I haven’t read anywhere an estimate of what percentage of websites are utilizing some sort of either server log tracking or real web analytics to track site visitors. But if it’s anything less than 100%, I still have work to do.
Small businesses need to be fast. They need to work their marketing plans quickly and efficiently. And they need to understand if those plans are WORKING quickly and efficiently. If you have a website (Please tell me you have a website), you must IMMEDIATELY go sign up for a Google Analytics account.
Seriously. Stop reading right now and go get one. There’s a link up there.
The question really is this: Why weren’t you already using web analytics? (Google or otherwise)
1.) It’s too expensive. Wrong. It’s free to have a Google Analytics account, and even if you can’t install it yourself, in most cases for small businesses, you can hire a web guy to do it really cheaply. Really cheaply.
2.) The stats are too hard to understand. Not anymore. If you’re thinking about what web analytics used to look like… you know, printed out on those really wide green and white sheets of paper…. you aren’t thinking about this the right way. A Google Analytics dashboard reads like pulp fiction. It’s all pretty pictures now, and you have to REALLY drill down deep to find something you won’t understand.
3.) I don’t have time to study results. Then you shouldn’t have started a business… kidding of course… But think about it. Large, large portions of a lot of companies new business comes from the web. You need to have a feel for where your company fits into that mix. And just counting the number of sales you get, or leads you obtain, is NOT good enough anymore. You need to know the WHY’s too.
Those are three big objections I covered up there. I’m hoping they’ve shed some light on the misconceptions on modern web analytics. I’ll discuss all of these topics further in countless blog posts soon. Web analytics, after all, is my passion.