Of Analytics and Funnels

The Next Web has been putting out some great writing lately, and yesterday’s Analytics: If You’re Not Measuring, You’re Not Marketing was certainly no exception. It’s a good overview of the basics.

If you’re trying to grow a business, it really helps to know what you’re doing right online. Many of our clients are surprised to find out just how many of their questions we can answer with analytics. These numbers don’t lie.

Let me use a simple example from our own website. You might think of the “goal” of our website as getting people to fill out our client survey. This certainly doesn’t guarantee income, but it’s the best metric we have of success, since we don’t actually sell anything online. Therefore, I’m interested in knowing how people get there.

To do so, I use the Funnel Visualization and Goal Flow views in Google Analytics. I choose the “Complete Client Survey” goal, and I can see the routes visitors take to get there. I can see what percentage actually complete the survey (could be better!), and where the most visitors come from who actually complete our survey (Google, it turns out). The page people are most likely to look at before they view and complete our survey is our work portfolio, which makes sense. If I want to get more clients, therefore, I probably want to improve our portfolio. (We’re on it!)

In our case, the answers are not very surprising. However, it’s very frequently the case that we start working with a client, and dig through their analytics, only to find that they’ve completely misunderstood their customers. Analytics provide a wealth of information, and we believe you should never redesign a website without first using them to understand what is and isn’t working about your current one.