the latest from 2am Media

11 Jan

Web Analytics: Statistical Process Control Implementation (Key Concepts)


Most people have never heard of statistical process control (SPC). SPC is a problem detecting process that is used with any measurable process.

OK – that’s the heavy bit, want to know how you can use it to help you SEO, PPC and other forms of internet marketing?

Everyone with a website should have an analytics program of some kind tracking it, if you don’t give 2am a call and we’ll take you through how to set one up. For most websites Google Analytics will suffice, but needless to say the bigger your website, the more you rely on it for your income the more you can invest into making sure you understand what’s happening in the background.

Web analytics programs allow you to gather data about the way visitors interact with your website. By analyzing these software packages we are able to determine how your website is working on the internet, it allows you to make conclusions, interpretations and predictions about what are in fact random events in the process (where the process is having a website live on the net).

What should I look for in Google Analytics?

When you look at an analytics package such as Google Analytics your looking for changes in the normal behaviour of your websites statistics. These blips in normal behaviour can be broken down into two areas:

  1. Common Causes
  2. Special Causes

What is a common cause of changes to results of web analytics software?

Common cause variation is the noise in the system in which you can estimate a probability of the occurrence – when applying this to websites we can think about this in terms of a regular traffic volume, after a while you can say with certainty that the website will get traffic between a certain range.

What is a special cause of changes to results of web analytics software?

An example of a special cause of web analytics fluctuations may be changes to search engine algorithms which has caused a change in rankings and traffic.

Why should I Identify the cause of analytics variations changes?

It’s essential to identify the possible causes, 2am are constantly reviewing and attempting to detail the types of causes that are effecting the websites we manage and we actively encourage our clients to do the same so we get a fuller, more rounded picture.

Using a SPC methodology allows you to put in place the criteria at which you react – that means that you don’t have to react every time there is a change in rankings (from day to day) and gives you a point at which to take action – for example if your rankings have been down for 20 days.

It’s only by using this approach can a business owner or SEO provider properly can identify real problems and guarantee that time, money and effort isn’t spent attempting to resolve issues that aren’t issues at all.

Essentially, Statistical Process Control prevents you from being detrimentally reactive and too unresponsive – let’s face it most of us fall into one camp or another.

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