Analyze This: 5 Analytics Tips for the Holiday Season

Just like a coach wouldn’t wait to the end of the season to review game performance videos with the team, neither should you leave your analytics on the bench ’til the end of the holiday season. You should be reviewing analytics data daily to uncover opportunities for adjustments in your merchandising and messaging.

However, you want to focus on what’s important, not just pour over pages and pages of stats. Here are 5 tips for leveraging analytics during the holiday season, while minimizing your time spent.

1. Review site search logs. What terms are most popular in your internal site search? Are you featuring these products on your home page and in cross-sell / upsell? Do your search result pages satisfy these customers or do they abandon? What could you improve to sell more to searching customers this holiday season?

2. Review referring keywords. Which search terms send you the most visits from major search engines? Which searches have the highest bounce rates? How can you improve your pages quickly to better match their intent? How do your landing pages and prices fare against competitors’ for the same keywords?

3. Set up intelligent alerts. Determine what your “normal” constraints are for various metrics, and set up Intelligent Alerts in Google Analytics (or the tool of your choice, if it offers a similar feature) that notify you when something “out of the ordinary” happens. This will save you a lot of data-scrutinizing time!

4. Look for leaks in PPC. High bounce rate pages may indicate an error in your campaign, such as the wrong landing page matched to an ad, or the wrong ad matched to a keyword group. If you send iPod traffic to your Zune page, you’ll have a high bounce rate. Quadruple check.

5. Don’t be afraid to test. If you have very high traffic volume, you may reach statistical significance in one day, which can be applied for the rest of the season.

Now, get cracking!


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