Reports Aren't Analytics

Ian Lurie

A pretty graph isn’t analytics. It’s a report. What you do with that report is ‘analytics’.

It’s an important distinction. Look at this graph:

Google Analytics Report

It’s a Google Analytics report showing me which pages get more or less traffic on the Portent Interactive web site.

The subtler and most important point, though, is how important our Portfolio page is. It’s 7.5% of all page views on our site. That doesn’t seem like much. But drilling down a bit deeper shows that 30% of the people who visit our portfolio go to our ‘Contact Us’ page, and 4% sign up for our newsletter. It’s the best-converting page on our site:

Best Converting Page

A few more clicks show that people visiting this page after searching for ‘internet marketing agency’ and ‘online marketing agency’ are our best prospects, at least as far as taking the next step to contact us.

GA Screencap

That led us to optimize our site for those phrases.

The charts and the graphs are the reports. The changes made to your strategy are the result of analytics. It’s a big difference.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. Put in short: analytics is a process (dynamic), whereas a report is a still picture of a single moment (static).
    Nice post.

  2. One more note is that the number of people visiting our email signup or contact page after getting to our portfolio page through a keyword search for ‘internet marketing agency’ and ‘online marketing agency’ are very few.
    And it doesn’t matter. Much.
    Because we only want a very few people, ready to hire us, to contact us. For our situation (high-priced, low volume services) it is better to be contacted by a very few high quality leads (in comparison to how many people visit the site overall) then to have everyone calling us.
    It is not always about a high conversion rate.

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