Transcript of Podcast with Avinash Kaushik

Podcast Date: February 9, 2007

Avinash Kaushik

The following is a written transcript of the February 9, 2007 discussion between Eric Enge and Avinash Kaushik:

Eric Enge: Hello listeners, I am Eric Enge, the president of Stone Temple Consulting. You can find our site at (https://www.stonetemple.com) www.stonetemple.com. And today, we are here with Avinash Kaushik, and we plan to talk about Competitive Intelligence Tools that businesses can use to grow their website business. Avinash is a well known blogger with a blog known as Occam's Razor. You can find his blog at (http://www.kaushik.net/avinash) www.kaushik.net/avinash. It is a very popular and well known blog in the analytics' space. Avinash is also the director of Web Research and Analytics at a Fortune 500 company. So, that is a good for an intro, Avinash?

Avinash Kaushik: Yup, that sounds good, thank you Eric.

Eric Enge: Excellent! So, what I would like to start with is with a discussion as to why you think we need to do competitive intelligence analysis as a part of web analytics?

Avinash Kaushik: One of the most interesting things about the web is, it serves as an ecosystem that's different than other channels and mediums. On the web we are in such a close-knit ecosystem, where we have control over our own destinies as a business on the web and it doesn't matter if your site is for ecommerce, or support, or lead generation or for any other purpose. But, you are so drastically impacted by the actions of the other people on the web. Your competitors dictate what people should expect from you in terms of the customer experience, your rankings are affected by how other people are optimizing things, and then how they are doing bid campaigns.

Everybody expects you to have a left nav bar chock full of links about products, because Amazon does that. And, it is sort of irrelevant that you have nothing to do with Amazon. So, one of the most interesting things about the web is that it is a very hyper competitive environment and you can compete with people you don't even know in real life. So in this ecosystem, the challenge that web analytics faces is that for the most part web analytics measures the silo of your website, because it only has access to data from the activity that's going on in your website.

It doesn't really matter what tool you use. It could be as Omniture, or Web Trends, or Google Analytics, or ClickTracks, or IndexTools, or any of the many web analytics tools that are available. And, the result of this is that you only know what you know, and you have no idea what is happening in the ecosystem that could be impacting you. For example, you might notice that your traffic has gone up 15%. But, what's the impact of more and more people coming on the web, or what's the impact of the fact that three of your other competitors launched websites online, what's the impact of the fact that your number one competitor added six people to their web team and now their traffic is up 3000% year-over-year?

The reason to do competitive intelligence is, to get the context of the ecosystem. You have to do competitive intelligence, so you know about how you are doing beyond the data that you have today, that silo in which you live. Without it, you are pretty much dead. It can impact everything from the keywords you buy, to your web strategy, to your marketing strategies, affiliate strategies, everything. Competitive intelligence analysis is also important, because it can be the differentiator between you and everybody else on the web, because you will be so much more smarter and not make decisions based on just a silo. So, that's sort of a thumbnail sketch of why competitive intelligence is so important, especially on the web. Of course, it is important in the other channels as well, but on the web it is absolutely critical that it should be a part as your web analytics service.

Eric Enge: Right, so one of the things I took out of that is that just knowing that you are growing or how you are doing isn't enough, because the competitor maybe doing far better, and they maybe doing things that are directly impacting your growth.

Avinash Kaushik: Precisely, precisely. As a matter of fact, one of the best ways to acquire traffic is to catch prospects from the people who haven't made up their minds, and they will be searching in a lot of non-branded key terms. Recently we did this analysis for a business using a competitive intelligence tool, and we were pretty happy, because the non-branded key terms were showing pretty high in terms of our top keywords driving traffic, but when we did competitive intelligence analysis we found that that particular non-branded key term, let's say for example it is "accounting software", was sending roughly 60%-70% of the traffic to a website that we had never even heard of, that we had never considered as a competitor to our business.

And yet, in our data silo we were happy that we were getting loads of traffic on the term, but as a matter of fact in the context of the ecosystem, we were only getting probably around 5% to 6%of the traffic. This other website was grabbing 60%-70% traffic. And then our other competitors, who we were aware of, were actually getting 1% or 2% of traffic. So, if you measure just within your competitors as well, you might feel really good, wow, the other guy is getting 1%, my biggest competitor. I am getting 5%. So, we are doing fabulously well. But in reality, this third party that was totally not on the radar was basically kicking the butt of both us and our biggest competitors, in terms of stealing traffic away. So, this is the kind of amazing insights, so you can get from doing competitive intelligence.

Eric Enge: Yeah, it is interesting. It underscores just how complex the whole web environment is, because the scenario you described is one where you are actually discovering an opportunity that you are unaware of.

Avinash Kaushik: Absolutely.

Eric Enge: By seeing what your competitor was doing. And, it allows you to find these ways to increase your market share.

Avinash Kaushik: Exactly, exactly. And, it is not that hard to do. I think today in our podcast, we will talk about some of the tools available. But, one of the interesting things about the web, one of the blessings of the web is that there are tools that are available to you for free, and you can get started quickly. So, I strongly encourage people to not be discouraged by the huge sounding word competitive intelligence analysis. It is really not that big of a deal, it is easy to do and it should be a part of your portfolio.

Eric Enge: Excellent! So, let's talk a little bit about some tools in particular.

One of the great tools that I am sure people will have heard of is (http://www.hitwise.com) Hitwise. And, I know you have used that tool, so I would love to get your take on using it.

Avinash Kaushik: Yes, Hitwise is definitely one of the industry leaders when it comes to getting competitive intelligence data. It is a a paid service from Hitwise, which is a company that originated in Australia, but they measure traffic from all over the world. Hitwise does its data capture in a very interesting way. It takes data from most of the ISPs around the world, and they have a pool of roughly 8 million to 10 million participants around the world, with roughly two and a half million in the US. And in that sense, they have one of the largest pools of data, when it comes to tracking visitors. The interesting thing about Hitwise is, that it doesn't require anybody to download anything, or add a tag, or script.

They simply take the anonymous data from the ISPs around the world, and aggregate it all together, and analyze the data. The benefit of this ISP data capture mechanism is that, you can capture a lot more people. So for example, we are going to talk about other methodologies today as well, but Hitwise uses the methodology which is probably the only one in which I am a participant, whether or not I know it. And, it is because Hitwise has a partnership with my ISP that is sending over data around my web surfing behavior over to Hitwise.

And, it is one hundred percent anonymous, there is no personally identifiable information (PII), nothing they could connect back to a person in anyway. But, it gives them a really large pool of data, which is very representative of the US and the worldwide audience in order to get really great competitive intelligence data.

Eric Enge: Right and you can see things, can't you, like the keywords that are driving traffic to your competitors?

Avinash Kaushik: Exactly. So one of the, some of the things that Hitwise is able to do are the obvious things like measuring what share of a particular market segment that you have or what is the share of traffic that you have versus your competitor. But, one of the beautiful things you can do with Hitwise is that you can also use it to do a very deep insightful search analysis, and this could be simply a share from a search engine versus your competitors at the most high aggregated level Google, Yahoo, MSN. Or, you can also do analyses down to individual keywords branded, and non-branded.

And with Hitwise, one of the interesting things is you are not limited to knowing just about your competitors, you can simply type in any keywords you want and you can see trends, and patterns, and history. And, you can also see how you have been performing against your competitors. One of the most interesting things about Hitwise is, you can see or you can create search funnels.

We will talk about that later in the podcast. But, you can also see, who are the biggest drivers of traffic to your competitor? And after people have visited your competitor's site, where do they go next? This is very interesting. So for example, you could see how many people are you driving to your competitors, and how much traffic is your competitor driving back to you?

Eric Enge: Right.

Avinash Kaushik: So, it's very, very, very interesting and insightful data. Now, you would not have access to this data any other way. No web analytics program would be able to give you that data. So, Hitwise is really an interesting offering, because of the pool of data users that they have, which they track, also because, they represent the US and the worldwide traffic, and also because you can get fairly deep into various of these things, or you can even optimize your media mix. For example, you would be able to track, how much traffic is your competitor getting from various email services, or which would tell, give you an insight into the direct marketing campaigns that they are running. And, you could adjust your media mix appropriately. Or, which affiliates are they using? It costs money, but it's the money that you can get in ROI pretty quickly.

Eric Enge: Right. So, talk a little bit about (http://www.comscore.com) comScore.

Avinash Kaushik: Yeah, so comScore is very interesting. comScore uses what is known as a panel-based methodology, and their primary way of collecting data is to incent people around the US and the world, in order to sign up to be monitored by comScore. And essentially, what happens is in exchange for either a toolbar, or anti-virus protection software, or even sometimes gifts and cash incentives, people agree to have all of the traffic, all of their browsing behavior, be routed through comScore's proxy, which means that every single click you are making, every single form you are filling, all the oral information, what you are buying, everything actually is routed through comScore's proxy servers, which means they can capture extremely deep and in-depth data about their panel's behavior.

comScore has the benefit that it can get extremely deep data, because they will have your credit card, your name, and address, and location, and every single piece of information, because it's routed through their proxy servers. Of course, it's extremely encrypted and it can't be hacked and things like that, but they do have access to all of the data for their panel members, which gives them really deep data. And, their global network has two million subscribers, and they have a couple of hundred thousands panel members here in the US for their Media Metrix global services.

And, it's growing everyday; recently there was a press release somewhere that, their US readers, annual members has reached around five hundred thousand. And so, that's about five hundred thousand compared to the two million, but they have very deep data for their users. So, the benefit of comScore is that, you can get very deep page level data from their data set. You can get metrics that about how many people see product pages, and things like that from the comScore data. But, it's very much panel-based. And, the things that I have shared on my blog about comScore and Hitwise is that, for comScore, you can get really deep data, but you have to analyze and make sure that for your particular business you have to identify who the panel is, and if there is any bias that might be inserted into the data. Or, is that representative of the kind of people who would come to our site because, remember these are people who have to opt in.

Eric Enge: Right.

Avinash Kaushik: So, for example, I would never opt in to have my network monitored by comScore, but many, many other people who are peers of mine would probably do that. So, you have to be very careful about the panel, and evaluate that and see if that meets your need, so. In summary, I have said on the blog that Hitwise is very well suited as a marketing tool for acquiring customers, for benchmarking performance, and measuring search campaigns, and things like that. And, comScore, you should think about more as a decision making tool for advertising, because a lot of traditional advertisers are used to the Nielsien ratings from the TV, which is also based on a panel and comScore very closely mimics that system. And, so for advertising purposes, comScore would be a good tool to get.

Eric Enge: So, it can help you determine if the campaigns you have in place are being effective presumably because of the detail you are able to get to?

Avinash Kaushik: Exactly, exactly. They would be able to do tell you that. With Hitwise the benefit is that you could get data even for many of the smaller websites. With comScore because the panel or the kinds of panels that they would recruit, you would have more optimal levels of data for the bigger websites in the world. So, you could have a lot of confidence and a general rough benchmark; I had mentioned just from my experience was that, if you are getting more then a million unique visitors to your website a month, comScore would have really good data for you. If you are getting less than that a month, you are probably better off with Hitwise simply because of the way that data is captured by each of these services.

Eric Enge: Right. And comScore also comes with a fee, doesn't that?

Avinash Kaushik: Exactly, comScore is also a paid service, exactly like Hitwise, so both of them are paid services. And, then today when you think about competitive intelligence, those are the names that will come to the fore very, very quickly. And, so they have a lot of mindshare out there as well; both are paid services and as you learnt, if you want to learn a little bit more in-depth about either one of these, I have a write up on my blog that you could refer to.

Eric Enge: Excellent. So, let's do something for the people, who don't have the budget and talk about how we can use (http://www.alexa.com) Alexa as an analysis tool.

Avinash Kaushik: Alexa is also another one that is very famous and yet it is maligned in some quarters. But, Alexa has a very long history. Alexa is actually owned by Amazon; a lot of people don't realize that, but Amazon bought Alexa long time ago. And, the way Alexa collects data is very different from the other two guys, Hitwise and comScore. With Alexa, you would download the Alexa toolbar and embed it in your browser just like the Google toolbar or the Yahoo toolbar. In fact, the Alexa toolbar is probably one of the oldest ones around. And, what happens is that people are surfing websites, the Alexa toolbar users; their website behavior is being also captured by the Alexa toolbar and sent back to Alexa. And, it is then processed and Alexa provides some layer of competitive intelligence data.

Alexa is very famous for providing rankings of websites in the world, and often it was used by advertisers and other people to figure out where should they advertise and where should they put their banner ad, depending on Alexa ranking. The theory being that, a higher Alexa ranking would mean that the website gets more traffic and hence more chance that people would click on the banner ads of the advertiser. Alexa is very honest and upfront on their own website saying that it is overwhelmingly biased in favor of people who use Windows, and who use Internet Explorer. And, also Alexa provides a very thin layer of data. Essentially most people use Alexa to track rankings of websites. So, today Yahoo is number one, MSN's number two, the Google's number three according to the Alexa ranking.

So, Alexa collects data from the toolbar, which is installed by Alexa users, and it provides rankings. What I have mentioned in my Blog, is Alexa is a good way for you to do comparative trends analysis in terms of rankings or traffic. So for example, by itself Alexa ranking doesn't mean very much, so for example, my blogs ranked 51,000 today on Alexa, I just checked. And by itself, it doesn't mean anything, but if I wanted to do competitive analysis, and then say, oh, how is my blog performing in terms of getting traffic and ranking versus the Google Analytics' blog or versus the Eric Peterson's blog, who is another authority in the web analytics space? Then, I would just type these three in Alexa and look at the trends over the last few months in traffic.

And in that context, Alexa can be very valuable, because what you have just done is isolated the bias somewhat, and you are doing comparative analysis of competitive trends in traffic and ranking. And, those can be valuable, it's completely free, so you can see if traffic for your competitor, who would suffer from the same bias from Alexa as you would word, is going up or down overtime, and how are you performing as well. So, it can be a great tool to do comparative analysis.

I have encouraged people to ignore the ranking itself, just look at the trends in the graph with your competition, and that can be a very valuable piece of source of first level data, to see how you are performing. So for example, going back to early in the podcast when we had said, well, your traffic is up by 15%, but what about your competitor's traffic? Now, a first free step you could take is type in both of your names into Alexa, and get a graph that would compare your traffic for the last six months. And, that would be a first initial signal for you about performance. And there are other ways, other tools that people can use that I have talked about in my blog from MSN adCenter, that people can also use, but Alexa is great to do initial comparative traffic analysis.

Eric Enge: Alright, great. So, what about a couple of other tools that I have come across, such as quantcast.com and compete.com that seem to offer somewhat similar functionality, do you have any experience with those?

Avinash Kaushik: Yeah, I have used both of those tools, and you are absolutely right. They are very new entrants to the space of competitive intelligence analysis, and they are trying to broaden their network and the data that they track. Let's talk about Compete first. Each one of these tools have taken and built on top of the methodologies of the first two tools we talked about, and in some sense Compete is a little bit like Alexa on steroids.

What Compete does is have you install a toolbar, which is exactly what Alexa does, but Compete actually performs a bit more advanced analysis on the data that it captures from the people who have installed the Compete toolbar. Remember, you would have a similar bias in terms of Alexa because it relies on toolbar data, but Compete is also attempting to be a little mini Hitwise, by trying to collect data from ISPs, and it's trying to do a little bit of comScore by trying to get data from some opt-in panels.

So, they are trying to get all of these sources data. At the moment, they have roughly, according to their website compete.com/help, about two million people in their panel in their database. They purport to provide much better rankings, and traffic streams, and all of those other types of data. The interesting thing about Compete is, it also does much deeper analysis of the search results of people who have installed their toolbar. So, it will try to recommend which results have a higher likelihood of being good results. So it provides that value added service.

On the (http://www.quantcast.com) Quantcast side, I would encourage your listeners to go to their (http://www.quantcast.com/faq.jsp) FAQ page, and that has a lot of information about how they collect data. Quantcast is very interesting in the sense that they collect data through some advertising networks and publishers, which in itself is good, but would not be super valuable. But, they have taken this a step further and they have added what I call a web analytics touch to it by allowing you, the website owner to install a JavaScript tag on your website, and send data about your website back to Quantcast. Now, this is very interesting, because so far website owners have only put JavaScript tags on their website to collect data and give it back to their own web analytics tool. But, Quantcast is asking them to send the data back to Quantcast, so it can accurately measure traffic for your website, and then in turn provide better results when people search for your website on Quantcast.com.

So, some websites might be very willing to do with this, especially website that are heavily advertising driven, banners, campaigns all over these things, because it is in their interest to show up with a higher ranking on Quantcast. So, they would perhaps be more willing to add the Quantcast tag on their websites. So, again like Compete I have looked up rankings, and ratings, and traffic trends, in Quantcast and I think it is interesting data that is getting in the right direction. But, I would look for them to grow more. And, we watch both of these services overtime, because they are definitely heading in a great direction and we will see how accurate and how they improve the data and analysis that they provide. It's definitely good to have competition to some of the more entrenched players; the competition is great, that's my philosophy. I think everybody will get better in the end.

Eric Enge: Excellent. So, now let us talk a little bit about one of my favorite tools that emerged in your blog a while back, the MSN Search Funnel.

Avinash Kaushik: Oh! Yes; actually MSN adCenter itself is a source that I would definitely recommend to all of your readers. It's amazing; I am very impressed at the quality of the tools that Microsoft has provided on the MSN adCenter lab website. You have to check it out at (http://adlab.msn.com) adlab.msn.com. That's where you will find all of the tools that MSN provides to do competitive analysis. But, one of the best ones is doing search funnels. And, the idea behind a search funnel is for you to be able to analyze what do people search for before they search for your keyword, the keyword that you are interested in. And, what do people search for after they have searched for your keyword. And, the theory behind that is that one of the hardest things to understand on the web is customer intent. It's really the magical bullet.

Someway, if you can understand customer intent, you could optimize the website experience, you could have optimized marketing campaigns, and you could optimize your bidding on keywords. And, really profit from understanding the intent, hopefully by providing the customer what they want; no.

So, you can go a search funnel; the example that I have on my blog is the word Peachtree; a Peachtree is software that you can buy to do accounting for small businesses. It's produced by Sage Solution and if you search for Peachtree, it is very interesting that you'd see that what people look before they search for Peachtree are the words of its biggest competitor Quick Books. These are all very interesting words in a sense that this would tell me that people come and think about Peachtree after they have searched for its biggest competitor, which is indeed Quick Books. Ideally, you would want people to look for you first, before they look for your competitor.

It is also interesting that in the example at least that I have, I looked at a small chunk of people also looked at for the word Peachtree.com, and then searched for the word Peachtree, which seems really odd, because if you look for Peachtree.com, you should have already found everything, you ever wanted to know in the world about Peachtree. So, it is really great in understanding customer intent, and how you show versus your competitor.

It is also interesting that, after people search for the word Peachtree, they go on to look for even more deeper detail in search engine about the Peachtree software, which initially seems really odd, because if you had successful search results for that particular term, then you would find the Peachtree website and not need to go back to a search engine to look for data. So, what these search funnel allows me to understand is, that there are some opportunities to optimize the Peachtree results, and even the website and navigation, and its placement versus competitors based on what the customer behavior is on the search engine. So, it's very interesting, because 80% of the traffic on the web starts at a search engine. It is really important to optimize your website using SEO, this is a great tool to understand customer intent. It is a complex analysis, but the payoff can be a really huge.

Eric Enge: So, there is a related tool, also in the MSN adCenter section, the keyword, and key phrase forecast tool.

Avinash Kaushik: Oh yes, it is very, very interesting. And, that's for most of companies make decisions around buying keyword based on where they think their business is going, or where they think the new product launches are coming, or when they think their proper selling season is. And, one of the wonderful things about the keyword forecast tool in MSN adCenter, is that it allows you to type in any keywords that you want yours, or your competitor's, and see what MSN forecasts the trend in terms of the number of searches will be for the next three months, which is really fascinating, because you would never have access to this data otherwise.

And, you would be able to make much, much more intelligent decisions, knowing that your competitor's keyword searches are going to spike next month, and yours are going to be trending down. So maybe, you start figuring out, how do you react to that? And maybe, you decide on paid campaigns, or maybe you decide on particular search engine optimization strategies. Or you decide that wow, you know it is forecasted that my competitor's keyword searches are going to go much higher in the next few months, and I am not doing that well, so maybe I need to revaluate my search trend, and my search strategy in order to react to that competitive pressure.

In the past, this data has only been available through some of the more expensive tools, and even there it was really not that great.

The reason this data is very valuable, is because it comes from a search engine, and the search engine has the data for all keywords for everybody, and they have a much, much more robust ability to make better and more accurate predictions, not hundred percent accurate obviously, but better predictions of the keyword trends and keyword forecasts, looking forward, which can be an immensely powerful tool for your own marketing campaign, so that you can optimize them depending on where the trend is going to go for searches on the web for your keyword, or for your competitor's keyword.

If you try any tool, if you are in marketing, and you try any tool on the MSN adCenter labs, I would say start with the keyword, or key phrase forecast tool, and then use the search funnel. It is just brilliant in how you will turbo charge your ability to be very competitive.

Eric Enge: It is a great tool. Okay, so one final question, and then we will wrap it up, and we are going to shift direction just a little bit, because this is something I really enjoyed from one of our earlier discussions. How would you recommend a company that's just getting started with analytics, get started?

Avinash Kaushik: Sometimes it depends on the size of the company. And often, bigger companies that start in web analytics feel compelled to buy one of the more expensive standard tools on the web. I have recommended on my blog, again from my own experience in the space over the last so many years, that the best way for you to get started with choosing the best fit web analytics tool for you is not to do a very complex and cumbersome three month RFP Process, and invite vendors and torture them to fill out fifty-five pages of information so that, you can figure out which one is the best one for you.

Rather, what you should do is, implement an analytics tool on your website first. Increasingly, it's extremely easy to do it; on my blog I have mentioned that the best thing you could do is, go to the Google Analytics website, and signup for the tool; it takes about five minutes. And, get the JavaScript tag, put it on the footer of your web; the global footer of your website, hit save and that would take another ten minutes and basically half an hour later, you have web analytics data flowing into your company.

It's the fastest way for you to get started; if you already have server log files for your website, go to the; ClickTracks Appetizer website, ClickTracks is another web analytics tool, download their Appetizer product for free, and that can instantly process your web log files and give you web analytics data for free again in within just a few minutes or few hours.

So, the reason that I say that people should start getting data first rather then going and finding the requirements, and defining business goals, and doing a massively complex RFP is that, the complex process takes you months. Why wait months to get smarter? What you can do is, go out, get one of the free tools; Microsoft is going to come out with a free tool in a few months as well. And, so you will have even more choice in the future; implement the tool. After you implement the tool and start looking at the reports what you will figure out is all of the complexity around web analytics.

It really doesn't matter what vendor's tool you go out and buy and give us. What is important is that web analytics is extremely complicated. Also, most websites out there are not optimized to cough up data that would allow you to report web analytics data correctly, and there is so many more hurdles in the way, that organizations don't understand, what are the best KPIs, the Key Performance Indicators, and the KPIs they do think are important are usually rather useless in giving them any insights. So, the best way for you to buy and use a web analytics tool is to not do a RFP Process; very complex; it is painful for you, it is equally painful for the vendor, and it is guaranteed that you will pick the most expensive and expansive tool at the end of that RFP Process.

Because, you are going to ask for the earth and the moon and only a few people give you the earth and the moon, when you really need to go from San Francisco to Sacramento. So, what you want to do is get a free web analytics tool, install it on your website; start using the data, start getting smart about what it takes to analyze the web analytics data. And, remember most tools will give you the standard reports out of the bag, and they all look kind of same. And, after a while they get more complex and value added.

But, what you can do is to start to make your marketer smarter about what it takes to analyze and use web analytics data. You can start to make your IT team smart about what it takes to host and support a web analytics tool, and how do they optimize a website to cough up the kind of data that the web analytics tool needs, in order to give good data and make; help your marketers make good decisions. And, then at the end of the three months, the time that you would have taken to do an RFP; you'll actually have been using web analytics data. At the end of it, you could decide that the free tool is not the one for you; but the interesting thing is you will make the decision based on a place of being intelligent.

You would have gotten so much more smarter about what web analytics is and what it can do. After that, if you want you can do a RFP Process; put in all of your pain points that you felt in the real world using the free tool. Put those into the RFP and say, hey Mr. Paid Vendor, please help me understand how you can solve this problems that I am having with one of the free tools and then your RFP Process would have been much more thoughtful, deliberate, and at the end of it, whether you decide to use the free tool or you go out and buy a paid web analytics tool; you would have ended up making a very intelligent and smart choice for your organization. And, that's the best way for you to go figure out, what tool you need.

I have this ten-ninety rule of web analytics and it really the rule says if you are going to spend a hundred dollars on your web analytics program of that only ten dollars should be spent on the tool and ninety dollars should be spent on intelligent brains, the analyst or the people who will analyze the data. Because, web analytics is inherently very, very complex. Buying, the most expansive and expensive tool in the world is actually not magically going to transform your organization. Going through the process of selecting the tool as I have suggested now, would help you follow the ten-ninety rule. It would help you make a much more intelligent choice.

Eric Enge: Right. You'll end up understanding the non-tool part of the investment, and if you end up going with the more expensive tool, then you'll really know why you are doing it.

Avinash Kaushik: Exactly. Exactly you'll be able to justify it much better; you'll know better how to use it, and you will be able to extract more value from it. Well, the paid tool vendors have some amazingly good features, everyone of them has something unique that they do; that are indeed valuable to organizations who want to do web analysis. My recommendation is that you make the choice from a position of intelligence and being smart.

Eric Enge: Great. Well, thank you so much for talking with us today, Avinash. I enjoyed it and I hope our listeners enjoyed as well.

Avinash Kaushik: It was a pleasure. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

About the Author

Eric Enge is the Founder and President of Stone Temple Consulting (STC). STC offers Internet marketing optimization services, including SEO, Social Media and PPC optimization, and its web site can be found at: https://www.stonetemple.com.

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