Confession Session: I fell off the “reviewing web analytics” wagon. 🙁
(Yes, I am crying on my own therapy couch)
My “Why?” answer (ahem…excuse) is two-fold:
1) I geek out on my client’s analytics day-in and day-out to audit and optimize their marketing. I put other’s needs ahead of my own. Some call this burnout, others call it “being a cobbler with no shoes”, I call it allowing myself to be a victim. Shame on me.
2) I do a great job measuring the marketing-must question of “How did you hear about us?” for both my marketing agency and speaking business. Since I am clear where the bulk of our business comes from, I felt above the analytics. My ego got in the way of leveraging incredible data to help fuel MORE of the meaningful marketing that does bring ideal work. The three most dangerous words are:
I KNOW THAT
My know-it-all attitude got in the way of growth. While it’s great that I know what fuels our business to put my time and efforts where it best counts, I was leaving money on the table by not looking further. I felt like a bad parent when I had to explain to my new WMT employee why there were no records of data. But instead of masking my laziness, I owned up to points one and two above…then I did something I have a really hard time doing…
I asked for help.
Having support in getting months and years of data extracted so I could compare it was exactly what I needed to get on the right path.
Sometimes when we feel bad about something it makes us less likely to get in there and face our demons. Having someone work with me to pull the data and talk about it was just the support I needed to get out of the negative mindset and into a positive position.
Upon review, things like site traffic on WebMarketingTherapy.com going way down was no shock. I pulled the entire site a few months ago (more on why I yanked my site) and of course, a site that had tons of pages vs. nothing but a home page and blog is going to naturally dip. But business has been better than ever so while visibility numbers are down, credibility and sellability are up.
Web Analytics (we are fans of Google Analytics) are a scientific resource that requires an artistic review. Think of analytics as answers that can be a guide to solve problems, but they don’t act alone in resolution. It is our duty as marketers and business people to be the detectives and investigate why things like traffic referrals are low. Sometimes the answer is obvious, like in our case with a huge site yank, but other times however, you have to dig a little harder to try to figure out the puzzle.
Reviewing analytics on a regular basis is a great ritual to help facilitate healthy marketing changes. When I looked through the data on my personal marketing speaker site, I was surprised to find out that I was still getting referrals from an interview I did years ago! Sometimes I wonder if my time spent in interviews is really worth it and the data helped reinforce that it was. The data also helped me see identify where I could be getting more visibility. While I saw things that were working, I also was able to see areas that I could be putting more effort into.
Analytics are powerful tools for business owners. Tools like Google Analytics are free so there is NO excuse to neglect analytics. Stay curious. Login periodically and set a monthly ritual to review your stats.
I have a whole chapter dedicated to web analytics in my online marketing book. See what is making your site thrive and optimize what isn’t. By embracing analytics and educating yourself, you will maximize your business potential.