When you first start out building a business, everything is so overwhelming that the last thing you want to think about is data, metrics, and numbers. In fact, it probably scares you to even consider that type of work needing to be done so you can have a successful business. But, it’s really not that terrible if you know what to do. These common mistakes can be avoided so that you don’t waste any more time than you have to.
* Not Knowing What Data to Track – Before you even get started looking at the data, you need to know what you want to track. Remember that just because there is data doesn’t mean you need to track it. Some of the data that Google Analytics collects just isn’t going to help you. You have to figure out what will help you and what won’t. Focus only on the data that will help you improve.
* Not Knowing When to Track Data – When you look at the data is very important, because you have to look at it at the right time in order to know what the data affects. For example, if you have a launch on the 1st of September, you probably want to look at some data you’ve identified before the launch and then after the launch.
* Not Understanding Your Objectives and Goals – It’s very important to know how to turn all your business objectives into workable goals. Remember a goal needs to be SMART. That means: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
* Not Realizing What Problems You Want to Solve – Tracking data should be for a reason, such as fixing a problem. For example, let’s say you have a sales page that is getting a lot of traffic but there are no or low conversions. Do you know what data to look at so that you can fix the problem?
* Not Understanding the Business You’re Analyzing – If you are looking at data for a business you’re unfamiliar with, you can run into problems. You will need to do some research to understand industry averages so that you know where the business you’re looking at stands.
* Not Testing Different Methods – Whenever you are checking data up against the industry standards, it’s important that you test different methods to find out what works best. For example, you might test two or three different sales pages for one product or service at the same time.
* Not Setting Up Analytics Correctly – If you’ve never set up Google Analytics, it would be a good idea to get some help with that from an expert. Once it’s set up it’s going to be a lot easier to track your work, because it’s set up right. It’s a waste of time to do it wrong.
* Not Choosing the Right Software and Tools – There is a lot of software out there that isn’t worth anything, but that people try to use. Remember that sometimes free is good, and sometimes free is not so good. If you hire an expert, they’ll help you ensure that you start out right.
Don’t let analytics scare you away from doing business. As they say, nothing is done until the paperwork is done, and that includes online business. You need these numbers to make good choices about what to do next in your business. Knowing the numbers will help you avoid other types of mistakes that can be very costly.
Marsha is a social media consultant that is passionate about helping her clients connect with mass audiences through innovative and engaging marketing strategies. Deeply experienced in growing online businesses after spending years as a Social Media Manager for a successful business.