It’s hard to handle business when you have a significant number of competitors getting better results on a daily basis.
I can relate to this with my initial years' experience while running my business. The IT industry seems so fancy in the out front. But when you are into it, you’ll know the hard but fruitful truth.
When I started with my company from developing a website portal, I only had a team of few freshers. This meant I had a team full of ideas and energy but no experience. All my team had was a vision to outreach the masses of our domain and showcase our brand in front of the world.
Gradually we paced as a team and let me tell you, the start was great(as I thought) and after that, we grew, we fell, we learned - all as a team!
In a years’ span, we grew in the market and started gaining recognition - thanks to our team. Soon then we developed our own office apartment, multiplied our team members and segmented them into teams of developers, sales and marketers. All was going great until I realized that the results we were celebrating for could have been far better than this.
This prompted me to discuss it with my team members. Everybody agreed on the same. This raised a concern on how can we do that? Even though the meeting room was brainstormed with ideas, trying to figure out the best possible ways, no solutions were concluded.
We took our time and researched about better growth prospects. This was the period when I came across the term analytics. Learning about the same, I realized this is what we were lacking on… it was a proper measurement of every activity, event, traffic… everything.
I planned out a strategy with my team and proceeded with web analytics for our domain. No sooner as it may seem, we observed a gradual rise in our domain’s graph. The strategies planned were working in our favor.
It took me time (and some losses too) to comprehend the needs and benefits that analytics provides. But, whatever brings results takes time and effort.
The approach we used to follow earlier was something very common. In fact, our earlier approach is still followed by many companies around the world. It’s like I can guarantee that still in many organizations, the only words that resonate in the meeting rooms are traffic, conversion, and engagement when the meeting agenda holds growth strategy in the list. Thereafter, no further key points related to deeper analytics are talked upon.
There’s a lot more to discuss and plan when it comes to analytics and strategies for growth rather than stressing only on traffic, conversion, engagement and bounce rates.
Based on my experience, I recommend you to focus on how you see the data and even more precisely on how you perceive it. Little details behold the strength to transform your story from scratch to something worth sharing(similar to mine ;) ). Look into the data with precision to analyze the minutest details before you form your future marketing strategy.
The truth is, sooner or later, you’ll realize how important analytics is.
This is why I have listed three ways that helped me achieve results from web analytics and can help you too-
- Don’t plan for shortcuts
“Shortcuts never lead to permanent success.”
We all look for instant results and key indicators to those results like if your site traffic increased overnight, then you’ll be checking for the reasons behind. Or, if your rank drops, you’ll check for the bounce-rates or session drops and things like that. Even I used to do the same when I started with my site.
But, soon I realized that it is essential to note that only bounce rates or conversion rates are not responsible for session counts. Often, we ignore the metrics working behind the curtains to support our front-end analytics.
Web analytics involves two major metrics that affect the results the most. Firstly, aggregation of data and secondly, confusing correlation and causation due to similar terms.
Aggregate data gives the average results and not the actual results. Predicting strategies on the basis of the only aggregate data is a wrong approach as the results are based only on average of the actual information.
Similarly, confusing correlation with causation also leads to the wrong approach. You must understand that correlation only signifies that a relationship exists between the two metrics, dimensions, entities, etc. while causation signifies the relationship of change between the two metrics, dimensions, entities, etc.
Unknowingly, I did use the words correlation and causation exchangeably. It was when I consulted the analytics expert for my dropping results that I became aware of the difference and the significance it beholds.
The results from any of these approaches - aggregate data, correlation, and causation, will be different. Hence, you must know when to follow which metric for the optimum results.
- Plan your goals with the metrics to be measured
While we set up our account for analytics, we tend to decide upon some goals to track engagements and ultimately aim for conversions. But what if you don’t find them generating the results you thought of(like initially, I compared my goal conversions with the revenue generated not realizing that not all my goals were associated with the monetary value).
Think differently and plan out-of-the-box for outstanding results. It may happen that your goals were correct but the metrics you planned for the goals aren’t (like it happened with me).
You need to focus on this point here that not all metrics are triggered for the same goal and not all goals can be analyzed with the same metric use.
If you are a learned marketer, you might be aware that to convert a goal, there are many sub-goals that you need to have more focus on, i.e., your macro and micro goals.
Try blending the combinations of various leads, sales, and other metrics with your micro goals first and then for macro goals to get the results.
- The secondary dimensions
The third way is the most considerate according to me. Secondary dimensions! Yes. while we analyze the data, we generally set the time-period and goals against the metrics (primary metrics) and see for the results.
But, hold on. Is that the only way? Definitely not. We must think of various other dimensions to test our goals. These other dimensions are termed as secondary dimensions in the language of analytics.
Secondary dimensions provide us the variability in the results opening a new perception of reading the insights.
Consider the simplest example, a programmer following the “hit & trial” concept to test his code. Every combination of cases generates different results. After trying all the permutations and combinations of the test cases, the programmer finally settles for the case generating the most optimum result.
Well, Analytics is too similar to this. You have a wide space to test your data in every manner so why not take a try for better results.
“Unified thinking without borders in apparent dimensions can only be strengthened when focused collectively 'internally'.”
― AainaA-Ridtz A R
There is no end with this discussion but I’m bound by various factors for now. So, summing up the discussion, I really hope you got aware that seeking only traffic or counting success based on revenues, conversions and bounce rates without proper evaluation will haunt you and your business someday (even I realized this the hard way). Hence, I suggest you to experiment with your data along with Hit & Trial method or other methods and get fascinating results. Keep sure that you settle only for the optimum results as business is more about risks and not less about being at the safe side with the safeguard.