Yahoo! Web Analytics

Yahoo! is going head-to-head with Google by releasing a free web analytics package.

Yahoo! Web Analytics has just gone into private beta, so it will probably be early next year until it’s open for everyone to sign-up. However, the initial reaction of those who have used it seems positive.

Yahoo! have built on the IndexTools system, which they bought in April 2008. Changes they have made include a redesigned website, increased scalability and compliance, single sign-on and integration with your Yahoo! account. The new dashboard has also received a rather beautiful makeover:

 

Some of the features are:

  • Customisable dashboards
  • Custom goals, custom reporting and custom fields
  • Multiple dashboards for various individuals
  • Tracking of marketing campaigns
  • Real-time segmentation and cost analysis
  • Merchandise reporting and comparative reporting
  • Scenario analysis and advanced path analysis
  • Marketing workflow management

Yahoo! Web Analytics is certainly one to watch. I, for one, will be very interested to see how it stacks up against the excellent Google Analytics, which I recommend in my book.

Business Blogging On The Up – Part 2

The full Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2008 report has now been published. The report was released over five days and these are the highlights for days 3-5, from a business blogger’s point of view. I covered the first two days in an earlier post.

Blogging is a time consuming activity. This is confirmed by the report which shows that a quarter of bloggers spend over 10 hours per week on their blog and nearly half spend 5 hours or more:

As I mention in my book, WordPress for Business Bloggers, many bloggers take on help to run their blog. This is particularly true for corporate or business bloggers, of whom nearly 20% have paid staff working for them.

Blogs with higher Technorati authority are updated more frequently than those with less authority, as the report states:

“The Technorati Top 100 are prolific, with 43% posting ten times per day or more often. Only 8% post once a day or less frequently, compared to 13% of the next 500 bloggers, and 22% of the next 5000 bloggers.”

I highlight the importance of using tags in my book, and this is borne out by the data. Technorati top 100 bloggers are twice as likely to tag their posts:

Promoting a blog is key to its success and the report shows us the top traffic-building strategies used. These are particularly important for business bloggers, so all the techniques highlighted in the chart below are covered in WordPress for Business Bloggers, you’ll find many of them in Chapter 7, Supercharged Promotion:

The vast majority of bloggers are tracking their site visitors and monthly page views, with Google Analytics being used by two thirds of them. Using Google Analytics with WordPress is covered in detail in WordPress for Business Bloggers.

Direct revenue generation is becoming an important aspect of blogging, with the majority of bloggers now displaying ads, affiliate marketing or other form of revenue generation (this subject is covered in detail in Chapter 10 of WordPress for Business Bloggers):

The report data seems to suggest that the medium of blogging is gaining credibility and being taken more seriously as a source of information. 37% of bloggers have been quoted in the traditional media as a result of one of their posts. This is encouraging for business bloggers who use their blog as a PR tool.

All in all, the State of the Blogosphere 2008 report makes encouraging reading for business bloggers as well as anyone who is thinking about starting a blog for their business. A blog can be a tremendously powerful tool for any business and using a top quality platform like WordPress makes running a blog extremely easy.

I’m Big In Canada

Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it was exciting to see that my book, WordPress for Business Bloggers, appeared at #15 in the bestsellers list for the Computers & Internet > Business & Culture category on Amazon.ca:

Thanks to all you Canadian business bloggers who bought the book – I hope you’re finding it useful.

Business Blogging On The Up

Technorati has just published its annual report, State of the Blogosphere 2008. As usual, it makes interesting reading, especially for those of us interested in business blogging.


The report is being published over five days – here are some of the highlights from the first two.

The report shows that Technorati has indexed 133 million blogs since 2002. 1.5million blogs have been updated in the last 7 days and 7.4 million in the last 120 days. These figures still support my argument in the first chapter of my book that business bloggers should not be put off by the total number of blogs out there because, in fact, only a small proportion are active.

The report also states that blogs are profitable:

“The majority of bloggers we surveyed currently have advertising on their blogs. Among those with advertising, the mean annual investment in their blog is $1,800, but it’s paying off. The mean annual revenue is $6,000 with $75K+ in revenue for those with 100,000 or more unique visitors per month.”

It’s interesting to note that the majority of bloggers now display advertising.

For me, one of the most encouraging statistics is that the proportion of people blogging about their jobs and on behalf of their business is now so high:

“About half of bloggers are professional bloggers — blogging is not necessarily their full-time job, but they blog about their industry or profession in an unofficial capacity. 12% of bloggers blog in an official capacity for their company.”

The amount of cross-over between the groups is also interesting. It shows that personal and business blogging can be successfully combined:

“More than half of professional and corporate bloggers are also personal bloggers. This could be on a separate blog, or they may blog about personal interests within their professional blog.

Corporate bloggers:

  • 69% are also personal bloggers
  • 65% are professional bloggers

Professional bloggers:

  • 59% are also personal bloggers
  • 17% are corporate bloggers”

It’s very encouraging to see the positive benefits being enjoyed by business and professional bloggers, with the majority of those surveyed reporting a positive impact as a result of their blog. Half of them say they are better known in their industry and a quarter see their blog as a useful resume enhancement.

Impact of blogging on professional life:

Business bloggers also report that blogging has brought many unique opportunities that wouldn’t have otherwise been available. Taking part in an event, contributing to a print publication or even appearing on radio or TV are the kinds of things they are involved in, thanks to their blog.

Have you been invited to any of the following as the result of your blog?

From what I have seen so far, the State of the Blogosphere is looking good for business and professional bloggers. I’ll be blogging about the next three days of the report when they have all been published. Days 4 and 5, which examine blogging for profit, and brands entering the blogosphere, look particularly interesting.

Thank you, Woodfield’s

This post is a little off topic, but I just had to give a very quick mention to a local landscaping supplier, whose service I have been really impressed with. Although they are based in the Midlands, they deliver to most of mainland UK.

Having recently moved into a newly-built house, we needed to landscape the garden. Most of the work I did myself, so I needed a reliable supplier of landscaping materials, who took online orders and provided reliable delivery. I was pleased to find Woodfield’s, after they were recommended by a friend.

They have a nice, easy-to-use website, which made online ordering a breeze. They also stocked all the products I needed, like top soil, builder’s sand and decorative stone gravel . I was also able to buy compost online.

They delivered quickly and left the materials neatly on my driveway. I’m sure I will be using Woodfield’s again. They have logs for sale and are bark mulch suppliers – two products I will probably be shopping for in the future.

If you’re in the UK and need good quality landscaping products delivered quickly, with the convenience of online ordering, I recommend Woodfield’s.

Take Your Blog To The Next Level

On his excellent blog, Chris Brogan has published a list of 50 Ways to Take Your Blog to the Next Level.

 

There are some great suggestions, which he has grouped under five headings:

  • Make Your Goal and Target Audience Crystal Clear
  • Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep
  • Make Your Content Top Notch
  • Promoting Your Blog
  • Building Business From Your Blog

These sections are similar to the main themes I discuss in my book, WordPress For Business Bloggers. The book takes a detailed look at planning and goal-setting for a business blog. It also shows readers how to design a customized them for WordPress with rock-solid design principles, using the Sandbox theme.

There is a chapter on the importance of content, which is available as a free sample from my publisher. I explore promoting and monetizing your blog by providing real-world examples. The book looks at integrating plenty of third-party plugins and web services (like Twitter, FeedBurner and Google AdSense) into your WordPress blog.

There are also chapters on SEO (search engine optimization), managing the growth of a business blog, connecting with the blogoshpere, analyzing blog stats and advanced tips for handling images and video.

It’s good to see a successful blogger like Chris Brogan suggesting many of the same principles covered in WordPress For Business Bloggers.

My del.icio.us Bookmarks For 9 September 2008

My del.icio.us Bookmarks For 27 May 2008