Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why Web Analytics Tools are Just Not Enough

We're all using them, some of us even drill down to their deepest functionality but for many critical goals in web marketing and especially in B2B marketing and sales Web analytics are just not enough.

Why is that?
Well, while Web Analytics tools are obviously important, they lack in some areas that are critical for effective sales and marketing over the web. They are very good at showing the big picture but lack the ability to pinpoint relevant, high potential visitors and more importantly then that, they lack the ability to do something about the data they supply.

I always used to end-up with a good feeling about all the new visitors and referrals to my company web site but could not really monetize on the traffic or the data I saw. Think about it this way, Web Analytics tools let you "see" your visitors but don't let you "touch" or "interact" with them and since your visitors are usually anonymous - thats where the story ends - nice statistics but few results.

Here's what I mean:
I guess were all using some kind of web analytics tool, whether its Google Analytics, PIWIK , Omniture, webtrends or any other web analytics tool, they are generally similar in their approach and the values that they offer. They are also quite similar in what they do not offer. So you can get a lot of info, trends, graphs, pie charts etc. You can get good information on your stronger traffic sources, content and visitor locations and track your online campaigns. But if you want to use your web site to get new leads and turn them into customers all of the above mentioned data can be quite frustrating since it gives you a "sense" of whats going on in general, but not much information about specific visitors or any direct means to convert them into leads.

To summarize, Web Analytics tools are a great first step to turn your web site to an effective marketing machine as they give you a sense of what comes in, which campaigns worked better etc. BUT, if you really want your web site to convert visitors into customers you have to think Reactive.