How Much Are You Investing In Analytics? – acCenter Staff


In the UK last week Brand Republic reported that UK spend on search engine marketing would reach £2.75bn this year.

However, just a tiny fraction of that cash – £330m – was spent on the art of SEO or search engine optimisation. The lion’s share of web site owner’s budget went on paid search solutions like Google AdWords or Microsoft adCenter.

SEO is an essential and vital route to improving usability and search engine visibility of web sites. So with what appears to be a disproportionate amount of time and money being allocated to this fine discipline, it made me wonder how much was being invested in web analytics.

When I say investment, I mean investment in people. Although many web analytics tools cost money to run, some are now free but you still need people to make sense of the data they provide. At Microsoft we have full time analysts pouring over dashboards of data, setting benchmarks and looking out for actionable insight. Some might say that having dedicated resource is a luxury a large company like Microsoft can afford – and they might be right!

But that doesn’t prevent company leaders from coaching their marketing manager or webmaster to spend an hour a day keeping an eye on what traffic trends might be exploited.

Investment doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of cash.

A few hundred dollars on a training course at a conference for someone in your company who’s interested in data could result in thousands of dollars made or saved. Paid search is an incredibly valuable lead generator and marketing channel, but in order to build a better web experience for users we need to better understand their behaviour and then act – that means investing a little more time and energy into web analytics and SEO.

adCenter Analytics Beta Refresh – New Features Added!


If you’ve logged into your adCenter Analytics account this morning you’ll be pleased to see a number of new features have been added by our product teams over the past few days.

I’ll take you through each one but do expect deeper dives here on the blog over the next couple of weeks!




This functionality lets you choose which information is most important to you. It gives you an up-to-date snapshot of your website’s traffic activity. It’s fully customizable so you can tailor it to your needs.
We added this to make it easy for users to take a quick peek at their data without having to run any reports. This way, soon after logging in you can immediately spot any traffic spikes or potential problems with your site that might need deeper investigation.


The default view includes:

  • Traffic summary
  • Page views
  • Visits
  • Top pages
  • Top keywords
  • Top referring websites


You can use the Gadget Library to add any other snapshots you wish to view quickly and easily.


Path Reports



This report helps you understand the path that users are taking in order to get to a particular page on your website, or where they go after they access that page. This might include scenarios such as from landing pages or to specific points like account sign up or conversion pages.

You can use this kind of information to optimise their navigation experience so they convert quicker or find what they might be looking for more efficiently.


Top Entry & Exit Pages



Knowing on which page people land when they find your website is crucial, because it may not always be your homepage. This information tells you which pages your users entered via most often, the average page views per visit they browsed, and how long they spent on the site.

Having an idea of which pages visitors leave your site the most is equally important.

If they’re going elsewhere from pages they “shouldn’t” and hence are not converting, you can do some analysis and maybe try to ferry them through a different path or change/add some text to help them navigate a little better.


Media Campaign Timeline



We’ve made improvements to the Campaign Timeline Report which allows an overview of referrals and conversions that were generated by your tracked marketing campaigns over the past year. You can compare individual campaigns within a group, and compare groups of the same campaign type or across campaign types, and spot trends in campaign performance over the last year in conversion rates and ROI.


Treemap Improvements



Back in April we talked about the Treemap Report and how it could be used to help optimise your site. In this release we’ve added enhanced navigation and enabled you to see demographic segmentation of page views and referrals. This is an awesome feature, as you can now see who is interacting with your website from an age and gender point of view, right down to which pages they see and how they arrive at those pages.

We also made some changes in the back end of the system to improve the performance, reliability and data quality in response to your comments and suggestions here on our web analytics blog, via email, and in person.

We’re very excited about this release and would love to get your feedback here on the blog, or on the analytics forum.

If you’ve not signed up and want to give adCenter Analytics a try, check out our analytics information page on the Microsoft Advertising site.

Do check out the blog later this week for more info on the tools and features in this major release.

Cheers Mel