What to consider when developing a web analytics strategy
December 29, 2011
Web analytics are an important way to measure the relative success of online marketing campaigns. Such tools can inform both your search and social media strategies and offer a statistical understanding of your brand's appeal.
In today's business landscape, marketers cannot afford to be ill-informed regarding the success of their promotional efforts, and with online and mobile media accumulating an increasingly large share of the marketing pie, the demand for thorough analytics is mounting.
"Some small businesses analyze results from a campaign effort - after a website is launched, a video is uploaded in YouTube, or a Facebook page is launched," writes the marketing blog Zimana Blog. "This is an understandable step - many businesses see analytics in an application and treat the analysis as an audit. But the real work happens during the preliminary planning of a digital presence."
A whole slew of analytics services and data fields has emerged in recent years to meet the growing demands of marketing and sales professionals. But before small business owners and entrepreneurs launch their first marketing campaign, it is likely a good idea to review exactly what they need to pay attention to when it comes to the world of web analytics. Zimana Blog recommends asking two basic questions.
1.) What is the purpose of the website in consideration?
How does it relate to your overall business model? Does it merely complement your business structure and serve as a marketing/communications platform? Or is it the basis of your service?
"Answering these questions will set the tone for what content should be on the site - images, downloads and which pages should retain visitors for longer than a moment," Zimana writes. "Even trust badges can be influential."
Weighing these questions will also help you determine how to structure the site and organize tags and sub-domains.
2.) What type of marketing is planned?
You'll need to understand exactly how your business is planning to promote itself online before you begin measuring responses to it. Once a basic idea is in hand, business owners can use data to anticipate the most likely route a customer or prospect will take to get to your website. These estimates may change over time, but that is to be expected given the natural evolution of marketing campaigns and materials.