The opening keynote today at IMC Vancouver was given by Avinash Kaushik, Google's Analytics Evangelist and author of the widely popular book 'Web Analytics: An Hour A Day'. The presentation was focused on using analytics to understand your customers and visitors, going beyond hits and clicks and looking at the content of your website and usability as well.
There were four main points that were mentioned, but one of the most prominent points was simply "don't suck." It was quite clear that 'suck' is one of Avinash's favourite words, while monitoring the IMC hashtag on Twitter you could see a few attendees joking about how if the presentation was a drinking game they would all be under the table. Avinash argued the 'don't suck' point using some Canadian companies advertising on Google search results around terms like 'cheap high speed internet'. A few of these companies included Telus, Rogers and Fido - all of which were promoting irrelevant landing pages or products.
Avinash stressed that it's great to be wrong online and be able to fail so quickly. With the web you can test out a campaign and see the results of the campaign within hours or days. If a campaign has failed, look at why it failed (your analytics) and immediately change it. Unlike television and print advertising the turn around to see whether a campaign is doing well or terribly is immediate online.
Analytics, as expected, played a part in the presentation. It's clear people are caught up in uniques and pageviews and rarely look past that but if you step a bit further in you can discover much more about your customers/visitors. Looking at things like bounce rate and what content your visitors are looking at will give you a lot of insight into what you should promote. For example, if you run a site with lots of content and are spending all your time promoting the "health" section but your "games" section is getting a lot of traffic (while being under-promoted) maybe you should re-evaluate your site's promotion strategy.
The information shared here at IMC has been extremely valuable, especially for those who are looking for a cost-effective way to market their business online - from web analytics to social media, SEO, PPC, landing page optimization, the list just goes on. If you were at IMC today drop a comment below and let us know what you thought.