10 Dangerous Analytics Assumptions

April 1st, 2010 → 1:23 pm @ Rob Kingston // No Comments

Assumptions can be dangerous, especially when making important decisions off assumptions. The more you make, the more convoluted and abstract the truth becomes. Here are a few you might like to become aware of:

1. People coming to your site are engaged from the get go

In reality, people may be doing something else while they load your site - especially if the load time on your site is high. ClickTale is a good tool to measure user engagement… and page load times.

2. People browse your content just as you laid it out

Many studies and sources indicate that visitors do not browse content linearly. They usually scan through and pick out the most obvious and relevant information for their needs.

3. Everyone coming to your site is ready to buy what you sell

This depends on so many factors:

  • People may be at different stages of the buying cycle
  • Their needs may be different to what your product offers
  • They may be browsing casually with no purchase intent whatsoever.
  • … and many more reasons.

4. When people come to your site, they have nothing else on their mind

Often times visitor have much better things to do than look at your site - they might get hungry, call a friend or whatever else they feel like doing.

5. Your product is the best - people aren’t converting due to your site

Everyone’s needs are different and your product can’t be everything to everyone. (If it is, it’s probably not the best, either…)

6. Google Analytics/ClickTale/Crazy Egg tells me everything I need

Far from it - you can often learn more form a little bit of qualitative data like an interview of a customer or salesman than you would get out of Analytics anyway. Granted, you have to ask the right questions…

7. My competitors do it - so should I

Even though your competitors are using the neatest “conversion techniques” stolen directly from Amazon.com - doesn’t mean it’ll work for you (or them, for that matter). All sites are different and you need to find out what works for your situation.

8. I know all there is to know about online marketing

Pffft… whatever.

9. This idea is surely going to increase conversion rates, so I won’t test it

Making the call to action big, red and obnoxious MAY sound like a good idea, but in some instances, this fails miserably.

10. Pageviews/CPA/visits/visitors is (are) the only metric(s) I need

Definitely not… This is a very dangerous assumption. It’s best that you marry your stats up with your business’ objectives before you go about boasting that you’re receiving 20% more hits for spending 10% less in PPC.

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