This is my truth in analytics. Anyone can generate lot’s of data. How to interpret the data and then make changes to the website so that you then get the results you are seeking is what separates amateurs from professionals in online advertising.
We often get lured into buying more and more cheap website traffic. While it never hurts to have more traffic coming into your website, it can be a lot more profitable converting the traffic we already have. Just having a lot of data and reports are not enough. It is important to know not only how to measure the data, but how to take action and make changes on the site so that you can optimize for maximum ROI. We can do this on a paid consulting basis plus a performance basis
Testing, tracking and analyzing the data so that we can make informed decisions will provide us with the highest ROI. In the world of online and internet, you would be surprised at how many people do not track or analyze activity on their website correctly. It is akin to leaving both the front and back doors open in your store on Main Street. People come and go as they please and there is no one there to help them answer questions or select products.
When talking about online analytics, we will almost always use Google Analytics. Google Analytics works well, it is free and we can share the data easily with employees and partners alike. Google Analytics is also easy to install however, it can be installed incorrectly. As analytics consultants, we will assist you in getting up and running in a matter of minutes or hours.
One of the key goals in measuring your success is measuring user behavior. For example, did the user download a white paper or watch the video? Did the user fill out the web form? On what page did they leave the site? We can measure almost anything. How many pages did they click through on? Each one of these actions we can set a goal and then assign a value to them. Are we able to get the users to take action?
If you want to take Google Analytics a step further, you can do so by doing advanced segmenting of your current website traffic, setting up different landing pages and then split test them against one another. Some of the insights you will glean from advanced segmenting can make a difference to your bottom line.
The other piece to Google Analytics I like a lot is our ability to customize the reports extensively. We can generate weekly reports (automate them and set them). We do want to look at them and pay attention to them because often based on the reports we have to make adjustments to the web site or to the traffic we are driving into the web site. There are some other analytics packages out there and some are more advanced, but in my experience if we can max out all the analytical utility in Google Analytics alone we are usually in pretty good shape.
Google Webmaster Tools
Then there is also Google Webmaster tools, which will give you an accurate view of your incoming link portfolio and keyword data. This is important because “natural links” is one of the single most important criteria that Google uses to rank your site in their search engine. You can also see how your data is linked by anchor text, this is important because the anchor text helps your keyword values go up.
For a few other projects we are using a Consolidated Tracking system. Where this really comes in handy is we have the ability to track the ad source, which can be a billboards, referral sites like Twitter, Flickr, Youtube, a TV Ad, a postcard or any other form of media. Once the calls come in or the web visits come in, we can track each one and then call score the quality of the phone calls and determine how each ad source is performing. Why spend money on an ad source if it does not perform? This is just as perfect as an analytics tracking system as I have seen yet.
Another web analytics tracking solution is Trace Watch. What this can do that Google Analytics cannot do, is track the users path through the website. The other little thing that is not discussed much is if you remove Google Analytics and just leave in Trace Watch Google, it cannot tell how long people are staying on your website or from where and how they are coming to you. If this is so then some folks believe Google will give you the benefit over the doubt and rank your site higher than others with Google Analytics installed.
For help with analytics, call Jim Peake 781-990-8844.