Introduction and How to Use This Course


Alright, welcome to Web Analytics for Real People, a course by Nestwire. I'm Drew Birnie, the Nestwire founder and your fearless leader for this course. And if I did my job in reaching the right people for this course, I think you're going to learn a lot of very practical information that you can apply to your own online business right away. And what kind of information is that? Well, let's talk about the goals of this course.

I'm going to show you how to take a data-driven approach to conceptualizing and setting up your visitor or customer funnel. Once we have that foundation, we'll use a very simple but very powerful report that will allow you to quickly analyze the most important metrics of your funnel. At the end of this course, you should be able to analyze a funnel in just a few minutes, saving you tons of time trying to figure out what your data means and, most importantly, what you should do with it. And that will be our final objective: you'll learn how to interpret all of this data from analyzing your funnel in order to identify the highest-impact tactics and activities you should be working on to optimize your business.

Now, just as importantly, here’s what won’t we be covering: I’m not going to focus marketing “strategies” per se. There are a million and one resources out there to give ideas of what to try in your marketing campaigns, but the truth is, what works for one person might not work for you. We’ll talk about strategies and tactics, but I’m more concerned with teaching you how measure your marketing efforts in an attempt to quickly figure out what exactly does works for you. Another thing is that a lot of these strategies that get peddled on blogs and various other sites are really just fads that come and go. I’m not interested in teaching those sorts of things at all. I want to give you a framework that helps you think intelligently about how to run your online business. And I want to do that with general principles and guidelines that you can use in any market or niche, and even when those markets and niches change.

Next, this is not a super technically-advanced methods course. For one, the vast majority of businesses don't need to a super complicated system of tracking and measurement. I know people who work for billion-dollar companies that use this same basic framework and even many of the same tools. So if you're looking for something complex and uber technical, this course is definitely not for you.

Finally, let’s get this straight right away: there are no secrets or blackhat tricks or anything like that will magically “fix” your online business. Analyzing your data is not a substitute for creating amazing, high-quality content and/or having products that people actually want. Knowing what to do with your analytics data can help you immensely in optimizing your business. We use data to efficiently identify what works and what doesn’t so we can know exactly where we should be devoting our limited time and resources. But it can’t do anything for a business that’s not fundamentally sound. So work on business basics first if you need to: make sure you have a product or service people want, make sure you can generate a profit from that product or service, know what your cash flow looks like, etc. Then you can work on optimizing all of that with data.

So with that, we'll dive right in. We'll be using this one-page report as our guide to analyzing our funnel. In a single page, you get a lot of high-level metrics and you can drill down into the details of each level your funnel very quickly, so I really like this approach.

First though, we need to make sure we have a solid understanding of fundamentals of web analytics, so that's what our first section will be about.