Web stats, log analysis and web tracking

I just got home from an interesting talk on corporate health management. More specifics on that later, but it matched with an email from a client.

Doctors use numbers to measure our overall and specific health, businesses have KPI’s. Webmasters, eTailers and eCommerce practioners live and die by their stats. But it’s amazing how many website owners ignore their stats.

Web logs get ignored until orders stop flowing

It’s a great quote, but it’s getting the cart before the horse. Logs give early warnings of problems and early pointers to success. Find out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats sooner than later. It’s always better to have time to plan a response before it becomes critical.

But logs in isolation are useless, we’re after trends. Your traffic should be moving in the right direction, and that traffic had better be relevant. There is not point in say 12,000 unique visitors if it’s all unrelated or marginal traffic.

And seeing how people are finding a website is as important as the bulk numbers. Is a pattern emerging for searchers? Are they looking for particular information or products that you provide, or can easily provide. If your product is on say page 18 of Google and people are willing to dig through 180 websites to find it, then look at improving your ranking, either through organic search improvement or sponsored placement.

Gratuitous plug. If you want to improve your natural placement in search engine results pages and want a consultant get in touch. You’ll be amazed at how high our techniques will get you.

Disney offers free ABC TV

ABC network logoThe threat of internet TV downloads is met head on by Disney the owner of ABC network and Pixar. ABC will be offering their prime-time TV shows like Lost and Desparate Housewives for download via their MyABC portal at http://abc.com launching in May.

The Wall Street Journal has the story on the front page today.

DISNEY PLANS to make much of its most popular programming on ABC and other channels available free anytime on the Web. The move could speed changes in TV viewing and help revive the ad business.

The big news s they’re allowing these downloads for free. They will contain advertising and the ability to fast forward and rewind. The shows are already available for video iPod via iTunes, but ABC understands advertising business models, so they’re playing with their advertising to make an event of the launch. Should be interesting.

Great move, they’ve siezed the day and decided to grab the market before someone else eats their lunch.

It looks like Steve Jobs may be teaching them to unclench their grip.

A Thousand Dollars

A Thousand Dollars photo by Tracy Olson Victoria, BC, Canada sxc.hu 387599The psychology of wealth creation works on a subconscious level. It is hard to develop that radar in an environment where wealth is absent. So it’s hard to forget the plan with images of the goal all around.

That’s why dieters put images on their fridges. Images of them slim, somebody with a similar body type at the ideal weight, the treat they’ll have when they reach some goal — whatever.

Notice the image is different for each person. The image must be personally meaningful. One person’s motivational image is anothers de-motivator.

So when I found this image of a thousand dollars I thought “oh yeah!”. What images, totems, reminders do you have in your space of you goals. Give your subconscious the fuel it needs to serve your dreams.

I found the image at Stock.XCHNG, the leading FREE stock photo site. You can get a high resolution shot by clicking through to http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=387599, and clicking the photo. It’s by Tracy Olson of Victoria, BC, Canada.

Web Candy, add to Google button

You may have noticed some buttons appearing in the sidebars. Yes I’ve finally joined the web candy crowd.

They’re for voting for WealthEsteem on various blog toplists. I’m experimenting with directory listings and raising the profile of the blogs I write for or manage. Unless you’re reading this on a RSS aggregator or reader, in which case you haven’t noticed anything. That’s ok I don’t mind how you access Wealth Esteem. But for those of you who want to use either the Google Reader or your Google homepage, here is a button just for you.

Add to Google

I’ll add more links later. I just found Chicklet Creator.

Update Oops! the code didn’t validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional so I’ve pulled it. I’ll use the code as the basis of a validating list. I think I shouldn’t have selected every available reader.

Update: 11 May 2006 It is very important for an online business website to validate as compliant with the standard. As each website specifies what W3 standard it complies with, failing to meet that standard places unnecessary obstacles between my viewers and my website.

When the Team IS the Brand

New York Red Bulls Logo

Red Bull bought the (USA) Major League Soccer‘s New York MetroStars and renamed them New York Red Bulls. Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion calls the renaming risky in When the Team is the Brand.

I think it’s a gutsy move from a company revolutionizing the beverage business. Red Bull didn’t get where they are now by being timid. Let’s review the risks.

The team could lose… regularly. New Yorkers hate losers. The brand becomes associated with a pack of losers. But this is a World Cup year, soccer’s profile is huge. The Red Bulls could finish with the wooden spoon and the market impact would still be positive. Soccer is the most played team sport in America due to the number of kids playing it. The move shows long term commitment to the sport in one of the biggest media markets in the world. FIFA wants to grow the code’s popularity in the States and is going to spend money there.

The players could get involved in scandal. This isn’t the NBA, NRL or any of the European or South American leagues. The MLS is still not the big show in US sports. As such the stars are not treated as gods with the egos and behaviour to go with it. No individual players will consitently risk their future careers in Europe behaving like prima donnas on the road. Owning the team actually reduces the risk associated of individual player endorsements.

Pre- and post-season camps and road trips are a risk, especially with the sexual assault scandals rocking professional sports on all continents. Team owners in every sport are addressing these risks, team-wide scandals are not good for anybody’s business or career.

By owning the team rather than sponsoring it, Red Bull can’t use morals clauses to weasel out of sponsorship deals. No doubt all the players have morals clauses to limit the team risk. So if the deal goes bad Red Bull has to step in an fix it. The up side is the deal is all up side for Red Bull: they get a sporting brand to go with their existing extreme games sponsorships. As they build the brand they build their equity value for about the cost of a sponsorship deal.

There is the possibility that soccer in the States will remain a marginal sport. So the risk is MLS fails financially as a league. I don’t think Red Bull or FIFA are expecting it to knock the NBA, NFL or MLB of their pedestals anytime soon. It is a niche play to capitalise on the penetration of the sport. Plus as a European company, Austrian Red Bull would love to see soccer conquer the US market. Just like they imagine the day when they are the world’s #1 non-alcoholic beverage.

Great business.

Update I also forgot to mention the subliminal association of “New York Red Bulls” with “Chicago Bulls” who play in red and are one of the most recognised NBA franchises outside North America. English Premier League also has the Red Devils (a.k.a Manchester United) now owned by an American. Branding buzz all round.

WealthEsteem Link Directory Launched

I’ve launched a resources directory of links relevant to entrepreneurship, business and wealth creation. Pretty much the things I’m interested in blogging about.

There is also a reciprocal link exchange program. The exciting part of it is you can add a link yourself. Please list your or friends business, people who provide business support services or sites of interest to business people. I’d appreciate a link to WealthEsteem.org.

Links to PPC (porn, pills or casinos) will not be published.

Update: the directory is still there but the auto add-a-link feature is off. I’ll eventually create a way to add yourself back in when time allows