Yahoo Analytics 9.5 & Interview with Dennis Mortensen



As you may have heard, Yahoo Analytics has launched version 9.5. The latest version is packed with updates including Demographic/Psychographic reports, in addition to new Charting Capabilities, Segmentation, Path Analysis and Exporting. Dennis Mortensen (Director of Data Insights at Yahoo) sent me an update via email yesterday email so I took this opportunity to ask him a few questions about Yahoo Analytics 9.5 – check out our chat below:

[Manoj]: Does Yahoo Analytics have a tighter integration with Yahoo Search Marketing now?

[Dennis Mortensen]: Yes. From a conceptually point of view those two programs (YWA and YSM) are moving closer to each other. We are not where I would want us to be yet, which is the one-click-integration (like GA and AdWords). But hold your breath and you will see more on this.

By conceptually I mean the fact that YSM recently launched YSM demographic targeting (Link: http://www.ysmblog.com/blog/2009/03/16/on-target/) – which heavily relates (same original data source) to the YWA demographic features just launched.

Let me elaborate a bit on what I am talking about. You will be able to take e.g. 10000 direct visits to you website and segment them by for example Age, Gender and Average Order Value (assuming you run an E-commerce site). With this new Custom Report result, you will be empowered with the information on how each demographic segment performs. Insight which you can go directly to YSM and execute on.

I did a simple report (don’t dwell to much on the amount of data here, it is only meant as an example)

The above report shows us that we get about the same amount of visits and also sales from each gender segment. The report result however conclude that the average order value (this is a tech site) from Males are at $557.52 while only at $424.27 for Females. That is a staggering 30% (ish) difference in value.

So to conclude, you are now able to gain insight from YWA and go directly into YSM and adjust your bidding according to dimension such as Age and Gender. (YSM can do bids such as; increase price 20% on males)

I think that is just super sexy! :-)

[Manoj]: In YWA 9.5, what are the top 2 or 3 things that will really allow users to make actionable decisions?

[Dennis Mortensen]: Let me provide a couple of examples which was not available in YWA version 9 – and which might provide everybody with some food for thought:

a) Demographic dimension

Marketers will be empowered with more true (traditional) opportunities for segmentation. With Age, Gender and Interest Groups. Simply imagine that you can take your last 100 sale conversions or other successful actions and have a clear response on who your target segment is. Such as:

Target Segment = Female New Yorkers between the age of 18-24 with high interest in Sports! (that’s a WOW response)

Powerful information. You will even be able to segment this down to the individual product or service if need be.

b) Negative Segments.

The opportunity to look at people who DID NOT convert, sign-up or otherwise behaved out of line with what you expected. Where they exposed to certain content?, did they come from specific sources? or is this associated with a specific product line?

[Manoj]: You have a new booking coming out on Yahoo Analytics, is this geared towards marketers or practitioners?

[Dennis Mortensen]: My philosophy in regards to Web Analytics as a whole today, is that you should focus on three different but equally important tasks. I have divided the book into those three parts to reflect these broad tasks; A) Collecting Data, B) Reporting on Data and C) Deriving insight from Data. Dependant ones vantage point, one or more of the chapters will be in focus.

The book of course holds tremendous value for all existing clients, and will be a hefty resource for all those new accounts we are setting up these days. BUT I feel it is important to mention that it actually holds great value beyond users of Yahoo! Web Analytics. (or this is at least something I tried to author).

The official book page on my blog is the following: http://visualrevenue.com/blog/yahoo-analytics-book – And you can go get a sneak peek of the book at Google Book Search (Link: http://books.google.com/books?id=g-jtyzc37asC) or over at Amazon (Link: http://www.amazon.com/Yahoo-Web-Analytics-Dennis-Mortensen/dp/0470424249)

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