A three-part series on why it’s worth digging into the data
Businesses across all industries have begun to respect the importance of measurement in digital communications. They employ analysts, spend millions on reporting platforms, and yet many still don’t know how to begin using their data to make informed decisions.
In the first of our three-part series on the importance of getting analytics right, we look at the role validity plays, and how accuracy lays the groundwork for contextually relevant insights.
Start by removing the noise from your data
Collecting thousands of data points across platforms can feel empowering. But without the right safeguards in place, that information can lead you in the wrong direction and waste money through untargeted marketing campaigns. For example, 25% of a company’s daily traffic can come from bots or scrapers. Those aren’t real visitors but do have the potential to trip up your reporting.
People create content for multiple purposes and user types. Mapping consumption from internal and external stakeholders within your analytics will decrease ambiguity within your channel insights and deepen insights that power your marketing and communications strategies.
Understanding precisely what content your audiences are consuming, and what’s leading them to convert, should be the goal of your analytics strategy. Know what traffic is real, and whether audiences are being tracked properly, and you’ll immediately get a clearer picture on what parts of your digital ecosystem resonate.
It's important to assess the amount of direct traffic that comes into your site. What’s the ratio of direct traffic to other channels? What is the average time spent on the site? How high or low is your bounce rate? What is the overall trend of users engaging with your site over time?
Consider segments versus filters when it comes to internal traffic. Countless times we see insights lost or skewed from communications being delivered via intranets that might provide deeper insights into content diversification.
Individual metrics provide some useful information, but the power of analytics is realized when the key metrics are viewed together and relationships between these metrics are understood.
Let’s see how this power is realized using the above example. We have positive growth in both total sessions and number of users compared to the same period of the previous year, but we can see how the growth in the number of users far exceeds the growth in total sessions. This could point to your site attracting the right audience, where the same users are visiting the site again and again, compared to one-off visitors.
Now let’s look to the stagnation and decline in the session duration and the average pages per session. The stagnation of the average pages / session metric could indicate that content intending to drive users to a specific place is probably not working effectively.
Finally, look at the total page views trends and the average session duration to get a fuller picture. With average session duration down and total page views down, this is a strong indicator that your content is not as engaging or as fresh as the same time in the previous year
Armed with these assumptions, you can now drill deeper to validate and isolate potential areas for improvement. MyInvestis' Data Studio report is perfect for this deeper analysis where you can investigate your referral source, the traffic sources, page scroll tracking and a detailed look at the content your users are consuming. This information will help put forward a hypothesis on what content is working well or and what content is needing attention, you’ll also be able to propose improvements to your SEO rankings and how users are finding your site.
Our Analytics Premium and Analytics Elite packages include regular meetings with either our Google Analytics Certified Services Team (Premium) or an Analytics Expert (Elite), where Investis can help you understand the analytics insight and recommend what changes are needed to reach the goals you’ve set.
Protocols for purpose
Data reliability is paramount when it comes to meaningful analysis. Many of our clients have the best of intentions when it comes to tagging campaigns, for example, but lack a comprehensive approach to putting protocols in place. This can result in unused data, such as that pesky “other bucket” that offers no real insight into what’s working, or worse, lumping misleading data in with real people. They may end up with lots of pretty graphs, but lack business context for the data those real buckets represent.
Urchin Tracking Modules (UTM) are a great way to understand your marketing and communications efforts. However, keep in mind that Google Analytics is a marketer-friendly data base. Data goes where you tell it to go. Once a tagging strategy is defined, you must tell that traffic where to go. This can be done by manipulating the rules within your Default Channel Grouping.
Proving your data’s validity is the first step in crafting an analytics strategy that will give you the meaningful insights you seek. Before you can perform channel analysis, or create tagging strategies for marketing efforts, take these first steps to build representative reports you can understand. That’s how you’ll make business decisions that serve your audiences. Stay tuned for tips on using your accurate, reliable data to build and ideate to stay ahead of the curve.
How are you currently tracking your website analytics today? Do you have a way to track across not only websites, but also efforts across social and mobile? For more questions on MyInvestis, reach out to your Investis account manager or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org