The analysis process is an essential element in any marketing campaign. Regardless of how much data you gather, you will get poor results if you do not analyze your data properly. You should make sure that you get a meaningful conclusion from your data, so you can make the necessary adjustments to your marketing campaign. When it comes to analyzing data, there are some traps that marketers may fall into. Here are things that marketers should do:
1. Ask the right questions: Without asking the right questions, your data will not be able to tell the whole story. Incomplete data are like puzzle pieces that cannot be rearranged into something meaningful. Modern data sets are often very comprehensive and without a proper spreadsheet, it can be quite impossible to analyze. When creating questions, you should make sure to specify your intentions and narrow down your focus. Your questions should represent your goals properly, so you can create much more meaningful conclusions.
2. Rely on multiple data sets: Although data trackers are useful, they are only accurate to a certain point. You may need to use different analytics mechanisms and platforms because each has different advantages and drawbacks. If you use only a single data set, your types of questions can be pretty limited. With multiple data sets, you can collect both qualitative and quantitative data. They are needed in order to create a highly comprehensive overview.
3. Accurately interpret the meaning of metrics: Your metrics should be labeled clearly, so it is easy to discern them during the analysis process. You cannot immediately assume the meaning of a metric without verifying it yourself. As an example, you should know the difference between exit rates and bounce rates; or the difference between hits, and unique visitors. If you misinterpret a metric, your analysis results will be skewed and you will confuse everyone. The consequence can be disastrous if the company makes an important decision based on your faulty analysis.
4. Do not be too obsessed with numbers: Numbers can be quite comforting and easy to understand. They are crunchable and consistent, but they are very subjective. If you get wrapped up in numbers, you will lose sight of the most important factors. As an example, the organic traffic may seem to be higher, but your users may not have the right kind of experience. You may also have plenty of social media followers, but they could be poorly engaged with your brand.
5. Do not compare apples to oranges: If you have dozens of metrics in the analysis phase, it is possible that you encounter metrics that seem to be identical. Inexperienced marketers often mistake apples with oranges. As an example, bounce rates and average time on a webpage are related, but not the same.
6. Generate actionable conclusions: Conclusions must be useful and they need to represent the results of your analysis. You should make proper statements and go a bit deeper, to make sure that you are able to explain everything. If you want to change something, you should be able to explain your reasoning; After reading your conclusion, everyone will know what to do.
Conclusion: setting up, and running a site can be dangerous if you do not know how to analyze your analytics/data, lets put it this way, what if you had popular content on your site, but you did not know it was popular, instead, you blindly focus your SEO efforts elsewhere. What if you were in a new city, but you did not know how to get to the store in an effective manner? You then go to mapquest.com which would be your source of data, rather than taking 4 hours driving through back roads and getting lost, your map helps you get to the store within 15min. Your analytics is not much different from mapquest. Do you really want to run a site, and not know how to read your analytics/data? If you know what your traffic is doing, then you will have a better understanding on how to optimize your site more effectively, right?