3 Ways Your Analytics Are Misleading You

May 3, 2013 | Business, Web Design

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In my last post, I wrote about how having up an out-of-date or unprofessional web site can mean many lost opportunities. And I’ve been thinking about the many ways¬† people read data and come to the wrong conclusion about their web site.

Only 8 visitors to your web site

1. Your google analytics show that you have little web traffic; therefore you shouldn’t invest in your web site.

Face it, there are some businesses that reap very direct rewards from their web site and for others the connection is less clear. For example, if you compare an e-commerce enabled web site with a content-only web site it can be significantly harder to measure the economic outcomes of the latter.

But does that mean a business with an out-dated web site should not invest in a better web site? If they were to create a well-optimized, professionally designed web site they would start to see web traffic and web referrals increase.

A similar case can be made for mobile-specific sites. The more mobile-optimized your site is, the more likely people are to spend time on it while using their smartphone. If it doesn’t function on an iPhone because it’s flash-based, or it just a jumbled mess, you can bet that your mobile stats will be low. But what would happen if you presented a mobile-optimized version to your prospects?

2. Your customers do not indicate they found you on the web.

It is common for many retailers or restaurants to ask a patron: “How did you hear of us?” When you get a low response in the category of referrals from the web site, it may seem that the logical thing to do is invest less in the web site and more in the channels that are working.

However, what may be happening is that a poor web site is not effective at sending customers to your bricks and mortar location. Your business may not be easily found by search engines. Or your web site is poorly designed or poorly functioning and it turns away prospects. Therefore, your stats around how customers found you will remain low for the web site. If you did invest in your web site you should see an increase in web-based leads.

3. All my business comes from in-person connections, my web site matters little.

This is a common phrase I hear from people who are consultants or other B2B-based small businesses. But I can guarantee that a large number of your networking connections are following up by checking out your web site. If they see something out-of-date, out-of-style, or out-of-place with the person they just met, they are dramatically less likely to follow up with you.

You may not need a large number of pages on your site. You may never rely on search engine traffic. But people are making decisions about how much they like and trust you based on your web site.

Get a web site that can help your business!

Your web site may never generate revenue for you. Your web site may never close a deal. Your web site may never even send an unknown prospect your way.

But it is still a critical part of your business’ equity, and by improving your web site you will improve your business.

2 comments

  1. logo designs maker | May 24, 2013 at 11:52 am

    These are very important points you discussed with us, no-doubt that Google analytic is one of the most important tracking tool by Google but if we are not handing it properly and not fixing the problems then it can definitely betrayed in tracking. In this scenario your shared points are very effective and important to learn about the technicalities of of Google Analytic.

  2. Dan Sexton | June 12, 2013 at 1:41 am

    HI Emily: Good insights about the bad decisions that a business owner can make when she sees low traffic numbers. Before she draws any conclusions, she might check a few things:

    1. What are their Google rankings for key search terms?
    If they rank #20 for a key phrase, (but their competitor ranks #5) then no wonder they see little traffic. Where do their top three competitors rank? If they can’t be found in Google, that’s a real problem.

    2. Google Analytics will show the average time on site for visitors on computers versus mobile phones. If mobile visitors are viewing one page and leaving immediately, “bouncing”, then you’ve got problems.
    If that’s the case, you need to talk to Emily about a mobile-friendly, responsive-design web site. The world is going mobile. Get on board.

    3. Where are your web site visitors coming from?
    Google Analytics will tell you.
    A good web site traffic profile is like a investment portfolio. Diversification matters. Your traffic should come from many different sources, search engines, links from industry sites and directories, your email newsletter, etc.

    love the Maine capcha question: what color is cooked lobster.
    Classic.

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