There is one report that will work for any type of website, and it qualifies as my nominee for the best web analytics report: Outcomes by All Traffic Sources...this report represents two things you should care about more than anything else: sources of traffic and Outcomes...you can strongly infer the kinds of people coming to your site and why they may be coming...it highlights two questions to focus on first: who? and how much?...If you start with this, you'll find that your senior executives suddenly care about your web analytics reports...
It doesn't need to be said that the higher-ups mostly care about getting more of what they want to happen to actually happen. If you can show that it is happening and that giving you more money will make it happen more, then you'll most likely get more money to make it happen more. Getting the budget you need can seem like rocket science, but it's really not. If may not be easy, but it is simple.
If you are the higher up, then you want to see if the things you have been doing are working or not from a big-picture perspective. That's what the All Traffic Sources report in your analytics tool shows you. If resources have been invested in growing your Twitter following, are you acquiring visitors from that source? If so, are they completing the outcomes that you want them to complete at a rate that is acceptable? If not, why not? If so, what are some ideas to do more of it and do it even better? You are finding out how successful you've been at accomplishing what it is you've set out to accomplish. This way you can adjust based on that.
You can see that this report is comparing 2 months of data to the preceding two months. Why? They really stepped up their effort to expand their Twitter reach in October. As we can see, it's working. Twitter has climbed up to the 3rd largest source of traffic to the site. But, you can't stop there. Why? It's about outcomes baby. Outcomes! Is the traffic we've worked so hard to attract paying off? Are they relevant visitors that we are building a relationship with? Here you go...
Conversion so far looks good, but as you can see, it's not really a significant amount of traffic. That tells me that they should be encouraged because what they have done is working, but they need to build momentum and keep it going. Maybe give it a little more oomph in their efforts and re-evaluate after a couple more months.
You can see how this report gives you a nice little overview of how your actions are affecting your site, giving you insight into the relationship between your effort and what you want for results.
Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.
Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
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