Data Capture

Another word to consider for your website’s “just one word” in 2016:


Do you remember GTD — getting things done? It’s a time management system designed by David Allen, no longer trendy but still useful. One of the basic tenets is “ubiquitous capture,” the idea that you should capture thoughts about what needs to be done and write them or in some other way record them in a list.

The object is to keep you from thinking, “Oh, I need to buy coffee” repeatedly every time you make contact with coffee, and then forgetting to buy coffee when you’re actually in a place where coffee is sold. Cluttering up your brain with repeated thoughts about what you should do and then not doing the things — well, that’s clearly not an effective way to live your life.

I’ve always really liked the phrase “ubiquitous capture,” and I think it would make a good name for a rock band.

For websites, though, it can mean something a bit different from the GTD meaning. If you’re considering going with Just One Word for your website next year instead of making New Year’s resolutions, “capture” could be a great word.

I was reminded of this in a meeting about a website. We were discussing how to redirect the pages from an old website to a new design with a new site architecture. Usually, we use information from Google Analytics to determine this. We can see which pages are popular, which ones are frequent landing pages, which ones show a lot of direct traffic — all the information that lets us reduce the number of “404: Page not found” messages as close to zero as possible and get people where they really want to go.

In this case, we don’t have data from Google Analytics. On the one hand, we might say that it doesn’t really matter. We’ll set up the account now and the client didn’t miss it before, right?

But we’re actually at a disadvantage in making some decisions. And it’ll be a while before we can really see how the changes we make are working out for the client. If they had been capturing data, we’d have the data to work with.

Think about how that might ring true for your website:

  • If you’ve been capturing analytics data, an SEO strategist can look at that data and make useful recommendations for you, even if you don’t want to look at it yourself.
  • If you’ve been capturing email addresses, you’ll be ready to start that email marketing you’ve been meaning to do, as soon as you have the resources to do it.
  • If you’ve been capturing competitor keyword data, you’ll have it when you’re ready to work out a keyword strategy for the new year.

It’s possible that you’re thinking that it would have been good if you had captured some or all of this data — and plenty more — over the past year, so you’d be ready to make data-driven decisions for the new year.

If you don’t start now, you’ll have the same thought next year. So maybe “capture” is a good word for your website in 2016: a reminder to capture all the data you can, even if you’re not ready to act on it yet. The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to create a road map of action to reach your goals.

If you have data and you’re not sure what to do with it, we can help. Call Rosie at 479.966.9761.






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