Over the years, I have seen way too many data-hungry marketers, especially when it comes to web analytics…the irony lies in that they don’t do much with all the data they crave and receive. Nothing against them, but there is such a thing as too much data. It’s the ol’ law of diminishing returns rearing its ugly head again. In the online world, there are tons of metrics, ranging from the simple (ex. CTR and Conversion Rate) to the complex (ex. navigation path and abandonment point analysis). We, online marketers, are in this industry because we love it…we love the numbers, we love tracking and reviewing how potential consumers interact with our brand and our sites, and we love testing our web properties to provide our “guests” with the best experience possible in hopes that they perform our desired action. But there comes a tipping point when the data is just too much to make educated decisions.
Web analytics does not have to be the complex, intricate, often times forbidding beast that it is often perceived. There are simple metrics and analysis that provide marketers with just the right amount of data…and data you can actually act on. The first step is the make sure your analytics solution’s conversion path/funnel is set up to report only on key parts of your funnel. Don’t set up every sub-page or link within your website as a potential stop on the way to conversion…you only want to look at the clear “road” to your conversion point. Look at it like a road map…you wouldn’t consider every exit on your trip down a highway as a potential abandonment point, would you? I mean, yes, you can get off or turn down another road if you want, but that indicates you’re not too serious of a traveler or that you don’t have much of a goal or destination in mind. More than likely potential consumers will follow a particular route. So the key is to flag the points of interest. Once these “points of interest” are identified, you’ll be able to focus your attention to that route and not necessarily the entire map of the southeast. This will exclude those users who are sheerly putzing around on your site…and trust me; you can’t do anything with analytics reports when you include those who “putz”. That is where you will be inundated with data to a point where you are swimming in different analysis from all angles to a point you cannot intelligently make proactive decisions. You have to give your attention only to those consumers who truly expressed an interest in your product or service. By doing so, you will have a clear picture of what the strengths and weaknesses are within your site…and you will be able to make actionable decisions in attempts to make those consumers’ route a bit quicker with fewer road bumps.
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