You’ve conquered the bounce rate. You’re the master of referring links. And you definitely know how to produce a polished analytics report. Hold on to your cotton socks, I’m here to share how you can become an even greater analytics pro. This is the first of a three-part series on 7 expert analytics tips you’re probably missing out on.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Utilizing and understanding analytics is not a scary task. It’s an exciting, fun, powerful, and a profitable opportunity to learn not only what is happening on your site, but why it’s happening! Don’t be scareed with words such as qualatative and quantative data – get excited about it! Heck, by reading this post you’ve already taken the first step towards being proactive!
Understanding and being able to utilize the data (both quantative and qualitative) that you gather from your analytics program will allow you to see key inflection points on your site. It will allow you to find new opporunities for growth, and will allow you to optimally position your site in front of visitors you want. This will also put you ahead of your competition. Instead of reacting to your competition or your data, you’ll obtain the ability to be proactive and think ahead.
Moreover, the more you understand the data, the more leverage you will have to influence key decision makers in your organization, therefore enlarging your circle of influence, as opposed to your circle of concern. So let’s get proactive! And one of the best ways to do so is to find an analytics platform (I prefer Google Analytics) and install it on your sites if you haven’t done so already.
Habit 2: Begin with the end in Mind
I can’t emphasize this habit enough! So many individuals and companies I work with have little to no idea what the answer to “Why do you have a website?” is for them. Many say, “Because I need one.” Although this is true, it doesn’t have the depth and weight necessary to truly position their website. Now this question is answered differently by every organization.
Some of the answers could be, “To increase our in store sales.” Or perhaps, “To increase the reach of our brand.” Although good, they still need more work. How much do you want to increase your store sales? How much do you want to increase your brand’s reach? Like goal setting, the true answer to the question of “Why do you have a website?” should be measurable, and be based on a finite length of time like: “I want to increase my online sales by 15% over the course of the next year.”
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit number two is the mental creation of what your site’s key objective is. Habit number three is where you take that vision and make it into a reality. And believe it or not, you already started makeing that vision a reality when you installed your analytical tracking script.
Now comes the question as to how you can begin to measure that objective, and what data do you need to gather it. In our example of increasing online sales by 15% in the next year, we need to first know if and how we are currently measuring online sales. With software like Google Analytics it’s fairly easy to incorporate their built-in eCommerce tracking functionality or Goal Conversion tracking so we can gather data on what we are making from our site.
Next, we need to find out where we currently are as it relates to our objective. Let’s say for example in the last year our total online sales were $100k. Accordingly, our goal is to have $115K in sales by the end of next year. Now most people just stop here as it relates to determining the data needed to achieve the goal. They wrongly assume that now that we know the numbers, we’re done. Although quantative data is necessary, what is equally neccessary is the qualatative data – the why.
This ends the first part of my thee-part series on how to become an analytics expert. I look forward to your questions and feedback in the comments below!