Website analytics seems so straightforward at first.
You choose several metrics to track, gather your data, and sit down to interpret it.
But the reality is a bit different.
The dashboards are confusing, you’re not sure which metrics are your KPIs, and you have no idea what you should do with the data you’ve got.
That sounds familiar! We know how complicated web analytics can be before you fully understand how everything works. We also know you’re probably going to make a few mistakes.
Think you can avoid them? At least some of them!
Read our tips on how to prevent these five common website analytics errors.
1. You’re Only Using One Website Analytics Tool
There’s a bunch of web analytics tools available, both free and paid. You’ve probably heard of Google Analytics, which is the most popular and comprehensive tool, suitable for most businesses.
However, one tool rarely gives you all the answers. You will probably need multiple tools to get the most out of your website analytics, especially if you have to track complex sales or marketing processes.
Start by defining your website goals. When you know what you want to achieve, you’ll also know what metrics and KPIs you’ll need to track. Then you can start searching for the perfect combination of tools to suit your needs.
2. You’re Copying Someone Else’s KPIs
KPIs are flexible. There’s no way you can identify a few KPIs that always work for everybody. Well, maybe page load time, but that’s only one among hundreds of available metrics!
Sure, there are some essential website performance metrics that work for most businesses, but your selection of KPIs still needs customization. You have your own unique business goals, so you also need your own KPIs to measure how successful your website is.
Don’t be too hasty to make a choice. Identifying the right KPIs may take some time, so be patient and experiment a little. You need to measure data from your website analytics tools over a certain period of time to learn what works.
3. You Assume Correlation Between Metrics
Sometimes, there may seem to be a direct correlation between two metrics, but it’s not always the case. You may need to analyze a little deeper and monitor a little closer to learn why there are sudden spikes or drops in your website visits or session duration.
What seemed obvious at first isn’t always the reason. Don’t assume there’s a direct connection between metrics that are increasing or decreasing at the same time.
Look at your website’s metrics individually, in conjunction one to another, and through different dimensions so that you can truly get some insight and boost your marketing strategy.
4. You Think High Bounce Rate Means You Have Low-Quality Content
Bounce rate is one of the most commonly tracked metrics.
However, a high bounce rate doesn’t always mean your content isn’t engaging enough. Don’t rush and change your content strategy completely before you do this simple test.
Check the specific pages where your bounce rate is high. There may be a glitch in your website’s code! Maybe there’s a malfunction, so the page isn’t even loading properly.
What a relief, right? A glitch means that your visitors didn’t even get to see the content you shared, not that they quickly lost interest.
5. You Assume It’s Easy to Act on Analytics Data
Gathering data about your website’s performance doesn’t mean you’ll immediately know what to do to enhance it. The data may tell you where to look, but not always how to make improvements.
Take your time to carefully interpret the data you’ve got, consult your team, and take actions based on how changes on your website can benefit your business.
Make Your Own Analytics Strategy
Do these mistakes resonate with you?
No worries, we’ve all been beginners in website analytics at some point, but it’s good to know what to look out for. If you avoid making these errors, you’re already off to a good start.
It’s best to create your own, customized analytics strategy and take time to analyze the collected data properly.
That way, you’ll be one step closer to setting up your website to work in your favor.
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Linda Musselwhite is an author, speaker and co-owner of Musselwhite Marketing (est 2009). Linda’s previous positions as Human Resources Administrator. Combined with extraordinary customer service makes her the obvious choice of day to day operations for Musselwhite Marketing.
Connect with Linda on LinkedIn.