Day 2 at OMS in San Diego

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I’m back with a mid-day update from OMS in San Diego.

The morning kicked off with an unconventional keynote interview with Dan Morrison, CEO of ITToolbox. Aaron Kahlow, event organizer asked about the brief history of the popular B2B social network, who originally came up with the idea at his first job after college. Morrison’s first bit of advice regarding building an online community is to create an environment with tools and content that people can’t do without. Taking his own advice, ITToolbox currently has 1.3 million members. In terms of growing the community, Morrison suggests seeding users rather than content, as the authenticity is infectious. When seeding content, he also advises to filter content based on community purpose to ensure relevance and value. Morrison indicated that search engine visibility has been a huge factor in their growth, with over 2,000 new pages created daily. ITToolbox has an advertising-based revenue model that meets both user and marketers needs.

The first breakout session I attended was a Web analysis case study by Bill Bruno, principal at Stratigent. Before reviewing your Web analytics reports, Bruno highly recommends tagging pages for easy identification. He walked through the top reports everyone should review and why. His first tip was to review top entry pages and make sure each is designed properly as the first impression of the company. Similarly, he recommends reviewing exit pages for design flaws. The third tip was to look at top pages for cross-promotional opportunities: to drive traffic to lesser trafficked pages. The next tip was to review top referring domains (filtering out your own of course). Next, Bruno recommends looking at top keywords, making sure pages are properly targeting the terms, and they the keywords are being targeted in PPC programs. The next tip was to configure conversion funnels, for all possible activities that are worth tracking. Bruno next recommends reviewing campaign reports (referral/incoming traffic from PPC, banners, email, etc.). The next tip was to review internal site search (using analytics parameters designed specifically for on-site search), as it can help determine how visitors are navigating the site and what’s important. The final tip was a reminder that any data that is captured can be reported and analyzed. Bruno then discussed common pitfalls, including page tagging. He recommends Maxamine as an affordable solution to review all pages for tags and they are functioning properly. A major pitfall is inaccurate data generated by internal traffic, spiders and other non-relevant visitors, which needs to be filtered out. Other pitfalls included inadequate or irrelevant reports and limited internal staffing resources. A major hurdle is business processes: where the reports lack data or don’t address KPIs, which include conversion, abandonment (process), page views/actions, page stickiness, bounce rate, duration, segmented metrics, visits per visitor and pages per visit. Lastly, Bruno advised providing actionable recommendations to the team, which seems obvious, but I agree that is a common pitfall with reporting that lacks useful insights.

More to come later today…

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