- Elaine in the movie Airplane
Does looking at an instrumentation panel like this (picture on the left) create feelings of information overload? It does for most non-pilots I know.
Pilots on the other hand, quickly identify the primary flight gauges and navigation equipment. They know what’s immediately important for flying the plane, and can scan across multiple gauges (rather than fixating on one or two of them) to develop a “big picture” of what the plane is actually doing.
Even more importantly, when they make a control input (like adding power), they know where to look to verify its intended effect (e.g., altimeter and airspeed).
Web Optimization is a lot like that.
Emotionally, many business owners experience that exact sense of information overload when looking at traditional Web Analytics. No one has taught them how to assemble a composite picture of visitor behavior – what measurements to look for first, what to look at in combination, and how to verify that website changes worked as expected.
Flying blind becomes the inevitable result.
Yet rather than looking for a pilot or investing in flying lessons, many business owners buy into optimization efforts based on sophisticated data gathering capabilities and overly complex testing methodologies.
Why would they do that when they need more actionable insight and situational awareness, and not more gauges to look at?
Because flight instructors are in short supply. And because this kind of sense making, as a so-called “soft skill,” has always been a more difficult sell than hard-core data collection and taguchi testing.
But those interesting in learning to fly their web optimization efforts have a viable option: Follow Bryan Eisenberg’s free Webinars and get free flight lessons each month.
On January 15th, Bryan and Jim Sterne (considered the godfather of web analytics) will cover specific techniques to get a composite picture of visitor flow and the importance of looking at analytics through the lens of visitor intent. Consider it a first, free flight lesson that can be followed up with Bryan’s recorded Webinars.
And for those that want more, I’d invite you to check out FutureNow’s OnTarget product as an affordable way to hire an “on demand” flight instructor for your web optimization efforts.