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website security

Website Analytics Consultants

 

There are two key free sources of core analytics data:

  • Your website hosts statistics - here you can either use raw log data imported into your own analytics program or use the AWStats program provided by the host - which provides a good range of graphical intepretations of your website traffic
  • Googe Analytics - a very powerful set of analytics provided free of charge by Google

If you prefer a commercial analytics service, you can use ClickTracks, which is quite affordable even for small businesses.

Regardless of your source of analytical data, the critical element is how you interpret the information you are presented with, and what action you take.

 

Analytics

The information you receive from your analytics program is just that - information. The only way that information can be transformed into usable insight is through analytics.

Most small businesses don't have inhouse staff with sufficient training and focus to gather, analyze, and act on the data.

To improve the efficiency of your website and gain higher conversion rates you need to engage a competent and creative web analytics consultants for several hours per month.

 

Engaging a Web Analytics Consultant

Once you decide to engage a web analytics consultant you need to outine an affordable, but effective scope of work. This should include:

  1. Regular study of your data over a period of many months,
  2. Recommendations - how to improve your site and online sales,
  3. Testing Site, Page and Ad Design - to determine the best conversion layout and content
  4. Implement any changes - if you don't have a web designer or webmaster inhouse.

 

Consultant Charges

The range of engagement models used for web analytics consultants varies, but the following guidelines will assist.

The engagement model will typically include a set up fee, plus an agreed monthly program of work at an agreed hourly rate. On top of this analysis work, you may wish the consultant to peform testing and web development work. These activities may be engaged at the same rate or using a differential rate table, according to the skill needed.

Set-up Phase

The set up phase covers implementation of the anlaytics package, to capture the data required by the business. This includes all configuration to ensure that the key performance indicators you want to track are captured, and that any regular reports are distributed.

This phase will take 4 to 8 hours, depending on your business needs and the current state of your analytics.

Monthly Analysis

The minimum hours required per month for overseeing a websites performance is in the range of 4 to 10 hours per month - depending upon the size and type [commerce or non-commerce] of site. This is time consuming, hard work. This is where the experience of the analyst really pays off - you pay pay more per hour, but the insight they garner from the data far exceeds that of those less experienced.

Testing & Development

All websites should be tested 2-4 times per year. These standard tests help optimize landing pages, navigation system, user interface, etc.

Other times when testing is required is when you are setting up a promotion or new commerce channel. Split testing before launching the main campaign can have a significant impact on the success of the campaign. This is where real expertise makes the day - and its worth paying for the best. You may have to pay your anlayst a little more than their standard rate for these activities.

  • Standard tests might take 20 to 40 hours per cycle.
  • Campaign tests take 12-20 hours per campaign

You can help reduce the time spent by having clearly defined goals for each website and campaign, and all you copy and images in ready to publish form.

Charge Rates

Analytics consultants charges vary from around $75 to $200 per hour. The consultant's hourly rate will depend upon experience, and often by the number of hours contracted each month [more hours attract a more favorable rate].

If you think this sound expensive, compare consultants costs to lost opportunities and potential gain. You may even be able to engage a consultant on a performance basis - using a base rate PLUS a perecentage of improvement in sales, engagement, traffic or whatever other performance you are seeking.

For most small businesses, the return on investment [ROI] can be 10 to 50 times the investment. Unfortunately, many small businesses fail to invest in web analytics consulting and yet fail to see this as the cause they are falling behind their competitors.

Finding Consultants

To locate a competent analyst you can try:

 

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Web Analytics Index | Getting Started | Metrics | Google Analytics | Urchin | Using Consultants