It’s Friday at 1 o’clock (no it’s not, once again I mean’t to write this on Friday and I was too busy) anyway…
Here’s why looking at website analytics is a lot like reading the Bible. (Warning: I use swear words and shit when I write, okay).
This is the most honest and revealing article I’ve read about online marketing and pay per click traffic in years. Here’s the link to the long and in-depth article:
And here are the highlights:
eBay stopped their search ads on their brand name (and even on certain product terms) and it had fuck-all effect on their sales. They did however save over $20M a year on wasted advertising to people that were going to buy from them already. When some hot-stuff consultant in roller skates tells you they use proprietary algorithms to determine if your advertising is working he is probably just full of shit. The fact that the person who clicked a link you paid for turns into a conversion (i.e.: a sale or enquiry) does not mean that he converted because you paid for the click. You can’t really know if your Advertising is working unless your sales increase. Trusting the data blindly can leave you with skew results (or a bunch of dead bodies around the Kool-Aid). And in the end it is actually quite hard to manipulate human beings by forcing them to see images and videos they don’t want to watch (it’s a different story entirely if they choose to look at the stuff, but that is now off topic).
I have see this personally. Just about every single company running Search Marketing Ads today will tell you that their top converting traffic is the Ads on their brand name and their Remarking/Retargeting campaign (this is when you pay to follow people around the internet with banner Ads on other sites after they already visited your website). Are you kidding. That is like handing out pamphlets in the reception area of your business. People will read those pamphlets and probably end up doing business with you. But this does not mean the pamphlet is any good.
And now for my wonderful opinion… Looking at traffic analytics data is much like reading the bible. It is fully open to interpretation based on the context and biases of the reader. You have to look up that shit for yourself, you can’t trust other people to make up your mind for you about what it all means for your business (and your life).
Anyway this stuff mostly affects big companies that are running Mass Media Advertising Campaigns and building Brands. Coke spends $4Billion a year for crying out loud.
That sort of shit does not and never has worked for any small or medium enterprise. Because we just can’t spend the millions and millions it take to get that brand effect and own that space in the consumers mind anyway. Which is why all entrepreneurs fall back on personal selling to grow they business when their “Advertising and Marketing” is not working out. We have to take another approach entirely to scale this us start speaking to the right people online.