Your website, blog, mobile app/site are all set and now you want to find out how your visitors are behaving on your digital properties. You would immediately Google the latest feature-rich analytics tool and add the tracking code to your website without giving a second thought. From the next day, you would expect some deep insights from the tool about how your visitors react. Sounds familiar? Many new website owners follow the same routine. But after a few months go by, they realize that the data they are getting is somewhat accurate but not good enough for basing decisions. Moreover, the data coming in from various channels is confusing and cannot be integrated to get meaningful results. They are not able to achieve the insights they are after and the analytics tool just becomes a dashboard that tells how many people visited and how many bounced.
To achieve practical and useful insights, digital analytics has to be taken seriously from step one – right when you decide to build a digital presence of any kind. Here are some useful tips from Nabler that will get you started in the analytics world:
Build a digital analytics road-map
At Nabler, we always encourage clients to first identify where they stand in their analytics maturity curve and then plan for the future based on the goals that they want to achieve. Businesses often have a complex digital footprint with multiple websites and many stakeholders are involved in managing, maintaining and updating the website. This complexity is usually a big roadblock when it comes to taking quick decisions. Whether you are a beginner or have an established web presence, it is essential to have the goals in mind and then plan accordingly.
Identify what you wish to track
It is often noted that as soon as the analytics tool is set-up, companies start expecting deep-dive insights and want answers to very specific questions. They miss out the bigger picture and start looking for micro-insights for which the data is not completely there. The first step, hence, should be to make a list of all the metrics and KPIs that need to be tracked and analyzed. If you have a clear picture of your expectations, then you can perform the tweaks and customizations required to get those numbers with ease.
Implement a tool that supports your needs
There are many free, freemium and paid tools available for digital analytics. Each tool comes with its own set of features and capabilities. Based on the amount and type of insights you need, you can opt for anything from MS Excel to full-fledged Google Analytics Premium, or any other high-end tool. But most importantly, you must implement it the right way. At this point, you must also understand the importance of tag management. If done perfectly right from the beginning, it can deliver accuracy and agility to your digital analytics. And if ignored, it can wreak havoc on your site and generate wrong results while making the site slow.
Set-up analytics for your digital marketing cloud
Analytics is no longer limited to websites and landing pages. Companies invest in a lot of digital marketing activities such as online advertising, AdSense, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, mobile based marketing, and so on. All this data can either lie in disparate applications or can be integrated together to form a complete picture and generate insights that are a lot more valuable and realistic. This is where a digital marketing cloud comes in. If you plan to do a plethora of online marketing activities, then think of a solution that can give you integrated analytics for all your activities.
First things first
Get the basics right first and understand the significance of what all the parameters. Analyze top traffic pages, exit pages, and bounces. Study the bounce rate and exit pages to identify what’s ticking your user off. Analyze most visited pages and find out what are you doing right in terms of customer engagement. How is digital traffic affected by your marketing efforts? Where are your prospects coming from? What are the top search phrases that they use to reach your site? Are those search phrases aligned with your business? First get the answers that matter the most and then move deeper to know the whys, whens, and hows.
- Identify conversion funnels and optimize them
The biggest priority for any digital marketer is to increase the conversion rate. Conversion rate could have different meanings for different businesses, but there is always a path that visitors follow before doing what you wish for them to do. This conversion funnel needs to be analyzed at each step and optimized further in order to get more of what you want. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a continuous process of improving the key sections, pages and conversion flow(s) on the website. This facilitates an engaging user experience and drives them closer to the conversion path by eliminating those steps in the visitor journey that deviate or distract them from their end objective.
- Identify customer segments
All your visitors will not behave in the similar fashion and hence creating logical segments in order to target each segment effectively is what needs to be done. Segmentation is the first step towards personalization. It is important to identify segments that boost margins. Effective segmentation would help you in devising better marketing strategies.
- Utilize A/B testing to optimize web pages
Experimentation and innovation is the key to building an effective digital presence over time and this can be made possible through A/B testing. Testing multiple options of the same page, making minor tweaks in terms of language and design, and analyzing what peaks the interest of your visitors the most are some of the activities involved in the process. You might require an expert to conduct A/B testing. At Nabler, we follow an advanced A/B Testing Methodology, which is based on a continuous improvement philosophy. It starts with identifying the test goals, audience research and segmentation, and audit of site taxonomy and information architecture.
- Create a customized dashboard for the KPIs you want to track frequently
Once all the requirements are clear, you can cherry-pick only the metrics and KPIs that you want to track on a constant basis and create a customized dashboard. Different teams can have different dashboards as their analytics requirements can vary. Set-up automated alerts and reports and get them delivered to your inbox for further analysis. This will increase the usage and adoption of analytics in your organization and you can move closer towards your aim to take data-driven decisions.
- Seek professional help if needed
All this might seem complex as there are various technologies and tools involved in digital analytics. As the scope of work involved in analytics is becoming greater and more complicated, a certain level of expertise is required to accomplish the goals with finesse. So, do not shy away from hiring additional help and resources for analytics as it has now become a vital part of any business entity and can easily become your competitive differentiator.