Right Now Most Of That Data In Your Web Analytics Interface Can Be Ignored

Web analytics tools suffer from a lack of constraint. With so many things that can be tracked, all of it is and served up all at once to the unsuspecting user who opens up the reporting interface. The amount of data creates a nagging feeling that will start to follow you around, telling you that you’re not using the tool to it’s full potential. Pretty soon you start coming up with business objectives to match the reports you have instead of focusing on your business objectives and then reporting on them second. Eventually you’re looking at everything and not deciding on anything.

Just because there are top entry pages, cart additions, time spent per visit, device types, paths, internal search terms, referring URLs and on and on, it doesn’t mean you need to pay attention to them. At least not right now, and especially not all at once.

From Seth Godin:
“If you build your company with the policy that you’ll never run an ad, it makes it even more important that you build a remarkable product–you’ll never be tempted to compromise and try to make it up with hype. Same thing goes for organizations that refuse to pay bribes. By eliminating situational decisions and grey areas, it changes strategies from the top down. Or perhaps you’re not willing to pay overtime, regardless of the emergency, regardless of how late the project is… it makes it far more likely projects won’t be late, because they’re designed to ship without emergency… Rigidity is rarely your friend, but well understood boundaries make decision making a lot easier.”

Focus on one site section or source of traffic along with a couple metrics. Make changes to that site section or inbound traffic source. Measure your success and then move to the next one. All those other metrics and reports in the interface will happily continue to gather data and wait for you to make them relevant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *