Over the course of the past six months I have become more and more involved with the practice of not just installing website analytics on my clients websites but also teaching my clients the real purpose of analytics.


As I begin to explain the value of website analytics to my clients I have noticed one reoccurring thing: many people have developed powerful misconceptions about the real purpose of monitoring their website traffic. In short, some of my clients have subscribed to some of the more popular myths that surround the art of web analytics.


Lets take a look at a few of the more popular myths and shed some light on the truth about analytics.


Myth #1 – Analytics is All About the Numbers.
Truth – Analytics is really about the story the numbers are telling us.


Yes, the first peek under the hood of your Google Analytics account may overwhelm you with a healthy dose of numerical data but it is important to remember that it is just data and if you dig deeper you will see the story the data is telling you. For example, rather than just simply looking at the number of visits to your website, look at the visitor source, length of visit, content viewed and bounce rate.  By examining more than just visits you will begin to see the story of how your site is really performing. Why is this story valuable? Because it tells you how to tune your site!


Myth #2 – Analytics is All About the Software.
Truth – Analytics is really about giving meaning to the information the software provides.


When choosing analytics software you will find many options available. Some of these options are paid options. Using a paid application doesn”t mean you will get better data results. Google Analytics is completely free and provides all of the results any professional marketer could possibly want!


In short, don”t get hung up on the application of choice. Focus on making sense out of the data.


Myth #3 – Analytics is Left Brain Oriented.
Truth – Analytics is really about being creative.


The numerical data, charts and graphs provided by analytics applications has led many people to believe that studying web traffic is for math geeks. Nothing could be further from the truth. Analytics is really about coming up with creative ways to improve your website performance based on the results of your analytics reports.


For example, set up a conversion goal within your Google Analytics account and track the performance of that particular goal. As you begin to see the results of your goal performance, you will begin to develop some creative methods of enhancing your website in order to improve the performance of your goal.


In summary, it is best to view the art of web analytics with an open mind. With a little time, effort and patience your efforts will reward you well.

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