Lesson 3: An Introduction To Web Analytics Tools, Part 1
Lesson 3: An Introduction To Web Analytics Tools, Part 2
Lesson 2: The Basics Of Web Analytics, Part 1
We will see that there are many sources of digital data today.
We’ll learn how cookies and tags are used to collect and grab that information.
We’ll see that data availability is inversely, unfortunately for us, related to, or correlated to the value of that data.
We’ll also see that organizational size can really dictate what metrics and what data is most appropriate for you in our marketing pursuits.
We will see that data needs to be used responsibly during the analysis process.
As we are pursuing analytics, we are not locking into a single data point.
We are using a number of data, a great store of information that we condense down certainly, but we are clearly using a variety of data to get us to a decision point.
No analyst, no matter how great, and no data, no matter how wonderful it is, will give you a perfect complete understanding of a situation or a consumer.
The primary one though is managing and integrating data and that goes back to that definition, again a variety of information.
Web traffic data reports, so a report on who’s come to your website and then what they’ve done in that online experience.
Web server performance data, so just volume of consumers that are coming in and reports on the server’s ability to handle that data.
So if you’ve got any commerce components as well as just any kind of actions that you want consumers to take on your website, really do fit into this definition of transaction, and that’s another source of data for us.
So how consumers are interacting with your website, or how they’re interacting with your brand even offline, another very valuable source of information.
Now this definition, where he identified this type of data in 2004 as we saw from a previous lesson, a lot has happened since that time.
This user submitted information has grown to really include things like social media and other interactions really rich vibrant pieces of data that are important for us that maybe in 2004 weren’t so much in the picture, but they certainly clearly are now.
Tags are used by every organization out there collecting information and it is a very valuable and vital way for marketers to learn about who a consumer is.
Off of those interactions log files are created, and then that information is placed into data bases, and then that’s where people like you and me are able to make reports from that data.
Digital as you interact with, the different social media sites that you visit and clearly the websites that you are on are using those cookies and tags to collect further information and build their database understanding of who you are.
Lesson 2: The Basics Of Web Analytics, Part 2
Peterson introduces a very interesting concept, and that’s this pyramid model of web data.
So basically what he said is at the bottom is availability and that starts with a great deal of availability, easy access to data, and then comes up to a pinnacle; a very difficult to obtain, very more elusive information.
Clearly as you move up that scale from something that is very readily available to something that is much more exclusive the value of that data becomes more and more and more, and some examples that he’ll use are hits, page views, visits kind of at the low to mid-range of increasing value up to unique visitors, and then finally uniquely identified visitors as the most important piece of data available to marketers.
This becomes very interesting when you layer in the different sources of data that we just talked about a few slides ago, and you can get that same idea of availability and value for those sources; it looks like this: Web traffic data, web server performance data kind of at the bottom of the pyramid; very available to you, maybe not so insightful, maybe not such valuable information.
As you move up though into web transactional data, usability studies, and then finally as we talked about this user submitted information, related sources; that becomes very valuable pieces of information for you as a marketer.
The problem for us is that it becomes harder and harder to find, but what we’ll be talking about in this course is sort of some of those approaches that let you get to that data.
A good measure of how efficient as well as how effective you are in collecting new customers, click through rate- A pretty standard measure of the effectiveness of web advertising; how many consumers actually see that.
Percent new visits- Is another very important acquisition measure, and that’s basically looking at of all the people showing up who are showing up for the first time? Who are those people who are coming to my site who I haven’t had a relationship with, but I now have the ability to turn into customers for my brand? As a medium-size business, you’ll have another set of metrics that are important to you.
It’s measuring how deep consumers go through my web experience.
How many pages did they actually see, which is a good measure of how long they stayed with me in my digital experience.
Loyalty another somewhat self-explanatory measure of how frequently are people coming back to my site.
Events per visit basically measures how many of those they do in that session in that time that they are with you.
Then check out abandonment rate is another very important measure of behavior, particularly for someone who’s selling things online; it’s basically looking at what percent of consumers begin the checkout process by putting something into their cart online and then don’t finish it, don’t actually buy that product.
The behavior you’re looking at there is how many consumers am I taking from in P&G’s promise that first moment of truth and then converting into a customer.
One is the macro conversion rate; it’s basically looking at how many consumers came in, and how many did I convert into customers.
Micro conversion rate takes a finer view of that data.
What it’s looking at is not only how many I turned into customers from visitors, but if I had said here are different events that I want them to do that lead along the path to sales, how many of those events did they actually conduct? How many of those predefined goals that I’ve set did I achieve with that consumer? Per visit goal value then is somewhat related.
“You do not want to be that drunk leaning against your data output just as a means of justifying or supporting some argument that you’ve made.
You must enter your analysis with an open mind, flexibility in the ability to go any which way that they data points you, and that is really what Edward Tufted is talking about here.
We’ve learned that the data availability and the value of that data is inversely correlated or negatively correlated; the more available data is probably the less valuable it really is to you.
Organizational size is one way to determine what metrics and what data is important.
Again, to the Edward Tufted quote, it’s something that you must enter in analyses with an open mind and fairly doing or being willing to do whatever the data is saying to you and pointing to you rather than arriving with an agenda that you’re looking to support.
Lesson 3: An Introduction To Web Analytics Tools, Part 1
This industry, this is growing very quickly and rapidly and changing.
Very importantly no tool is ever as important as the analyst behind that tool.
So like I’ve said and like we’ve seen, there are countless tools out there to help you conduct web analytics.
Point solutions, a little less information density it can handle but still very strong in its own right.
You’ve got comScore, Adobe, IBM, Google Analytics with the paid version of its product there.
These are very strong, as I’ve said very powerful enterprise packages that do a great amount of web analytics capabilities.
Here’s the downside to those things is that they all carry about a six-figure price tag with each of them with the implementation and then the subscription to the analytics they do.
So let’s look at a more affordable solution to our analytics problems.
If you’ve just got a single objective or challenge that you’re trying to go out and a chase, a point-solution is a very valuable and viable solution.
Or if you’re doing attribution modeling, which is really taking a very sophisticated look at your marketing and collecting all the different interactions and all the channels that you are operating in and determining the relative impact of each.
For each of those types of challenges, there are a whole host of companies out there that provide very successful solutions to those problems, not as expensive as an enterprise solution, but still some investment typically required to get those point solutions installed and get them running.
Once you have them, they are great founts of data and great – very valuable to the analytics that you’re going to be running.
They do have a variety of different things from click stream analysis, very similar to the capability that we just talked about, which is watching consumers on your website, how they’re interacting with you and how you might optimize that flow.
Voice of the customer, a very important analytics technique collecting information, primary information from consumers and their thoughts on your brand or the products that you have or whatever it is you want to ask them about.
Competitive intelligence is another area of analytics that is very important, collecting information on your competitors.
For each of those basic capabilities, and then throw in some more emerging analytic capabilities, there are free to very low-cost solutions out there for you.
Lesson 3: An Introduction To Web Analytics Tools, Part 2
Small organizations are going to have different needs from medium organizations and again, different needs from large organizations.
As I said, these are vital tools in your analysis chest.
Google Trends is a tool that will look at search topic and volume over time.
Consumer Surveys is a very intuitive, very powerful voice of customer collection tool.
There may be some expense to it but it is something that every analyst, if they’re looking for a solution to collect information from their customers or people who look like their customers, consumer surveys is a great tool to do that.
New tools popping up and being introduced all the time.
You will see dozens, if not hundreds of tools come up that you can use for free or for very limited investment and start collecting social media and other value, valuable digital data right away.
So those are tools but what is important for us to understand is while the tools are very valuable and vital to the work we’re doing, no tool is ever as important as analyst.
No tool would be useful unless you had a Michelle or an Amir or Enrique or Sasha who understands your business and has the drive to use the tool intelligently to deliver actionable insights.
The tool’s going to do a great job of identifying information and collecting that data for you.
Even probably conducting some analysis for you and maybe even dusting off some insights but without the context of understanding the business, without the assurance that the information that you collected and put into the tool is solid, that insight is not going to be valuable.
Never underestimate the importance and the value of the role that you, the analyst, play behind that tool.
So we saw that there are three main categories of marketing analytics tools that exist today.
We saw that the right tool, the one that is appropriate for you will depend on not only your organizational side and the resources that you have but also the needs that you have going into the analysis.
We saw that there are bountiful amounts of free tools out there to make any analyst formidable.
Those new tools, even though this market is moving very quickly, are always just a search away.
A little bit of supplemental information in reading that you can do to get deeper on some of these topics include the chapters 5 through 9 in Peterson’s book to give you even more information about the tools that we talked about.
Avinash’s blog posts where he does a great evaluation of significant web analytics tools that are out there.
Again, another blog post by Avinash to really get your mind right and let you understand or convey for you the role of the tool relative to the analyst.