“I believe in the numbers.”

The main character of the Netflix series Ozark, Marty Byrd, often says this:
“I believe in the numbers.”
In general, Byrd is talking about not being emotional about “business”, but look at the actual numbers available to make decisions for that business.
We believe in that as well – about your web site. 
If you already have a web site and do not have a Google Analytics account or another quality traffic measuring tool set up for your web site, or if you don’t know if there is one set up for your web site, do this:
Call the person that is responsible for your site’s management and find out.  If it doesn’t have Google Analytics on there, get it on now.  If it does have Google Analytics on the site, get login access to the data.
Then come back and read why.
Because the answer is pretty simple – once live, your web site should be collecting data every day on usage.  Depending on the volume and the trends of your site traffic, it may take a while to collect enough data to know what, if anything, is going on through the site. 
  • It has to be collected.
  • It has to be reviewed.
That’s because the data can tell you so much about where your site’s weaknesses are, what your site’s opportunities are, and how to get from one to the other.  But if you’re not collecting that data, you’re just running in the pitch black dark.  How fast can you go that way?
When we redesign a web site for a new client, one of the first things we ask for is access to the analytics information for the site so we can see what traffic has been doing.  If it is not on the site, we explain it should be put on the old site immediately – even a little is better than nothing.  At least we may be able to figure out mobile access expectations, where the traffic is coming from, and what is a benchmark of expectation of traffic for the site.
It is way past time for web site owners to stop ignoring this crucial component to the web site’s success.  Measure traffic effectively.