"It's always good to advance yourself – right? It's always good to refresh the data that you have, and to change the way that you look at things, because the product changes and we get new features and we can do new things, and that should drive better measurement and a better understanding of behavior."
Justin Cutroni, Analytics Advocate at Google, says it's time to 'refresh' the approach to metrics. Data leads to segmentation, and the default data in Google is good, but it's not strong enough. Custom data leads to exciting segments which leads to more sales, more conversion.
The standard business funnel is Acquisition, Engagement, Conversion, Retention. In web analytics, people try to align segmentation to the funnel. This has been the approach for 7 years.
One way to get more detailed information regarding how much the customers are absorbing the content: Time on site and bounce rate are the standard measurement, and time is highly inaccurate unless you use event tracking.
To track whether users are really reading using event tracking, you'd start an event when the person loads the page, a second event if the user starts to scroll, a third event when the user reaches the page footer, and a fourth even when the person gets to the very bottom of the page. The data for 'time on site' and 'bounce rate' will change drastically, and your information will become much more meaningful. For a more detailed explanation check Advanced Content Tracking with Google Analytics.
Using events, you can define goals in a different manner, getting a better idea of of the following:
"Look to Book" – this is the measure of how many people are looking versus how many people actually buy? Using events, we record their name when they look at a product, and then we can follow when they choose to buy. You can also track the potential revenue from views at a product.
Using event tracking and date tracking you can answer the following questions:
For example, you can find that people who bought an item in January are now looking for an accessory. You can then use this to send accessory offers to people who bought that item in January. Using events and deeper segmentation, it's possible to really improve an understanding of customers or users, and offer them more reasons to come back.
Justin Cutroni is the Analytics Advocate at Google. He is the author of Google Analytics (published by O'Reilly) and co-author of Performance Marketing with Google Analytics (published by Wiley). You can connect with Justin through his blog, Analytics Talk or follow Justin on Twitter or Google +. Justin has worked as a Google Analytics Certified Partner for the last 5 years and now he works for Google.