… is important. Not so.
Analytics just aren’t keeping up with Web 2.0. Oh they have their place, but they aren’t capturing what’s valid today.
For a start, do you want 10,000 visitors that stay for a minute or two then click off, probably to a competitor? Or are you interested in repeat customers “eyeballs” who stay an hour or two, creating and generating content around your product and services, whether its a cool user generated ad or something simple like peer2peer technical support forums? The window shopper or the TV viewer model? Where does unique visitors fit into that picture?
As well as measuring how long people stay on your site, are you also measuring how many of them subscribe to your newsfeeds and syndicated information? How many of them blog with a passion about your product, evangelising it in it forums? Is your analytics keeping up with trackbacks – do you have the sort of site that people link to in discussions? What metrics are important to you – niche, swarm or mass? Have you defined areas of your site for newbies (leads and new customers) and oldbies (retention of loyal customers)?
And yes I know the web analytics industry is changing but the unique browsers, clickthrus and page impressions myth is still out there. When we should’ve moved from page impressions to stickability and out the other side to syndication already. Forget search and search optimisation, invest in companies that are developing measurement tools around Web 2.0. Anyone got any recommendations?