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Thursday, June 26, 2008

I talked to about 60 people yesterday in Philadelpia. Most were marketing types, VP's or marketing leads. There were a handful of Web designers and a couple C level executives. Like always, I sprinkled in a few straw poll questions throughout the 4 hour sessions...

I asked how many were using analytics on their site.

Nobody raised their hand.

Chaulking up the result to post-consumption, triptophan-induced apathy, I prodded a bit and got a few people to raise their hands.

Then I asked, "Does anyone want to share their conversion rate with the group."


I explained... A conversion rate can be about anything - number of visitors vs. sales; vs. Newsletter signups; vs. phone calls; vs. Contact Us forms submitted.


The few folks who claimed to have analytics installed had no idea what they were looking at, much less how to interpret the data into actionable intelligence.

This afternoon, I had the priviledge of attending a Webinar on KPI's given by Avinash Kaushik. It was a very insightful two hours spent going over the how's, why's and when's to Web analytics. The central proposition Avinash made echoed his blog title, Occam's Razor.

Sir William of Ockham is the fourteenth-century philosopher who is attributed this lesson in profundity: The simplest solution is usually the correct one.

Lesson one in analytics: Establish KPI's (key performance indicators) that are simple.

Lesson two in analytics: Make sure your KPI's say something about your ability to reach your company goals.

Lesson three in analytics: Use them. If you're not, how can you possibly know if you're headed in the right direction?

There are some very expensive analytics packages out there. For most companies I talk to, Google Analytics is a superb choice. And it's FREE. It'll give you more marketing information than you'll ever know what to do with. You won't even need it all. Based on today's lessons (thanks Avinash) just select the metrics that really mean something for your organizational goals and focus on them. Over time, your goals and corresponding KPI's will change and that's okay.

The first step is just to use KPI's and analytics in the first place!

Get to it...