Web Analytics Starts With Asking The Right Questions

Web analytics tools are only as good as the questions you ask of them. Knowing how to use Google Analytics or Omniture – how to pull certain metrics and create reports, doesn’t do you any good until you have a reason to do so.

There are two kinds of questions: reactionary questions and investigative questions. Reactionary questions come from looking at trends and reacting to the results to find out why those trends happened.

Here are some reactionary questions:

  • Why did revenue dip week over week?
  • Why is cost per acquisition going up?
  • Why is site traffic increasing?
  • Why is bounce rate increasing?
  • Why is traffic decreasing from X traffic source?

Investigative questions are a result of discovering trends before they cause a reaction. These questions are the little discoveries that yield big results and the best questions are the ones that have a desired outcome tied into them.

Here are some investigative questions:

  • Where do my most valuable customers come from, and how do I get more of them?
  • Which keywords should I be focusing on in paid search and seo to decrease cost and increase relevant traffic?
  • What content is most persuasive at driving desired outcomes so that I can make more of it?
  • Which marketing channel is performing the best/worst according to sales and leads?
  • Is the content on my site causing people to return frequently and how can I make it more “sticky”?
  • How many page views does it take for someone to convert, is that the right amount or are we making it too hard for them to find what they are looking for?
  • In what stage of the shopping cart are people abandoning so that we can fix the leaks and increase conversion rate?
  • Which sources of traffic are driving the most new visitors so that we can continually add new prospects to the top of the funnel?
  • How do we get users to add more items to their cart so we can increase average order value?
  • What things are visitors searching for the most in site search? Are there opportunities to create content that doesn’t yet exist or make existing content easier to find?
  • How do smart phone visitors differ from tablet users and desktop users? Could we make a better user experience for those different users that would lead to higher conversion rates?
  • How long does the average paying customer spend on the site? Should we try to get everyone to spend the same amount of time or is it too long?
  • What effect would increasing rankings on organic search have on revenue and leads?
  • Which sources of traffic are assisting in conversions even if they aren’t the last source before the visitor converts?

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