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Five Ways to Make Communicating Web Analytics Data Easier

by Zack Pike  |  
March 29, 2011
  |  10,042 views

In this article, you'll learn how to...

  • Effectively convey Web analytics data to those less familiar with it
  • Incorporate your offline marketing efforts when presenting your analytics data

Visits, pageviews, time on site, time on page, unique visitors, conversions, impressions, click-throughs, view-throughs... the list of metrics used to measure the performance of our digital marketing activities is as confusing as it is endless.

Often it's up to online marketers to communicate what all of that jargon means to those who are still worried about how many "hits" their site got last year. It's challenging, to say the least.

But here are five ways you can make your job easier while helping those senior-level execs understand just how well your digital activities are doing.

1. Don't be afraid of their questions

This is where many Web professionals falter. They try to avoid the provocation of questions from senior leadership. That's because the questions are often coming from people who probably don't fully understand what they're asking.


But that's where the opportunity lies. Your execs' asking questions likely means they'll develop the understanding you so desperately want them to have.

So encourage questions... but emphasize the value in business questions. Train them to ask not how many unique visitors you had last month, for example, but how your website is doing at attracting new customers to your brand.

2. Use analogies


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Zack Pike is a consultant who writes and speaks about unconventional solutions to tough professional situations at CorporateRadical.com. Follow him @ZackPike.

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  • by Jose Tavares Tue Mar 29, 2011 via web

    This is an excellent guide. I would add a sixth item to this list "Do not share client data". If your going to show off metric capabilities of any software that you'll use to gauge traffic then be sure not to give away client information when doing demonstrations.

    I had an SEO company interview with me and they showed me a ton of information related to a competitor from another business. Forget that the person your presenting to might know the client or the legal implications, but this can have dyer consequences for someones business.

  • by @JesseLuna Tue Mar 29, 2011 via web

    I like the visual approach to explaining analytics. Dashboards are great but challenging to find key measures that everyone can agree on.

    I blogged about a visual approach to analyzing keywords using Wordle.net. This is only a slice of the analytics picture but it's a nice tool: http://www.jpluna.com/wordpress/2010/05/05/a-powerful-way-to-visualize-your...

  • by Zack Pike Tue Mar 29, 2011 via web

    @Jose Tavares - Good point Jose, it's sad how often that type of thing happens. As a customer, setting up a good enforceable NDA is helpful when working with any agency... And especially an agency that holds sensitive data.

  • by Zack Pike Tue Mar 29, 2011 via web

    @JesseLuna - It definitely can be challenging to agree upon what's important, especially when you've got multiple strong-willed individuals involved. What's worked well for me is the "so-what" principle promoted by Avinash Kaushik. When someone says they want to see a particular number, ask why, then "so-what". Let them answer your "so-what", then say it again... Let them answer, then say it again. After the third "so-what" answer if they haven't gotten to a tactical decision driven from that metric then it doesn't belong there. Avinash can explain it better than me... Check out his blog: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/2010/03/kill-useless-web-metrics-apply-so-wh...

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