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Avoid These Misconceptions with Analytics

website analyticsFor marketers, it often seems as if everything comes down to analytics. These stats and nuggets of data can determine what you do as part of your marketing strategy and when and how you do it—and how successful you view it to be afterwards.

Analytics can certainly be valuable, but they can also be confusing or misleading. This is especially true for marketers who aren’t familiar with the intricate angles of particular analytics—and, after all, it can be a challenge to try and understand all of these stats and the meanings behind them.

In the Marketing Land post, “3 Common Mistakes Marketers Make with Their Analytics,” Juliette Kopecky discusses some common areas where marketers often go wrong in trying to interpret their analytics.

Re-evaluate Length of Time on Page

Marketers often get overly excited about high numbers in the “average length of time on page” category, because they jump to the conclusion that this automatically correlates to more engaged visitors. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. As Kopecky points out, a visitor may spend a lot of time on your page because they are stumbling around unable to find what they need. In addition, certain pages are designed to quickly steer users to another page or other action, so if a user spends too much time on that page, the process isn’t as efficient as it should be. Instead of just taking the time spent on page at face value, it’s important to dive deeper and analyze the purpose of the specific pages involved. It’s also a good idea to focus on the bounce rate, to see how many users are leaving after visiting only that page.

Using ROI as the Only Measure of Effectiveness

It goes without saying that return on investment (ROI) is of major importance to marketers—and those to whom marketers report. But sometimes there are other factors to consider. In some cases, being able to realize an immediate profit may be a higher priority than making more money spread out over a longer period of time. Kopecky says you may need to think about the time required to recoup your investment, along with other considerations that may be equally important as the actual amount of profit.

Not Understanding the Origins of Organic Traffic

The term “organic” can be a bit misleading (or perhaps downright inaccurate) when it comes to people who visit your page. While this may be how a visitor technically arrived on your page—for that particular visit—there could be a lot of other things going on behind the scenes before they got there. They may have been prompted by word of mouth, or one or more of your other online or offline marketing tactics. In other words, you may be overestimating the number of people who happened upon your site as a result of a well-chosen keyword, while at the same time underestimating the positive impact of some of your other efforts.

While analytics can of course be very valuable in providing your with helpful insights about your visitors and other results, it’s important to think about the meanings behind them—and also to focus on your primary goals, so that you can pinpoint the particular data that is most relevant to you.

We know it can be overwhelming to try and figure out all of your website analytics. Fortunately, that’s one of our specialties at KEO Marketing. We can help track and compile your analytics—and tell you what they mean.


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.