Lies, Damned Lies, and Web Metrics

Why is there a assertive ‘voodoo’ associated with web metrics and analysis? I would anticipate a lot of business owners and marketers if asked the catechism “do you charge bigger assay accoutrement to admeasurement your attack effectiveness?” would anon accession their hands. We all wish bigger altitude of our account dollar’s achievement but are afraid … Continue reading “Lies, Damned Lies, and Web Metrics”

Why is there a assertive ‘voodoo’ associated with web metrics and analysis? I would anticipate a lot of business owners and marketers if asked the catechism “do you charge bigger assay accoutrement to admeasurement your attack effectiveness?” would anon accession their hands. We all wish bigger altitude of our account dollar’s achievement but are afraid to compassionate the abstracts mechanics or even how to go about breeding an astute report. Simply, no one wants to own the metrics abstracts or be captivated amenable for advertisement it.

The Wikipedia account of the byword agent “Lies, accursed lies, and statistics” states the following: “the use of statistics to bolster anemic arguments, and the addiction of humans to abuse statistics that do not abutment their positions.”. There lies our additional issue; the numbers are authentic but the estimation and acceptance by the alone can sometimes be suspect.

In this three allotment series, it is my ambition to allay this allure with web metrics and to accommodate a alignment for evaluating and barometer the success of your online affairs .

Part 1: Accumulate it simple – Too abundant abstracts is just that – too abundant data!

By 1969 in Vietnam, the annihilate arrangement for American jets during dog fights was plummeting. At one time, 20 to 30 adversary planes were attempt down for every one US jet. By the end of the decade the arrangement was one to three. American jets and their technology were far above to the Russian Mig Jets but a advancing trend was happening.

When they interviewed the pilots that were awful acknowledged in air to air combat, they activate something in common. As fighter advice technology advanced, so did the pilot’s dashboard and instruments. The acknowledged pilots articular and focused on a few instruments; blank the rest. One acknowledged pilot had even taped over bombastic instruments. In the assurance of the air enemy, activity or afterlife decisions were based on key analytical information.

Most web analytics software programs, Omniture, Google, etc. action the user so MUCH advice in their web business dashboard to forward the user agreeable down the anteroom in frustration. Try to accumulate it simple because too abundant abstracts is just that – too abundant data.

Part 2: Area do I activate to alpha allegory web data?

Knowing that you accept so abundant abstracts accessible to you can be both candid and daunting. The catechism you charge to ask is area I begin. Alpha with your aggregation goals for the year. If you don’t accept any, able-bodied that’s a blog affair for accession day. From your aggregation goals, you can actualize specific business objectives that transcend to your website. From these business objectives, you will analyze and admeasurement key achievement indicators (KPIs). Your KPIs are key web activities or accomplishments that you wish to focus on.

It is unrealistic to accompaniment “I wish to access web cartage to your website”. It is added useful, for example, to ascertain a ambition of accretion web cartage by 10% to abutment a artefact barrage in September.

Let’s accede the afterward aggregation example:

Company Goal:

Acme Aggregation sells chump widgets and one of their 2009 business goals is to advance chump loyalty.

Web Business Objectives:

Benchmark, admeasurement and advance online chump achievement KPIs for the 1st division of 2009.

Key Achievement Indicators (KPIs)

Retention KPI = Arrangement of “Returning visitors”/”All visitors”

What it measures: determines how you are accomplishing at application visitors

Metric: access by 10%

How: advance webinar and artefact announcements

Action:

First actuate your KPI criterion to analyze a % ambition increase. I usually angular appear barometer the aforementioned aeon before. Since we are barometer achievement for the 1st qtr of 2009, I would acclaim you analyze metrics to December Qtr 2008. Use your acumen here; if your aggregation has able alternate sales you may wish to admeasurement the aforementioned aeon from the year before.

Part 3: What do my Key Achievement Indicator (KPI) abstracts mean?

Congratulations! After account Allotment 1 and 2, the arduous allotment of web metrics is done. There is still advancing plan appropriate but the alignment of anecdotic bright goals and allotment applicative Key Achievement Indicators (KPIs) is a complete business practice.

In addition, accomplish acceptable use of a connected advance process. Realize that aggregation objectives will change and accordingly your web objectives and KPIs may charge to be modified. Changing objectives and KPIs may assume a alarming assignment to administer but they are not. If you focus your web website about a baby amount of changes, your web metric affairs will become added manageable. In a antecedent position, I was managing Symantec’s action online business worldwide. During the crazy canicule of the Dotcom boom, annual web objectives were set and again afflicted aural the aboriginal month. With aggressive advance in new markets, “changing the tires while driving” was our company’s modus operandi. But this should not be the case with you…hopefully.

Using absolute numbers, let’s attending at the archetype I acclimated in “Part 2 – Area do I activate to alpha allegory web data?” Our aggregation cold was to advance online chump assimilation for the 1st division of 2009. We will admeasurement this cold by application the afterward KPI, with a ambition ambition to access by 10%:

Results:

% Abiding Visitors

Dec Qtr: 50%

Mar Qtr: 45%

% Change: 10%

At aboriginal glance, we bootless on affair our cold of convalescent chump retention. However, you should be added absorbed in compassionate what could accord to a lower website chump achievement akin – accordingly added analysis into the abstracts is required. We anon abstruse that a civic business barrage occurred in January. As a result, there was a huge fasten in new aggregation cartage to the website. Business and accessible relations were acknowledged in active new visitors to the website but was the could cause for the bead in % abiding customers.

During harder times, there is abundant burden to absolve every business dollar that is spent. A web analytics affairs that binds aggregation objectives with assessable KPIs, is now accepted by Senior Management.