Web analytics represents a problem area for many businesses. Although aware that they aren’t getting the most from it, many are unsure how to improve. Failures typically stem from approach, not competency. Using web analytics successfully is a bigger task than it may seem at first, and it’s up to the business leaders to ensure that the benefits are leveraged. Below are 5 tips to help your business get on the right track.
#1 OWN It!
Getting the most out of analytics involves cultivating expertise, formalising objectives and priorities, and empowering decision makers. This doesn’t just happen. Any time analytics is done well in an organisation, it’s because a senior leader has played a key role in making that happen.
#2 Focus on Improvement
Most companies will claim to be ‘doing’ analytics. All too often this constitutes sharing excel reports full of interesting-but-unimportant data. Decision makers can’t do anything with uninterpreted data – they need evidence-based recommendations. If you aren’t identifying strengths and opportunities in your site and marketing, and making changes, you aren’t doing analytics.
#3 Keep It Simple, Stupid
Boring mantra, essential truth. Analytics is not about collecting data, it’s about driving business improvement. This can only happen if everyone is on the same page. If you are starting out, concentrate on the critical few metrics that correspond to business success. Make these your foundation. If you have exhausted these, then sure: scale upwards and outwards. Don’t, whatever you do, start with a long list of metrics.
#4 Pick Low Hanging Fruit
The least glamorous insights are often the most valuable. There will be many relatively mundane improvements that can be made; don’t overlook them. They often offer the best return. If you can improve without investing lots of time on analysis that is a good thing! Focus on all the easy things first, then get clever.
#5 Quantify Recommendations in Revenue Terms
This is so often overlooked: analytics people end up talking about web metrics to decision makers who think in terms of revenue opportunity. It doesn’t have to be that way. For example, if the checkout process is weak, highlight how much further revenue could be generated if it were improved.