Wall Street Journal Online Details Online Analytics Usage

Dow Jones & Co. is using Web analytics software to track traffic and traffic patterns by customer segment at the recently revamped Wall Street Journal Online. The big publishing company is using hosted analytical tools from DigiMine Inc., a company it selected in large measure for its ability to analyze traffic data on a demographic basis. “Most importantly by far was their ability to combine our customer file with their Web metrics,” said Todd Larsen, general manager of The Wall Street Journal Online.

The system works like this: WSJ.com uploads traffic data from its internal tracking systems on a daily basis to DigiMine, which crunches the numbers and produces a series of reports that are available to Dow Jones through a browser.

Specific reports that Dow Jones analyzes on a regular basis include visitors counts, visitor counts by the online newspaper’s sections, most frequently viewed pages, referring URLs, time spent at the site, and traffic trends, Larsen said.

Dow Jones has recently gone live with DigiMine tools for breaking down such data by major customer segments, which included: Web-only subscribers; print and Web subscribers; educational subscribers; and “retail” subscribers who purchased their online subscription in a retail store. “We’re learning a lot about how to understand usage patterns of different segments,” Larsen explained. “We think this will help us understand long-term strategies to pursue for different segments. It will help us understand whether certain types of programs would be more or less advantageous.”

Such insights were especially helpful following the recent redesign of the wsj.com Web site. “It helped us pretty quickly understand which sections were getting found and read easily. We were able to make decisions to move features around and better promote things readers wanted to see,” Larsen added.

The reports supplied by DigiMine are not highly customized, but Larsen described that as a benefit because it results in tools and reports that are highly detailed and feature-rich in their own right, without requiring lots of customization by the customer or the vendor. “You can get a lot of information and relevant analyses right out of the box,” he said. “That helps control the cost to the client.”

Larsen declined to specify the cost to Dow Jones for the DigiMine service.

By: Tom Smith

Source: Internet Week


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