8. Web Analytics: Best Practices

Best practices are nothing but benchmark strengths that drive a business or a related field to success each time. If you are hiring a professional web analytics team, it helps to know whether they are geared towards success by having a streamlined process in place.

The top five best practices of web analytics are:

Strict documentation

We have stressed repeatedly, that on their own, most web analytics tools and metrics will mean nothing. This entire process of evaluation and truth finding is about putting together bits and pieces of information and figuring out the answer to a puzzle. To do so, documentation is a must.

There are a lot of terms and concepts used in web analytics, all of which need to be defined for a team of analysts to accurately deliver results and gauge performance. A data dictionary and an events calendar, for instance, should be the starting points of documentation because they guide analysts to spot anomalies and refer to the gathered data for answers.

Tight integration with reporting system

Data on its own will not lead you to success. Once matches are made and variances are spotted in visitor behavior, they need to be reported and analysed. Validation of data and its accuracy are highly important aspects of web analytics, since decisions are based on this data. Efficient reporting systems should be in place for the process to be streamlined and formalized as much as possible.

Understandings of business process

Web analysts are like business partners. No longer does a smart webmaster think of web analytics as a onetime activity. It has become common knowledge nowadays that this process to assess websites is an ongoing one because continuous improvement and regular monitoring of websites is what exposes problem areas.

This is why a thorough understanding of business procedures is a must for web analytics to be effective. It has been pointed out previously, that the metrics used and the analysis conducted will be different for every type of business. Therefore, a web analyst first has to familiarize himself with the process, goals and objectives of the business under consideration.

Sharing of ideas and knowledge

Web analytics is an evolving field. It has come a long way from being a science in which hardly anyone believed. This evolution has been fuelled by constant sharing of ideas, innovations and distribution of information and knowledge because when ideas are shared they turn into full-fledged web solutions.

Having a roadmap for improvements

The road to improvement is a best practice for every business, more so for one that has everything to do with the online community. Changes on the internet are fast paced and regular. For web analytics to stay abreast of these changes, it has to have a roadmap for improvements and constant progress.