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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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/randhirPosted in Blogs,
Google AdWords is a great channel to get leads for your business. But, a key to your success is the use of data-driven digital marketing and analytics. Therefore, at Convergytics we provide end-to-end, data-driven marketing. That’s how we helped a leading furniture retailer based in US to increase their AdWords ROI 3X. We used extensive tracking of clicks from Google AdWords and detailed drill-down analysis and segmentation of traffic to study the results, and continue to test & learn and optimize the user experience.
When you choose keywords, think like your prospects, and use keywords that indicate buyer intent. That means keywords people who are shopping or, at least, researching their buying options, would put in. The Keyword Planning tool helps you to find keywords that are relevant, convey buyer intent and have relatively little competition.
If you sell internationally, find the keywords used in those countries. The US, the UK, Australia and others use different vocabularies.
Track your results. Some keywords result in click-thru and sign-ups, but not sales conversions. You need to eliminate them once your data analytics identifies them.
Use negative keywords such as “free,” “bargain” and “sale.” Negative keywords screen out any search queries containing those words. You don’t want customers who are just looking for the lowest prices.
To earn a healthy ROI from your campaigns, you must focus on conversions, not clicks, impressions and traffic for the sake of traffic.
Use a bid strategy to maximize conversion. Google itself says that’s Enhanced CPC or Target CPA bidding. Set up Conversion Tracking, and test to discover which strategies and keywords bring prospects that turn into sales. Use Google Analytics.
Think strategically about your product or service. If you’re a car dealer in Milwaukee you don’t want to pay for people in New York to see your ad. If you’re selling an information product in English, consider screening out countries where people don’t speak English. You can even go after specific cities (e.g. Target Toronto, but exclude Quebec). If you are into high-end fashion and want to target the urban population, make sure you exclude semi-urban and rural audience. You must continuously track your conversions, and fine-tune based on the data. Drop countries or all locations where prospects don’t convert to save your budget for countries and areas where people buy.
When do your prospects spend the most time online? Test to discover that. If you sell a B2B product turn off your ads at night and during the weekends. Study and analyze Google Analytics to learn at what times your sites gets the most traffic, and how many convert into sales. That varies a lot depending on your business and your customers and leveraging data and analytics can help ensure every click is more likely to convert into a sale.
Extensions show extra information about your business. They increase your ad’s visibility. They include: (Call, Site-links, Your location, A structured snippet, Reviews, Call-outs and Apps).
Test your ad’s performance with and without the extensions because Google charges you when somebody clicks on them. Therefore, those clicks are more expensive, but are certainly worth it if they increase your ad’s CTR and result in more sales.
Call dials your business’s telephone number. The Apps extension allows users to download your mobile app. The Location extension is great for local businesses because it displays your full address, telephone and a map marker.
Send ad traffic to a landing page you’ve aligned with the ad text, never to your home page. Continue the theme of the ad’s text. If your ad to sell cars brags about your deals in used Fords, deals in used Fords should be the main subject of your landing page.
Your ad sets up an expectation in the prospect’s mind about what they’ll find after they click through. Your landing page headline and copy must fulfill that expectation, or you’ll confuse prospects.
Your landing page consists of:
Always A/B Test / Split Test your landing pages. Test and try out many headlines, then the bullet points, images and Calls-To-Action.
Use direct marketing copy principles. Give them a powerful hook and make a big promise. The headline must attract your prospect’s attention. You don’t have many words to work with, so AdWords ads are a challenge, but convey benefits your target market wants to have. You can’t sell your product from one small ad, so sell the click-through. The same goes for the image. It must catch their eye, and appeal to your target market and make a big promise.
The only way to determine what copy is “right” and what images are “best” is to create a number of variations and then carefully A/B split test them.
Don’t expect to make a profit at first. Have a budget ready to test alternatives for a few months. Prepare to test, track, analyze, tweak, refine and re-refine. Use A/B split testing and analyze your results, always seeking to beat the control.
By working with Convergytics’ data-driven digital marketing team and utilizing their Google Adwords Management Services to enhance your ROI, you make AdWords a dependable source of business revenue and growth.
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.
Posted in Blogs,
It’s a proud moment for all of us here at Convergytics. The phenomenal growth that we have seen in the past 9-12 months has finally gotten some recognition. A month OR so back, we were asked by GBM – A UK Based Branding Magazine to fill up a form to be in consideration for the Prize in the category of Analytics Startups in Asia. We filled up the details and didn’t expect much. A little over a week before the event on December 15th, we were pleasantly surprised to hear that we had been declared the “Fastest Growing Analytics Startup” in Asia. This has only spurred us to work harder in pushing our story & committed us to our core value-proposition & continue to deliver value to our clients. Thanks to the Team, Clients, Support Teams and the families who stood by us. Below is a sneak peak of the award that Sanjeev and Randhir collected on our behalf. See photos on the Convergytics Facebook page The Award: here The press-release from Global Brands Magazine – one of UK’s leading Branding Magazine.Posted in News, Tagged Convergytics, Startup, Web Analytics, web design,
Convergytics Team led by Santosh Atre and Randhir Hebbar was in NITK, Surathkal on 30th November for recruiting talent from the 2015 batch. After a long and grueling process of an Pre-Placement Talk, Aptitude Test, Case-Study Round, Interviews, two students were selected basis their consistent performance across all the rounds. Convergytics welcomes Ritesh Shekhar and Nishanth N to the Convergytics Family.
John (name changed) is a Marketer for a leading apparel eTailer based in New York. John joined his current company recently and is struggling to make sense of the reports in his Inbox. The #s and findings in the reports just don’t add up. While their analytics vendor sends out 10-15 reports each week, no one on his team uses these reports. No one on the team was even aware of who requested so many reports. The vendor blames the poor data quality for the unreliable numbers and the poor usage. John wonders how he can improve the quality of his analytics projects and if there is a solution.
This is a typical scenario encountered by many a marketer / e-marketer. The root-cause of these are common mistakes that analytics teams (internal and external) make. What are these common but critical mistakes and how can you make sure you avoid them?
1. Unused Reports / Unimplemented Models = No Perceived Value
Is your team / vendor doing work that is eventually not getting used?
You should first inventory the analytics projects and identify the key stakeholders for each. Identify team members who will benefit most from each project. Get these team members to review the work and use it to make decisions. Motivate them to inform you if they feel that they may not have a need for it (now rather than later).
You should do a quarterly exercise to cut redundant work by sitting with your team and your vendors . This exercise will ensure only useful projects remain. A review before a major project launch will ensure you are investing only in useful projects.
As a vendor, you need to take ownership of tracking usage of each project that you work on. Most BI Tools today come with usage tracking features. XL and other reports sent using email can use email/link tracking tools to measure usage. Share the findings with your project sponsor to showcase the impact of your work. A dramatic solution to an unused report is to pull the plug on it for 1-2 weeks and see if anybody complains. If no one does, you can indeed pull the plug on those reports.
Is your team following due procedure when it comes to QA of the reports / analytics projects that are going out?
Are there a standard set of checks required before any report / analytics recommendation / model goes out? Is the process documentation detailed enough to avoid errors due to personnel changes? Are there many QA check-points within a project? E.g. Ensure that the # of customers in your modeling data-set on is in the ball park.
QA is an important ingredient for an error-free deliverable in any analytics project. You need to confirm advanced analytics projects and presentations make business sense. You also need to ensure that the model is a good model.
Who do you blame as an analytics team for poor data?
The Data Team (if you were not part of it) or just the stars (if you were). Data will never be perfect. You need to budget enough time in a project for data treatment and call out the assumptions made.
When many data sources are available, you must use the newer, more reliable and less error prone one. It could also so happen that the data was clean for some channels and no so clean for some other channels (e.g. Online). In that case, adopting a hybrid strategy might work better. A first step is to gain access to all key data sources and compare the key metrics (KPIs) across them.
A digital website audit by a digital analytics vendor would be a good first step. This would help identify mistakes around usability, analytics implementation and reporting. You must repeat this audit at least 2-4 times a year to ensure any new changes made do not impact the site and the data. You might need more frequent audits for a website that undergoes frequent changes.
Does your report tell a story, a single story?
Getting a deliverable ready to present / share with your client is only the first step. Making sure that the #s and recommendations make sense is important. It is easy to get lost in the numbers and lose sight of the reason for the request. The “So-what” or the “5-Whys” technique will help get to the bottom of what the numbers mean. They will also help make recommendations to the client to take certain actions.
You must remember “correlation is not causality” and “averages are misleading” when making recommendations. You might need to drill-down further to see if the recommendations you are making are valid.
Is your project making an impact?
You feel that you are doing some great work. But, is it making an impact by driving decisions. Is your model implemented in market? If your answer is “No”, you might not have given it enough thought at the start of the project. You must invest time at the start of a project to ensure that you are solving the right problem. You must also ensure that you are structuring the problem in the right way. A well-structured problem helps more than a cutting-edge tool or even a sophisticated technique.
You must ensure that any report includes recommendations based on your interpretation of data. You must also encourage users to provide feedback on these recommendations. Starting a conversation intrigues more stakeholders to use and get value from the reports. Even if you get corrected on your findings, it is likely to be because of some information that you missed as a team. You should request for the extra information and use it to improve the recommendations. More information could include campaign calendars, creatives, market dynamics or product launch schedules.
Author Profile: Randhir Hebbar is an entrepreneur and one of the founders of Convergytics – Asia’s leading analytics brand in 2015-16 (as per UK based Global Brands Magazine). He heads the Digital Analytics and BI Practice at Convergytics and also is the Account Lead for several key accounts. He has consulted with dozens of leading Fortune 500 Retail, e-Tail, Technology, Telecom and Media Companies over the past 15 years and as an Analytics Leader within the organizations that he has been a part off, has encouraged team members to strive to avoid some of the mistakes listed in the article.Posted in Blogs, Tagged analytics project, Convergytics, mistakes in analytics, Web Analytics,