What can you do with Yahoo Web Analytics?


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We announced on Wednesday that Merchant Solutions Standard, Professional, and Yahoo Store merchants will soon have access to our beta release of Yahoo Web Analytics, and that these stores will be enabled in stages. Today, we’d like to give you a preview of what you can look forward to when the “Get Started” link appears in Store Manager. We think you’ll agree that enabling Yahoo Web Analytics can open up a world of profit potential for your store — great news at any time, and especially so right now as we look toward the holiday shopping season.

Yahoo Web Analytics features

To note every feature available with Yahoo Web Analytics would take much more than a blog post — closer to a book. Luckily, Dennis Mortensen, Director of Data Insights and previous COO of IndexTools, is already busy writing that book. With over 100 standard reports, the ability to customize these or create brand new reports from scratch, options to apply cross-reference filters and visitor segments, and powerful scenario analysis and campaign tracking features, you can dig deep into your site activity to discover user trends, problem areas, and potential conversion opportunities.

Unlike many reports or analytics tools, Yahoo Web Analytics provides real-time reporting of your site activity. You can immediately see the effects of site changes and marketing campaigns, and know how your site is performing right now. And once collected, historical data is always available when generating and segmenting reports, and applying cross-reference filters.

Here are just a few of the things you can do with Yahoo Web Analytics:

Apply cross-reference filters and visitor segments

Cross-reference filters add a new dimension to understanding site performance. By applying filters to reports, you can gain insight into the different factors that may be influencing your key metrics, individually or in combination. Instead of spending hours manually digging through different reports, Yahoo Web Analytics can automatically remove the data you don’t want to look at, and incorporate the metrics you’d like to focus on.

For example, when viewing a conversion summary report, you may wish to filter the results by conversions that came from visitors in a certain city or country, or that were related to a certain entry page or traffic source. Or, when viewing a visits report, you may wish to show only visitors who arrived at your site using a certain search phrase, or visitors that came from a specific referrer. Filtering allows you to see patterns that may otherwise be hidden.

You can also apply visitor segments to your reports, so you can see how different visitor groups engage with your web site. For example, you may wish to segment report data by results that apply only to returning visitors, or by results that apply only to visitors in a certain geographic location. Using the segmentation selector to explore visitor behavior can help you learn how to better optimize your site, and your marketing campaigns.

Create custom reports and dashboards

Custom reporting lets you choose the key metrics most important to your business, and to design reports tailored to your reporting needs. You can use the Custom Report Wizard to modify existing standard reports, or to create brand-new reports from scratch.

While Yahoo Web Analytics includes a default executive dashboard that displays key site metrics and performance indicators, you can also design new dashboards geared to your business needs. For example, you may wish to create a custom dashboard that includes reports geared toward SEO or SEM efforts. You can have up to 10 dashboards, and each dashboard can include up to 10 items.

Yahoo Web Analytics dashboard
Yahoo Web Analytics dashboard

Analyze steps in an important site process

The Scenario Analysis feature allows you to pre-define and track the steps a user must go through to complete an important site process, such as a checkout or signup flow. By tracking these steps, you can learn where visitors exit a process (e.g. abandon their shopping cart), identify areas of weakness, and optimize the process to improve conversions.

Using ad-hoc scenarios, you can create and apply a scenario to historical data, allowing you to research and test possible steps in a process before implementing them on your site. Both pre-defined and ad-hoc scenario reporting let you “drill-down” into the data, revealing navigation path and exit page details for visitors who did not complete a process.

Checkout scenario analysis
Example of a checkout scenario analysis, showing the number of visitors who began the checkout process compared to those who completed a sale, and at which steps drop-off occurred.

Set custom delivery options, and share reports

You can schedule Yahoo Web Analytics reports for delivery by email to one or more email addresses, or have them automatically uploaded to an FTP server. You may also give other users access to your reports.

With Yahoo Web Analytics, you can also:

  • Define and track campaigns, including paid search, email, banner, and internal campaigns.
  • Compare reports from different time periods, such as before, during, and after a marketing campaign, or month-to-month.
  • Track internal searches on store pages built with Store Editor, to learn what visitors can and can’t find.
  • Define, track, and analyze site events.
  • Export reports to Excel, CSV, HTML, PDF, and .ZIP format.

The features highlighted here are just some of what’s offered by Yahoo Web Analytics. To learn more, check out our Yahoo Web Analytics help section.

How do I get started?

Once the “Get Started” link appears in your Store Manager, enabling Yahoo Web Analytics is easy. Our automated installation option for checkout pages and store pages built in Store Editor means no messing around with tracking code. Simply follow the “Get Started” link in Store Manager and click the “Enable Analytics Tracking” button to start tracking your site.

Manual installation options are available for merchants who build their store pages with Web Hosting tools, or for merchants who wish to add custom tracking variables to their store pages.

Where can I learn more?

For information about enabling Yahoo Web Analytics and using the reporting interface, please consult our extensive help section. We’ll also be offering a webinar later this month to introduce you to Yahoo Web Analytics. Please watch the blog and our training page for webinar details.

Our training page also includes a free video from MarketMotive, showing four quick ways you can use Yahoo Web Analytics to improve your store. The free video is one segment of a full Yahoo Web Analytics training course developed by MarketMotive, available by subscription.

We’re excited to introduce this first phase of Yahoo Web Analytics to our Standard, Professional, and Yahoo Store merchants. Remember to watch your Store Manager in the days ahead for the “Get Started” link, and to check back soon for information about the webinar.

Jennifer Farwell
Yahoo Small Business

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Great information about applying filters to reports in order to gain insight information into the different factors that could be influencing our key metrics. Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Mike — October 23, 2010 @ 8:00 pm