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Website Analytics May 13th, 2008
For the most part, implementing the necessary code on a website to accurately track data is elementary. I have found, however, that there is an exception to the rule.
If you are familiar with the website you are working with, then implementing the code is a breeze. Your web team has built the website which makes it a simple task to install the urchin code appropriately. In this case there will likely be no guesswork or problem putting the code in the right place. After all, your web team built the site and they would be the best people to ensure the code is placed on absolutely every webpage and configured properly.
Imagine (if it hasn't already happened to you) for a second, a company with a robust site utilizing 1000's of pages, some php, some html, some flash and some aspx. They have come to you and asked you to setup the analtyics account properly. Unfortunately, your team was not part of the development of this website. So your web team is given FTP access only to log on and find over 100 directories, sub domains and over 1000 .asp, .html and .php files in the root.
Q. In the "worst case scenario" who is best choice to place the code on every single page of the site without any issue?
A- Possible Answer
Your team is the best choice, even though you are entirely unfamiliar with the methodologies used in website development.
B- Possible Answer
The original web development firm that built the site is the best way to ensure accuracy of installation. But do you trust them to care and do you have their buy in?
Your team installs the code on all pages and the site no longer functions because a mistake was made somewhere along the line. You are not exactly sure where, but the bottom line is the client who came to your company only for website analytics now has a non-functional site. Now it's entirely up to you to fix what is broken. Because there are 1000's of assorted file formats, coding you are not familiar with, architecture that is unknown to you, where exactly did you go wrong?
Now as the web analytics purveyor you are on the hook to fix what caused the site errors that resulted in downtime. Moreover, for the time the website is unreachable because of your incompetence the client feels they have every right to hold you accountable for downtime.
This post was actually a bad dream I had last night. I woke up in a cold sweat, thinking what if?
1. Make sure you hire an analytics company with a proven track record. A company that has done many installations is going to understand how to setup your code properly, filter data, setup goals and goal values.