At the weekend my family participated as a team called “Ray On” in the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Our connection to this particular charity event stems from losing my father seven years ago to cancer – which has motivated my ever active 73 year old mother to become chief organiser of a wide team of walkers to raise funds for this worthy cause.
Anyway, the weekend was a great success. Wellington’s dependable weather turned on a superb 24 hours and my wife, kids, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces (and a number of generous family friends) all turned out and did a superb job of walking their way around 205 laps towards our fundraising target.
At 11pm on Saturday night as I did my shift, I felt totally knackered. But their effort never seemed to flag. Aside from youth (and the money they were raising), what kept them all moving at top pace right through the night?
I’d say statistics. Who got the fastest round? Who did the most laps? Did we do better than last year’s team? Standards have been set – how do you beat them? That’s the challenge.
Now it may be a stretch of parallels, but with websites and online advertising it’s similar.
Statistical comparisons are an amazing driver towards getting the best out of what you’re doing. Are we improving? How did that compare with last week, with last month? What worked? What didn’t?
If you have a website, the first thing you should do is set up some site traffic monitoring. Google Analytics is the easiest option and I tell you, the moment you start understanding your site’s performance you’ll begin to appreciate the infectious interest statistical benchmarks create.
So my local news site Stuff launched their much anticipated version 3 this week. I met with Stuff’s Advertising and Marketing Manager, Kirsty Harmon this morning and gave her the following bulleted feedback. Nice to deal with people who can take on board suggestions. Feel free to add your own.
- “Ad feedback” – Is nice but should only appear when ads are hosted.
- Contextual ads – Feel right. The copy is too close to the image though.
- Nice use of blue links and spacing.
- No Billboard banner across the homepage. Good. In my experience people just scroll past those – esp if they’re dynamic.
- Links at footer around the homepage but they need to be in the footer of the content pages (point noted by friend)
- Wondering if top right could become a 200×80 ad that could extend the offer from Trade me. Deal would be that it has to be static so it doesn’t affect the logo or navigation. Would make it easier for ad agencies who need to produce a dozen different ads for optimum reach with each campaign.
- No mobile site yet…