Web Analytics 3.0 mind-set and strategy

More and more I am reading that marketers are demanding more accountability from digital marketing which is ironic because there are already a lot of ways to measure everything you do online.   However the Web Analytics 3.0 mind-set and strategy call for robust qualitative and quantitative analysis in your web analytics approach with specific goals: to understand the customer experience explicitly and to then influence customer behavior on your site.  It also calls for people who understand online behavior and can turn online marketing into a business driver.

I see a lot that has not changed from the very early days of web analytics—all of about 15 years ago. The landscape is dominated by tools that primarily use data collected by web logs or JavaScript tags. Most companies use tools from Google Analytics, Omniture Site Catalyst, Webtrends, Clicktracks, or Xiti to understand what’s happening on their websites.Web Analytics 2.0 is: the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your website and the competition, to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers, and potential customers have,which translates into your desired outcomes (online and offline).

Everything you do on your website needs to deliver against three outcomes, regardless of whether your website is for ecommerce, tech support, social media, or just a branded site. These outcomes are increase revenue, reduce costs or improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Also remember that consumers expect you to be on social media when they want to talk to you and that you can’t measure the ROI of every conversation with consumers.  If someone asks for an ROI analysis on social media they are probably missing the point.

The reason that so many websites are bad and have such high bounce rates is because marketers like the look and feel rather than approach website development from a users perspective with usability testing.  Too many website have homepages that more like billboards than inbound marketing platforms. Remember that anyone can turn off your brand message with a click of their mouse and the web is more about their needs than you selling.

The big challenge for crossing any modern chasm is rarely technology or tools. The challenge is entrenched mind-sets. For all of us, the biggest challenge to changing our web analytics strategy will be to evolve our mind-set to think 2.0.  Remember it’s more about users than us because users have the power of the mouse and you usually have less than 3-5 seconds to give them a reason to stay on your site.   In the world of Web Analytics 2.0, clicks don’t rule; rather, the combination of the “head and the heart” rules. When you are ruled by the head and the heart, you care equally about what happens on your website as you do about what happens on your competitor’s.

Five Pillars: Clickstream, Multiple Outcomes Analysis, Experimentation and Testing, Voice of Customer, and Competitive Intelligence.


Clickstream – Omniture tools, Google Analytics, Unica’s NetInsight, Webtrends, Yahoo! Web Analytics, Lyris HQ (formerly ClickTracks), Coremetrics.

Multiple Outcomes – use your web analytics tools mentioned for Clickstream but also the likes of iPerceptions (to measure Task Completion Rate!), FeedBurner (to track Subscribers), and various other tools to measure social media success (your traditional web analytics tools are not very good at this last one).

Experimentation and Testing – use Google Website Optimizer, Omniture’s Test&Target, SiteSpect

Voice of Customer – use iPerceptions, CRM Metrix, Ethnio, ForeSee, and self-service options such as Lab Usability.

Competitive Intelligence – use Google Ad Planner, Insights for Search, Compete, Hitwise, Technorati, and so on.

The richness of web analytics is already available but unless you have someone who can see gold in the data via actionable insights and recommendations no analytics suite or program is going to provide you with information that can improve the ROI of your website.

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