7 Steps for Creating a Web Analytics Culture

Help Management Understand the Importance

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You may recall Feras Alhlou, who chatted with WebProNews earlier this year after contributing a guest post to Google’s Analytics Blog about using advanced segments in Google Analytics. Alhlou is the president of E-Nor, and he presented at an analytics session at SES this week.

Feras Alhlou Alhlou says there is a quote from Albert Einstein that C-level executives, marketing managers and analysts should keep in mind when it comes to establishing and nurturing a web analytics culture in their organizations. That quote is:

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and, not everything that counts can be counted."

With that in mind, Alhlou provides the following seven practical tips:

1. One size fits none

You need to understand and identify what is important to the organization. Time, money, and resources are limited, so you must use them wisely.

2.Know your audience

Don’t try to impress your boss with a radar map or a 5-dimentional motion chart. The following is an example of what not to start off with, unless your management is very "visually inclined."


3. Help your audience understand

Try to help your audience understand the basics. Start off with some common web metrics, and then move into task completion/conversion concepts.

4. Plan to integrate cost data

This refers to click spend, banner ad costs, etc. Have a model for ROI (return-on-investment) calculations.

5. Don’t forget non-web Leads

Your site visitors are not all the same. Some of would buy online or submit a form online, while some just like to call and speak with someone. Bring phone data into the mix.

6. A CRM system

For lead generation sites, a CRM system is must. Classify your leads into categories (high quality leads, junk leads, etc.) and bring this insight back into your campaign conversion and ROI calculations. It’s one thing to get 10 leads @ $1000 from campaign A, it is a totally different picture when 7 of these leads are junk!

7. Tie it all together

Tie it all together into business metrics that C-levels and business owners/managers can relate to. At the end of the day, it is not about visits, pageviews, conversions! It is about revenue and net profits!

I would like to thank Feras Alhlou for sharing these tips with WebProNews readers. There’s no question that analytics can make a great impact on marketing, and if you work in a company that isn’t doing all it should be in this department, these are some good tips to help change that.

7 Steps for Creating a Web Analytics Culture
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  • http://www.SmallBusinessOnlineCoach.com Matthew Hunt

    The biggest mistake I see small business’s do is not tracking their website to phone calls. It’s essential you tie 1 800 tracking #’s each of your web properties then connect that to your analytics.

  • http://www.kettlewell.net Matt Kettlewell

    Testing and Tracking is something I preach to the end…

    Even offline offers/sources can be tracked with unique phone #’s, or unique ‘codes’ that are asked for, or have clients request the “special prize” that’s listed…

    Great to see that offline marketing is still being added to the online mix. All to often I’m seeing tunnel vision in only one or the other, and not combining the two.

  • http://www.catherinewhite.wordpress.com Catherine White

    One of the best reads on web analytics I’ve come across in a long time.

    I become impatient with much of what is SEO propaganda, which is not to suggest social has it all wrapped up either.

    The point is the organization and their outcome!

    BRAVO… I’m retweeting this one!

  • http://www.seosean.com SEOsean

    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and, not everything that counts can be counted.”

    That’s not true, what did he base that conclusion on? If something could not be counted it would not exist! You can always count something and make it a statistic. For example, you can even count the amount of public appeal you have. Just find some part of that which you can make a statistic and count that, which will in effect show you the amount of public appeal you have.

    I’m sorry to say but Albert Einstein didn’t have all answers. If fact a lot of his conclusions were off. Take a look at the Wiki page for him http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein and see all the mistakes he made at the bottom of the page there. And these are just the beginning because I’m sure as time goes on there will be more to be found.

    Now I’m not saying he was not a remarkable man but I just don’t believe that quote will really help us out nor does it work and all we are interested in is what works! And again I’m not saying that I’m so much better than Einstein or anything close to that, it’s just I’m interested in what works and I’m sure others interested in that as well.

    Sorry for the rambling, I just had enough of people quote Einstein on things that he stated which don’t work.

    • Guest

      You can’t count to infinity. Here’s another Einstein quote you may like better. “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

  • http://www.gilliganondata.com Tim Wilson

    I used to have that quote posted in my cube — the only reason it’s not now is that I’m doing more data management work than reporting/analytics work.

    There are activities that: 1) are a good idea, 2) that align with a solid strategy, and 3) that are very, very, very difficult to accurately measure. We can debate whether “very, very, very difficult” is the same as “cannot,” but I’d say, in many cases, it is.

    *ABSOLUTELY* there should be a bias towards measuring the results of anything activity that gets undertaken. But, having been in situations where, “We’re not going to be able to accurately measure that” becomes a roadblock to making some investments in very good ideas, I’m a big proponent of not letting “measurability” be the deciding factor. I’ve used Einstein’s quote to counter the “If you can’t measure it, don’t do it” cliche.

    At the end of the day, you should measure everything in some fashion. But, sometimes, that means going with a wildly imperfect proxy, measuring outputs rather than outcomes, or measuring qualitatively. All of these are valid if: 1) the activity has been vetted and is agreed to be a sound thing to do, and 2) it’s wildly expensive / very, very, very difficult / near impossible to directly measure the result.

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