Now I know for some I might be teaching you to suck eggs here and there is a chance you’re doing all the things I mention below, in which case well done! But, just in case, keep reading…
Pull out H.A.I.R when approaching analysis:
Writing goals might seem an obvious one, but believe it or not I’ve come across so many organisations that have no documentation or deadlines associated with their goals and activities.
It’s the start of 2014, giving you the ideal opportunity to define some key goals and strategies that will help you to achieve them. I find that by having some sort of documentation I become more committed and therefore it’s more likely to come to fruition (that might just be me, but it’s worth giving a go).
My strategies can be found in a multitude of formats, but what you use isn’t as important as the process. As well as the usual formats (Word Documents & Powerpoint), a couple of my favourite alternative formats include:
In order to be able to truly understand your online business and improve it, you need to benchmark your current situation and be able to analyse it correctly. So many companies I’ve dealt with don’t have their analytics packages configured correctly (I’d say around 95% of them) to report KPI’s or segment their data enough to be able to do anything with it. The majority think it’s enough to have something like Google Analytics installed and just click around or use dashboard metrics.
My advice is that investing in Analysis would be the best and most productive thing you could do in 2014 if you aren’t already taking data as your primary roadmap to improving your digital channels. I’d also clarify that this doesn’t mean going out and buying a paid for Analytics tool(s) – I just mean actually find someone who is an analyst and understands data. All too often it’s a person currently in the business who has just had the responsibility of analytics added to them. Give it the attention it deserves.
Once you have the data in a format which gives you the current metrics of your business / project against each of the digital medium you may be interacting with (Social, Email, PPC, SEO etc). It’s vital you then put this into perspective and interpret the data. For example if you have an increase in visits, then ensure you know why? Was it a campaign, PR? Etc. Another example could be if you’re looking at funnels within a checkout and you see a high exit rate on a particular page, then go to it and see what could be the cause. Also ask colleagues what they think the cause could be; ask a designer, a marketer, a developer and so on. The more you can work in a team then the more likely you’ll be able to understand what’s happening. You have to be like a CSI agent and make your own judgement and interpretations to complete the overall scene and story.
This stage is the key to success! It’s all very well understanding your business, looking at the data and solving how to improve it, but, it all goes to waste when there is no reaction or process to go from thoughts > trials > deployment of improvements.
There are a few tools and services I use to help me react to data analysis and see how improvements can be made, however, my secret weapon in usability and conversion optimisation is multivariate testing (MVT). I use MVT to trial a host of different ideas and elements including copy, design, functionality, navigation and so on. This gives me a second level benchmark to see how things have changed against the control (benchmark). This way only tried and tested ideas go into development. Continuous testing means that there are always continuous increases in goal performance to be made.
That’s it! Good luck, and I’d be interested to receive feedback on anyone else who uses this sort of process, workflows or tools.Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or wish to talk about any of the topics discussed above in more detail.