According to a recent presentation on web metrics by Google, the world’s digital habits have dramatically changed in the past 3 years. In 2009, the internet boasted a healthy 1.5 billion users, and just last year, this figure topped out at over 2.3 billion. That’s a 53% increase in just a few short years. Buying habits have also continued to shift. In 2009, when a customer arrived at a brick and mortar store, 70% of their purchasing decisions were already made. Last year, that figure bumped up to 90%.
We live in a multi-channel, multi-screen world, and the sheer variety and volume of paths and choices a customer has to make results in a complicated challenge for marketers. Deciphering how and where your audience is making key decisions continues to be a gigantic hurdle for businesses hoping to understand the true meaning of their metrics.
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The 3 Top Reasons to Study Your Site’s Metrics
1) Know Your Customers
2) See What’s Working (and What’s Not)
3) Improve Your Results
Take a Holistic Approach to Reading Metrics
Develop a Comprehensive Measurement Plan
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Back in January, SEOmoz did a test of free statistics services like Alexa, Compete, DoubleClick, and Google Trends. Their conclusion was that the visitor data provided by these services did not match their own analytics.
Does that mean all of the data provided by these sites are rubbish? Not necessarily. We have relied on these tools for competitor research for ages, so we thought we would go beyond just the visitor data and look at other key pieces of information to see if they match up with Google Analytics data. The following is what I found.
Alexa offers more about websites than just visitor statistics. Let’s look at how accurate they really are.
Since most people think of Alexa as being all about traffic, let’s look at their basic traffic stats in comparison with my own Google Analytics data.
- Pageviews Per User – Alexa estimates that the average pageviews per user for the last three months is 1.98. Google Analytics shows 1.38 pages per visit.
- Bounce Rate Percentage – Alexa estimates the average bounce rate percentage for the last three months is 61.8%. Google Analytics shows 79.46%.
- Time on Site – Alexa estimates that the average time on site for the last three months is 2:38. Google Analytics shows 1:22.
- Search % – Alexa estimates that the average percentage of visits received from search engines for the last three months is 6.5%. Google Analytics shows 45.37%.
Next on the list of data from Alexa is Search Analytics. Here, I am usually just interested in keywords, especially now that Google Analytics has decided to hide some of that data from users. Alexa, in the keywords department, is similar to my Google Analytics organic keyword data. Four of their Top Queries from Search Traffic are an exact match to terms in the top 25 organic keywords of my Google Analytics. Others are ones that I know I have regularly targeted.
Audience by Country
Alexa offers some basic audience demographic information about your audience including age, education, gender, and so forth. I decided to look at the Visitors by country section beneath that to see how well they nailed the location demographic for my website. In this case, they are close with seven out of ten countries right as far as the top countries visiting my site. Leer más “How Accurate are Alexa, Compete, DoubleClick and Google Trends?”