Web Analytics? Customer Analytics? Business Analytics? Yes


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People have a very narrow view of web analytics. “That’s where they measure the clickthroughs and pageviews, right?”

But that definition is about reporting. Reporting is all about setting up specific KPIs (key performance indicators) and then glancing at the results every now and then.

Analytics is about curiosity. (Great article about this by Neil Mason over at ClickZ.) It’s about optimization. At the moment, it’s about website optimization. But that’s changing.

Some companies see the Internet as their main way to communicate with their customers. They are looking at these numbers as a means to optimize all of their marketing. And then all of their customer communications. And then their business as a whole.

What do our customers want? What interests them? What shall we build for them? Where do they want it? These are the sort of questions that web analytics can deliver.

If you stop thinking about it in terms of pages and clicks, and start thinking about it in terms of revealing human behavior, then web analytics is an interesting and vital datastream into all of your customer analytics and business intelligence.


  1. Jim

    Thanks for the insights.

    There are tons of web data. What are the critical few that we should focus/look into, so that we could reveal human behavior effectively?

    Sampson Lee
    gurublog: The Effective Experience

  2. As proof that I am a consultant, the answer is “It Depends”.

    Order/Buyer Conversion Rates
    Average Order Value
    Percent New Visitors
    Ratio of New to Returning Visitors
    Page Stickiness

    Lead Generation Sites:
    Lead Generation Conversion Rate
    Percent New Visitors
    Ratio of New to Returning Visitors
    Page Stickiness
    Percentage of Visits by Entry Page

    Content Sites:
    Percent Returning Visitors
    Ratio of New to Returning Visitors
    Average Pages Viewed per Visitor
    Heavy User Share
    Key Conversion Rates

    Support Sites:
    “Information Find” Conversion Rate
    Percent of Visits Under 90 Seconds
    Percent Returning Visitors
    Top Internal Search Phrases
    Percentage of Visits by Entry Page

    But even those are just generic suggestions. Determining a specific company’s or specific project’s critical few KPI’s is the cornerstone of success.


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