The Opacity of Web Measurement
With a title like that you’d think you’re in for some deep thoughts.
I’ll spare you but one:
Reactions, conditioning, training, expected outcomes. We get conditioned – let’s face it. The value of having daily KPI reports and consistent data trends right in-front of our eyes can sometimes play nasty tricks on us.
As your visits or revenue trend about its mean whether in a seasonal uptrend or downtrend, the ‘hit’ we get from waking up to GREAT #’s may be cause for concern.
VISITS: do not tell you how many thousand people waited around for your site to fully load.
CONVERSION: does not tell you how many people missed a link to a great feature you spent 50 grand building out.
AVERAGE VALUE: does not tell you the merchandise your visitor did not find or failed to couple with their existing order.
REVENUE: does not tell you what might have been…just, what was.
COOKIES: can get deleted and can’t cross browsers or devices.
TIME ON SITE: can’t pinpoint the circular behavior your navigation forces on your site visitors.
Now, I know what you’re thinking; this is the only game in town. Well, as a signal or source of TRENDS, then YES. To actually understand the thoughts and emotions underlying those signals you must dig deeper by asking questions and actually observing your prospects and customers. The technology is there – let 2012 be the year you peel back the unknown a bit and feel more connected to your visitors.