If you follow our online marketing blog you already know how important it is to keep a close eye on your web analytics. Despite what a lot of business owners think, though, simply glancing at the statistics provided by your website once in a while isn’t enough. In fact, it can actually be harmful to your sales and marketing efforts.
This is a case of a little information being more dangerous than none at all. Simple website data isn’t enough to help you make good decisions, and today we want to share a few reasons why…
Snapshots Aren’t Trends
It’s easy to focus on big-picture statistics. Seeing figures like the number of visits to your website, or the average time spent on your site, can be persuasive. However, unless you’re watching these numbers closely over time – and taking care to sort through the outliers – you might miss trends in either direction. That’s crucial because the statistics themselves don’t mean nearly as much as their improvement or decline over the course of weeks and months.
Some Numbers Mean More Than Others
There are some web statistics business owners like to focus in on even though they don’t mean a whole lot. For example, the number of “hits” to your website, how many fans you have on Facebook, and your search engine ranking for a particular phrase aren’t necessarily super relevant to the success or failure of your online marketing campaigns. You can have lots of visits with no sales, followers who aren’t engaged, and search traffic without leads or sales. Ultimately, it’s conversions and engagement that tell the real story of your online marketing progress, not the easy-to-find figures that make you feel good.
You Can Spoil Your Own Data
A good web design team will ensure you are filtering out visits to your website that originate from your own company, and that you don’t get distracted by misleading indicators (for instance, when someone visits your site and doesn’t leave even though they aren’t clicking on anything because they’ve left their phone or computer). Forget to make these adjustments, though, and you can end up with a distorted sense of the activity on your website.
Analysis Is as Important as Analytics
Having good data from your website is important, but knowing how to analyze it – and what is needed to improve on past results – is the real key to remaining profitable online. This is something that’s difficult for most business owners to do on their own, simply because they lack experience and perspective. If you just glance at a few stats and think they’re telling the whole story you’re probably going to miss chances to attract more website visitors and turn them into customers.