I suspect most people would have a FOWT – Fear Of Wasting Time – rather than a Fear Of Missing Out when it comes to understanding website analytics.

I mean who in their right mind would fear not knowing what a bounce rate is? All those metrics, dimensions, charts and lines! A place filled with arcane facts and figures that are hard to find and, what’s more, difficult to interpret.

But get this. As I’m writing this article, a sizable group of business owners in the meeting room upstairs are starting a three hour training session on Google Analytics. Friday morning for them is not about winding down, but winding up their understanding of web analytics.

Their FOMO was strong enough to have them open both their wallet and their calendar. But fear of missing out on what exactly?

Here’s what I think it is: Spending more money on something they don’t yet understand.

It may be Google’s paid advertising, boosting Facebook posts or paying a monthly fee to have a company manage their web marketing. Wherever the money goes, each month their company spends more of it on their website and they have no idea if it’s working. And that scares them.

Fortunately, they don’t need to know everything about Website Analytics to see if their investment is working. All they need are the basic concepts around traffic and conversion. This usually comes about midway through the morning session.

Here are some other drivers of our training group.

They need to compete at speed

Some industries move faster than others. Competition is tough and there’s little that separates the players. Any slight advantage needs to be pounced on and milked before others catch on.

Unfortunately, your advertising is there for everyone to see – as is your website. However, your website analytics are for your eyes only. And knowing more about how your website responds to visitors can be a great advantage.

It can help you cycle through multiple website changes super fast to push up your conversion rates (leaving your competitors behind). If your website converts traffic at twice the rate as your competitors’, you double the effectiveness of your ad spend.

Customisation makes sense

The “out of the box” installation of Google Analytics is good but not great. Just install the magic Google code on your site and you will see a basic profile of your visitors, where they arrived from, and the pages they looked at and for how long.

Useful, but not earth shaking.

Getting to the gold requires customisation. The kind that lets you track who bought something off the site, or completed a quote request or filled in a contact-us request. Or those snippets of engagement that reveal interest rather than commitment – like downloading PDF reports, playing videos or using calculators.

They want to boil all the complexity down to a few numbers

Running a successful business is to manage a machine with many moving parts. Unfortunately, a journey into Website Analytics initially feels like you are adding a lot more to your to-do list. But there is a way to simplify things down to a maximum of five numbers.

One key number is per-visit-value. It links a dollar value to each new visit by channel. For instance, every extra visit from your Google AdWords traffic could be worth $2.48. Want a simple metric to track your paid advertising optimisation efforts? Just drive this value upwards.

Starting to feel some FOMO for Website Analytics now? Great! Kick things off by installing Google Analytics on your site, then view the online tutorials. Or, if you prefer the fast track method, why not drop into one of our Google Analytics Group Training Half Day courses?