In today’s digital age, human behavior can now be quantified into numbers and data to both predict and control future behavior. But, what the heck exactly is this ominous, yet ever-present “data” concept that has claimed its spot as the hot topic? Data has become loosely defined as a catchall term referring to the data sets generated by consumer interactions and transactions. The average consumer generates piles of data everyday when they are browsing, shopping, clicking, commenting, liking, following, etc. So, why is this illustrious term so important?
Why Data Is Important
Simply put, data drives insight. The analytics behind the data can be a key differentiator in driving operational efficiency, lowering costs, increasing client loyalty, understanding buyer behavior and helping companies make informed business decisions. Leveraging the signals, patterns and trends in the data will enable you to streamline and digitize your client experience, operations and even supply chain. Take an audit of all your digital and software assets including your CRM, website, social media, blogs, systems and other data sources that exist inside and outside your company. Integrating human with technology will not only result in growth, but will also create value for you, your employees and your customers.
Analytics is the collection, measurement, reporting and analysis of data for the purposes of providing smarter decisions, clear action and better outcomes. Nowadays it seems like there is the datafication of everything. However, the problem isn’t finding the data, it’s understanding how to properly read it and knowing what to do with it. I’d like to note that not all data is created equal nor is all data relevant or valuable. You want ensure that you are measuring quality, not quantity. Each data set has its own meaning behind the numbers. In order to achieve long-term success, you must focus on the customer experience—attracting, delighting, nurturing and retaining customers.
Basic Metrics Defined
Let’s start with the basics. First, you must understand what you’re looking at before you can measure and analyze performance indicators. Here are some basic key metrics to review and consider:
- Pageviews – how many views is each of your pages getting
- Unique visitors – the number of distinct visitors who regularly return to the site (measured according to their unique IP address)
- Bounce rate – amount of people that visit your site and immediately leave
- Referring sites – where people are finding your site and where they are coming from
- Direct traffic – those who come straight to your site without using a search engine
- Exit pages – which pages people are leaving your site from
- Entrance pages – the pages most often used when people first visit your site
- Navigation paths – how visitors got to a page and how they subsequently interacted with your site
- Conversion rate – the ratio of visitors who convert into taking a desired action (i.e. purchasing product, scheduling an appointment, downloading a white paper, etc.)
- Funnel visualization – identifies leaks in your sales conversion process showing which pages turned into lost opportunities (think shopping cart abandonment)
Five Web Analytics Must-Haves
I’ve put together a list of the website analytics must-haves to help you market more effectively, optimize your sales conversion rates, decrease barriers to entry and understand your customer’s actions. These valuable tools will become your best friend and provide you the insight you need to optimize your customer’s experience, improve efficiency and impact your overall bottom line.
Google Analytics is the simplest and most robust web analytics offering giving you an in-depth look at your site’s statistics, inside and out.
- Segment your audience by different variables such as source, location, operating system and so on to see how various types of visitors interact with your site.
- Collect e-commerce data and reports including revenue and product sales information.
Optimizely provides A/B testing to help you measure, test and optimize your site.
- Custom goal tracking measuring actions such as sign ups, conversions, engagement, etc.
- Instant testing with zero coding, HTML or programming knowledge necessary.
- Advanced targeting, allocation, and scheduling features for your custom tests.
- Real-time results leading to faster optimization decisions.
Detailed analysis focused on who visited and what they did to provide insight into conversions and how to improve your customer experience.
- Use cohorts to segment groups of people based on an action.
- Track who is in each step of your conversion funnel.
- User-specific data and reporting.
CrazyEgg allows you to build heat maps that let you see where you’re getting the most visibility and traction.
- Heat maps tracking where and how many times your visitors clicked to improve usability and conversion rates.
- Scrollmaps showing you how far visitors scroll down the page.
- Overlay report to see the number of clicks on each element of your page.
- Segment click traffic by source, search term, etc.
Surveys to solicit direct and valuable feedback from your clients, fans and followers.
- Survey templates that are easy to create, edit and launch.
- Various question and answer formats allowing you to get specific and follow up on a certain topic.
Analytics – There’s no ignoring it.
The importance of analytics is quickly growing and becoming a top priority for business leaders driving long-term business success. If you’re not sure where to start or have additional questions on this topic, be sure to drop us a line. We’d love to have a complimentary coffee talk to assess your goals, assets, challenges and roadblocks.
One of the simplest ways of getting your website in working-order is getting feedback from your clients. We’ve put together a customizable-to-your-brand Word document for you to send out to some of your most-trusted clients. With their feedback, you’ll have a better idea of the essential website updates you need to focus on first. Enjoy!