I attended a great session on web analytics here in Las Vegas today. The advice doled out was not out of the ordinary but the delivery was excellent and that always helps to drive the message home.
Jamie Smith from Engine Ready gave a detailed presentation outlining the history of web analytics and managed to articulate some of the mistakes people make when implementing analytics packages. He said people fail to set up the proper tracking codes on their sites, making it difficult to assess conversions, goals and actions users make. Forgetting to tag every page and failure to put the tracking code at the bottom of the page were two more examples of errors site owners make which can have a detrimental effect on the numbers reported.
KPIs are a measurement that take your users somewhere. If they’re not going where you want them to then at least you know and can take the necessary action.
Trying to set clear goals and objectives when setting up new online campaigns is huge and Jamie was keen to impress on the delegates the importance of know your conversion rate. Cross-referencing conversion data with analytics data is a powerful way of optimising your site so you’re generating as much return on investment as possible.
Use pathing reports too. By getting into the shoes of your customers as they navigate through your site you get to understand where you need to optimise that navigation and where you need to channel them elsewhere.
Richard Zwicky from Enquisite then did something I’ve not seen at a conference before. He created a live segmentation of the audience by getting us to stand up and raise our hands if we used free and/or paid for analytics packages, getting those who were from outside the US to stay standing while everyone else sat down. It was a clever exercise that proved a point.
Richard spoke to a slide which had his version of an analytics ecosystem or lifecycle
Collect – Analyze – Optimise – Monetise
It was simple but effective in getting us to think about the process of ensuring websites are doing what we set them up to do.
All too often website owners think that just having a site is enough. It’s not. It’s just the beginning of the journey.