Web analytics is a topic that gets mixed reactions, much like SEO really. Some people think it’s a myth, others are intimidated by the data, some know it is important but are limited to the basics and others can’t get enough (that’s me!). As an analytics specialist I find that my role includes the bits you would expect – implementing tracking code solutions and analysing data – but it also requires offering assistance in making the most of the data, from changing clients’ attitudes to encourage them to use their analytics more, to showing how the data can be used much more effectively.
The big thing behind this is that analytics isn’t about numbers.
“Never read the bottom half of the internet, that’s where the bad things live.”
It’s mantra repeated by many.
I’m referring of course to the comments, which as ‘bottom half’ indicates are situated a long old scroll down the page at the bottom of a post or article.
“Taking initiative pays off. It is hard to visualize someone as a leader if she is always waiting to be told what to do.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women and the Will to Lead
When I saw the first promotional article about an upcoming book on women and work from the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, I was very excited. I pre-ordered a Kindle edition. And as I waited for the launch date of Lean In: Women and the Will to Lead, I saw lots more articles, many of them vehemently stating that, one way or another, Sheryl Sandberg had got it wrong.
Eventually my own copy arrived, and as I read it I was pleasantly surprised. I found it deeply resonant on a personal level with my own experiences and recent self-development goals – largely in regard to issues surrounding confidence. The book is basically a 240-page pep talk on having the confidence to negotiate, to put oneself forward for promotions, to take on bigger responsibilities, even if they are outside of one’s comfort zone, to ask for help…and also for women to aspire to the top levels of their respective industries. Even better, it’s a pep talk which is bolstered by pages and pages of statistics and data, and notes about the studies from which the data came (on my Kindle, the final 40% of the book was taken up with references). And surprisingly, despite the often depressing statistics, the end result was inspiring and uplifting. When I finished reading it, I wanted to tell everyone I knew, male and female, that they should read it too.
I would like to welcome Bridget Randolph to the SEO Chicks blogging team. Bridget is originally from a small town in Virginia (US) but went to the UK to study (at Oxford none the less, clever cookie). Once she graduated she didn’t want to leave so she pursued a job in the UK, she is now working as a SEO analyst at Distilled UK and loves it.
I first met Bridget a few months ago and realised what a smart chick she is, so when she asked if she could do a guest post on SEO Chicks about the much debated book “Lean in”, I said “heck yeah”. Once I read the blogpost I realised she is right up the SEO Chicks street and should be a regular blogger. We offered her a place on the team, she accepted, and TADA here she is. Don’t miss her first post with the review of the book Lean-In by Sheryl Sandberg. Also make sure you follow Bridget on Twitter.
Bridget, welcome to the SEO Chicks blogging crew! May the force be with you!
I’ve been looking up a host of analytics questions this month – from APIs and integration to dashboards and segments. One minute I’ve just got a quick practical question to double check and the next I’m 2 hours immersed in a world of analytics tidbits that I hadn’t realised.
Then SEO Chick Anna posted some great new tricks and tips on using Google Analytics quickly and effectively - some great keyboard shortcuts in there! It occurred to me that we haven’t really had a roundup of useful analytics posts in some time. And boy are there are a lot out there. So here, to make your lives easier and save you the time I spent getting caught up in a Googling cycle, here are some of the top tips I thought should be shared more. NB. I’m not taking credit for these great posts, I just felt it was about time somebody pulled them together in once place.
1. Analytics PR Dashboard (or why making your own dashboards is a must)
This popped up in my Google Reader the other day and it’s a really great, simple tool that saves us just that little bit of time. I’m a big advocate of building dashboards for clients/bosses. I’ve found that allowing them that immediate access any time they like gets them off my back more and helps them to understand my tasks a lot more. The dashboards should never be in-depth but should provide an ‘at-a-glance’ insight into the site’s performance. (more…)
I’ve been managing people for about 2 years at Distilled, and prior to that, I managed people in the various professions I dabbled in prior to finding myself in SEO. All in all I think I have something approaching 10 years management experience.
As you might expect my approach to management has changed quite a bit over the years. Similarly my thinking on what makes a ‘good’ manager has also changed.
With this mind, I wanted to share something with you…
It was Steve and Tim‘s very first day at Distilled. They’d be reporting in to me. They’d been through the usual initial induction stuff and were busily trying to install and set up the various tools and apps we use, in addition to battling with Windows 8.
They started at Distilled on Monday 4th March. On the Thursday of that week (7th) I was due to be flying out to speak at a conference in Italy and wouldn’t be returning to the office until Tuesday (12th). The following Friday (15th) I was down to speak at Distilled’s own conference, LinkLove.
I needed to prep 3 decks (I was speaking twice in Italy), practice said decks, and of course make sure both Steve and Tim were settling in ok, had work to do etc. I also needed to make sure Phil who also reports to me was ok with his client work, not to mention delivering work for my own clients too.