The “dirty little secret” in web analytics that few people want to openly discuss is this: web analytics is hard! Despite the assurances that software is “easy to install, easy to configure, easy to learn, and easy to use,” most of the available evidence actually points to the entire process of measuring and analyzing your audience being difficult at best.
Consider the following:
- In a 2007 survey conducted by Web Analytics Demystified of over 1,000 web analytics practitioners worldwide, fifty-six percent of all respondents with three or more years of experience said that web analytics was difficult
- Twenty-eight percent of respondents to the same survey indicated that web analytics was currently answering less than half of the questions they had about their audience behavior and marketing efforts
- This last number (28%) skyrockets to 53 percent for practitioners and companies new to web analytics having less than six months of experience
In addition to this data, there is a plethora of anecdotal evidence that most people actually challenged with doing web analytics struggle from time to time to be successful. The fact that web analytics webcasts held by the American Marketing Association routinely draw thousands of marketers trying to figure out how to “do more” with measurement is an indicator of both the intense.
This quarter by quarter plan will help you:
- Refine your management of the measurement process
- Evaluate your inputs and outputs
- Examine your commitment to success through analysis
- Challenge yourself to do better analysis
There is a lot involved in being successful with web analytics, and most companies are actually surprised at how much work is required to derive the benefits described by the “web analytics is easy” crowd. But not measuring is simply not an option, and thusly marketers, site operators, and business owners all have a responsibility to establish the kinds of processes we describe in this document.