How Much Should You be Reading Into Web Analytics?

Amongst the business owners we work with, we tend to find that clients fall into one of two groups: those who pay little or no attention to the analytics coming from their business websites, and those who pay way too much attention to the statistics.

So how much should you be reading into web analytics? The short answer is that you should be watching just closely enough to spot any trends and increase your profitability. To see what we mean, consider the following examples:

  • A high bounce rate on one page or another could indicate that a stronger call to action is needed, that visitors are finding the information on that page confusing, or that you don’t have enough links to other resources.
  • Knowing which pages visitors typically arrive on and leave your site from could help you optimize them for conversions, but only if you have a sense of what keywords they searched to get there, and what they were looking for (and didn’t find) when they departed.
  • Having insight into which pages on your site are regularly bookmarked or e-mailed to others could show you which pieces of content visitors find most valuable, and which product areas you should expand on.

These are only a few examples, but they point to the need for balance. Having only half of the information about any of these issues – or none at all – could easily lead you to the wrong conclusions. On the other hand, reading too much into them, or changing your plans after only a couple of weeks of results, could prove disastrous.

In the end, our best advice is to get the best analytics package you can, but also to get expert advice and guidance when it comes to understanding the figures you see. After all, you do need lots of information to keep your business growing online… but what good is any of it if it isn’t helping you to increase sales?