Friday, October 17, 2008

SiteBrand and First Time Visitors

This month Web Analytics Wednesday was sponsored by Sitebrand. Senior Analyst Jim Cain presented a very interesting summary of his white paper "First Time Visitor: A Marketer-Oriented Approach to Optimizing Online Conversions" (get it for free!)

First time visitors are "special"

The topic raised interesting questions and everyone could readily see how important it is to address the specific needs of first time visitors. Why is it what we take for granted in real life seems to be so hard to apply in the online world? Why do so many sites welcome everyone in the same way, regardless of their interest, location or level of engagement with us?

Ask the obvious

Jim explained some of the most important questions to ask about first time visitors:
  • What percentage of your traffic is 1st time visitor?
  • Where do they come from?
  • What are there entry and exit points?
Some might argue that cookie deletion, or geotargetting errors could make the approach difficult to apply. But what about the more than 80% if not 90% or 98% of the time where it works? Why put everyone in the same "unknown" basket when you can at least try to better serve them. Seems obvious to me!

Sitebrand's solution

And that's where Sitebrand comes in: their service makes it easy to create targeting rules based on various criteria. In my experience, even basic behavioural targetting is hard to get done by internal IT teams, so why not outsource this function to Sitebrand. The nice thing is the solution will cooperate with your web analytics solution of choice (actually the behavioral data is collected by Sitebrand, but in the future it will be integrated directly with your existing web analytics solution). Lots of companies are a bit afraid of behavioral targeting costs and complexity, but what I've seen with Sitebrand makes it very easy and affordable.

Sitebrand and WASP

WASP already detects Sitebrand, but with the help of Sitebrand's team, the upcoming release of WASP will highlight the targeting area directly in the page. Click on the thumbnail bellow for a larger view, basically, the behavioral targetting areas are automatically highlighted when the WASP sidebar is open.