Inspirations, captions, ideas and notes.

Archive for January, 2008

Keeping your Corporate Web Site relevant and useful

What do you tend to do when looking for information about a certain product or service? Let’s say you’re planning to buy a new mobile phone. Would you look up the manufacturer’s site for information? Or would you turn to your local telecommunication provider’s web site? Perhaps you’d ask your likeminded friends and colleagues first? And maybe you’d look up reviews and comments on the internet, which would lead you to relevant forums and industry gazettes?

With the wealth of information available on the internet, people do not just go to Corporate web sites anymore. In fact, I’ve recently acquired a new 2nd generation HTC Touch. And my buying decision was made without even going to the HTC web site. Yup, I looked up the descriptions and features list on my local service providers’ web sites, as well as those of overseas providers. And to ensure that the phone was not a problematic model and if problems existed that they can be resolved, I did a search on Google and located a host of forums, product reviews and consumer feedback.

This is one of the reasons why companies need to revisit their corporate sites to keep the content relevant and useful. If I’m looking for ‘user reviews’ and did a search for that, would your web site’s ranking come up tops? Unlikely.

I recall several months ago, we discussed putting a forum and blog on our corporate web site. But this is not something conservative marketeers can stomach. There is always a fear of smear comments, negative feedbacks, etc. But with proper moderation, this can be managed. The way we hunt for information online now renders this concern obselete. If customers have a genuine concern and can’t air it on your corporate web site, they’ll vent it somewhere else.

Related articles:

  • How to evolve your irrelevant corporate website” by Jeremiah Owyang
  • Today’s top 10 – “Top sites in Singapore” by Alexa – the rankings shown here is a good indication of the trend I mentioned earlier. People are doing researching and visiting community sites more than anything. Today’s rankings are 1. Yahoo, 2. Friendster, 3. YouTube, 4. Windows Live, 5. Google.com.sg, 6. Blogger.com, 7. Facebook, 8. Google.com, 9. Wikipedia, 10. MSN. I’d discount the ranking for Windows Live and MSN, as people who use messenger tend to open these pages without even deciding to do so.
  • Slideshare has a presentation which compares the 2005 and 2007 rankings. For a comparison, you can have a look at slide 30.
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Web analytics solution guide

I truely digg the effort that has been put into this! This is to-date the most comprehensive web analytics provider list. If you are looking for some information regarding web analytics, this is a good place to start. The list gives an overview of what’s out there, but there is little offering of details, although if you are really keen to learn more about the provider, you can visit their web sites directly. A drilldown into each provider offers a chance to vote and give a review of the tool, but not too many people have given their insights.

Clickz also has a small list but it has not been updated for a while now. Here it is for what its worth: the Clickz Web Analytics list

As in any vendor / solution selection, you need to pin-point the business needs and the system requirements before shortlisting and making your final buy or outsource decision. Avinash Kaushik has an article in his blog which highlights the importance of self-reflection in the selection process. In this article, he also lists several other useful references in relation to the selection process. If you are embarking on an analytics selection or evaluation exercise, perhaps his writeups will help.

I can’t agree with Avinash more about how difficult it can be to get a list of requirements together.  In the last month, I have collated our existing statistical reports, as well as signed up for Google Analytics to help give the business a better idea of what they can expect from 1) a tool we already own and 2) a basic analytic tool 3) our vendor’s clickstream analysis reports.  Analytics is not something people (I.T. and business folks inclusive) fully comprehend.  It’s a bit of a mystery to me still too.  So, hopefully, the study will provide a baseline from which we can make more intelligent decisions on what is available and what can be helpful but is lacking.

Wish me luck!

Great news for Web Analysts!

According to WISTV, things are looking for those of us working in the Internet arena. In her article, “Today’s Top Careers: 2008 and Beyond“, Debbie Strong highlights how technology has been a factor moulding the job markets.

Companies everywhere are allocating resources to developing effective Web sites, says O’Donnell. [GL1] She points to Web analytics as a specific, cutting-edge job choice. “Companies need people who can make their sites easy to navigate and visually impactful, so Web analysts need to understand human psychology and also be slightly obsessed with the Web,” she says. “A coordinator position with a keyword-driven marketing and Web analytics firm may earn somewhere between $30,000-$40,000, starting out, depending on where the job is located,” she adds. With more experience, Web analysts can expect to earn an average of between $52,000 to $75,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Her article also covers other industries. If you are in Sales, Management, Healthcare, Education or Ecoscience, you can refer to her article too.