In many cases, the connection of analytics tools to an online store end up being an afterthought. Even worse, that connection is never made. If you’re not currently employing some sort of analytics tool against your website, you’re doing yourself a great dis-service.
If you haven’t utilized analytics in the past, it’s likely for one of the following reasons:
You didn’t know they existed
You didn’t know how to implement them nor understand how they worked
You were intimidated by the data and metrics and how to process them all
You didn’t feel they were important.
Regardless of which of these four categories you fall into, analytics are important to the success of your business.
Visualizing the Problem
In order to illustrate the benefit of analytics, it is only fitting that we paint a picture with a short story.
Imagine that you’re in a high-end sports car. The needle is pushing 90 miles per hour and you can hear the roar of the open road before you. Pretty soon the open road begins to yield some pretty wicked turns and it’s getting dark out. On top of this, it’s now starting to rain. A few moments later the rain is absolutely pounding on the roof of your car. With all of this your foot is still heavy on the gas – forging onward through the rain and the turns at full speed.
Now that we’ve established a precarious situation, let’s add another dynamic. This entire time you’ve been driving around with a blindfold – you can’t actually see what’s going on out there. You only know that you’re in a car going fast, it’s dark and it is raining and there are hairpin turns everywhere. It’s inevitable that no good can from this.
And now you ask, how does this story relate to my business? You would never do something like this in real life, even if it were a strange analogy to my business; or would you?
Explaining the Car
Let’s say that this high-end sports car is your online business. It has all the power you could imagine in the palm of your hands. It can easily outperform the competition in any market under almost any situation. It can and will take you where you want to go provided that you’ve mapped out the mission and strategy for your business. It’ll allow you to keep pressing the gas until you’re ready to slow down.
Why are we Going 90 Miles Per Hour?
The speed is an illustration of passing time and the potential impressions, visits and conversions you may be getting along the way. Impressions are the number of times you may have shown up in search or as a possible ad you’ve positioned. Visits are the number of times that the impressions turned into real traffic on your website. Conversions are even more important. They represent someone that may have been browsing your website as a prospect that have turned into a real customer by ordering something from your website.
Now we throw in some turns, some heavy rain and take away the sun. These are all obstacles you might face online. Your competition, market conditions and poor customer response may be among some of these things. The blindfold in our story represents the lack of visualization of the problems that lay ahead. Your visualizations are your analytics tools and data that would have otherwise shown you all of the obstacles in your way. They give you the power to see everything that is taking place on your website so that you don’t have to guess where you should turn next.
Albeit dramatic and over the top, the story is meant to illustrate the damage that could be done to your online business if you’re not properly paying attention to your instrument cluster. These instruments were designed to tell you everything you might need to know in order to get the most out of your online store. You’re doing yourself a great disservice if you’re not taking a look under the hood and making adjustments as necessary.
How do I get Started?
We were hoping you’d ask this question. Getting started with analytics doesn’t have to be difficult. The good folks at Google have created an incredible platform around online analytics and have made tracking and managing as simple as you could imagine. In addition to the incredible toolsets they provide, there are loads of videos and articles about moving in the right direction.
To help you get started, we’ve provided a simple link to the Google Analytics tools. It’ll tell you everything you need to know about putting the first foot forward.