Tag Archives: IAB

Psst: Your Competition is ignoring Internet Search Marketing, are you?

The inside scoop on how you can get a competitive advantage by including organic search engine visibility in your marketing mix.

One of the primary goals of traditional advertising is to create demand for a product or service. An advertisement awakens latent demand by bringing attention to the product or service, or strives to create demand by informing us of a need or problem we weren’t yet aware of having.

By advertising in a mix of traditional media (television, radio, cinema, billboards, magazines and newspapers), companies aim to increase their sales. The process is rather hit or miss: a return on investment (ROI) only occurs when a person, sufficiently motivated, passes through a shop’s checkout or orders a service. This ROI is notoriously hard to measure. John Wanamaker summed it up best when he wryly noted,

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half1.

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Are we still lying with statistics in the internet age?

In the course of a search engine optimization project, I’m often asked during the competitor analysis phase why one website ranks highly in Alexa, while another ranks highly in an other statistics supplier’s top websites survey.

As our two part article Web statistics for internet market research: pick a number, any number illustrates, there are a plethora of services offering web statistics. Website owners often cite their Alexa rank to demonstrate how much more important their site is compared to a competitor’s. Other website owners will pay for Nielsen//Netratings panel research, a sampling technique born in the 1930s which surveys about 0% of Italy’s adult population – no wonder then the IAB has called this technique outdated.

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Web statistics for internet market research: pick a number, any number

How to perform competitor research using web statistics while avoiding lies, damned lies, and …statistics?

Comparison with competitors is a fundamental element of business; even innovators need to know how far ahead they are in their market. The Internet seems to offer fertile terrain for capturing accurate marketing statistics on website usage and position relative to other players in a given market. Indeed, most of us have often heard web statistics from Nielsen//NetRatings, Alexa or comScore cited in the press and elsewhere. Practitioners of Search Engine Optimization and web marketing know that web analytics is not just silo analysis of a company’s website: it also entails looking at how a website and its business performance metrics measure up in the overall web ecosystem.

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Web Analytics Optimism in Italy

Last November Luca Meyer organized the first Web Analytics Wednesday (WAW) in Milan, in conjunction with the IAB Forum interactive marketing event.

All of six people were present to represent the Internet’s accountability side in Italy. A pitiful number when you consider the thousands of visitors at the IAB Forum.

Since the Milan WAW, Giovanni Lorenzoni has worked to keep the ball rolling by organizing Web Analytics Association / WAW events in Bologna. Yet therein lies the problem: with the apparently small Italian web analytics community spread across the peninsula, significant meet-ups can only occur when there is a critical mass due to an Internet industry event happening at the same time.

Yet a lot has happened in the last six months. Web marketing practitioners, such as my friend Leonardo Bellini, are writing extensively on web analytics. The Italian blogging community has become even more interconnected through the various barcamp events which have provided a needed pretext to meet like-minded folk outside of the ether-sphere.

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