Eric Peterson will be speaking about “Web Analytics” at SearchFest 2010, which will take place on March 9th at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available now. To purchase, please click the following link.

1) Please give me your background and tell us what you do for a living.

I have worked in the web analytics and digital measurement field since 1998 when I got my start at Webtrends.  Since that time I have written three books — two of which I now freely give away in PDF form via my web site — founded three social networks (Web Analytics Forum, Web Analytics Wednesday, The Analysis Exchange), and built a consulting group with two other amazing partners, John Lovett and Aurelie Pols. In that time I also built an analytics application for Twitter called "Twitalyzer" which is currently used by thousands of companies, brands, and individuals around the world.

My site:
Free books:
Our community efforts:
My partners:

2) Please give me several analytical metrics that people should be paying attention to but aren’t.

Well, lots of people miss out on "bounce rate" since many of the premium solutions make it almost comically difficult to report on, especially compared to Google Analytics which makes it delightfully easy to use.  Search marketers in my experience also sometimes forget to think beyond clicks and conversions and think in terms of visitor engagement.  For example, they don’t buy, but do they comment lots of good stuff in your blog? Do they spend a lot of time researching product? Do they link back to your site in their Tweets?

Last year Google Analytics started doing more to let people establish "Engagement Goals" and just today Nedstat (European vendor) announced their own integrated Visitor Engagement metric.

Google Analytics Engagement:

3) When should a business consider giving up Google Analytics for a premium solution?

This is an increasingly difficult question, primarily because Google Analytics keeps getting better and better.  There are certainly a lot of reasons to "switch up" as the case may be … for example if you need to integrate data after the point of data collection, if you need true "visitor-based" analytics, or if you need custom metrics or dimensions.  But, and probably to the chagrin of the Webtrends and Omniture’s of the world, Google Analytics continues to evolve and improve their already widely loved product, thusly forcing search marketers to think longer and harder about switching.

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