Understanding analytics is at the heart of successful conversion optimization, because you need to measure what’s happening so that you know what to change or update.
One shortcut to using analytics for conversion optimization is to learn from the experts. That’s the reason for this roundup of great advice from the best people writing on analytics, some of whom were featured in our lists of must-read analytics blogs.
1. Avinash Kaushik
“A data-first strategy, defined as above, is nuts. It will only slow down your progress and allow your competitors to crush you like a bug (even if you are a top player in your market today!).
You should reject data-first.
You should accept data-with strategies.”
– Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing & Analytics: Five Deadly Myths De-mythified!, Occam’s Razor.
2. Jordan Louis
“The more we know about how visitors are using content, and the more accurate that knowledge is, the better we can find out what sort of content works best for our target audience and adjust our strategy and posting schedules accordingly. Content may be king, but data is its queen.”
– Jordan Louis, A Better Way to Measure Users’ Content Engagement, Online Behavior.
3. Josh McCoy
“Conversion goal setup in Google Analytics is something you don’t want to take lightly. Setting up a wrong match type can report conversions that necessarily are not conversions.”
– Josh McCoy, Organic Conversion Reporting: Is It Accurate?, SearchEngineWatch
4. Fiona Roddis
“One metric alone doesn’t tell you what’s happening with your site; as ever Analytics is about taking your data and outside influences (i.e. time of year) and building insights from all of it.”
– Fiona Roddis, In the Aftermath of Mobilegeddon, Web Analytics World.
#Analytics is about taking your data and outside influences and building insights from all of it – Fiona Roddis via @waworld
5. Kenny Fraser
“If you measure the wrong thing, you set the wrong targets and if you aim at the wrong target you arrive in the wrong place. Even tiny mistakes in how we measure can lead to terrible outcomes.”
– Kenny Fraser, Listen to the Voices of your Data for Great Analytics, Web Analytics World.
6. Greg Crystal
“If you’ve been doing Inbound long enough, you know that there’s a certain amount of traffic that produces a certain amount of leads. While increasing traffic is usually a good thing, if it’s not producing leads then you are attracting the wrong people.”
– Greg Crystal, 10 Analytics Red Flags All Marketers Should Look Out For, Hubspot.
7. Shayla Price
“Business leaders should not rely heavily on the past actions of their companies. By following tradition and not the data, you could be stifling your company’s growth.”
– Shayla Price,
4 Common Errors That Kill Data-Driven Decisions, Kissmetrics.
8. Sarah Gurbach
“When you’re a brand, you have a tendency to fall into the trap of wanting to make everyone your audience. But you aren’t right for everyone, which is why you have a conversion rate of 0.02%. You don’t need to be the best brand for everyone; you just need to be the best brand for someone…and then see if they have friends. “
– Sarah Gurbach, One Size Does Not Fit All: Driving Conversions Through Audience Analysis, Moz.
9. Melanie Sparke
“For a lot of businesses, conversions also happen in real life, so if you’re not testing what happens offline, you’re going to miss out on valuable insights. Your digital marketing strategy should be tailored to offline user experiences as well, and we should be testing this too.”
– Melanie Sparke, 4 Ways to Improve your Website using Testing, Loves Data.
10. Ahava Leibtag
“A website needs its own feng shui – when it’s too cluttered, nobody can find what they need. Once a quarter, move to the bottom of the page view list and see what you might be able to lose. You won’t regret it and it will make the rest of your data more meaningful.”
– Ahava Leibtag, quoted on Content Marketing Institute, 12+ Ways to Use Web Analytics for Better Content Marketing
11. Graeme Benge
“Behind every success product is a group of delighted consumers. They have had their needs met and are happy enough that they are willing to tell other like-minded folk. Drilling down to the unifying factor will help you identify features of your audience that can be used to define your target market.”
– Graeme Benge, Getting To Know Your Audience Online, Koozai.
12. Jeff Sauer
“For every $20 you spend on web analytics tools, you should spend $80 on the brains to make sense of the data.”
– Jeff Sauer, Is the 10/90 Rule of Web Analytics Still a Practical Measure, Jeffalytics.
13. Loves Data
“Mapping out what your business goals and objectives are is the first step towards creating data that matters.”
14. Eric Fettman
“If you have tracked social actions as events, you can create goals for them just as you can for any other event…”
– Eric Fettman, 3 Core Considerations for Google Analytics Social Tracking, E-Nor.
15. Joe Christopher
“Just because Google Analytics doesn’t have a built-in feature for tracking what you want, don’t settle for something less at the cost of the quality of your metrics. Instead, use GA’s vast capabilities in the form of custom metrics, custom dimensions, and more.”
– Joe Christopher, Why Your Email Campaign Tracking Might Be Wrong, Blast Analytics & Marketing.
16. Annie Cushing
“User/visitor-based KPIs have never reflected actual users. They’ve only ever reflected clients …, making reporting on them a waste of pixels.”
– Annie Cushing, Why Google Analytics’ User Metrics Are BS [For Most Sites], Annielytics.
17. Andy Crestodina
“Great content marketers are curious. They ask questions, form a hypothesis, test it, and then act on the evidence.”
– Andy Crestodina, 3 Content Optimization Questions That Google Analytics Can Answer, Content Marketing Institute.
18. Zach Johns
“Don’t go asking a potential customer to get “married” to your product or service upon their first site visit.”
– Zach Johns, Lead Generation Landing Page Strategy for Paid Search, Analytics Pros.
19. Jeff Allen
“In a marketing analytics worldview, companies must have an accounting of and insight into all of their marketing programs in all of their channels, including web/browser, mobile apps, TV/video, social, paid media, field, print, outdoor and others. If your organization is still stuck in the web analytics mindset, it is time to reinvent your analytics practice, leveraging all of the available marketing analytics tools to make faster and better decisions and drive your business.”
– Jeff Allen, Web Analytics Led Us to Marketing Analytics — Next Stop: Customer Intelligence, Adobe Digital Marketing Blog.
20. Marli Mesibov
“A screen full of analytics data looks like a secret code, and in a way it is. That data has a lot of information in it, and it’s impossible to make sense of it without the key. Put another way, data can give answers, but only if you ask the right questions.”
– Marli Mesibov, Analytics for Intelligent Content: Are You Asking the Right Questions?, Content Marketing Institute.
21. Himanshu Sharma
“Ask questions. … These two words are the holy grail of digital analytics which nobody wants to tell you. It is so important. This is my ‘one thing’ that drives my analysis these days. I spend less time in finding answers on my own and more time asking questions. I help the clients find their own answers.”
– Himanshu Sharma, One Tip that will Skyrocket your Analytics Career, Optimize Smart
22. Dallas McLaughlin
“When you know who your visitors are and what their intent is, you can tailor your site content to reflect their interests. This will result in higher conversion rates and a better return on your marketing budget.”
– Dallas McLaughlin, Using Google Analytics for Advanced Visitor Insights, Kissmetrics.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever read on analytics?
Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sharon Hurley Hall.