What is Digital Analytics, a.k.a the evolution of Web Analytics
In the definition of the best story teller among web analytics evangelists, Avinash Kaushik, Web Analytics 2.0 is:
(1) the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your website and the competition,
(2) to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers, and potential customers have,
(3) which translates into your desired outcomes (online and offline).
Addressing the importance of digital analytics, this informative video guides us to address the type of customers we serve and the business goals we can address through the power of digital analytics.
Know Thy Site: What are your website objectives and how can you measure them through digital analytics?
“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca
According to Google’s Digital Analytics Academy, the five common business objectives for websites are:
- First, for ecommerce sites, an obvious objective is selling products or services, for ecommerce websites.
- Second, for lead generation sites, the goal is to collect user information for sales teams to connect with potential leads.
- Third, for content publishers, the goal is to encourage engagement and frequent visitation.
- Fourth, for online informational or support sites, helping users find the information they need at the right time is of primary importance.
- And finally for branding, the main objective is to drive awareness, engagement and loyalty.
I decided to use the list above and determine the type of business objective for some of the websites I manage either personally as a blogger, collectively with my colleagues on behalf of my employer, or as a website optimization consultant on behalf of my clients. As it turns out, I have quite a variety of websites with diverse business objectives:
- For Befriended Stranger, my personal blog, encouraging engagement (#2) and frequent visits to my original content are the obvious goals.
- For Family Allergy & Asthma Care, brand awareness (#5) and lead generation (#2) are the primary goals.
- For Farhoumand Dental, which has a new website, brand awareness (#5) is the immediate primary goal with the potential of increasing lead generation (#2).
- For Management Meditations, a blog on lean management, the goals are a combination of encouraging engagement (#3) with the potential of selling Larry Miller’s management services and his thought-provoking books on lean management (#1).
- For USAC, helping users find the information they need at the right time (#4) is the main goal though it is intertwined with the need for branding (#5).
Taking the time to reflect on the type of objective applicable to a website is deeply satisfying — a delight for geeks, I would say — because it sets one on the course of actually managing, rather than just maintaining a website. And there is no better tool for managing through measurement than digital analytics. Peter Drucker would be delighted with the power of the tools we have easily accessible today!