When it comes to measuring a website’s effectiveness, most people’s first point of call is their site’s analytics. In doing so they’re willing to accept a generic tally for ‘user’ numbers and ‘user activity’. In reality though, this gives limited information to:
- Really understand engagement levels of those users
- Evaluate how the users came to the site (and what their interest may be)
- Create more tailored content to appeal and resonate with them
- Enhance the user experience and shorten the buyer journey.
This is because the generic ‘user’ tally is just a total of many different groups of people, each with completely different motives and interests. What you can’t distinguish from the analytics’ user figures are who these different groups are. As a result you risk wrongly assuming they’re all potential customers, when in fact they’re not.
A recent example
Here’s a recent example of how analytics can be misleading if taken at face value. Our team were called in by a large brand to determine what different groups the ‘user’ figures in their website’s analytics represented. The site also included a customer service portal for existing customers post purchase.
We examined the activity, the sources of different users and core characteristics about them. It enabled us to identify 3 common groups within the ‘user’ tally of the site’s analytics
- Employees of the brand – who were supporting the service portal
- Existing customers – visiting information sections of the site, product pages and also the service portal
- Ambient browsers (potential customers) – also visiting information sections of the site and product pages.
In defining these groups we were able to recalibrate the website’s analytics so they could distinguish volumes and behaviour of the 3 distinct groups.
Being more effective with your site and marketing
Going forward the clearer analytics enabled the Brand to be more focused and precise with the management of the site and the marketing campaigns they created to drive traffic to it. For example, they were able to assess and improve:
- The quality and appropriateness of the site’s content for the different groups – this prompted them to create dedicated sections for different groups’ interests and clearer signposting
- Their online advertising in driving prospective customers to the site and improving engagement and bounce rates when they landed.
- The overall health and user experience of the site
Whilst it is good to regularly check your website’s performance, make sure you understand what lies behind the figures. Don’t take them at face value if you really need to understand the people behind the numbers and how they relate to your marketing plan’s objectives.
Do drill deeper so you completely understand the different groups your ‘user’ figures represent. Armed with this knowledge, you are then on a much stronger footing to gain accurate insights from the data and – more importantly – take the right actions to achieve the results you want.
Contact our team if you need help.