Question: How do you get the most out of your website analytics in order to convey trends to your team (and identify goals)?
Question by: Ashley
Mixpanel for Mapping Your Analytics
"When creating a web or mobile product you're going to run into bottlenecks. Typically, teams speculate on the cause of the issue or are completely blind to the problem. Determine where the "blockage" is by tracking actions (like button clicks) on your site or mobile app and create a funnel of those actions. This helps you determine what specific actions are not converting."
"One of the best ways to convey trends in our web analytics is by creating visualized funnels to show where the real problem points are in our conversion and sales funnel, and then we can think about how to improve conversions and reach our goals."
Highlight Metrics That Matter
"Today's website analytics services can provide you with possibly hundreds of different metrics to review. That breadth is wonderful, but when reporting trends to the team, don't include everything because it can result in data overload. Instead pick 3-5 metrics that are most important and emphasize those trends when conveying strategy or goals to the team so everyone can focus on the priorities."
"Track every interaction, page view and state of your application. Even if you're not surfacing the data in your analytics today, it's extremely helpful to have a body of past data that you can call upon to compare performance or to make projections on a new feature. Graphite and StatsD (both open-sourced) are great tools for data collection and display."
Go Beyond the Basics
"In order to really succeed with analytics, you need more useful data than what is offered by default. By employing additional applications like CrazyEgg or ChartBeat, you get a glimpse into real-time data and more detailed user behaviors that can help you understand how to better optimize the site for your users' on-site experiences and conversions."
Get Friendly With Google Analytics
"Take the time to set up goals in Google Analytics so you can track goals accurately. This will allow you to split test conversion pages and keep track of other important metrics such as percentage of visitors that register or purchase. Without these goals, it is tough to see how changes are impacting your business. Working in a vacuum is dangerous."
Carry Your Cohort
"Weekly data snapshots are incredibly helpful, but it's not nearly the full story. Cohort Analysis tracks engagement over time so you can easily see if the users who signed up six weeks ago are still engaged and, if not, when they start dropping off. You can compare older cohorts to newer cohorts to see if the changes you've made are making a difference now and over time."
Start Split Testing
"It's great to look at general analytics, but you won't know how well you're doing unless you have something to compare to. Consider setting up split tests to try out different headlines, calls to action, and varying graphics to see what resonates most with your audience and makes more sales."
Craft Your KPIs
"Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the most important metrics in your business. They're the numbers that if they go up, the business survives and thrives, but if they suffer, so does the company. Your team will be focused on their tasks, so giving them just a few numbers to care about will have a big impact on driving your business. Choose no more than four of these and share them regularly."
Isolate the Variables
"To find out what is working and what isn't, identify what you're trying to measure and what impacts that data. You can't measure how a headline changes your bounce rate without keeping all other variables besides the headline the same. Eliminate changes in time, day, promotions, and traffic sources to really find out what changing your one variable does to your data."
Don't Keep Secrets
"As a small company, everyone's work impacts our traffic and conversions. We have opened access to our analytics suite to all of our team members so that there is never a question on how the company is performing. Having clarity of goals is one thing, but having insight on a daily basis to if we are reaching our goals drives everyone to work smarter."
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