The Most Important Web Analytics According to Avinash Kaushik


The 2012 Art Of Marketing conference included speakers Keith Ferazzi, Avinash Kaushik, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuck, Mitch Joel and Randi Zuckerberg.

Avinash Kaushik analytics, 2012 Art of Marketing conferenceWe were impressed with Avinash Kaushik’s notions on “garbage” versus “awesome” measurements of web success. According to Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, marketers often get hung up on “data puking” – regurgitating pages and pages of numbers that really don’t say anything about the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts.

Throughout his presentatation, Kaushik enthusiastically (think screaming and jumping in excitement) covered the web and social analytics that he believes marketers should and shouldn’t utilize.

Web Analytics

Success in the online space comes down to delivering satisfying experiences that create value for users, or, as Kaushik so eloquently puts it, “delivering mini orgasms to your consumers.” The problem with popular success metrics is that they don’t tell us anything about the user’s actual experience on your site.

Here’s a look at Kaushik’s list of worthy and unworthy analytics tools.

Garbage Measurements

  • Clicks
  • Impressions
  • Visits
  • Page views

Awesome Measurements

  • Loyalty – Do visitors return to your site on a regular basis?
  • Conversion rate – Do users complete conversions such as purchases and email signups?
  • Share of search – For a relevant keyword, what % of search volume is your site getting? This is an important competitive analysis tool.
  • Task completion rate – Do visitors follow through with tasks like filling out forms? Is shopping cart abandonment particularly high?

Social Analytics

Social analytics are a whole different animal. Marketers like to push numbers like tweets, followers and fans as signs of success. The problem is, these numbers don’t actually mean anything. They don’t tell us if you’re saying worthwhile things, or if people are interacting with you. Social media marketing success is about grabbing attention, pleasing people and initiating discussion – so shouldn’t our metrics address these goals?

Kaushik provided these four go-to metrics for measuring social media success:

1. Conversation rate

This is a measurement of whether or not your messages resonate with your audience. The goal is to keep your messaging entertaining but still relevant to your brand.

To measure conversation rate, look at the number of comments or replies on a post.

2. Amplification rate

Your network is bigger than just your number of followers. Think about it like this: your brand has a network of say, 700 people. But if each of those followers has a couple hundred followers of their own, your possible reach multiplies pretty quickly. If you send the right (read: shareworthy) message, it can be amplified to your network’s networks. .  . and that’s a pretty big reach.

To measure amplification rate, look at:

Twitter: # of retweets per tweet

Facebook & Google+: # of shares per post

Blog: # of shares per post

3. Applause rate

Applause rate looks at who, in a literal sense, actually likes your content. Users show their appreciation for content via favorites, likes and +1s, and a thumbs up for specific content show that they are actually interacting with your messaging.

To measure applause rate, look at: 

Twitter: # of favorites per tweet

Facebook: # of likes per post

G+: # of +1s per post

Blog: # of likes or +1s per post

4. Economic value

Quantifying the economic value created via social media is important because, as you know, money matters, especially to the C-suite. As Kaushik puts it, “it is foolish to believe that just conversation rate, amplification rate and applause rate will get you the eternal love and gratification (and perhaps budget) of your company’s leadership.”

To get a sense of the economic value of social media, look at the macro and micro conversions achieved. It’s best to optimize your analytics dashboard to get these all of the relevant figures in one place.  You’ll want to pull in traffic from each of your social hubs to look at their performance when it comes to generating both macro conversions (purchases, email signups) and micro conversions (viewing videos, reading articles). More on the specific setup you need is available here.

Do you agree with Kaushik’s categorization of success metrics? Are clicks and page views really worthless measurements? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter.