In my earlier days with FutureNow, IÂ was a part of a team that was responsible for transitioning clients from signing the contract to getting work from the analyst. Essentially what I did was “take their temperature” to see what they’ve done so far, what resources they have available internally and externally to implement, and understand what different tools they were already using to aid them in their optimization efforts.
One thing to note is that many, perhaps even most, of our clients are not new to online optimization efforts in search or conversion, and have either already hired another company in the past or tried some best-practice implementation DIY style. Unfortunately, many of them claim they’ve been “burned” in the past, and we hate to hear that.
Time and time again when I ask, “What are you currently using to track your analytics?” the response I hear is, “Google Analytics, but I’m not really sure if it’s set up right or what I’m supposed to be looking at.”
Everyone assumes (based on what the industry tells us) that having Analytics is important. Everyone knows that the more data you have, the more information that can be extracted from it. However, what good is a bunch of numbers if you don’t know what it’s tracking or what this data means? It’s no surprise that many have a difficult time understanding their visitors and don’t know how to optimize their site. They’re driving without a map. They aren’t connecting the data to the people!
So, if you find yourself saying, “I’ve got Google Analytics, but I’m not sure what it’s telling me” here’s what to do:
1. Take the time to make sure that it’s properly installed and tracking. If you’re using Google Analytics, try the free SiteScan tool from EpikOne.Â If you need professional troubleshooting, contact an Authorized Consultant.
2. Make sure that it is tracking the metrics that influence your conversion. Setup a goal to track the conversion funnel so that you will be able to look at the performance of your shopping cart or lead generation form.
3. Ask yourself a few basic questions and look for the answers to these questions in your Analytics such as: Where are most of my visitors coming from and what landing pages are they being sent to from these sources? What’s the bounce rate on my top landing pages? What keywords are they using to get to these pages from search? The answers to these questions will help you understand what is happening at the front end of the visitor’s experience on your site and where some of your highest impact opportunities for improvement may reside.
If you’re not currently using your Analytics data to influence your optimization efforts, you’re ignoring a wealth of insights into who your visitors are and what they are experiencing when they get to your site. At FutureNow, our analysts weed through data continuously to gain increasingly deeper insights into what is happening on sites and WHY it’s happening. We help clients continuously optimize their web site performance by understanding the way visitors are looking to buy, and helping map the sales process to the customer’s buying process.