Mah, Nah, Mah, Nah

I’m up to my armpits in work this week plus have an assignment due for the UBC Web Analytics course. Remembering that life is not all work, please enjoy:

Watching IE7

A colleague has been bugging me about the fact that I haven’t made changes to the CSS on the site to handle IE7 better. There are a couple of visual issues under this new version (particularly with forms) but nothing that can’t be fixed and nothing that is getting in the way of people converting or completing activities on the site. Normally I’m pretty aggressive about being a cross-browser supporter, but this time I’m slower to react given the metrics I’ve seen on our site.

Over the last quarter, IE 7 accounts for less browser traffic than even Safari. IE7 (1.56%) vs. Safari (5.26%). Why bother when people are sticking (thus far) with IE6.

IE7 Stats Graph

I’ve been watching the adoption trend on our site for IE7 since the beta release began through to the release of the final version. This year (2006), represented in the graph above, shows the slow increase in IE7 adoption by our site visitors (the bottom line in the graph). Trending this against WebSideStory’s Stat Market data in HBX (the top line in the graph) we can see that our adoption rate is less than the pace across the Internet. Based on the low numbers in relation to our traffic, we’re waiting before making changes.

What are you seeing on your site? Are you reacting to the new release of IE?

Update: We’ve since made the changes — with Microsoft pushing out the update the usage numbers have spiked. Fortunately, not that many changes had to be made. IE7 CSS support is still not what it should be so be prepared to spend some time making tweaks or abandoning what works on other browsers.

This week’s remainders

Yes, not all of us as be prolific bloggers. Some of us have kids. On the other hand Avanish does both so what’s my excuse. This week’s remainders:

Bankwatch.comMore Internet users visiting US newspaper websites: good news for online banking. Finally someone else who thinks like I do about the growth potential in online banking. Yah Colin!

Optimizing Your Content Pages Jonathan Mendez’s post and slides highlight even more the need for segmentation, relevance and engagement.

WebSideStoryfree Media and Content KPIs. Get ’em while their hot kids. (BTW: did I ever tell you the story about the WSS sales guy that called me after downloading one of these only to find out from me during his “pitch” that I was already a customer? )

Standford Persuasive Technology Lab Their Captology Notebook blog offers houghtful and comprehensive analysis of persuasive technologies including design, research and interactive computing products. Also check out their guidelines for Web Credibility

Current reading – A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink and The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda – (John’s blog on simplicity is also amazing). Maybe I’ll post some reviews when I’m finished both.

Getting ready to renew your web analytics contract?

We’re about to start re-negotiation of our web analytics contract. I’m happy with our current tool and will likely renew, but here’s some things you might want to consider if you’re in a similar boat:

Did you get everything you paid for the first time around? – Often secondary services, training and consulting time are rolled into analytics contracts. Have you leveraged the time you paid for to improve your knowledge of the tool or the conversion rate on your site? Re-read your contract and make certain you have.

How’s the support been? – I’m very impatient when it comes to poor service. Simple and personal service wins the day in my books. Consider how we’ll you’ve been loved as a customer. Yes loved. Does your account manager know your name and phone number? Have you actually been able to get answers to the questions you’ve asked of your support contact? Do you constantly have to re-explain how your site works and how you have your code configured for your particular business and site needs to the guy/gal at the other end of the phone OR do they already know that? Do they like it when you call/e-mail or avoid your interactions? Do they dig deep when you have tough questions? Are they honest when they don’t know the answer? You’re paying their salary afterall. Speak up.

Did you really need that many page views/visits? – most contracts are structured around traffic blocks. When you first negotiated, was your estimate reasonable or do you need to adjust your analytics costs to your actual costs this time around?

What are the terms? – 1 year? Longer? What if they’re no longer in business 6 months from now or aquired by another analytics firm? WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW?

Is the tool meeting your business needs? – Are you getting the data out of it you want? Does it fit into your current and future plans? Does your boss and your bosses boss actually read and leverage the reports your providing?

What else is being offered in the market now? – Remember those organizations you looked at before you chose the tool you have? What are they doing now? Something better? Less expensive?

This week’s remainders

This weeks remainders:

“Come look, come look!”, I shouted to my wife. She comes down and I’m pointing at the computer screen. “Look, Avanish mentioned me on his blog”. “What’s an Avinash?”, she says. Well not all of us in the house eat and breath the web. Many thanks to Avinash for mentioning my blog and some of the resources I recently shared with him after commenting on his excellent post on visitors. Always nice to have a hat tip like this from someone so informative and professional. If it’s your first visit, welcome. My favourite glossary term from the IAB list? interstitial. Least favourite? user (the word just makes me curdle like sour milk — afterall, they are people not just boring, bland ‘users’ on your site).

BonaVista SystemsBonaVista Systems microcharts for Excel. I’m loving this. Worked into into a recent report for my boss on our new vs. returning traffic. The bullet graph is super handy for KPI work. Now if only we could get something like this on OSX. Anyone? Anyone?

Heading to the eMetrics Summitt? (maybe next year Jim). If you are, Jim Sterne’s holding a contest for the best Emetrics Summit Funding Approval Success Tip. One lucky, intelligence, humorous individual will receive a veritable Library of Web Marketing and Web Analytics Books from the beloved Web Analytics Demystified to the Eisenberg’s Call to Action

UBC web analytics – coming soon to my already busy schedule

I finally got off my butt and registered for the UBC Award of Achievement in Web Analytics put together in partnership with the Web Analytics Association (WAA). I’ve been watching this course develop over the last few months and am very impressed with what Jim Sterne and many others have put together. I’ve never done a completely online course before so that’ll be a new experience as well.

Expanding my knowledge around web analytics is on my learning plan for ’06. Thankfully, my new boss is very supportive of me developing this new skillset and my employer quite willing to foot the bill.

Learn more with Hurol Inan

I just picked up Hurol Inan’s two books Measuring the Success of your Website and Search Analytics. Hurol offers them in either PDF or print versions and has a sweet deal if you buy both online. I’ve been a big Hurol fan for sometime now and these books just reinforce the fact that he is one of the great contributors to a better web.

This week’s remainders

Avinash KaushikTrinity: A Mindset & Strategic Approach. The man is a god, I tell you, a god. Look out Burby.

Jim NovoTwo metrics from Jim Novo – the grand old master’s post from Conversion University. How’d I miss this one?

Gerry McGovernThe Long Neck. Great post. For some reason though I can’t get Supertramp out of my head.

Juice AnalyticsTufte Charts in Excel and Excel in-cell graphing. For those in love with Excel and craving more.

VitaminHow to measure the success of your web app (by Michael McDerment). How novel. How revolutionary. Maybe I too will be able to do this one day once a certain developer finishes the work to patch a certain reporting gap in a certain application framework.

urltrendsurltrends combines a bunch of public domain SEO reporting and confirms what we already knew — that the author needs to work even harder (at least I’ve stopped the massive drop in popularity and page rank).