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«Return to Blog List Part 7, Why Bad Websites Happen to Good Companies: Failure to Install or Monitor Site Analytics

You would think that a company that puts many thousands of dollars into its website would want to track website results to find out how many unique visitors it gets, where they come from, what content is most read, and dozens of other useful bits of information that have the potential to inform smart decisions about the company website and provide clues about how to increase its effectiveness. If so, you would often be wrong.

Many business websites have no analytics packages installed, other than whatever the webhost might offer as a standard package. In many cases in which an analytics package is installed, there is no regular monitoring of the data or any attempt to use it to guide decisions about the site. Why is this? There are probably far more reasons than I am aware of, but here are the big three that I hear again and again:

We don’t get any traffic.

Understood that it can be demoralizing to look at evidence that your website or blog is not drawing the crowds you’d envisioned. However, looking closely at the data can give you clues about why that is the case, and perhaps clues about how to build on the traffic you’re getting. Of one thing I’m certain: not looking at the statistics because they aren’t what you’d hoped is a good way to make sure they stay that way.

We don’t have time to look at the data.

I have to admit this one usually finds me with no response, often with my jaw dropped, searching for socially acceptable words. People find or make time for what they consider important. If information that can help your website become a more effective marketing tool isn’t important to a business in a recession…

We don’t want to spend money on an analytics package.

Google Analytics is free, and it should be considered the bare minimum in site analytics. When you think you need even better information (along with other assistance in increasing site effectiveness), there are packages available for a fee, such as those offered by Hubspot and Compendium, which should be considered investments, if you are truly serious about increasing your site performance.

If you’ve heard other “reasons” offered for not utilizing analytics, or if you have particularly good responses to the ones above, please share them here. Maybe, with your help, I won’t be sitting there with my mouth open next time I hear one of them.

For more posts in this series, see the “Bad Websites/Good Companies” category at right.

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One Response to Part 7, Why Bad Websites Happen to Good Companies: Failure to Install or Monitor Site Analytics

  1. Richard says:

    Great post guys, read you all the time. Completely agree with you analytics are a must if you want to grow your site. Google Analytics is very nice looking and can do the job. I wanted to add on to your “serious” people note, you guys and other people should check out http://mixpanel.com since they offer a different twist to analytics.