How to Get Started with Web Analytics

  • Collect Requirements: Begin by identifying the key stakeholders (Senior bosses). Get to understanding what kind of visitors they are targeting and what these visitors should do on their website. This will tell you where the focus point should be when tracking with web analytics. 
  • Create a Measurement Plan: A measurement plan allows you to define what your objectives are, how you are going to measure them and set your targets to quantify your website success or failure. Follow the list below;   
    • Goals: Goals should direct you in how you will accomplish your business objectives. If your business objective is to generate leads, a goal could be to get people to subscribe to your newsletter, or get them to register to your events, etc. 
    • KPIs: Once your goals are set, it’s up to the analyst to come up with metrics that would allow you to translate your numbers into your objectives. These metrics will become your KPIs and will allow you to measure your website’s success or failure. An example related to the “Leads Generation” would be to measure a number of users that subscribed to your newsletter.
    • Targets: How can you determine if your site fails or succeeds if you have not defined targets to these KPIs? Setting targets is definitely not trivial, especially when you have to deal with metrics that you have not even heard of, like recency or loyalty. Keep in mind that the process is based on historical data and a bit of a gut feeling. Recency is the time that passed in between two sessions of the same user (how much time did Mr. Smith wait before coming back to my website?Loyalty is how often the user visits your website (how many times did Mr. Smith come to read my blog this month?) A target to these 2 metrics is not difficult to set. It depends on how often you update your content. 
  • Segments: By default analytics data is aggregated. It would let you know that 1000 users subscribed to your newsletter. You still have no idea which traffic source they came (email, social, referral, direct, campaign). You wouldn’t know if they’re using a mobile phone, a tablet or a desktop. You wouldn’t know if they browsed your site from Switzerland, USA, etc. This is the reason why you need to analyze your data in segments. Let’s imagine that 98% of your subscriptions happened via desktop, even though your website has an average of 35% of mobile traffic. Why do mobile users have such a low conversion rate? Now you might find out that the mobile view of your website is full of bugs so most of your visitors give up on that page. 
  • Create an Implementation Plan: Once you have got your measurement plan right, you are more than half way through. Not that the implementation is easy, especially if we consider e-commerce sites, but at this point we could say that you have built a very solid foundation for your building. This part often requires work between the analyst and the website development team, who might have to make code adjustments in order to track required metrics. On a high level, you would need to make sure that you know how you will be tracking all required KPIs that were identified. 
  • Implement: Go ahead and implement! Keep in mind that Analytics requires constant monitoring in order to be able to optimize content, styling and marketing (advertising, email campaigns,social media presence)