Website analytics tools can contribute to decision-making to improve the experience of online visitors but also to inform site owners, business owners about the performance of their websites.
However, in most cases, Business Managers, Web administrators or Web application managers, are beginning to use Web analytics tools as a ‘good to have’ tool. Instead of measuring performance and comparing it to business objectives,they primarily communicate the details of green analysis to senior management, without further explanation of any site development recommendations. Exploiting the amount of tools that Web analysts can offer, the following major pitfalls should be avoided:
1) Business objectives that are not specific to certain categories of site: In most organizations, business owners responsible for the sub-web of the business Web have not defined their business objectives for their sub-components. For example, the lower part of the Web could be customer support, which can be divided into automated tools (e.g., frequently asked questions, download drivers, etc.), support contact details, warranties, user manuals, etc. Measuring the performance of a site or a small portion of a site is very important, if the measured performance can be compared to the intended objectives. If business owners do not set business goals, the analysis cannot determine the performance of the site. EBusiness Managers or Web application managers who are responsible for submitting Web analytics tools need to help business owners define detailed business objectives for the sub-sections of their Website (see also, “Who Should Set Business Objectives”, Steve Telleen).
2) Site owners or site owners who are trained to understand analytical reports: In many organizations, site owners or business owners of a particular site cannot use Web analytics tool reports as most of them do not understand the benefits of such a measurement method. EBusiness Managers need to define as a first step the benefits and importance of this performance measure as an integral part of their Web performance appraisal system. The second step includes a description of the rating and how the estimated information can help business owners continue to improve their sub-site components (e.g.). If business owners are not encouraged and / or have not been taught how to find the value of a Website analytics report, they will probably not even start reading reports and all attempts to evaluate Website performance using harmful Web analytics tools.
3) Data points for Web analytics tools not related: Website analytics tools that measure data points over a specified period such as number of pages viewed, number of unique visitors, number of visits, etc. However, these data points do not provide any value. For example a high number of viewed pages may indicate that site visitors are lost within the navigation area and browse more pages to find what they are looking for compared to a lower number of viewed pages, which may indicate that site visitors get their information directly in a few clicks due to active site navigation. It is important for Web analysts, to link individual data points to determine the amount that can be translated into site development and that the value can be passed on to business owners to inform them of the performance of a particular site. For example to measure the performance of online support, Web analysts should measure and link the following key performance indicators (KPIs):
a) Adherence = total amount of time spent viewing all pages in the support category divided by the total number of visitors to different sites in the support category and
b) Focus = the average number of pages visited in the support category divided by the number of pages in the support category.
In online support the grip and focus should be low, indicating that navigation in a particular support is effective (e.g. site visitors need a few clicks and a little time to get to a specific support page). It is important that the measured data points for the Web analytics tools that are related to each other and that these data points are measured partially on the site. If data points are unrelated and unlimited to a particular category, they do not contribute value or worse when translated can lead to an incorrect design decision.
4) There are not enough staff resources to analyze reports: Website analytics tools only do to track and maintain the online behavior of visitors. Website analytics tools cannot translate estimated data. To find the estimated amount of data, dedicated Web analysts need to analyze the data collected. The main task of Web analysts is to link the estimated data to each other to find KPIs. These KPIs allow Web analysts to see changes that have been made to enhance the site visitor’s experience. In addition, Web analysts should be able to link analytics information to the design of a Website (see also, “When Not Using Website Analysis Tools”, Nicolas B