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Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007 at 6:58 am

Web Analytics is Like Eating an Artichoke…

By Bryan Eisenberg
August 29th, 2007

artichoke.jpgMost people have to put in so much energy to get so little out.

You shouldn’t feel bad if this is your situation. It’s unfortunately quite common, as many of the people who attended Search Engine Strategies San Jose and the Web Analytics Association Base Camp confirmed for me in the last couple of weeks. As anyone who attended last year’s Emetrics Summit knows, there’s a real shortage of analysts out there — talented or otherwise. You can see it in job search queries for “web analytics jobs” like this one.

Finding this “free agent person” is like finding a wooden nickel. Not likely.

web analytics reportsOn the other hand, I’ve met many organizations where all they do is hire someone just to go through the reports, create pretty Excel or Flash presentations, then distribute the reports to a group of people. They should consider changing the name of this position to “reporter” because all they do is spread the news. Don’t worry. Many of the analytics companies are or should be developing web analytics widgets to replace the human reporter. I’m sure you can find something more valuable to do with these people, anyway.

So what can you do?

1. Learn to squeeze more of your current web analytics. Do something quick and actionable like use Google Website Optimizer to run some simple tests on your website and improve your conversion rate like our friends at Jigsaw Health did. This advice can earn you a raise or a promotion, so this week I’ll make time for two more free samples. If you contact me directly, I’d be happy to point out a simple test you could run on your site. Just ask Scott McClintock from Fujitsu how I helped him make thousands of dollars from one of these simple tests.

2. Stop your addiction for useless data. If the information is not actionable or tied to your bottom line ignore it for now. Focus on one key metric or report and focus on taking action based on the report. Practice getting really good at that alone, then move on. I could tell you story after story of companies that focused on a report company-wide and the success they have because of it.

3. Move away from the idea that you need tools, talent, then process, to process, people (talented or not) then tools. The process must be focused on business optimization or in other ways how you you make more revenue by helping customers get what they want so you can get what you want, more revenue. Let us know if you would be interested in attending a workshop that teaches web analytics without the analyst early next year.

How would you finish the line? Web analytics is like…

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Comments (5)

  1. Web analytics is like shoving tooth picks in your eyelids.
    Web analytics is like pissing hydrochloric acid.
    Web analytics is like driving with your mom.
    Web analytics is like…

    (Off to read Too Many Marketers Are Addicted to (Useless) Data b/c I’m pretty sure I could use it. ;-)

  2. Hey,

    I tried to contact you guys for the simple test you suggested we request- above in Bryan’s #1: “If you contact me directly, I’d be happy to point out a simple test you could run on your site.”

    To gently criticize the critics, it wasn’t easy to figure out how to contact you, and I actually only found an email for your brother, it looks like… I’m not confident it reached you, and haven’t heard from you.


  3. I think it is all about giving the prospective customer what they are looking for at that instant. It all starts with a good product and then proper keyword selection for optimization.

  4. I am happy to find many useful information in the post, thanks.

    By : Seo

  5. [...] have to be that way, focus on process, people and tools, not the reverse (read Bryan’s post [...]

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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