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Web Analytics Training

At Bruce Clay, Inc., we are in the process of developing a web analytics training program and will let you know when this training class becomes available. In the meantime, we can offer one-on-one counseling to subscribers and can also refer you to the educational program offered by The Web Analytics Association, which will give you the background you need to select the right web metrics for analysis that will improve your website and marketing campaign performance.

Data Collection

Good web analytics tools collect data from your server log files through page tagging with JavaScript cookies. There is a lot of raw data available in your log files but some of it may not even be useful. The challenge is to know what to measure and why, analyzing only the data that matters.

You have to know how to select and then analyze the right data relationships to get actionable metrics that can be used to improve performance for your website and marketing campaigns. These metrics can then be tracked over time for continuous improvement.

Do Marketers Know What Data to Collect?

Some marketers haven’t a clue of what data to measure and analyze, much less how to track progress for continuous improvement. Sometimes the most popular indicators are not the best metrics to focus on.

With today’s analytics solutions, you get a wide variety of reports that analyze data from every possible angle. Marketers find themselves with highly sophisticated reports and sometimes have no idea what the numbers mean. In fact, many marketers don’t know what their customers do once they enter the homepage.

An SEO vendor can suggest what a site owner should be looking for, but that may not yield the best actionable data because only the site owner knows the priorities of his/her business goals. For instance, an increase in pageviews or search engine referrals sounds like very good news. But are these the metrics needed to improve your website’s performance?

Suppose a content site sees a drop-off in newsletter readership and wants to address this problem. Does the number of pageviews or search engine referrals tell them anything? What they need is to examine is the path taken by visitors when navigating the site. This can be done with a conversion funnel, identifying the bottleneck that prevents the final action from taking place. It might be that everything works well up to the point where the prospect must send the sign-up form, and that’s where abandonment takes place. A review of the form could reveal that it requests too much personal information, and users get cold feet. In that case, the number of pageviews and search engine referrals are moot.

Web Analytics Counseling

It is important for the site owner to set objectives based on their business goals, then select the right metrics for analysis. Analytics experts know how to dictate these choices. If a company does not have analytics expertise within its staff, it’s important to know that your web analytics solution can provide training in the form of optional counseling. This contract option for web analytics assistance comes with an Analytics Analyst assigned to your project, as well as tool setup, recommendation of best practices, report configuration and report interpretation.

A good understanding of your business objectives and the analytical tools to achieve them will help identify website problems for improvement resulting in enhanced site performance. But it is necessary to select the right metrics and reports from an abundance of available statistical data in order to make efficient use of your analytics tool.

A good analytics tool will illuminate your understanding of bottom line metrics at the macro level while solving problem areas at the micro level to improve performance. You can automate this process by implementing an Analytics Continuous Improvement Program.

The Web Analytics Association WAA-UBC Award of Achievement

The Web Analytics Association (WAA) provides training through the University of British Columbia (UBC), issuing the WAA-UBC Award of Achievement upon completion. This is the only educational program of its kind.

The WAA partners with UBC to offer four courses in Web Analytics conducted 100% online. To receive the Award of Achievement in Web Analytics, participants must complete all four of the following courses:

  1. Introduction to Web Analytics
  2. Web Analytics for Site Optimization
  3. Online Marketing Campaign Measurement
  4. Creating and Managing the Analytical Business Culture

Each course runs approximately four weeks, and participants can plan to spend an average of four to eight hours per week in each four-week course, reading case studies and white papers, completing online reading, participating in online discussions, and doing independent study. Students are assessed based on assignments and individual projects.

Courses fill quickly, and registrations are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Below is the current schedule of classes with course description.

Introduction to Web Analytics

A web site can be a core business and communication channel that provides a direct link to current and potential customers. Unique to this medium is the ability to quantifiably measure and define the nature of the client interaction through web analytics. Successful organizations today are leveraging the power of web analytics to realize the full potential of their web sites, developing and maintaining deeper client relationships that create measurable value to the business. In this course you will be exposed to the key concepts, tools, techniques and practices of web analytics. Drawing extensively from case studies and rooted in practical application, participants will understand how web analytics can drive higher profits and improve the customer experience. Participants will also be exposed to techniques they can use to successfully advocate and promote the use of web analytics in the organization.

Curriculum Topics include:
  • Key concepts including analytics, key terms and how they are used
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), why they are important
  • Measuring Actions: The Conversion Chain
  • Understanding the difference between data collection methods
  • Key tools and diagnostics based on different web site objectives
  • The fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization measurement
  • The fundamentals of visitor behavior analysis
  • Measuring and optimizing Paid Search Campaigns
  • How to develop KPIs that is aligned with your mission and business objectives
  • The analyst skill set: who and what you'll need.

Associate Instructors for this Course Include:

Jim Sterne, Target Marketing of Santa Barbara
Jim Novo, Drilling Down Project
Brian Clifton, Omega Digital Media, Ltd.
Sean Carlos, Antezeta
Steven Liversedge,
Brandt Dainow, Think Business Services, Ltd.
Chris McFadden, Discovery Communications
Vicky Brock, Highland Business Research
Gordon Magee, Drs. Foster & Smith
Brian Alt,
Robert Blakeley, The Direct Marketing Association
Bryan Eisenberg, Future Now
Hurol Inan, Hurol Inan Consulting
Jason Burby, ZAAZ
June Li, ClickInsight Corp.
Jim Humphrys, W.L. Gore and Associates, Inc.
Jay Shaffer,
Marianne McGlynn, McGlynn Consulting
David Daniels, Jupiter Media Corporation

Web Analytics for Site Optimization

Successful web sites require continuous reviewing and maximizing conversion rates for defined success actions to improve the user experience and increase web site traffic. This course focuses on optimizing the visitor experience at the web site. Site optimization topics include information architecture and navigation, content structure, internal page and link strategy, and the optimization of internal web site search engines. This course uses best practice methods and case studies to show you how to define, track, evaluate, and optimize your web site to improve visitor conversion goals, providing examples of how to create simple tests to define and evaluate the value of web site changes.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Web Analytics

Measuring Marketing Campaigns Online

In today's marketplace, online channels play an increasingly critical role in a company's overall marketing plan. Once your site is optimized for usability and the visitor experience, it's time to bring in more traffic. In this course you will learn how to achieve greater return on investment for online marketing initiatives and evaluate the impact of campaign results. This course also includes coverage of online/offline interactions, enabling participants to learn how to measure offline drive to web sites. Discover how to identify the critical metrics assess and improve campaigns, including methodologies for tracking the impact of online channels such as e-mail, paid search (pay per click ), organic search (higher page ranking in search engines), and display / banner ads. The course will include an overview of technologies such as ad-servers, rich media, bid-management systems, and online research tools with the emphasis on campaign measurement and testing. Participants will leave this course with a solid foundation in online campaign optimization.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Web Analytics

Creating and Managing the Analytical Business Culture

This course goes beyond the tracking and reporting of web site activity, covering both the art and the science of successfully using web analytics to drive change within organizations. Getting organizational buy-in for analytics usage and data-driven decision making, choosing and deploying the right solutions to meet business needs, staffing and training the organization properly, and communicating information to diverse constituents within the organization are all key to success for the web analytics manager. The course covers successful web analytics management strategies and processes within the organization, providing both the knowledge and the practical skills to succeed as a web analytics manager. If you have all of a sudden found yourself "in charge of web analytics", this course will help you succeed in your new role within the organization.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Web Analytics

Program Fees and Application

Course fees are paid on a course-by-course basis at a cost of $585 CAD per course. The total program fee is $2,515 CAD, which includes a $175 administration fee that is due upon acceptance into the program.

To apply for the Award of Achievement in Web Analytics, you can complete an online application form.

Note that payment of your administration fee does not register you automatically into the Web Analytics courses. To reserve your spot in a course you must register for the course by following the corresponding links on the Curriculum page.