I recently wrote the article: "Five Key Elements of Analytics for Publishers". In it I explain why analytics for publishers is different from web shops, but I also ended it by saying:
A conversion doesn't end when people buy something. It ends when they no longer return for more.
This, of course, needs a bit of clarifying. So in this article I'm going to outline how I would set up my analytics if I was operating a web shop for a brand. Not technically (there are thousands of articles about that), but conceptually. And you will see why I have a somewhat unorthodox view on analytics compared to most people.
If there is one thing you learn when you start your own business, it is that most analytics means almost nothing. Pageview, visitors, time on site, bounce rates, source, multi-funnel paths and so on are all very nice, but they are all secondary to you as a business owner.
Another thing you learn is that there is often little correlation between things like visitors and pageviews with actual sales. And bounce rates can go up and down completely independent of what is actually happening on a product level.
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