WebSideStory Ties Content Management to Analytics Data

WebSideStory today launched a new version of its content management application that allows marketers to automatically control content placement based on aggregate Web site user behavior.

Using Publish 4.0, marketers can display dynamic content based on any report available in the HBX Web analytics application. Content can be displayed based on “most viewed” status, including most popular downloads or site searches. Marketers can also choose to show related pages based on the activity of other site visitors, or pages most linked to by other sites, for example.

“Popularity is becoming a standard part of the navigation of a Web site,” Steve Kusmer, SVP and GM of WebSideStory’s search and content solutions, told ClickZ. “It’s like a dynamic site map, showing what most people are doing once they get to a site.”

At launch, Publish 4.0’s analytics-driven content management features are in use by sales performance consultants Miller Heiman. They are using the product to replace a little-used part of their site navigation with a new “most popular” module highlighting pages, searches and downloads, and to automatically create a list of related pages on the site, Kusmer said.

The related pages feature uses tagging by site editors and WebSideStory’s Search functionality to assign keywords to a page, which can then be used to pull in related content in a module on the page.

About half of WebSideStory’s Publish clients use it to manage their entire site, while half use it to manage particular sections. Of those that manage portions of their sites, the most common sections are customer support areas, and corporate information areas, including press and events information.

Other new features in Publish 4.0 include easier integration of external content, such as through RSS feeds, an upgraded UI to more closely resemble that of HBX Analytics, and a new PHP-based back end to improve performance. The use of PHP also makes it easier for marketers to find a developer to help integrate the application into their site.

The company linked its analytics and site search products earlier this year, when it launched Search 4.0. That integration allows marketers to alter search results and site navigation elements based on visitor metrics, such as moving a product with a higher conversion rate to the top of the search results page, or featuring popular content on a page.

WebSideStory Publish 4.0 is tied in with Hitbox analytics, site search and keyword bid management as part of the HBX Active Marketing Suite. The site search and content management pieces were brought into the mix in February 2005 when WebSideStory acquired Atomz, of which Kusmer was chairman and CEO.

This release brings to fruition the potential for integration that led to that merger, according to Kusmer. “We believe Web analytics data will be crucial to driving digital marketing innovation in the future,” he said.

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