Keep It Simple Silly
Let's face it, web Analytics can be a little hot to handle even for the most experienced among us. It is full of tools, techniques, Web 2.0 and all sorts of other tidbits of information. Yet, it can be complex, intricate and at times intractable. Worst of all, it can inundate us with too much data and choices. Scared? The trick is to 'KISS' and make up with all that it has to offer. That is, Keep It Simple, Silly. Whether you are the most experienced user or know next to nothing about Analytics, we can all use a few simple tips to help us KISS better in order to maximize our efforts.
Know the Basics
This may seem obvious to some, but to others, especially those viewing analytics for the first time, the jargon may be a bit foreign. If you focus on these basic but important areas then you will be off to a good start in understanding most of what is reported.
Arrival method: How are people finding you? Analytics breaks traffic down into three areas - Direct Traffic, Search engines (Paid and Non Paid) and Referring sites (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Understand why traffic is being driven or not being driven via one of these areas.
Bounce rate: This is the percentage of visitors who went to one page only and left your site. The higher this number, the more questions you should be asking about your site's performance.
Content: What pages do people spend the most time on? Are your product/services pages attracting any visits? What about your blog?
Keywords: What keywords are people finding your site with? Are the keywords relevant and converting?
Location: Where is the traffic coming from? If you are local and receiving national attention then you might review your geo-targeting.
Create the Dashboard
Dashboards help you visualize and track trends on every level of your business and to align activities with key goals while keeping you on top of vital statistics and key performance indicators (KPIs). In simpler terms, it is there to communicate the performance of one or more metric (starting with the metrics mentioned above). With colored bars and nice graphs trending over time, dashboards can be easy to look at and help you gauge your website's overall performance.
Set up Reporting
We're all very busy just trying to keep our heads above water. But if we've taken the time to understand a few metrics and have gone as far as setting up a dashboard then we might as well take that final plunge and set up automated reports. Its the old saying in business, you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Therefore, automated reports delivered to your email inbox weekly or monthly will establish a good habit of viewing your Analytics data.
Start KISSing Your Website
Once you become a KISSing expert in Analytics turn your attention to the website itself. Remember most of your site's visitors have very little patience and can be easily distracted by all the jazz in your website that leads to nowhere. Functionality, relevance and immediacy are key touch points of a site. When it comes to web design, layout and content, your site has to KISS and tell! Use professional looking fonts and standard font sizes that are easy on the eye and make sure your site navigation easy to use and easy to find! Killer looks, per se, may kill your site so Keep It Simple!