How to get demographic data for your online store

Have you ever tried to optimize your website based on demographic data about your visitors? I haven’t. Yet. That’s why I decided to look into it. The first step: find out the demographic profile for your website visitors.

The good thing is that such data is accessible. The reliability depends on how it is calculated and the sample of traffic that each demographic data tool has access to. Where to start?

To get accurate demographics data you only need details about a sample of random visitors. The bigger and the more random the sample, the more accurate the data. Continue reading

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do With Google Analytics

Google Analytics is pretty much it, when it comes to data about your visitors.  However, Google Analytics is just that: a tool that provides statistical data about your visitors, based on which you can improve your website.

While it can do many other things, it pretty much sucks at them. So,  what shouldn’t you do with Google Analytics?

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The Impact of A/B or Multivariate Testing on SEO

This is a guest post and the views of the author do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The author, Traian Neacsu, is the co-founder and Director of Search for Pitstop Media Inc, a top rated Vancouver SEO company.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you have heard of A/B or multivariate testing for websites, aka conversion rate optimization. 2011 being coined by many “The Year of the Conversion Rate Optimization” and the fact that you’re reading this blog makes me think that you already familiar with jargon like CRO, LPO, MVT or A/B/. And, if you a smart marketer or website owner, then you already tried and reaped the benefits of website testing for conversion optimization.

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3 unspoken truths of web marketing

Can you visualize any of the visitors that entered your website just now? What about the visitors that are reading your email newsletter or social media updates this very moment?

Visitors, customers, email subscribers, leads, followers, fans all of these terms refer to people, people that you are in a remote relation with.

It’s so easy to forget about it and treat them as pure numbers.

Are they at office, in the bedroom, or in a public space? Are they angry, mad or are they happy and smiling? Do you have their full attention?


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Finding your website E-spot

E as in engagement. E-spot is the mix of timing and website elements that make a visitor convert (buy, sign-up, fill in a form, etc). With some users, the E-spot is reached very easy while with others there is just rejection or bounce.

Engagement is one of those things everybody wants but few can really define in a measurable way and if there is no measure, there’s no scientific way to act on it.  How do you go about finding, measuring and acting on the E-spot of your website? Here are a couple of suggestions:

Dig deep into data. Segment.

Being a web data segmentation freak helps as Engagement is best understood when looked at from different angles and perspectives. Sales are an undisputed proof of engagement as well as “I want to know everything about what you do” forms for generating leads. Continue reading

A MailChimp hack to get the most out of your subscribers

Every email marketer strives for as many subscribers as possible with as much data about them in order to send the most relevant emails possible. Not an easy task, though I think we found a good way around it:

  • ask from subscribers the minimum details that are needed to send regular campaigns
  • do it double opt in
  • hack the double opt in process by asking subscribers for more data
  • segment your email campaigns based on the data you get from subscribers

In this tutorial we assume you use MailChimp as your email service provider and that you have defined optional merge fields within your MailChimp list in order to get more information from your subscribers like birthday, address, phone number, etc. Continue reading

Who subscribes to your newsletter?

I’ll start with a shameless plug: check out the Hacking Google Analytics: Ideas, Tips and Tricks  article I wrote recently for  my favorite online design magazine  If you are into ecommerce or online sales, do try the hacks and feel free to play with them even further. It will pay out.

I love analytics hacks because they allow me to cut shortcuts to find the data I am interested in.  As the above article has been really well received, I decided to offer a bonus hack. The challenge:  find out the profile of visitors subscribing to your newsletter.

While it can be done in various ways, most of them require both tracking code customization as well as creating advanced  segmentation  in your Google Analytics account.  The hack below only requires to copy the code in your website. You’ll get the raw data about your subscribers without further segmentation. Continue reading

The (online) Animal Farm: everyday users are not sheep, nor dogs, but cats

Simon’s Cat episodes are great analogy for how online business owners want users to do a certain thing while users simply have a different agenda.

While I love George Orwell, let’s get something straight: users are not animals.

They are, just like you and me, complex human beings with complex needs. However, in understanding user behavior, animal analogies do help.

I know that cats seem to take over the web (they are all over youtube ), but there are at least a couple of online experts (them and them) that believe that we have a lot to learn from cat behavior for when it comes to online visitors behavior.

Why cats and not dogs, sheep or mice?

Because cats only care about their own good. They can’t be told what to do, they don’t care about their owners troubles or success. They just care about getting what interests them: love and food. Stop giving them what they are after, and they’ll leave. Sounds familiar? Continue reading

How are fashion retailers using the “Subscribe to Newsletter” call to action

We recently went through the website of 100 medium and big online fashion retailers. We wanted to know about the methods they use to collect email subscribers through their websites. We will soon publish the whole study but we wanted to share with you an early preview on one set of data: the position of the call to action for subscribing to newsletter. Out of the 100 websites:

  • 34 websites used a header call to action
  • 6 websites positioned the call to action on the sidebar
  • 75 websites decided to put the call to action in the footer of the website

When you add up the numbers you’ll notice that 17 websites use at least 2 call to actions on the same page with the most common scenario being both inside the website header and footer.

The study

We analyzed fashion retailers both from US and Europe, out of which we mention  Gap, Asos, Debenhams, H&M, Net-a-porter, Marks & Spencer, Timberland and many others alike. We were interested in finding out how these websites gain subscribers out of the users that didn’t buy or even access the shopping cart. Continue reading