You have a web analytics tool. You’re generating cubes of data, reams of reports. There are so many things you could change on your site, so many tests you could run that you’re paralyzed by indecision, a deer in the headlights. More likely, it’s your boss who’s paralyzed. How do you set priorities, evaluate opportunities, and convince your boss? Monetization.
Monetization allows you to compare the value of dissimilar behaviors and prioritize your actions. Where are changes likely to earn the greatest return? What’s the opportunity? How do you measure improvement?
What is monetization?
Monetization is an imposing name for a simple concept—attaching a dollar value to desirable behaviors on your site, whether those behaviors generate revenue or reduce expenses. The obvious example is the average sale amount for ecommerce sites. It gets a little less obvious from there. For example, assigning an average value for a referral to another site or attributing your web site’s contribution to offline sales. The idea, however, is to assign a value not only for conversion events but to those behaviors that lead to a conversion.
Once you’ve assigned a dollar value to behaviors as dissimilar as a visit to a product detail page or a customer service page, you can estimate whether an incremental improvement to the product detail page will likely earn you more money than the saving likely from an improvement to a customer service page. Of course, that begs the question of how to assess the average value of a visit to a product detail or customer service page. That’s where Burby and Atchison come in.
Actionable web analytics
Jason Burby and Shane Atchison have written a wonderfully practical book called Actionable Web Analytics.Burby and Atchison work at Zaaz, Inc., a web design and analytics consulting firm that focuses on monetization as a key strategy. They use monetization to help their clients:
- Understand the impact of acting on opportunities.
- Prioritize opportunities based upon that impact.
- Eliminate time-wasting projects.
- Focus on projects that drive the business.
- Provide a common framework for evaluating the impact of change.
Speak to the dog,
in the language of the dog,
about what matters to the heart of a dog.
As well, monetization gives you the vocabulary to talk to management in the language they understand best. Borrowing a graphic phrase from the Eisenberg brother’s book Persuasive Online Copywriting, “Speak to the dog, in the language of the dog, about what matters to the heart of a dog.” To this dog, money matters. Providing an estimated dollar value for proposed changes is highly effective in a conversation about what to change and when.
Actionable Web Analytics includes detailed instructions on how to build a monetization model for your site. It’s a fascinating subject with tremendous potential that Burby and Atchison address capably.
Actionable Web Analytics
Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions
Jason Burby & Shane Atchison
Wiley Publishing, Inc.