Teaching the World about Web Analytics

Last week I had the privilege to deliver a 20 minute presentation on how to improve the accuracy of web analytics reporting to AIMS (Association of Internet Marketing & Sales) in Toronto. The presentation went extremely well as I was flanked on both sides by cases studies.

One of the cases studies addressed improving Search Engine Marketing efforts with analytics and the other was improving overall web site efficiencies with it. The irony was both of these presentations dealt with the travel industry.

Today in a few hours I'll be addressing the international crowd at WebBuilder 2.0 in Las Vegas. The subject is Improving ROI with Web Analytics. A very similar presentation to last week's, but this time it's just me.

So far the best part to the trip is my hotel room. While my flight here was uneventful (just long with a 2 hour layover in Denver), getting out of the Las Vegas airport was another story. I had to wait 30 minutes for my suitcase. Now I'm not a person who normally checks a bag for short trips, but with the layover I thought it would be the wise thing to do. Well never again. Now the worst part, after checking into Caesars Palace at the airport checking, I decided to take their airport shuttle ($7 vs. a $20 cab ride). What a big mistake, after rushing the length of the terminal to catch the next shuttle, I was told it was full and I'd have to wait for the next one. Well the next one didn't arrive for another 30 minutes. So basically it took 2 hours from touch town of my flight to the hotel.

The bad news continues, the room they gave me, didn't have a view. OK not a big deal, but when I looked out the window, I was right next to a roof top heating and cooling system making lots of noise. Fortunately, I complained and I'm not one to complain, but with a big presentation to do the next morning I thought I better. Well my hats off to Caesars Palace. Despite being sold out, they found me a better room. They gave a much superior room (about 3 times in size) as a no charge upgrade and it even has a reasonable view (35 floor vs. 4 floor).

Why am I telling you this? Simple, it is all analytics. Telling people it took you 2 hours to get to a hotel from an airport doesn't tell anything. Was that a good thing or a bad thing? Once I break down the steps into a scenario we get to see where problems are in the process. If I hadn't prepaid for the shuttle, and had known I'd have to wait 30 minutes, I would have abandoned this scenario and the ROI for Caesars selling shuttle passes would have gone down.

While Caesars Palace gave me a less then desirable room at the airport checkin, they demonstrated a desire to fix the problem at some cost to themselves, they improved my experience got a nice writeup in this blog, made me feel good about being here which in turn may mean I'll spend a little more at least tell people about it. Hence a soft conversion that is hard to put into dollar values, but still a positive factor in the ROI equation.

All these topics are being covered in today's presentation, the only difference I'll be talking it about from a web site perspective and there really isn't a difference. There is always a customer at the other end.

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