According to Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist, it takes years to get good at analyzing data. And once you do, you start realizing how much more there is to learn. He claims that his own expertise in web analytics is still “growing”, yet incomplete.
The problem is that web analytics is not an exact science. Unlike human resources performance indicators through which you can easily compare and contrast the performance of one employee to another and translate their data into “how well they are performing”, web analytics is not that easy. Web Analytics results for one type of business might mean one thing, and for another type of business it might mean another. This is where the issue lies. How do we correctly and accurately analyze the data?
Well, first and foremost, we need to eliminate the four MOST common mistakes all web analysts are prone to make.
Counting In the Obvious:
One of the biggest mistakes analytics make is counting in internal traffic. Your own staff, suppliers, and contractors are likely to make frequent visits on you websites, but isn’t that obvious? If you don’t exclude internal traffic, it will give you misleading figures about the traffic on your website.
This needs to be stopped and the best way to avoid the misleading figures which include internal traffic is by creating a separate profile for the internals on your analytics program. Now analyze your marketing efforts which are targeted towards a much larger external audience, not your own employees!
Not Customizing the Data:
Your business model may differ from that of another. The reason why analytics programs offer so many features and performance indicators is not so that you can use ALL of them, but so that you can customize your report using the best-suited indicators. Not everything these analytics programs may offer is going to be applicable to your business. So, hire a pro if you want to find out which specific features you really need. Ask your professional to develop customized reports based on those features. Remember, this is highly dependent on your business’s goals and objectives.
Asking the Wrong Questions:
What are the true goals of your business? What are they really trying to achieve? Make sure you know the answers to these questions before you set your priorities. The long term goals of the business are what matter most. Then ask THOSE particular questions from the software, not ones that don’t really matter. For example, while some business’s aim to mass-market their product designed for a large target audience, others businesses don’t. If your business is targeted towards a specific niche, then “heavy traffic” is probably not what you are looking for.
Not Hiring an Expert:
Training your employees may not be easy. If you ask your usual sales person, responsible for making sales reports, to do the analytics, you might not get the results you are looking for. Analyzing data takes a lot of practice and know-how. Generally, the best practice is to hire an expert web analyst or outsource an agency that can do the job for you.
Anais John specialises in web analytics and currently providing her services to EssayMall, an online services that offers college essay writing. She’s also a passionate blogger who loves everything that includes web analytics, reporting, data conceptualization, etc.