors the movements of a visitor on your pages. It also provides some interesting mouse navigation heat maps.

I find this tool interesting to visually see how people are navigating my own blog. I find it to be a nice change of pace compared to other analytics tools where you are looking strictly at numbers and charts all day. It can definitely be a useful tool for web developers.

Based on the stats ClickTale provides me, I was able to tell that this visitor in the video below was:

- From the US
- Using IE
- Actively looking at my blog for 5 minutes and 17 seconds
- Referred from Google after searching for the term "web analyst position"
- Landed on my post called "How Many Stats Would A Stats Analyst Track If A Stats Analyst Could Tack Stats"

Follow the little square (actual mouse movement) on the video.....

Here is a snapshot of their heat map report. From this image, you can tell (if you look closely) that this one visitor's mouse icon spent 17 seconds in the red area:

For the free service, ClickTale will provide you with 100 free videos a week. If you want more, that have a subscription service available.
For more information, visit:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Web Analytics Interview w/ Rich Earle from Tokens

A few months ago I did a web analytics interview with my good friend Rich Earle who is the blogger for the business blog "Tokens".

Tokens is a blog that provides "impactful tools, tips, and thought provoking messages that provide value in the way you ultimately view, conduct, or renovate your sales, client service and marketing processes." (select the 'Web Analytics' link under 'Categories')

Monday, June 25, 2007

"Analytics, Appetizers, & Ales"

I invite you to join myself and the Yahoo Analytics team on July 11th at BJ's Brewhouse in Burbank, CA for a Web Analytics Wednesday event.

The event starts at 6pm.

107 S 1st St
Burbank, CA


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Yahoo! 'Assists' Their Advertisers On PPC Bidding

For those who have explored Yahoo's latest web analytics options, you have most likely come across the 'Assists' report and wondered what the heck it is. Even more so, you may have asked yourself, "How am I supposed to use it?"

First let me break down what Assists are. Assists are simply keywords that played a part in assisting other keywords in getting a conversion.


Ok, here's an example:

Let's say I'm a visitor looking to purchase a computer. I go to and run a search using the term "computer" . I decide on clicking the Sony sponsored search ad for computers. I dig around on the web site but end up not purchasing anything. I then come back 14 days later and use the search term "Laptop" on But this time I decide to click on a different Sony sponsored search ad....for laptops. I reach the same site and I finally decide to make a puchase (conversion).

The results in Yahoo....

The term "computer" will be counted towards an Assist
The term "Laptop" will be counted towards a Conversion

1. Assists are tied to conversions for up to 45 days. If my first search was "computer", that term will be counted as an Assist as I long as I convert within 45 days following that first search.
2. The visitor must click through one or more of the same advertiser's ads before the Assist will be tied to the Conversion. For the above example, the visitor clicked on the Sony ad for 'computers' and then came back and clicked on the Sony ad for 'laptops'.
3. The advertiser must be using Yahoo's 'Conversion Only' analytics tag or Yahoo's 'Full Analytics' tags on their confirmation/thank-you page.

Great description Matt, but how do I make use of Assists for bidding on my keywords??

Let's first take a look at what the Assists report looks like in Yahoo...

When looking at the keyword level in your Yahoo reports (in this case it's called 'Marketing Activity') you see that the keywords are broken down into Leads (# of times visitors reached your landing page), Assists, and Conversions (# of visitors who reached your confirmation/thank-you page).

With traditional analytics reporting, advertisers will typically look at the keyword to see how many conversions it received to determine how they want to bid on that keyword. In this case, they would see that "Raiders Tickets" had received zero conversions (I am a Raiders fan, so this was a tough example for me to cough up!). With no conversions, typically the advertiser would either lower the bid on the keyword or completely dump the keyword as a "non-performer".

However, having an Assists column adds a whole new dimension to the way we traditionally think about bidding on terms. You'll notice that while the term "Raiders Tickets" didn't convert, it did drive 33% of the Assists. This means the term "Raiders Tickets" played a part in assisting other keywords in getting a conversion.

Think about it in basketball terms. A point guard might get 20 assists but no points (conversions) in one night. That's still a pretty productive night for the point guard! Are you going to bench your point guard after he dished out 20 assists and helped the other players score 40+ points?!?! No way! That point guard is valuable to the team.

Same theory goes into thinking about your keywords. Before you lower the bid on a particular keyword you should ask yourself, "Just because this keyword didn't convert well for me, did it help other kewords convert? If so, do I really want to lower the bid on a keyword that drives a high percentage of my total Assists?" Probably not. More likely, you'll want to continue to bid on this keyword as it's helping drive conversions and brand awareness.

So really, Assists help out on two fronts:

1. They Assist other keywords in converting and

2. They Assist YOU, the advertiser, in making smarter bidding decisions.

You can also find a great post on Yahoo's Assists at:

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Yahoo Web Analytics

Updated Note (11/20/2008): The post below dicusses the analytics found in the Yahoo! Sponsored Search interface (known as 'Conversion Only' analytics and 'Full Analytics'). It does not discuss Yahoo' s new web analytics platform called Yaho! Web Analytics. Information about Y!WA can be found by visiting:

Yeah, you read it right. Yahoo has web analytics. And I'm not talking about just good old conversion tracking either. With the introduction of Yahoo's new search marketing platform (a.k.a. "Panama"), high end Yahoo advertisers now have the choice of choosing from two analytics options.

The first option is the more traditional conversion tracking analytics. Or what Yahoo refers to as 'Conversion Only Analytics". Just like in the past, pay-per-click advertisers can place a java script tag (Conversion Tag) onto their confirmation page to help track form completions or shopping cart purchases. This conversion information can then be used to help avertsiers optimize the performance of their ads.

The second option is a newly released anaytics functionality called 'Full Analytics'. Full Analytics allows advertisers to take a deeper look into their online sales funnel by showing them the full path of their visitors from start to finish. Rather than simply relying on just a conversion tag to provide visitor data, advertisers can now place up to three different tags on their pages to help aid in visitor analysis.

The three new tags consists of a 'Universal Tag' and two Event tags. Event tags are broken down into a 'Prospect Tag' and a 'Conversion Tag'.

The 'Universal Tag' is used to track your visitors from page to page (visitor path). It is used on each page that the advertiser wants tracked.

The Event tags are used to record events that happen on your web site (ex. form completions or purchases). With event tags, the advertiser has the option to track up to 5 different events.

The 'Prospect Tag' is used to indicate a visitor's intent to transact. For example on a checkout or signup form page, a Prospect Tag would be used.

The 'Conversion Tag' is used to monitor that a visitor has completed a transaction. This tag of course is similar to the Conversion Only option that is mentioned above. The Conversion tag is placed on a purchase or form completion (confirmation/thank-you) page.

Once an advertiser tags their pages with these three pieces of code, they are now armed with the ability to view a full conversion funnel. The full funnel includes data on Leads, Browsers, Prospects, and Conversions.

Lead: A visitor who arrives at the advertier's landing page after clicking on their ad (tracked with Universal Tag).
Browser: A visitor who views more than one page (also tracked with a Universal Tag)
Prospect: A visitor who reaches an "intent to buy" page (tracked with a Prospect Tag)
Conversion: A visitor who reaches a call to action page (tracked with a Conversion Tag)

Together with the data that is already tracked through the advertiser's campaign, the advertiser can now view Impressions --> Clicks --> Leads --> Browsers --> Prospects --> Conversions

On a side note, the advertiser can also pass revenue and transaction IDs into their Conversion Tag. This information allows the advertiser to track data such as overall revenue, 'return on ad spend', and individual transactions within the same visitor session.

In conclusion, 'Full Analytics' is going to give an advertiser much more insight about their visitors beyond just plain old conversion tracking. With more insight about their visitors, advertisers can make better decisions about how they go about optimizing their ads.
The better advertisers optimize their ads, the more relevant those ads will be. The more relevant those ads are, the better the chance that those ads will be ranked in a higher position (based on Yahoo's new ad ranking formulas). The higher those ads are ranked, the more traffic they will receive. And we all know that an increase in relevant traffic means more conversions!!!!!!

Can you see the valuable pattern yet? It's a win win for both Yahoo and advertisers.

More posts about Yahoo! Web Analytics:

Yahoo! 'Assists' Their Advertisers On PPC Bidding

Yahoo Analytics: Assists...Conversions...Revenue...You Name It

Implementing Yahoo! 'Full Analytics'

More Full Analytics Training

Yahoo! Acquires IndexTools Web Analytics

Use Yahoo!'s Full Analytics To Track Yahoo!'s Seach Submit Pro Program

The Value In Tracking Online Visitor Engagement

Yahoo! Assists Are Higher Than Conversions! Say What?!?!

Yahoo! "Web Analytics" On The Rise