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5 First Steps to Effective Analytics

“Where do we start?”

That’s by far the most common question people ask when they first consider Web analytics. The obvious right answer is “That depends on what you’re trying to do, where you are today, your industry, competitive positioning, etc., etc.” But since that’s not the most actionable answer in the world, here are five relatively easy, non-intimidating ways to start harnessing the power of Web Analytics.

1. Synchronize strategy and operations.

Amazingly, many companies never take the time to complete this fundamental task. Knowing your high-level strategy and specific objectives for each of your online properties will ensure you capture the right data and analyze it in the most fruitful way.

For instance, ad campaigns for customer acquisition will be measured differently than those focused on Web site registration. Similarly, if the main goal of your site is to process basic customer service tasks, you can use analytics to ensure the user experience is optimally user-friendly. A site that is meant to serve the brand will look and feel different and be measured differently, too.

It’s worth capturing the link between strategy and operations in a formalized master plan or matrix, which is shared with all stakeholders and used to guide decision making. [Read more...]