Paid clicks on ads across Google-owned sites and its advertising network jumped 33% during the quarter.
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Gniwisch says the bet has paid off in higher conversions, with the ability to do simultaneous segmented testing making a significant difference in decisions on marketing spending. "Let`s say we`re paying $25,000 for a front page on MSN. Every point of conversion is going to make a huge difference because of the number of clicks you get," he says. "On a campaign like that we have seen our conversion rate go higher based on the testing we have done."
As for Visual Sciences, it`s gathered enough converts and new customers to push its growth up to 100% last year, according to Forrester.
Features and functionality, pricing, the subjective appeal of the user interface and marketplace longevity and prospects are when retailers look at switching analytics vendors. Smart retailers will clear yet another set of questions before they even get to the point of considering alternative vendors, such as whether they can get what they want from their current package, whether they are using the most current release, how easy the implementation will be, and how difficult to hang onto historical data in any changeover. Layered over all of that is what may be the most important aspect for many retailers--the intangible of relationship.
"No piece of web analytics software is a silver bullet," says Peterson. "It`s simply a tool to let you learn more about the relationship you have with your site visitors. Web analytics isn`t easy: if it were, everybody would get into it. So assuming that`s the case, companies need to be able to rely on their vendors to help them do more with the software."
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