December 29, 2009, 12:00 AM

Jumping Hurdles

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This shows how using hurdle rates effectively can drive material results. Setting appropriate hurdle rates allows you to spend more time focusing on optimizing problem areas rather than spending time attempting to identify them. Once set in the right context, hurdle rates should be applied to all types of metrics, including keywords, campaigns, and page and product performance.

Hurdle rates can help discover common themes and point out gaps that you may not have recognized before. The process is not complicated-all it takes is a bit of focus, time and resources. If a single analysis uncovers even one area to optimize, the investment may be easily recovered in merchandise sales.

Zac Trojak is the manager of web analytics at GSI Commerce, where he leads the site optimization team. Jeff McCall is a senior vice president at GSI and head of the strategy services group.

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