Web analytics: What you’re probably doing wrong!

1. Not doing web analytics at all

First worth mentioning is NOT doing web analytics at all. We all know how difficult and challenging analytics can be if you’re lacking the know-how. However, you are shooting yourself in the foot by not doing any analytics. Ignoring the facts that the valuable knowledge you can obtain through web analytics can be vital to the future of your organization, reaching your KPIs, help you to understand your customers or simply improve your website.

Tip: If this already seems like an everlasting and confusing task to you – then there are ways around it. You can advantageously use a tool, which will automate your analytical process for you so you won’t have to. There are several ‘idiot proof’ tools out there, that can help you out. Check out the tool Canecto. It’s a cheap option in order to gain actionable insights and recommendations.

2. Doing analytics without a clear goal

This is a classic rookie mistake many marketers tend to do when doing web analytics. In order to utilize data in the best possible way, it is vital to have some clear goals. What metrics will you track, why those metrics and what business value do you want to get out of it? If you can’t link your business results to the driving factors, then what is the purpose of even web analytics?

Set a few core goals for your analytics and start out with something simple to make sure you understand the processes. If you don’t know the question, then you’ll never know how to use the answer. The more clear and specific your goals are the easier it will be to understand the outcome of your analytics.

Tip: Talk to the management or your peers if you have a hard time knowing exactly which goals to set. Sometimes it can be nice not being alone on narrowing down goals and deciding which KPIs to pursue.

3. Time spent on a site equals a higher engagement

It is a common misconception that the time a user spent on a site equals higher engagement. This is usually not the case as this might as well be an expression of a poor web design. Maybe you have poorly designed user journeys, resulting in user spending a lot of time trying to navigate your site. This will cause irritation, frustration and leaves the user with an unprofessional impression of the company.

Tip: This is a classic example of when it is a good idea to dig further into your data and figure out why your users spend so much time on your site! You won’t know if it’s good or bad before you test it. It might be a good idea to improve your user journeys if your ‘time spent on site’ doesn’t go hand in hand with your user engagement or predicted conversion rate.

4. Comparing the wrong data

When comparing your data it is vital to make sure that the data you hold up against each other is comparable. It can be tricky knowing what to compare and when. In order to create real business value from your data, you need to make sure you know how to handle it. Otherwise, you will only end up wasting your time or spend time pursuing the wrong goals.

Not all sites, CTA’s or initiatives can be held up against each other. Let’s say you have two different traffic streams to the same web page. One being from Mobile devices and one being from Facebook. These traffic streams can’t be compared as one is coming from a specific channel (Facebook) whereas the other one (Mobile) is an expression on which device is used to access your site.

Tip: Make sure you compare the right data. If you are unsure whether you’re doing it right or feel like you’re wasting your time on analyzing endless data without creating real business value then it might be worth using a tool, that automates this process for you.

5. Going overboard

It is often a misperception that the more advanced an analytics tool is the more you’ll get out of it. In most cases, this couldn’t be more wrong! Having a very advanced or expensive tools is most likely to create more confusion than actual business value. Some of these advanced tools might enable you to dig deeper into your data and offer more sophisticated analytics results. However, if you’re not 100% secure in handling data and doing web analytics it might be a bad investment. Consider using several simple analytical tools instead. Don’t expect one tool to give you all the answers.

Tip: Consider your goals and what you actually need your analytics tool to do for you. Keep it simple if you can. Sometimes the bare minimum is better than going overboard, especially if you aren’t an analytics pro.

6. Having marketers do web analytics

This is one of the biggest time wasters for most marketers. Many marketers don’t manage to pull actual business value from their data. It’s a very difficult job and unless you’re an analytics pro! Marketers are more likely to waste time and money on analytics rather than gaining actionable insights, that can be transformed into actual recommendations on how to reach your goals, improve your website, convert more customers etc.

The harsh truth is just that majority of marketers lack analytics skills and knowledge on how to utilize data. It is time for companies to hand over this task to machine learning. Marketers will never manage to create the same business value as an automated web analytics tool doing it for you. Doing so will in the end of the day save you a lot of money.


  • If you’re good at analytics: Consider whether the data you’re pulling can be used for actionable recommendation and next steps. If not, then you need to consider if it’s even worth spending your time on?
  • If you’re bad at analytics: Consider implementing a tool, that’ll automate the process for you. Doing so will save you a lot of stress, time and money. Further, it will make sure that the data is always actionable and take you in the right direction towards your KPI’s. You can check out this tool: www.canecto.com

StarterPad Staff

One of the lovely StarterPad staff members has toiled away into the wee hours of the night to write this amazing piece of literature :)