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Four Steps to More Value from Visitor Analytics

Published 13 Jun 2013 by , CANDDi
Read this in about 2 minutes

However you use analytics today, here are some tips for getting the most value from your data - and your time.

However you use analytics today, here are some tips for getting the most value from your data - and your time.

Step 1. Collect data

This might seem obvious but there are a few key questions to answer.

Firstly, are you collecting the right data? Is it numerical or individual data you need? Do you know the right things about each visitor?

Secondly, is the data in a format you can easily use? Do you have the right access to the analytics system? Can you download data in a format that you can easily comprehend or manipulate if required?

Step 2. Ask ‘business questions’

Analytics is technology with a business purpose. It’s only valuable if you can interrogate the data to get the answers to business questions: ones that can have an impact on the bottom line. So, think about what answers would add value.

For example, can you look at the cost of a new enquiry and the components of that cost? If you pay 10p for every visitor to your site and get one enquiry for every 100 visitors (not atypical), analytics can help you track performance improvements over time.

Step 3. Run ‘small’ experiments & test results

Analytics packages produce a lot of data. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by it, and if you try to do everything, you’ll end up achieving nothing. So you need to focus: create small experiments with measurable outcomes.

Pick an area of the business that may be ripe for improvement. Check that analytics can help you measure the right factors to analyse this piece of the business. And then make sure you have a champion in the relevant area of the business, keen and ready to listen to your results and act on recommendations: it can be a thankless process without buy-in from the right places in the company.

A good example of an experiment might be the impact of changing the frequency of a newsletter in driving repeat business. Or how different language affects conversion rates on landing pages. There are loads of things you can test, just remember to test them one at a time!

Step 4. Add analytics into business processes

Once you get some experience building small experiments with analytics you begin to see how they can be applied to many aspects of business operations: for example, customer service and credit control, as well as the more obvious sales and marketing.

Look at building analytics into every business process, starting with new ones that you create.

A simple example would be product launches. When you launch a new product, write down your expectations for how the campaign will perform. Then see if you can apply analytics to test whether the performance met your expectations. Over time you will be able to use the measurements to benchmark the performance of product launches, analyse success, diagnose failure, and become better at predicting results based on given inputs.

Do you have tips on constructing effective analytics experiments?

Let us know below.

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