Web Analytics: The challenge and the reward

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Written by Joanne Kearney

Joanne has over 10 years’ experience working in digital analytics, executing and managing many large scale projects across the UK and Ireland. Joanne is also an experienced trainer, having developed many customised corporate training schemes and regularly speaks at digital and analytics events.
December 12, 2013

It’s one of the hot topics in digital and was recently voted the most desired digital marketing skill for 2014 but what does the world of web analytics entail?

By definition from the web analytics association it’s the ‘measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimising web usage’. Put more simply this means getting together all of the data that you collect from users that have engaged in your online properties and making sense of it so you can continuously improve your marketing/business efforts.

Although not a new concept, it’s one that is becoming increasingly important for those looking to employ someone to fit a digital role because web analytics goes beyond being able to execute marketing campaigns and concentrates on ensuring its consequent success (or failure) using as many quantifiable methods as possible to do so.

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Many businesses across the globe are already using a web analytics account – over 80% of UK businesses have Google Analytics installed but drilling down to understand how many invest time in reaping good insights from the product paints a much different story.

Reasons why web analytics isn’t used effectively in an organisation: generally due to a shortage in skilled analysts, a laziness in not effectively mapping offline efforts online to perform attribution, a struggle to integrate business intelligence and web analytics and lastly having both budget and resource constraints.

The good news is that many of these issues are not impossible to overcome and greater education on the topic for many is a start to breaking down the barriers to practice effective web analytics. Better web analytics = better customer insights = better ROI.

Top 5 tips for analytics success:

  • Select someone in your business that will be given appropriate time and resource (including training) to be responsible for web analytics.
  • Discuss, define then set-up a range of appropriate goals in your web analytics account.
  • Keep a note of all activities that you hope will increase traffic so you can correlate against web analytics to analyse how effective it was.
  • Drill down into reports and don’t stop until you find an ‘actionable insight’.
  • Use actionable insights to make changes and continue to test their impact.



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