Search Engine Marketing: How to Successfully Measure Your Web Site Analytics, Part 3

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Staff Responsibly

A lone web analyst asked to support 100 information recipients is destined to fail. Organizations should staff one web analyst for every twelve key data consumers. Experience indicates that when substantial demands are placed on a web analyst, he will spend all available time addressing the reporting needs of the organization to ensure that no one is dissatisfied. Yet, this leaves no time for any real analysis or change recommendations. Companies that behave in this manner often find the net result to be thousands of dollars invested in web analytics that returns a large quantity of information and very little measurable site improvement.

Disseminate Information Regularly, but in Small Doses

Decision makers do not have time to review 100 slides, 15 tab notebooks or 50 online reports. Most times, they only want to know the conclusion, why you want to implement the action, and, the resulting numbers.

If you have proven yourself through a series of winning projects, each decision point should move more quickly than the previous one. If you are not yet at this stage in your organization, you need your decision makers to gain an initial comfort level with what you are doing. To do this, feed them small snippets of information on a regular basis. This could be a daily report of the one to five key performance indicators most essential to the business or a weekly email with the three bullets that the decision maker needs to know.

Regardless, deliver it regularly, but in small doses. This will keep the emphasis on metrics fresh in their minds without inundating them with data. Further, make sure that you hold a regular meeting with all the key players to inform them of your next set of recommendations and test plans. Organizations are often more open to new ideas in this setting than through ad hoc recommendations every time an epiphany hits. If these meetings aren’t regular and scheduled, it is easy for the importance of web analysis to be lost. By using this forum to communicate your ideas, you will reinforce your authority to drive change and to keep everyone on the same page.

Some organizations haven’t found any value from web metrics because they aren’t acting on the data. Some organizations may be getting some good information and making strong recommendations, but lack the process and focal point necessary to see changes through to implementation. For some organizations, the problem is that little has been done to convince decision makers of the value of the recommendations.

Companies who have determined the value in using and integrating web analytics have done so because they not only will integrate it into the marketing, but know how easy it is to measure the improvements. They have an individual or team that is a strong focal point to work with business managers and deliver only the most appropriate information. And, they engage in planning and action by developing hypotheses, testing these hypotheses and making iterative adjustments. For these organizations web analytics powers their success.

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