Webtrends 10 & Bit.ly Integration

As I continue to explore the new features of Webtrends Analytics 10 I'm continually impressed with all the news features and interface. One of my favorite new features is the automatic integration with bit.ly (http://bit.ly).

For those unfamiliar with bit.ly, it is a URL shortener. You simply enter a long and complicated URL and it generates a shorter version (approx. 20 characters). The use of bit.ly and other URL shorteners is exploding because of Social Media. The need to conserve characters for Twitter's 140 character and the desire to hide all the tracking paramenters have contributed to its grow.

While each URL shorter provides it's own basic analytic data (how many people clicked on the shorten URL, where in the world the click happened, etc.) you had to check multiple sources and then how did you correlate this to your site's web analytic data?

Webtrends to the rescue. Webtrends now automatically tracks and reports on all bit.ly links that drive traffic to your site. There is nothing to do for any new profiles. For existing profiles you need to enable an additional report (Pages Dashboard). To retrieve the page's detailed data you simply click on the page's name (Title) in the pages report.

With the page's detailed data report open, you can see how many people clicked on a bit.ly shorten link to come to the page during the reporting period (in this example 85). Additionally Webtrends 10 reports on other important social media including "how many Likes" on facebook (16 in this example) and how many shares (8) the page generated.

A quick summary is also provided of referring traffic sources for the specified page.

And a summary of next pages is also included which if configured correctly will show clicks to external sites.

All in all this detailed page report, brings together all the data you to evaluate an individual page's success or failure.

What would be nice as a future enhancement by Webtrends is the inclusion of other URL shortners, primarily ow.ly and goo.gl into this report as well.

The tracking of bit.ly and other social media activity make this Webtrends update worth it all by themselves.


Should you trust Klout Scores

There are a slew of social media measurement tools out there. Most of which are free to use and can provide a wonderful insight into what you are doing and how effective you are with your personal social media strategy.

Several months back I talked wrote about 2 issues with these tools. One was how a personal issue with Twitter was killing my scores ("How Twitter Killed My Influence Score"") and the second was focused on understanding what these numbers really mean ("How Big is Your Social Media Pond?").

My biggest concern regardless which tool you make is that many business are now using these tools to evaluation you. That's correct, many companies seek out your score to target potential companies (product give promotions), to provide premium services to existing customers and even to determine which complaints get the addresses the quickest and perhaps even addressed at all.

This is the problem, when companies look at simply your score on any given day. The most well known of these social media measurement tools is Klout (http://klout.com). While I think it's a lot of fun to monitor my score, I don't stress out over the the daily fluctuations, and merely pay attention to what doesn't seem to be working or to measure which types of activities stimulate social media engagement and hence my score. I can then make the decision to repeat these activities & increase my score or not to.

Over this past weekend I was thrilled to see that Klout appeared to have fixed an issue with their "True Reach" score which many had pointed out was broken for a long time. In reality, I noticed it was finally being updated on a daily basis for nearly a month (since April 27) and with a big update/fix on May 20th.

While the fixing of one element didn't seem to have any major impact on my total score, the last update on May 20th, did change my "Klout Style" (social media profile type) from a "Socializer" to a "Thought Leader". Now this is something that I could relate to and had felt that was an appropriate adjustment.

Now here is the issue. Organization who evaluate you based on your Klout score only look at your total score (my personal score has been floating between 60-64 for the past 6 months) and not at the details behind it. So I logged into today for some screen captures to be able to start writing a blog post talking about the fix to the "True Reach" score, I was shocked to discover that my total Klout score had dropped over night from 61.31 to a mere 8.89. Plus my "Klout Style" was changed as a result from a "Thought Leader" to an "Explorer" (aka a newbie). I quickly checked and it appears that almost everyone I know scores crashed over the weekend including the notable @mashable (some more than others) so it wasn't just something I had personally done or not done.

While I'm sure that is just some glitch in the Klout algorithm that will be fixed within a day or two it once again demonstrates the problem with free tools and when business put their faith in these products blindly. Any company that is using my Klout score today may feel that I am not a force in the social media world (or yield any significant influence on any subject) and might treat me differently than if my true score was known.

On this note, a couple of points. First, business should never treat me any differently today vs. yesterday merely because of a third party score. That's just bad business, they should treat everyone like they're the last person on earth who can make or break the company. Secondly, if business are going to use tools like Klout they need to understand how they work, what the number mean and the companies like Klout have to step up to the plate and be reliable.

Webtrends Analtyics & Facebook

Last week I talked about creating a new website space in Webtrends Analytics 10. During the creation process I pointed out that you have the option to create Facebook space.

This option is so ease, it's scary. Once you select Facebook Page option, you'll be asked to login into Facebook. After a successful login, you'll be presented with a list of Facebook Pages where you have administrator access. Select the one you want and Webtrends will do the rest.

You now have access to all your Facebook Insights data in a much more user friendly presentation. As an added bonus, you can now grant other Webtrends users access to this data. Normally your require administrator rights to the Facebook page as requirement to see the Insights data.

Because Webtrends uses the Facebook API, data tends to lag 2 days behind the current date. I've seen it lag more than a 2.5 days behind, but that's not Webtrends fault.

If you have the Facebook Analytics module from Webtrends, you can capture additional data but for most part for small to medium sized business simply having this data all in one spot may be all they need.


Webtrends Analtyics 10 New Profile Creation

One of the features, I love in Webtrends Analtyics 10 is the ease at which you can set-up a new profile.

Using the new concept of "Spaces" (a space is a digital property, website, Facebook pages, mobile application, iTunes, etc.) you simply click on the the + simple to the right of "Spaces" menu option and you're presented with  a screen of your available options (this will vary based on which services you subscribe to, but at a minimum will include website or Facebook).

You then make your choice (in this example a website) and fill in the blanks.

One of the nice options now a avail is to supplement your traditional analytics data with data from PostRank (http://www.postrank.com/) -see below - which becomes available immediately upon creation of the profile and you don't even need an account with PostRank.

After you save/create your profile you are promoted to either download the basic tracking javascript tag or to go to the familiar tagbuiler through a "Build Custom Tag" button.

As before you need to add your tag to the site to start the data collection process. What I found surprising was that even before any data could be processed, Webtrends through the PostRank API had already done a data extraction and had some data available within the profile.

Once I drilled down to the PostRank Report (under Traffic) I was able to see the details of how many times the domain had been mentioned in various on-line properties (include such popular social media properties, as Twitter, Delicious, Digg, Facebook Posts, Facebook Comments, etc.). What I didn't like was the exsessive horizontal scrolling I had to do to find the details by property.
Note the horizontal scroll bar
Once the site was set-up I just had to wait for data to be collected and processed. And that's my next blog post.

Webtrends Analytics 10

Last week Webtrends released its much anticipated Webtrends Analytics 10. Webtrends 10 is an extension for Webtrends Ondemand 9.2 and will eventually replace Webtrends Insight. The roll out of Webtrends is well underway and I received access to it on Monday May 16.

I've been playing with ever since mostly with existing Profiles and yesterday I got to sit in on a training Webinar. For those who are familiar with Webtrends, get ready for lots of new stuff and new ways to access your data.

I'm going to be doing a series of blog posts on various features as I discover and learn how to use them to optimize the data extraction and available information.

I have discovered a few bugs with it, and a maintenance release is scheduled for tonight. So I'll avoid posting any issues until it's in place and I've had a chance to verify that the issues have been cleared up.