Embracing the analyst inside you

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Karen E. Hudgins
Karen E. Hudgins

Web analytics experts are quick to say that you need to take action or otherwise stop wasting your time creat­ing reports. So are you not creating those reports yet? Don't worry. You are more of an analyst that you think.

To find your inner analyst and keep yourself on track, start with a vision of your desired end results. Perhaps you'd like to improve visitor engagement, reduce abandoned shopping carts, increase quote requests, or improve landing page effective­ness. Identify what those results mean to you — for example, more revenue, higher quality leads, improved conversion rates, a larger bonus or budget, or a promotion.

Then, make a plan outlining what it will take to achieve that goal. If you want to increase conversion rates on your lead-generation Web site, you likely need to analyze current conversion rates to create a baseline. It's likely that increasing the conversion rate by 1% would yield more sales and higher revenue for your company. Formulate a plan to collect metrics that provide maximum insight into what drives conversion, drop-offs or other types of inquiries and create reports that yield those metrics.

The fun begins after you've determined the types of reports needed and are at the point of action. What occurs if you shorten the form, change the graphics, shorten the path to conversion, add new content, expand into new marketing channels, etc? Marketers are competitive by nature, and whether you're trying to outdo a com­petitor or beat your last campaign's results, it's rewarding when you've tried something new based on past analysis and have found improved results.

Avinash Kaushik, a well known author and blogger, once said, “Web analytics can make you a hero.” I see that in case stud­ies from customers who increased sales, reduced costs, and improved campaigns.

A Web analytics solution can be an over­whelming time drain, but if you approach it with a particular goal in mind, finding your inner analyst will be easier, and more rewarding, than you thought.

khudgins@unica.com

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