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Why You Suck at Web Analytics: Page 2

By James A. Martin     Feedback
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Too often, web analytics team members don’t think about how the organization’s site visitors are using the site, which means they don’t understand the potential problems those users may be experiencing. Wouldn’t it be better to know what your user challenges are first and then measure web analytics second? 

Greco recommended a site called fivesecondtest that lets you inexpensively test landing pages. A landing page is displayed to testers for five seconds; afterwards, they’re asked what they recall from the page. The results can be illuminating. Greco said he had been advocating that a former employer redo its website home page, a proposal that wasn’t gaining traction. In doing a five-second-test on the page, he learned that testers mistakenly believed the CRM firm was a social media company. “Those test results got us permission from executive management to change the website,” he added.

7. Looking backward, not forward. When reviewing web analytics data, it’s important to look at what might happen next month, rather than staying exclusively focused on what’s already happened. “Think about things like, do our first-time visitors convert better than second-time visitors? When you think along those lines, you can get ideas about what will happen next,” Greco explained.

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8. Lack of integration. If you only look at web analytics data, you’re missing the big picture, Greco said. For example, by integrating web analytics with a CRM system, you can make more informed decisions about calling all site visitors who filled out an online form or only calling prospects who appear to be the most qualified and/or motivated, thus making your CRM efforts more targeted and thus potentially successful.

9. Lack of tool knowledge. Frequently, web analytics team members don’t fully understand all the web analytics software tools and features. “Knowing how to apply your web analytics tools will not guarantee success, but not knowing how to apply them almost always guarantees failure,” said Greco. “Ask yourself questions like, ‘Of all the people who added items to the online shopping cart, how many had ordered previously and what products have they purchased in the past broken down by SKU? If you can’t answer these questions, you don’t know your web analytics tool.”

10. Not keeping score. To find out if you suck at web analytics, score yourself or colleagues on the previous nine items, Greco advised. Your ultimate goals should be to:

  • Understand the tools you’re using
  • Make the connection between data you’re gathering and how the organization is doing in its business goals
  • Ensure you’re getting the big picture
  • Focus on looking ahead
  • Have complete confidence in the data
This article was originally published on March 12, 2012
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