That’s right. I’m going to change my tune and tell you why you don’t need Web analytics on your site. If you, your site or your online marketing fit any or all of the following profiles, feel free to ignore your Web stats and never again worry about a unique visitor, bounce rate or goal conversion.
1. Your site is about personal expression
Is your site primarily about you, your brand, what your company does, or how you do what you do really well? The only time you mention someone other than your company is to say how much better you are than that other someone? Congratulations, Web analytics probably isn’t for you.
You see, Web analytics is going to tell you about other people, the people who come to your Web site looking to buy or sell some property. Spending all that time reviewing your Web analytics (instead of, for example, writing a blog post about yourself) will tell you only what these potential customers were doing just before they got to your site. It might also throw you off your game by telling you what parts about your Web site these other people are interested in reading. Worse still, it might tell you what parts of the Web site got them to become customers.
2. Your audience never changes
Your customers are completely impervious to changes in the season, changes in the economic climate, and changes in the neighborhoods and communities you work in. And the new customers you’re seeing look for things and use your Web site exactly like the old customers you’ve been working with for years. And that’s why you don’t need to use your Web analytics.
Since your audience doesn’t change you won’t need Web analytics to notice any new trends in how customers find your Web site. Thank goodness, too, otherwise you’d have had to start making marketing plans to capitalize on and grow those incoming traffic sources. Think of the money you can save by avoiding all the new Web craziness like Facebook or Twitter.
Also, since your audience always uses the same language to search for your Web site, you don’t have to look at keyword reports in your Web analytics to notice any changes, from season to season. They want ski condos in July! They want lakefront camps in the dead of winter! Since you already know this, no need to use Web analytics to fine-tune your paid advertising campaigns to take advantage of this.
3. You don’t really care about ROI
Sure it’s fashionable to talk about how you’re trying to squeeze every last bit of value out of every marketing dollar spent. But it’s all hot air anyway, right? You just spend about what you spent last year, and you keep putting the advertising dollars in the same media as always, and things just sort of work out. And all that search-engine optimization stuff is free, too, right? If this is you, then Web analytics are not you.
Since return on investment (ROI) is just some fancy spreadsheet thing you won’t need your Web analytics reports to tell you which search terms are bringing in the most visitors and, more importantly, the most leads. That saves you a huge hassle building out campaign-reporting spreadsheets. Also, when you add a new page to your Web site, you won’t get distracted by finding out whether that new content helps attract new visitors via search or whether that page helps you convert visitors to leads. You can create new pages full of content just because you enjoy doing it. See how much nicer it is without worrying about ROI or pesky Web analytics. …CONTINUED
4. Your site is never broken and always functions at 100 percent
Does your site always operate at 100 percent? You never go to it and notice a link that’s broken or a listing that isn’t showing (or a listing that’s always there that shouldn’t be there) or any of the other hassles that you commonly find on Web sites built and maintained by humans? Lucky you! You get a free pass on reading your Web analytics reports.
Since your site is never ever broken, you won’t need to use Web analytics as an early-warning system that, for some reason, the "404 Page Not Found" is the second most popular page on your site. You also won’t be needing to use Web analytics to see which page visitors were on just before they ended up on the black-hole 404 page. Most importantly, you won’t have to pay anyone to figure out what’s wrong with your site, now that you know there’s a problem.
Please post the name of your Web development team in the comments and remember to send them a very nice end-of-year bonus. Think of the time they’re saving you from reading dreary old Web stat reports!
5. You never make changes to your Web site anyway
Maybe you’re locked into some sort of draconian Web content management system (CMS) that makes it impossible to change anything on your Web site. If you want to make a change to even the most minor wording, you’ve got to call someone and they usually do a good job of talking you out of the change. Or maybe you just don’t like change. For whatever reason, you don’t change much so Web analytics aren’t for you.
Since you’re not going to change your Web site anyway, you don’t need to use Web analytics to tell you what parts of your site work best and what parts work not-so-best. You wouldn’t want to know that because you’re not going to change the Web site to get more people to the best working parts. You’re also not going to run any of those crazy "A/B" tests where you can find out what language and images really get people excited to contact you about buying or selling a home. Nope, don’t make any changes. Don’t read the reports or do any site optimization tests.
So there you go, everyone. No need to bother with Web analytics. Think of all the time you’re going to save!
Note: Just in case my "smart-assitude" isn’t getting through, this is a tongue-in-cheek post. Also, if you’re in Las Vegas for REBlogworld, stop by my session or say "hi."
Gahlord Dewald is the president and janitor of Thoughtfaucet, a strategic creative services company in Burlington, Vt. He’s a frequent speaker on applying analytics and data to creative marketing endeavors.
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