* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!


» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)


Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Conversion tracking

I'm interested in tracking conversions.  With Adwords this is not a problem, i.e., just use the built-in functionality that adwords provides. But what about a more generalized conversion tracking strategy from other referrers, such as sites where a banner ad might be present or even from search engines, directories, etc.

Is there an effective approach to do this?  Looking at how adwords does it, they drop a cookie on the client machine at the click point, before they get to your site.  Are there commercial packages that provide tracking functionality?

2nd question:

Can anyone recommend a good web-based stats package for analyzing IIS logs?
Mike Stephenson Send private email
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Google Analytics will happily tell you how many conversions you're getting from which sources.  Only downside is, unlike AdWords reports, the last source "wins" for the conversion.  As a result, if you come to my web page from organic Google searching, download my free trial, and then later purchase from the link in the trial, Analytics sees one download conversion to credit to Google and one purchase conversion to credit not to Google but to "direct" (equivalent to "typed in the URL directly").
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Oh how I wish some uISV would take this on!  The problem Patrick mentions (last one in wins) makes AdWords and everything else practically useless for me, because in the B2B world, the first guy that finds me is the one that actually purchases only 25% of the time (and even that is anecdotal).  Nearly all of my conversions appear to be direct, or come from Google (where they type in my company name directly--obviously they had found me somewhere else previously).

What is needed is something that will take all the hits from an address/subnet and consider them a single user for the sake of finding the true original referrer.

I'd buy it today if I could find it.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
For anyone interested in beta testing a log analysis program that should give you the ability to do this kind of digging, please shoot me an email (next to my signature below).

Our company has a general data analysis tool (Kirix Strata) that is quite extensible.  I've actually been putting together the spec for an extension this week that grabs log files, parses/filters them and creates specific data tables (canned or customized) and then lets you delve into them further at will (in a spreadsheet-like way using the main functionality of the tool).

The point of this extension is not to re-create Google Analytics, Analog, AWstats, etc. -- but to do the "dirty work" or parsing/filtering and then providing a vehicle for hands-on log analysis for those trickier, ad hoc, specialized problems people face due to the specifics of their own web/business situation.

I'm got an extremely basic extension at the moment, but hope to have something beta-able in the next couple weeks.  Also, if anyone has some IIS logs that they'd be willing to share (probably a longshot, but I would be willing to do a confidentiality agreement), it would be really useful in testing the IIS parsing -- we only have apache logs.

Ken Kaczmarek Send private email
Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We use a simple solution: the first time a user visits our web-site, we put a cookie with a referral URL and keywords (if it was search engine) on his pc.
When someone orders, we read the cookie from his computer and add it to the order details.

It doesn't work in 100% of the cases, but it still gives a very good picture.
Vadim Send private email
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I've been using ConversionRuler ( http://www.conversionruler.com )for a while now. It does pretty much what Vadim above says, and allows you to easily track Adwords conversions as well as sales that result from email campaigns.

Worth a look, and at $20 a month, it beats spending days working on your own solution. On the downside, they've got a god-awful website - it's a chore and a half to find the necessary links to actually use their 30 day trial.
Bill K Send private email
Thursday, November 29, 2007

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
Powered by FogBugz