Lee Odden

5 Social Media ROI & Measurement Books to Grow Your Social Business

Books Social Media MeasurementOne of the most compelling challenges for companies entering the world of social business is measurement. The ability to attribute cause and effect directly can be elusive when it comes to measuring business outcomes like increased sales, improved customer retention and lowered support costs. But that’s only because this is new territory.  Business participation with social media on the web at large and internally has absolutely made measurable progress for numerous companies and organizations. The trick is to learn how, create a model that works for you and to sell it internally for testing, implementation and adoption.

One way to facilitate learning about Social Media ROI, Measurement and Analytics is through books from subject matter experts. Here are 5 that I’ve found useful and hopefully, you will too.

Lee Odden

10 Questions for Social Media Measurement Success

social media measurementIn order for companies to realize the maximum benefit and impact from social media marketing, the pre requisite for goal setting must be a certain level of understanding about the nature of online communities, social media sharing web sites and applications.  Unrealistic expectations based on a lack of knowledge about the social web is far too expensive to ignore.

At Search Marketing conferences, you’ll hear a lot about driving website traffic and links through social media linkbait – a SEO tactic that is distinctly different than what goes into building customer relationships. Companies like Proctor & Gamble are paying for engagement, not eyeballs.

Companies that want to take full advantage of better customer engagement, online word of mouth and influence on sales should ask themselves a few key measurement and related questions while developing a social media strategy:

Jolina Pettice

6 Ways to Dive In to Analytics & User Experience

Jolina Pettice     MIMA Summit, Online Marketing, Web Analytics

This post is one of a series of liveblogs from the 2010 MIMA Summit.

Web Analytics is an excellent way to ensure your marketing efforts are not in vain. However, looking at Analytics without understanding user behavior may leave you treading water instead of creating a wake your competitors will fear.Web Analytics

One way to take your methods of measurement to the next level is to combine Analytics with User Experience (UX) information. What you stand to gain can be great whether you dip a toe or cannon ball into blended analytic waters.

To make sure you don’t sink, first understand that Analytics will tell you what’s happening on the site. User Experience Research then helps you understand why it’s happening by gaining insight into the behaviors and motivation of visitors.

Lee Odden

Avinash Kaushik on Storytelling & Web Analytics

avinash kaushikThe opening keynote presentation at SES Hong Kong featured none other than Avinash Kaushik, co-Founder of Market Motive Inc and the Analytics Evangelist for Google.

In this video interview, Avinash talks about the value of communicating analytics information in more meaningful ways. He gives examples of metaphors he’s used to present important analytics information that helps others better understand the meaning and implications of the data. There are lessons here for companies that report tabular data with no insight and little creativity in communicating insight.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEHmc4oVa-I[/youtube]

What creative ways have you found to communicate web analytics insights? Have you had nightmare experiences with web analytics reports?

Check out Avinash’s “must-read” web analytics blog, Occam’s Razor, here.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Is It The SEO Metrics Or The Connections Between?

Meaningful SEO Metrics at SES San Francisco Ultimately, to measure Search Engine Optimization (SEO) success, you aren’t necessarily looking at individual metrics – you are looking for a connection between the metrics – and the resulting affect on revenue.

If my lead seems to negate the name validity of the SES San Francisco session, ‘Meaningful SEO Metrics,’  it is completely unintentional.

Moderated by John Marshall, CTO of Market Motive and SES Advisory Board Member, this excellent session featured on its panel:

  • Richard Zwicky, Founder & CEO, Enquisite
  • Ray “Catfish” Comstock, Director of SEO, BusinessOnLine
  • Jon Glick, VP of SEO and GM European Web Properties, Become.com

“Infinitely measureable means adjustable,” opens Zwicky.  “And online marketing is completely measureable.”

TopRank Marketing Editor

Website Analytics vs. The Myth of 100% Accuracy

Deep Dive Into Website Analytics At SES San FranciscoLet’s get this out of the way.  100% accuracy does not exist in website analytics.  Repeat. 100% accuracy does not exist in analytics.

What does exist in analytics is data – lots of it – and with this comes fear.

Fear of looking at the wrong data.  Fear of where to start.  Fear of analytics failure.

This fear will only dissipate with knowledge.  Knowing that analytics will never be perfect is a critical first step and a cornerstone shared during the session ‘Deep Dive Into Analytics’ at SES San Francisco.

Bryan Eisenberg, SES Advisory Board and NY Times bestselling author, moderated this session which included on its panel:

  • Tami Dalley, Director, User Experience Optimization, ROI Labs
  • Marty Weintraub, President, aimClear
TopRank Marketing Editor

10 Reasons Why Your Analytics Are Failing & 13 Tools To Help

Fail Whale AnalyticsWeb Analytics are a key indicator to the health and performance of any website, but online marketers often get lost in the complexities and details, forgetting how important analytics actually are and why.

Analytics can provide a wealth of information but marketers often look at high level indicators such as: top content, bounce rates, entrance sources and keywords without tying it all together. In most cases, there is a tremendous amount of insight that can be used to make smarter marketing decisions, but most companies barley scratch the surface. At the OMS Minneapolis event last week  Adam Proehl gave an excellent presentation on analytics failures and successes. I’ve taken my notes from that presentation and combined them with my own opinions to create this list.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Small Business Tips For Reporting Web Metrics

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Web Analytics

web analytics reporting[Last week, we shared some web analytics basics for small businesses or web site owners new to tracking website visitor data. Building on that, this post explores what you should do next to report that data.]

It’s an exciting time to be a small business owner or communications professional. Why? We’ve never had more data and metrics at our fingertips. Actually, we flew past merely having data to having real-time data.

Surprisingly some don’t initially like web metrics. Common concerns I’ve heard over the years include:

  • It’s too confusing
  • Information overload
  • What am I supposed to do with all this data?
  • Won’t all this tracking be expensive?
TopRank Marketing Editor

Basic Tips on Web Analytics

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing, Small Business, Web Analytics

Just about every business with a web site does something to market and promote it. When those companies are asked about web analytics, it’s surprising how many look back with a blank stare.  This isn’t the case with mature online marketers but it does happen a lot with new business web sites and blogs.

For many companies that are new to web analytics the idea of digging in and finding useful information can be daunting.  It’s common marketing sense to measure what you’re marketing, but making sense of analytics data doesn’t always find time in the mix of duties a small business or new web site owner is responsible for.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Search Engines Bringing Back Variables In URLs – At Your Expense

Duplicate ContentDid you realize that search engines have gone full circle on URLs in variables? It used to be considered something to avoid, now search engines are saying variables in URLs are good, as long as you use the canonical meta tag. Google is pushing them with FeedBurner and if webmasters aren’t careful, they could fall victim to a new onslaught of duplicate content issues.

One of the biggest issues with SEO is duplicate content. If search engines can’t tell which version of a document is the original or canonical version, then there can be consequences involving less than ideal search visibility. For example, the following URLs might all point to the same web page, creating the illusion that they are copies of the same thing. But in reality, it’s just one web page.

TopRank Marketing Editor

5 Near Free Social Media Monitoring Tools

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing, Social Media, Web Analytics

Social Media Monitoring ToolsSocial Media Monitoring Services

When it comes to businesses leveraging the social web to communicate with customers and improve brand awareness, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news.

The good news: 86% of professionals have adopted social media in some way, according to a recent survey by Mzinga and Babson Executive Education.

The bad news: A whopping 84% of survey respondents who’ve adopted social media don’t measure their social media programs.

Even worse: 40% weren’t even sure they could monitor social media ROI.

Thankfully, there are a host of free or low cost tools available to help companies and organizations track social media success. Use one or more of these 5 social media monitoring tools to gauge how well your efforts are working.

TopRank Marketing Editor

7 Considerations for Tracking Social Media Success

TopRank Marketing Editor     Social Media, Social Networking, Web Analytics

mima-summit-network With more and more marketers jumping onto the social media bandwagon, a lot of questions come up. Is it possible to track metrics and ROI? What are other companies doing? Why isn’t it working? Being prepared to answer  questions like these can make a difference in how a company interacts with social media and if they can succeed.

How can we track social media?
Unfortunately, there is no one “most effective” social media tracking system. Marketers across the web are still working to figure out how to measure social media, how to attach ROI, and how to sell the benefits of participation on the social web  to those that don’t “get it”.