Thursday, December 24, 2009

Case Study: How Assisted Attribution Helped Lower A Marketer's CPA by 25.6%!

Back in August I wrote a post about using Yahoo's Assist attribution metric to help advertisers lower their CPA. This morning I came across a case study that showed how one marketer used assisted attribution to reduce their cost-per-acquisition 25.6% while also increasing sales for non-branded key terms by 15.2%!! AWESOME!

Here's the link to the case study:

Here's the link to my August blog post:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Re: Use Yahoo! Web Analytics to view campaign traffic by zip code

Just an update to this post:

I made the images clickable so you can view are larger and more readable. I also changed the 2nd image so you can see the steps I used to create the Custom Report.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Use Yahoo! Web Analytics to view campaign traffic by zip code

I just finished reading an article titled: Forecast: Geotargeted display ads to reach $1.9 billion

In the article it stated:

"By geographically targeting ads to consumers marketers can substantially increase their ability to reach in-market consumers. For example, an auto dealer can now target consumers in specific zip codes or regions rather than blanketing an entire state or block of content sites."

As I read this, I thought why not just get this geographic data out of your Yahoo! Web Analytics reports? After you've set up Yahoo! Web Analytics to track your campaigns, you can set up a simple Customized Report to see the traffic to those campaigns via zip code (click on image below).

In the image example above, I simply selected the 'Demographics' report (from the left hand nav menu) and then selected the 'Zip Code' report in the dropdown menu.

After that, I selected the 'Customize Report' icon at the top of the page and followed the steps below.

1) From the 'Groups" tab, I clicked the 'Marketing' button.

2) Within the 'Marketing' button dropdown, I dragged the 'Campaigns' button over to the "Drag Groups Here' box (above the 'Zip Code' button).

3) Then I selected the 'Show Report' button (click on image below).

Now I can view the the traffic from different zip codes for all of my campaigns and I can target my users appropriately!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yahoo! Analytics vs. Google Analytics

I seemed to have drawn some interest in my last post titled "Why you should choose Yahoo! Web Analytics Over Google Analytics". I checked my ClickTale traffic and noticed that post was definitely the most popular of late. It's simply a post that redirects visitors to a couple nicely developed presentations on the topic.

But to be fair, I must say that Yahoo! and Google each have their own uniqe business strategies for their own solutions, so they probably shouldn't really be compared at all. But for those out there who enjoy comparing the two solutions, I say go for it because it never really hurts to get a little extra press, right?!?!?! :) And the more we hear about the topic of web analytics in general, the better for everybody!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Want To Lower Your Online CPA? Then Factor In Yahoo's Assist Conversion Data

For most search and display advertisers, reaching a low CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) goal is the holy grail of a successfull online campaign effort. But as most advertisers know from experience, it's easier said then done.

Getting more visitors to convert for less money is not an easy task by any means. There are a lot of factors that have to take place in order for CPA to drop. For example, search and display ads can't be too expensive, the ads need to drive quality traffic and be relevant, the landing pages have to be relevant, there can't be any roadblocks on the site's path to conversion, visitors must be engaged with your product, sign up forms need to be easy to navigate, shopping carts need to flow, etc., etc., etc.

As you can see, driving a lower CPA takes some effort. Too bad there isn't an easier way to lower that CPA dollar figure. Ahhhhh.....but wait. There actually is a way and it all boils down to how advertisers measure a conversion.

If we take a step back and look at the way that most advertisers measure a conversion, it usually goes something like this...

A conversion takes place when a visitor clicks on a banner ad or search ad, reaches the web site, and then signs up, makes a purchase, downloads something, etc. If the campaign receives a high number of clicks and a high number of conversions, then the advertiser considers the campaign a success. If the campaign receives a high number of clicks and a low number of conversions, the advertiser considers the campaign a dud and a waste of money.

So what is wrong with this description of a conversion? It's true isn't it? Yes, it is true, but the problem with this description is that the conversions mentioned above are single channel, direct response, conversions. Not all visitors who click on ads operate in a direct response manner. For example, many studies over the past few years have shown that on multiple occasions visitors will click on a display/banner ad, reach the web site and not convert, but later (down the road) run a search, click on the search ad, and then convert. This is what's called a multi-channel conversion (visitors who traverse across multiple campaigns before converting).

But when advertisers measure a conversion in a single channel, direct response frame of mind, the display ad in the example above would not have received any credit for driving the search conversion. If this type of scenario continued over time, advertisers would have considered the display ad a drove lots of clicks but didn't drive enough conversions on its own. This of course leads to a higher CPA. Due to a higher CPA, the advertiser would naturally kill the budget for that particular display ad.

In reality, what the advertiser has just done is kill off a very effective branding campaign for driving search conversions!

Because the advertiser was unable to give proper attribution conversion credit to the display ad that drove search conversions, they're stuck in the same boat of figuring out ways to lower the CPA for their display campaign. But it doesn't have to be this way. There are analytics solutions out there that provide multi-channel credit to ads that have been clicked on before the last clicked ad (direct response ads).

Yahoo's 'Full Analytics' (found in a Yahoo search advertiser's account) offers a multi-channel attribution metric called Assists. An Assist will attribute credit to an ad/campaign/keyword that contributed to the conversion of another ad/campaign/keyword. If a visitor clicks on a display ad and does not convert, but later converts off a search ad, the display ad will receive an Assist (conversion credit) and the search ad will receive the conversion.

What an advertiser can do with Assist conversion data is factor it into their regular CPA calculations to give them a better view of the performance of their ads. Here's an example...

Example 1: Single Channel - Direct Response CPA Calculation

An advertiser spends $100 on a display ad and it receives 5 conversions diectly (visitor(s) clicked on the ad and converted).

$100/5 Conversions = $20 CPA

Example 2: Multi Channel + Assist Response CPA Calculation

An advertiser spends $100 on a display ad and it receives 5 conversions on its own...but it also receives 7 Assist conversions that it drove to search.

$100/5 direct response conversions + 7 Assist conversions = $8.33 CPA


Between Example 1 and Example 2, we see a CPA difference of $11.67. Depending on what an advertiser's CPA goals are, the Assist calculation should make a difference in how they manage their ad budget.

With Example 2, the advertiser realizes that the display ad brought in more than just 5 conversions on its own. So this contributing conversion data should also be factored into their CPA calculation.

With the data in hand, the advertiser would most likely want to spend more money on the display ad and expand its exposure (as it drives conversions across multiple channels) as opposed to pulling the budget or lowering the budget (because a $20 CPA was too high).

Using Example 2, advertisers realize that they are receiving more conversions for each dollar spent.


Without having to focus on issues such as web site optimization, ad quality, and shopping cart performance, we just showed how to drive a lower CPA by re-evaluating how conversions can and should be measured.

If CPA is going to be used as goal of success or failure, advertisers have to make sure that they are looking at a broader view of campaign conversion perfomance. Simply measuring CPA using a direct response caluculation will not cut it if you are running multiple types of ads (search display, email, etc). Direct response measurement does not provide enough insight into the true value of the ad. Advertisers need to make sure that they measure beyond last clicked (direct response) conversions and start giving credit to those ads that are responsible for driving conversions down the conversion funnel line.

Friday, July 31, 2009

More Yahoo! Web Analytics Consultant Network Info

For more information on the recent launch of the Yahoo! Web Analytics Consultant Network, you can visit the official Yahoo! Search Marketing blog....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yahoo! Web Analytics Consultant Network Launch

More exciting news from the Yahoo! Web Analytics team. Dennis Mortensen notes on his blog that Yahoo! will be launching a monster consulting network for Yahoo! Web Analytics.

Mr. Mortensen says, "This is a network of third party companies with expertise in deriving insight from Web Analytics AND deploying Yahoo! Web Analytics in particular."

Once the consulting network site launches, you'll find a list of over 48 Yahoo! Web Analytics partner consultants to choose from!

I've actually worked with a couple of of these partners in the past (such as EngineReady and Semphonic) and they are solid when it comes to helping you drive a higher ROI from your analytics solutions.

And if you are interested in becoming a Yahoo! Web Analytics Partner yourself, here are some of the benefits you'll receive:
  • Yahoo! Web Analytics FREE account creation rights (This is sexy eh?)
  • Listing on Yahoo!’s Consultant Network web page
  • Potential client referrals from the Yahoo! Sales team
  • Exclusive “Yahoo! Web Analytics Consultant Network” icon for display on your website
  • Premium levels of technical support and access to a partner portal
  • Access to an exclusive YWACN forum to share ideas and technical tips with other top analysts worldwide
  • Unique opportunities to work with Yahoo! to provide trainings, books and speaking engagements

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Yahoo Analytics Group On

Just added the Yahoo! Analytics Groups page to my new homepage. It was really easy to add it as the Yahoo! homepage now lets you add any URL to your 'My Favorites' bar on the left hand side.

Here is a snapshot:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Open Enrollment for FREE Classes at the Web Academy

My good friend Eric Hamilton, from Yahoo!, has just opened up his FREE Web Acadamy.

Beginner courses will cover HTML/CSS/Graphics Design/Web Administration.

Intermediate courses will cover Flash/PHP/MySQL/Analytics.

Advanced courses will cover Yahoo! API topics such as Search Monkey, Yahoo! Maps and Yahoo! Fire Eagle.

All courses are distance learning lead by a live instructor and the courses are FREE.

I invite you to sign up for these free course by going here:

Well done Eric!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

It's Time For Better Web Marketing Analytics: OPA Study Reaffirms Display Ads Drive Search

Following up my recent post on campaign attribution a couple weeks ago, a new study is out showing the lift effects of display on search. The Online Publishers Association study titled, “The Silent Click: Building Brands Online” reported that when visitors are exposed to display ads:

  • One in five conduct related searches and one in three visit the brands’ sites
  • Users spent over 50% more time than the average visitor to these sites and consumed more pages
  • Users spent about 10% more money online overall, and significantly more on product categories related to the advertised brands
  • Higher income audiences visited the advertisers sites

This is just one of many studies over the past few years that has stressed the importance of running both display and search campaigns as part of your online marketing strategy. But again, I stress that these studies only go so far in helping you (the advertiser) understand the value of display and search for your own online marketing efforts.

While these studies provide great insight, they don't provide actionable results for your own business. In order to get actionable results, you have to start using the proper campaign measurement tools (such as Yahoo's free Full Analytics solution), so that you can see for yourself that your display campaigns are assisting in driving conversions for your other campaigns (such as search).

I'll keep talking about this until I'm blue in the face. But every time one of these new studies comes out, it just reaffirms my position on the need for analytics tools that provide both measurement of multiple ad channels and the appropriate attribution metrics to go along with it.

I've been talking about the value of cross channel attribution metrics on this blog for about a year and a half now. It's time to get on the bandwagon people. As Jerry Maquire famously said as he was leaving his sports agent firm...

"Who's coming with me?"

Below you'll find links to a few of my previous posts on this topic:

My Newest Nephew...Ian Lillig

A new blessing has arrived!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Last Click Attribution Articles

If anybody is interested in reading up on the topic of "last click attribution", I just put together a very simple article mashup using Yahoo! Pipes (which is a very cool tool that not a lot of people know about!).

You can visit my mashup here:

What is Pipes?

Pipes is a free online service that lets you remix popular feed types and create data mashups using a visual editor. You can use Pipes to run your own web projects, or publish and share your own web services without ever having to write a line of code.

If you want to view the source for my simple pipe, you can go here:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yahoo! Web Analytics 9.5 launches and new Y!WA Facebook Group!

Yahoo! Web Analytics 9.5

The Yahoo! Web Analytics 9.5 upgrade has launched....and it looks nice! For more info and snapshots of some of the new features, check out Dennis Mortensen's blog at:

New features to the upgrade include:

- New Demographic Dimensions
- New Psychographic Dimensions
- New Charting Capabilities
- New Path Analysis
- New Negative-Segmentation opportunities
- New version 5 tracking code

- .....and 30 other smaller updates like e.g. native PDF export, use up to 50 actions (goals), introduction of 38 custom fields - and purplefication of the tool (for that Yahoo! branding)

New Yahoo! Web Analytics Facebook Group

Jiri Brazda has set up a new Facebook group for Yahoo! Web Analytics. If you'd like to join, please visit:

There's already 26 members and growing!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yahoo! Web Analytics Resources

I've been receiving an increasing amount of Yahoo! Web Analytics (formerly IndexTools) questions lately due to the recent press on the CMS analytics study. While Yahoo! Web Analytics has not yet launched publicly, I wanted to send along some helpful links that discuss Yahoo! Web Analytics in more detail. I'm guessing that these links will only get people more antsy for the release, but it's helpful none the less.

Yahoo! Web Analytics For Your Web Site

Main Site:

Video: 9 Minute Overview (by Eric Hamilton)

Video: Same As Above:

Video: 5 Minute Overview (by Dennis Mortensen)

Yahoo! Web Analytics For Your Yahoo! Small Business Store

Video: Y!WA Set up for Yahoo! Stores

Yahoo! Web Analytics Articles

Yahoo Web Analytics - What's the Verdict?

Yahoo! Web Analytics Leaps Ahead of Google Analytics for Enterprise Use

Yahoo! Web Analytics Book

Info On New Book by Dennis Mortensen

Purchase Book On Amazon


Dennis Mortensen Blog


Video: IndexTools at DME (2007)

Yahoo! Web Analytics Setup Guide

Setup Guide

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yahoo Web Analytics Overview Video

For those of you out there looking to find more information about Yahoo! Web Analytics (formerly IndexTools), another overview video has been created. This 9 minute video was put together by Yahoo's very own Eric Hamilton. It covers many of the high level reports that can be found within the Yahoo! Web Analytics interface.

The video can be found at either of these two destinations:

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Green Analytics

This post is a bit off the web analytics topic but I found this type of analytics to be pretty cool none-the-less.

Here's a snapshot report analysis of my home solar usage. I recently bought a new home in December that included some pretty cool (no pun intended) solar technology. This type of data will be very useful in helping me understand peak electricity usage, etc.

For example, the tall grey bar (that is hard to read in the chart below) is my high electricity usage during Super Bowl Sunday on 2/1 (ouch)! The orange bars show how much electricity I'm using up. Based on this information below, I'm not using as much as I'm generating. What this means is that my extra electricity is going back onto the city grid. And let me tell never gets old watching my electric meter outside run backwards!

So far, my home has reduced emissions equivalent to:

- Planting four mature trees

- Not driving 476 miles in a standard car.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Blog Name

As a way to build some branding and self promotion for my blog, I decided it was time for a fresh new blog title. Introducing "Web Anali'llig". Definitely a play on names and MUCH better than the boring "Web Analytics: Information For the Average User" title!!!!