Today’s session took a turn toward the more operational side, focusing on various best practices in building online businesses.
The first chunk of the morning focused on Web Analytics — how to best measure the performance of your site, both for purposes of managing/optimizing your business as well as for external relations. A few consistent themes:
- The traffic measurement companies are all pretty lousy, though comScore is the least lousy and is emerging as the coin of the realm;
- Data, data, data — its invaluable for understanding your business, but can be overwhelming
- In particular, knowing where a visitor came to your site from, and targetting ads on this basis, leads to a much higher likelihood the visitor will click on an ad.
Next we focused on various aspects of building an audience.
Much to my delight, an overwhelming consensus emerged that widgets are a big deal and a fundamental shift in the web.
Regarding search optimization/marketing, all agreed it is absolutely mission critical, though views were mixed (at best) whether 3d party search marketing firms really added much value.
A lively conversation around partnering with the portals followed.
The session wrapped up with a discussion around building an advertising business both from a sales and an organizational perspective.