Search Engine Marketing: How to Successfully Measure Your Web Site Analytics, Part 1

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Why is it that some organizations find tremendous value from web site analysis while others never get past basic reporting? While a strong analytics application is vital, it is not the complete solution. Preparing your organization on how to use web analysis, agreeing on what to measure and having a plan for data-driven change, are the keys to success.

Create a Focal Point

While rushing to put the power of web analytics into the hands of the users, companies often miss the big picture. It simply doesn’t make sense to train thousands or even hundreds of employees to be power users on your web analytics tool. Business managers have neither the skills nor the time to become web analytics specialists.

Organizations should appoint a focal point. Depending on the size of the organization, this may be an individual web analyst or a web analytics team. No organization can afford to give everyone the authority to guide change. Too many voices, too many opinions and too much debate lead to inaction. The most successful organizations funnel all analysis requests from business managers through the focal point and rely on this individual or team to drive web site change for the entire organization. The individual or team who serves as the focal point will also manage information dissemination and offer advice as to how user groups should access the application. Additionally, this individual or team will deliver information to all stakeholders in a format (often Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint) most convenient for the intended audience.

Where in an organization does the web metrics team belong? There are many options, and each has pros and cons. Below is a table outlining the pros and cons for the most common organizations to house this function.

Highlights

• Create an organizational focal point for web analytics rather than dispersing the responsibility.

• Quantify recommendations to increase acceptance and prioritize the appropriately.

• Establish credibility with an early success.

• Continually hypothesize and test results.

• Staff sufficiently to reap the benefits of your web analytics investment.

• Relay in business terms and disseminate in small doses.

Clearly, there are advantages and disadvantages to any potential home for your web metrics team and there is no universally correct answer. Your organization must decide what makes the most sense. Regardless of where this function resides in your organization, what is important is that you recognize that it is a function that crosses departments. Success demands that you provide processes, procedures, and regular communications that involve all stakeholders and users of the analysis.

If they can’t quantify in meaningful terms, they aren’t ready to make the pitch. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that every project has an opportunity cost and will always be pitched against others with a passionate advocate.

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