In the blog article “Start at the Beginning: Making Sense of the Google Analytics Toolbox” I outlined 4 steps to go through before trying to nail down exactly what to track in Google Analytics. What I didn’t address was WHO to go through those steps with. Having this discussion with people ‘in the know’ is key.

But who exactly is ‘in the know’? And what do we want them to know?

Well, I’m glad you asked!

I’ll give you a hint: it’s probably not your executives, or department heads. It’s not your PR or IT person.

It’s the ground troops.

The people you really want to sit down with are your sales people and your customer service people; these are the people in your company that know what is really going on!

Your sales people and your customer service people know the terminology the customers use, they know the common problems clients encounter on your site, and they know the issues the customer wants to solve with your product.

For example, a garden nursery might have their website organized around plant species and genus, but after speaking with their sales staff they realize that when people come to their site looking for the herb ‘rosemary’, they don’t look for Rosmarinus officinalis.

Knowing this would help them to understand why their Google Analytics Entrance Bounce Rates report shows their homepage has a really high bounce rate of 73.5% – people probably come to their site and then can’t find what they are looking for so they become frustrated and leave.

So now the nursery has a great place to begin testing in order to try and lower that high bounce rate. Before, the high bounce rate could be attributed to just about anything.

Having an eye on this information is especially important because of an ‘inside-the-bottle’ syndrome that companies tend to develop, which Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenberg discuss in their new book: “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?” In the book, they talk about how our perspective tends to shift away from the customer’s point of view and become blurred by all the small day-to-day concerns we face.

For example, from inside the bottle it seems like a great idea to cut down on the number of peanuts airlines give to passengers – it saves on expenses, right? However, from outside the bottle – the customer’s perspective – people start to get a ‘snack’ that consists of 2 peanuts. Not exactly filling.

Its little things like that you have to be aware of, and your sales people and your customer service people hear about it all the time. By bringing them into the process of deciding what to track and measure, you help to ensure that things stay grounded and realistic.