In today’s world of data and analytics it’s now easier than ever to understand your customers behavior on your digital properties, analyze the behavior and customize the experience / market to them real-time or near real-time with the right offers at the right time and turn many a lead into a sale. With an unending supply of qualitative and quantitative data at your business’s disposal, you can work toward your goals both online and offline. Data driven marketing has become an industry standard for sales, but its success relies on rich data created by the proper implementation of your digital analytics infrastructure.
So, how can you be sure your digital analytics has been implemented correctly? With the correct application of skills, technologies, and information processing you can drive the continual improvement of your business. Below are 7 ways your digital analytics implementation may be flawed and what you can do to fix it.
1. Missing or Duplicate Tags
This can happen for a variety of reasons. Communication or the lack of it, creating stand-alone pages and not using a tag manager are probably the 3 most important reasons for it. This can lead to over/under-reporting of numbers and can lead to erroneous decisions and a lack of trust among senior management on the reports that you and your team share with them. If one number does not match, how do I trust the others will be question you will be asked?
2. Not filtering Bots and Internal Traffic
Depending on what your acquisition strategy is and what kind of security precautions you have taken, you can and will attract a lot of bot traffic. While putting in checks and balances in place to prevent the bots from overloading your site is important, it is just as important to ensure that you do not count the bot traffic as valid traffic and end up invalidating most of the numbers on the site or getting incorrect insights from the numbers in your analytics reports. From our experience, excluding the common bots can bring down your overall traffic (from about 2-3% for the large websites to even 10-15% for SMEs/smaller sites).
Just as important as the bots is blocking out internal traffic (especially from Dev, Testing and Marketing Teams) to ensure that there are no spikes during project launch and testing phase of a project and also to ensure that you really are getting the true picture of a site’s performance. This can play a much bigger role for smaller companies (SMEs) than for larger ones.
3. Not capturing User Data
Identifying a user (by even an anonymous id) helps you really understand the behavior and segment the traffic in so many interesting ways instead of just looking at summary reports. Of course, this should be followed by setting up of the relevant User-Level Dimensions as well so that the analysis can be richer and more actionable. E.g. Once you setup a User_Id, you can pull reports that identify the split of one-timers and repeat customers by channel, by product of interest and many other dimensions. This can lead to interesting actions such as lowering the spends on certain channels and spending more on others.
4. Disregarding Goals and Funnels
As a website owner, you clearly will have goals that you will be measured by. Making sure that you have setup those goals on your analytics tool and are reviewing that on a regular basis with your marketing, merchandising and analytics teams is a critical step. The goals could range from Macro Metrics (like Orders or Form Submissions) to Micro Metrics (like PD Page Views, Cart Adds, Check-Out, Time_Spent > x minutes).
In addition to setting up goals, for an e-Commerce site, making sure that the funnel is captured will enable Funnel Analysis and comparisons to get insights into Funnel performance overall and within each customer segment.
5. Not Tracking Key Events
In addition to the macro-goals on your website, there are typically many elements of your website and key pages on your site that either might be working really well or working very badly for some or all of your customer segments. To be able to understand that, one of the pre-requisites is that you need to be tracking it. Events that might need to be tracked include Video Views, Banner and Nav-Bar Clicks, Social Sign-On or Social Share and even Review Shared about a Product.
6. Not Tracking Custom Behavior (Dimensions & Metrics) around your Business
Each business is unique in its own way. Even if you look at two businesses in the same industry, they each will have their own idiosyncrasies. Making sure that you capture that and also you build your reporting around that is critical to ensure that you are acquiring the right kind of customers for your business and also that you are grooming / growing them as per your plan. Tracking you put in could help segment customers and then treat them with a unique experience as per their past behavior.
7. Not Effectively Categorizing or Tracking Campaigns
The biggest gap in a marketing team is not having a coherent and homogenous tracking mechanism for all marketing channels. A marketing campaign today does hit a customer across marketing vehicles and the day and age of single-channel teams and campaigns is long gone. For this kind of campaign to work and work effectively, making sure that all teams use the same standard of tracking is imperative. Using UTM parameters and using them effectively is a simple solution to ensuring accurate and effective tracking.
Managing your digital analytics tool and its implementation effectively is a massive undertaking, but well worth the results when implemented correctly by an expert team. Your business’s goals and sales will benefit from a good web analytics platform and the proper implementation of data analysis. The potential is in the data and information that your customer is sharing with you, it’s up to you to first capture it and then put it to work.
If you would like to learn more about auditing your digital analytics implementation and how Convergytics can help optimize you with your data capture and utilization, please visit our website and sign up for a FREE Basic Digital Audit of your Website.
Randhir Hebbar heads Digital Analytics and BI at Convergytics. Randhir has over 15 years of consulting experience with the likes of Verizon, DSW/Town Shoes, Adidas, Dell, BestBuy, Gap, Nordstrom and Citi. He is a 2012 Franz Edelman Laureate, the winner of Whichtestwon.com awards for Online Cart Optimization and most recently co-founded Convergytics and heads the Digital Analytics Practice there. He can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]. You can also connect with him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/randhir