The Positive Side of Negativity

Mark  Ryan

January 19, 2010

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Glass is h alf fullI am feeling a little philosophical this morning and thinking about some of the behaviors of web analysts.

It’s funny how most web analysts present the positive side of analytics. They may produce reports which illustrate that 9.8% of the visitors converted to quality leads, that 749 users signed up for the newsletter, and that 56% of the customers came back for a second purchase. The traffic reports often start with the keyphrases that get the best click-through-ratios and the best conversion rates. Web analysts seem to be always looking on the bright side of the data. The analysts are also often complaining that their web teams are not acting on the data they report.

I wonder if the analysts focused their reports on the 90.2% of the visitors who didn’t convert, the 6,567 users who didn’t sign up for the newsletter, and the 44% of the visitors who never came back – would the web teams be more likely to act on the data? It might help site owners to make more objective decisions if all reporting tools showed both sides of the story. For instance, traffic reports might show the 98 visitors that came from organic search results as well as the 7,528 visitors that searched for our phrases but decided not to click on our link.