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Morning Sessions: Analytics

Posted on Dec 6th, 2006
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    My morning track has been all about analytics this morning. The first was Web Analytics & Measuring. With two presenters, they both had a good amount of time to cover their topics. The second was Vendor Chat on Measuring Success where there were six presenters talking about analytics in very short 10 minute presentations. Some takeaways included:

    • Track organic, paid and referral traffic separately to see who is increasing or decreasing.
    • Keep an eye on exit rates and how they compare to entrance keywords.
    • Track new vs return traffic rates.
    • Setup goals to track what you want to measure.
    • Latency is a big thing as someone may look today, but not buy for a few weeks or months if the purchase is large.
    • Really looking at ranking reports to see what pages are raking. Make sure those pages have good, up-to-date information on them.
    • Watch for spider activity.
    • Check to see if some engines are converting at a higher rate even though they refer fewer people.
    • Cross segment with a number of keywords, 50, to get better results.
    • What you track depends on the client, the goals, the industry. It’s not one report for all.
    • Continue to change and modify what you track to change with your company or goals.
    • Keep a diary of on page edits to see if visitors react positively or negatively to those over time.
    • Keep a diary of high and low spots every year. You may notice that your visitors go way down around the Superbowl or the start of spring as not as many people are on the net. Maybe you always have high rates around Christmas due to online shopping.
    • A month to month change is not a trend. 6+ months show trends.
    • High bounce rates may be related to people finding your site for uncommon terms that you are not targeting but happen to rank well for.
    • Check load times on pages with high bounce rates. Could be an indicator of a page issue.
    • Take a look at singe page visits, keywords, bounce rates and other reports to better understand the user at a page level.
    • Analytics are of no use unless you analyze, report and act on the information you find.
    • No analytics software is 100% accurate. Due to server, DNS and Javascript errors, there is a margin of error up to 10% for all analytics packages.
    • Run more than one analytics package if you feel that your current one isn’t doing well. Two or three or more packages can all run at once.
    • More than 60% of visitors research online and purchase offline. Tracking them into the store for a purchase is harder, however that doesn’t mean your website isn’t converting in a round about way. Help track this with printable coupons and unique phone numbers.

    These sessions were great to sit in on however I feel as if my analytics knowledge is less than I thought. There is so much to know and the best way to understand your analytics is to get a dedicated person to read, interpret and report on them. Either that or really take the time to learn your analytics program and know everything you can.