Context is STILL everything in Web Analytics…

Long time no speak, it’s good to be writing again!
Yes, context is still everything. By the way, in my previous post Context is everything in web analytics not numbers, I was talking about how Hitwise could give you market share information but not actual traffic numbers. They have actually recently upgraded their tool and you can now view actual numbers. But let’s now go back to our dear “Context”. In my last post about context in web analytics, I talked about the 2 main market elements that you need to be aware of as they are going to influence your site performance heavily: supply and demand. There are now other factors to take into consideration: internal and external factors.
Let’s start with internal factors. Internal factors are factors that you or your company has control over. I selected 3 factors below and gave examples of their potential impact on your site:
Internal Factors
So it’s about launching an internal investigation and talking to other departments in your company to uncover some truth. But an internal investigation is sometimes not enough, we now need to go external…
To do that, there is nothing better than a good PESTEL analysis:

P for Political: let’s say that you are a holiday company and Egypt is your biggest market, then your site (and your whole company) are both going to be significantly impacted by the recent political events that took place in Egypt.

E for Economic: during a recession, visitors are likely to spend less, which will have an effect on your site, (assuming you have an e-commerce site).

S for Social: with people spending increasing time on social network sites, companies felt that this could be an additional online channel worth exploring. Your site is now probably getting a lot more traffic and maybe more sales from social network sites than ever before.

T for Technology: mobile phones getting smarter and smarter means that consumers are prepared to spend significant time browsing the Internet using their mobile devices. That means traffic and sales to your site coming from mobile are likely to grow.

E for Environment: the weather is known to have a very strong impact on sales for some industries.

L for Legal: the new cookie law, starting in May this year will have an impact on everybody’s site: it is really hard to say how visitors are going to react to it yet but on site user experience is about to be “shaken”.

So, again, web analytics is challenging because there are so many factors to take into account before making sense of a particular number…Once you have identified all the factors that have an influence on your industry and market, the next step is a matter of knowing how much of an influence each factor is likely to have on your site performance. I think this is a very hot topic so I shall be writing about this at some stage but for now, let’s remember to always think about numbers with Context!

Thanks for reading.

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One Response to Context is STILL everything in Web Analytics…

  1. Rafi says:

    Quite true. Over the past few months I have noticed how some of the relevant clients (for example in the travel industry) never mentions anything about context but rather talk about numbers, visitors, segmenting their existing data etc.

    I enjoyed reading this article.

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