At the start of December 2011 I gave a talk about the importance of using strong website statistics analytics. There were about 30 people in the room (and none of them left or fell asleep, which was impressive).
6 weeks later I wonder how many of them took action? Action didn’t necessarily mean rushing out to try the free trial of A1WebStats (although the offer was made) – it could have meant getting closer to the analytics solution they already had.
I happen to know that none of the 30 in the room signed up for a free trial, while others who we’ve never met (and probably never will) have signed up via the website.
Someone recently described analytics as being “like SEO but harder” and I think that’s a fairly common view in those who see it all as being a bit mysterious. We live and breathe analytics so it all seems very simple to us but to analytics virgins, apathy seems to be preferable than diving in and trying it out.
The problem is that apathy will kill businesses. If you took 5 widgets manufacturers and one of them fully embraced analytics, the result would be them becoming stronger while the others start to lose potential business. If another of the widget manufacturers also embraces analytics it makes it even harder for the three that don’t. Over time those with analytics apathy see business decline for a few key reasons:
- Competitors will identify website weaknesses (through analytics), will fix them, and convert more visitors to enquiries/sales.
- Competitors will identify companies who have visited them, who may not have made contact, but who can be contacted to salvage what would otherwise have been lost business.
- Competitors will use analytics to closely monitor how effectively their online advertising budgets are being spent and will make changes accordingly. Companies without such insights will carry on wasting budget unnecessarily.
We’ve been using various analytics systems for several years now and have consistently been surprised at how long it’s taken for companies to catch on to the benefits. One of the reasons we created A1WebStats was because we wanted it to be simple to get useful information from website visitors data but even then, people hold back.
We have seen businesses grow through closely analysing website visitors data. We’ve seen their enquiries increasing and if their enquiries are increasing then other companies must be losing out, especially in an economic downturn.
It’s not going to happen in a big way yet but give it 2-3 years and we’ll see plenty of businesses thriving through analysing while their previous competitors have died out through apathy.