Thursday, April 26, 2012

Steps to Follow When Choosing a Web Analytics Program For Your Business | Webanalytics Expert India

Web analytics play a major role in the optimization of your online presence; however, if you’re like most small business owners, you probably have only a vague understanding of analytics. You might have heard of web site analytics, maybe even attended a class or a seminar about analytics. But the options probably seemed overwhelming and technical and a bit too complicated. Even though you had a feeling that web analytics could help your business, the task of choosing a program and installing the program and maintaining the program just seemed too daunting to undertake.

Of course, you can always outsource your web site analytics strategy and implementation, but if you’re on a tight budget, or if you just want to give it a shot yourself, you’ll need an understanding of web analytics in general as well as an understanding of your particular analytics software or service.

To effectively plan your web analytics implementation, first you must understand what analytics is. You must identify your overall business goals; you’ll need to understand the relevance of the information being supplied by your analytics program, and you’ll need to consult with the other members of your team to ensure that the information being provided is actually the information they need. And finally, after mapping out your specific inter-dependency requirements, defining your support framework and installing your tracking code, you’ll need to test your analytics implementation.

Don’t worry if that sounds a little complicated. We’ll take a look at each step individually.

1. First stop is understanding analytics. Web analytics is all about trend analysis and customer insight and not simply a tool for presenting financial sales reports. A web analytics tool enables you to see and monitor trends such as customer preferences, patterns, search phrases, traffic sources, etc. Analytics also allow you to monitor how the changes you make on your site can affect these key customer metrics.

2. Set goals. One step I often see small businesses skipping when choosing an analytics package is the identification of their goals. It’s important that you keep your overall business and web site goals in mind in order to ensure that the analytics solution you choose actually addresses these goals. If your goal is to expand through multiple channels, you’ll want to make sure your analytics program thoroughly tracks traffic sources and allows you to segment visitors by specific sources. If your main objective is to improve your e-commerce, you’ll need to find an analytics solution that integrates with your shopping cart program. Create a list of major business goals and put them in priority order; then refer to this list when reviewing different analytics packages.

3. Review sample reports. When reviewing the many analytics packages that are available, you’ll want to see a sample report or dataset so you can make sure that the data produced by the program is actually relevant to your business and your goals. There is no sense in producing a multitude of data that is irrelevant and useless in making profit-producing decisions.

Analytics reports can quickly become overwhelming and very time consuming. I’ve worked with small business owners who have gobs and gobs of analytics data, but they never refer to it because they just don’t understand what they’re looking at. To avoid falling into this trap, take a look at sample reports before choosing an analytics program, and opt for something easy to read with a minimalist presentation. Understanding your business goals will be a great help when outlining the information you need to see in your analytics reports. Remember, to understand the relevance of your data, you must know your priorities such as enhancing page commitments, minimizing bounce rates, and optimizing conversion rates. Don’t overload yourself with too much data; it will just cloud your decision-making capabilities.

4. It's a team effort. You’ll also want to consult your team members and map out your inter-dependency requirements. If your “IT Guy” is in charge of your ad network, let him take a look at a sample report before deciding on an analytics solution. Find out what type of tracking information your affiliate manager needs. Or your accountant. Or your web designer. These team members will all require different types of information, and many analytics programs allow you to customize reports to meet individual needs. Remember, because analytics can get overwhelming, you’ll only want to supply the individual with the data he will actually need to make business decisions.

5. Check the program requirements. When reviewing available analytics options, be sure to check the program requirements. You don’t want to fall in love with a program that requires a Unix server if your site resides on a Windows platform. If you’re looking at a hosted service, make sure the fees fit into your monthly budget. If you’re reviewing a self-hosted package, check out the installation instructions. Does it look like something you can handle? Does it require a lot of ongoing tweaking and maintenance? Will you have to read binary code to decipher the reports?

6. Testing, testing, testing. Finally, you’ll need to spend some time testing your analytics implementation after it’s been installed. Several analytics programs allow you to set a “testing mode”; others allow you to block certain IP addresses or certain traffic sources. Know your testing options before installation, and know your support options should the testing phase fail to produce the data you’d expect.

7. Ready to launch. And now the fun begins. Once you’ve chosen your analytics program, decided on your reporting structure, installed the code and completed the testing phase, your ongoing task will be to review the data and use the insights to improve your business and increase your revenue. After all, that’s really the overall goal of web site analytics in the first place.

1 comment:

webdesignchennai said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life...

Seo Services in Chennai