How much are you investing in analytics? My friend Mel Carson is asking on the Microsoft AdCenter Analytics blog.
In the UK last week Brand Republic reported that UK spend on search engine marketing would reach £2.75bn this year.
However, just a tiny fraction of that cash – £330m – was spent on the art of SEO or search engine optimisation. The lion’s share of web site owner’s budget went on paid search solutions like Google AdWords or Microsoft adCenter.
SEO is an essential and vital route to improving usability and search engine visibility of web sites. So with what appears to be a disproportionate amount of time and money being allocated to this fine discipline, it made me wonder how much was being invested in web analytics.
When I say investment, I mean investment in people. Although many web analytics tools cost money to run, some are now free but you still need people to make sense of the data they provide.
Mel makes some great points and there are many reasons resources are not allocated to website optimization. In website optimization I am including search engine optimization, content optimization, making changes to the experience and testing.
Some of the issues are:
These are just some of the reasons. What are some of the other reasons? Please comment below.
It was the CEO of Omniture, Josh James, in January of 2005 who said “Web analytics can pay for itself with a single business improvement — so the real question is how quickly can companies make data-driven decisions? This willingness to change will ultimately dictate time to ROI.”
That is the point I will be addressing this week at New York University to the new students entering the Master of Science in Integrated Marketing. How quickly companies and make and act on data-driven decisions will be the main competitive edge over the next 10 years. Should it really take 11 months to respond to a YouTube video by one of your brand advocates?
Amazon has this culture of optimization. If Borders or even Barnes and Nobles ever truly want to compete then they need to adopt it too. They need to get quick at making data-driven decisions and have a process for continuous optimization.
What are you doing to change the speed of optimization and communication in your company? I’d love to chat with you about it.
Success on the web involves adopting a culture of continuous improvement. Which means plan (but remember good enough really is good enough), measure (get good at free then invest in more robust tools and analysis) and most importantly improve (transform your thinking from always being right to always be testing).
Let’s try selling optimization as the need for speed. Moving fast is sexy and very profitable.