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