A web software and design firm

Conditional Website Analytics

We can all agree on how important web statistics are for our businesses and how the analysis of the data we collect through whichever avenue we choose can help us to continually evolve as a web entity. This much is true. But how can we make sure we’re collecting the proper data? How do we know the statistics we see in our web analytics brand of choice are actually the helpful boy/girl scouts they claims to be? How do we know that what we’re looking at indicates a thriving website or a wounded one? Well…some of us may be quite savvy and others of us may have large budgets to employ teams of people to sift through data. The rest of us probably just need to trust what we see even if we don’t understand it. Which leaves me to the question, “What measures can we actually take to exercise some level of control over the data collected by our ever-so-helpful third party agents?” I won’t attempt to answer that question in full but I would like to touch on one very important point about analyzing our website statistics.

Make sure your and your staff’s visits to your website aren’t skewing your numbers.

We take pride in our work and in our businesses’ ever diligent cyber tenticles we call our websites. They are the facets of our businesses that when called upon reach out over great lengths to bring in leads and customers. As our websites need constant care to survive, we update them, alter them, improve them and visit them often. If we’re doing our jobs we probably visit them more often than anyone else.

We visit them. Our staff visits them. Our marketing teams visit them. Our moms visit them! None of these visits help us determine how our websites are performing. It is important that we make sure our analytics software is able to filter us out of its reports. I’m not well versed in many different forms of analytics but I know that Google allows us to do this by I.P. address. It is important to have some level of filtering in place in any situation where we are collecting website usage statistics.

If you’re using Google Analytics read here:http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/topic.py?topic=11091

In the event that you have a dynamic I.P. address that you can’t filter using your analytics software’s various filtering methods you’ll need to get creative. You could use query strings in conjunction with conditional statements when visiting your pages which is a brutish solution but one nonetheless. If using a content management system you could make sure to always be logged in and use a plugin that removes the tracking code for your account. Be creative.

Happy analyizing.

Conditional Website Analytics

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