When Google launched their Google Analytics product in 2005, the free tool was so wildly popular that the company had to temporarily shut down new signups a week after introduction due to overcapacity. Ecstatic at the new ability to study their visitors’ every move, website owners couldn’t wait to unlock the powerful capabilities of web analytics.
Many of those website owners, however, went on to discover just how tricky it is to analyze behavioral data. It might appear impressive that your company’s website traffic increased by 25% last month, but look a little closer and it may not be clear why. Did search rankings change, allowing people to find you more easily through search engines? Is it because a misleading paragraph on the home page is attracting customers who immediately click away when they realize they’re looking for an entirely different product? Or is it because an offline marketing campaign for your company’s website is has been surprisingly successful?
We recently completed a study on using web analytics in market research and uncovered some of the more challenging issues our members face:
- Challenge #1: Online segmentation is difficult without authentication information.
- Challenge #2: Web analytics efforts can collect an enormous amount of data, but determining what is useful and what is not is more ambiguous than one might think.
- Challenge #3: Web analytics is hard to explain to researchers and business partners alike.
- Challenge #4: Web analytics teams are not always well structured to integrate with market research.
Despite these challenges, web analytics can become a powerful tool for market research, whether to perform online segmentation or to increase sales conversions and lead generation. And, with the skyrocketing number of consumer transactions occurring online, it’s no longer an option to ignore how people are using your website.
MREB members, read our latest whitepaper An Introduction to Web Analytics to learn more about these challenges and how to overcome them.