January 26, 2005, 12:00 AM

MotorcycleSuperstore.com beefs up analytics for site redesign

An upgrade to WebTrends’ new release and a switch to the hosted service option deliver more useable analytic data more quickly. Keyword spending already is down, while the site rolls other data-driven fixes into a planned summer relaunch.


MotorcycleSuperstore.com , the e-commerce arm of content site MotorcycleUSA.com, had been using earlier versions of WebTrends’ analytics since 1999 under a software license model. But three months as a beta user of the just-released WebTrends Version 7 was an eye-opener, founder and president Don Becklin tells Internet Retailer.

Some of the most eye-catching data was visible in SmartView, browser overlay technology introduced by WebTrends with this release, that showed him products’ performance by sales, traffic, orders and dollars, Becklin says, allowing him to compare those metrics and gain intelligence that points the way toward improvements.

One point that jumped out of a feature that compares organic and paid search results in the same report, for example, was the gap between high traffic to pages displaying goggles and low sales for those items, Becklin says. “Goggles are a low-ticket item. If we have a lot of people going to those pages, maybe they’re an impulse buy. Maybe we need to do something else to encourage that purchase–put it on the checkout page, or put it up higher in the navigation process,” he says.

He adds that seeing the analyzed data in one interface is providing broader insights. “Before, we would get traffic data from WebTrends, our own internal sales and marketing data, and try to combine that to see what was working and what wasn’t. We discovered in many cases you are able to get a lot more if you’re able to see everything in one report,” he says. Becklin adds that the switch at the same time to a hosted service option from the software license model he’d used previously also has made it easier to get at the reports he wants.

While the web site will roll many of the data-driven improvements into a major redesign being readied for summer rollout, the new view of his data already has sparked improvements in his keyword program. “We’re using the data right now to tailor the keywords we are buying,” he says. “We are now able to tell for specific keywords how much revenue they drive and that is information you can put to work right away.”

It’s also clear now which terms are high producers under paid search but poor producers under natural search, he adds. That’s highlighting needed page optimization, with the goal of being able to further reduce PPC spending. Becklin expects to see greater benefits of applying insights from his improved analytic data after the redesigned MotorcycleSuperstore.com launches this summer.

Among a number of new features include in WebTrends 7 for marketers is the ability to easily improve customer segmentation and create custom segments on the fly and depict the information graphically with the new browser overlay technology. The new release also enhances marketers’ view of how web visitors respond to specific creative elements within e-mail and the web site.


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