Every business with an online presence should be making better use of its analytics. Unfortunately, as businesses grow, they gain access to higher volumes of data. A combination of legacy processes and legacy IT infrastructure can hinder growth simply because knowing which analytics are high value and which are little more than vanity metrics becomes more challenging. The key is to know the best ways to utilize the analytics that you have access to so that you get the most proactive and informative insights. Here are some of the simplest and most effective ways to get the maximum value from your analytics.
Google Analytics and Ecommerce Tracking
One of the most valuable sources of data for any business, Google Analytics is a digital asset that you simply can’t afford to ignore. Ecommerce tracking is a very easy function to set up, and it yields many high-value insights that you can use to improve your digital presence. From the customer experience to the ability to be found more easily by prospects, one simple line of code will allow you to easily track:
- The number of sales you’ve made
- Geographical locations of your customers
- Which products are selling the most (and the least)
- Transaction breakdowns
- How long it takes a consumer to buy a product
Conversion rates are an incredibly useful metric to pay attention to because they can help you identify any roadblocks in your sales funnel. By using eCommerce tracking, you can spot exactly which pages are causing people to leave your site, which allows you to make changes as needed.
As companies grow, so too do their digital assets. Proactively managing that data becomes increasingly difficult, and the larger the business, the more potential for mistakes to be made. Those mistakes lead to a lack of uniformity and cross-company alignment, drastically reducing brand efficiency. The key to taking charge of those growing digital assets is through the use of Master Data Management. Fortunately, new technologies and tools make the entire process of data management easier to tackle effectively. They don’t just make it easier to manage your digital resources; they align in-house communications, improve supply chain transparency, and ensure a more reliable company hierarchy.
Plenty of business leaders look at vanity metrics and view them as a success. Those metrics are often business goals in the worst cases, despite offering very little in terms of real value. After all, having growing numbers of website visitors is all well and good, but if none of those visitors are signing up for newsletters or making a purchase, they provide very little in terms of value. The solution is to focus on a shortlist of core metrics that are going to matter to your business growth. Pageviews are not relevant. Instead, focus on measurable metrics that will help to grow your brand, such as:
- How often your contact page is used to communicate from
- The average value of every order
- New customers
- Sign-ups to a marketing newsletter
- Marketing traffic
Having more social media followers isn’t without value, but if those followers aren’t boosting your sales figures or your brand reach, they aren’t something you should focus on.
Using Customer Analytics
Any business that doesn’t understand its customers is going to hit a roadblock sooner rather than later. While it’s common sense that every business should have done its customer research long before launch, too many brands stop thinking about those customers once launch day has gone by. Customer analytics is itself a huge area to explore, but it’s easy to stick to the basic elements such as age, gender, and geography. What’s often overlooked is analyzing customer behavior and using your insights to break down those customers into segmented demographics that can dramatically empower marketing. That segmentation is more important than ever because modern consumers demand personalization as a given. To get more from your customer analytics, use your data to:
- Identify more information about your audience base
- Discover as much info as possible about customer pain points and needs
- Segment audiences according to any similarities
- Create in-depth profiles of your ‘Ideal Customer’ or buyer persona
Put simply, you can never know too much about who your customers are and what they need from you.
Keep Ahead of Analytics and Data Trends
It’s always smart to keep one step ahead of emerging business trends. Savvy business leaders will always have industry-specific news alerts and will be following thought leaders in their fields on social media platforms. A key thing to remember is that analytics (and the way that we use them) continue to evolve, and what works today may not be as effective or as valuable tomorrow. Some exciting new trends are emerging all the time, and analytics trends are no different. By now, most brands are aware that cloud-based applications are simply expected, but they may have overlooked other new trends that may prove disruptive. The blockchain is growing in value, while AI and machine learning continue to be the foundation for most of the new technologies that businesses rely on. Follow the analytics trends, and you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors.
Moving in Real-Time
When you have access to your analytics in real-time, you need to respond to them at the same rapid pace. An agile business that can act on insights quickly and effectively will always outpace those that are hindered by slow business processes. Just as responsive data management will allow you to perform in real-time, so too will the move away from past data. While that past data has its value, sudden market shifts can happen at any time, and businesses need to be able to react faster than ever. Security analytics is one area where real-time responses are vital and can make all of the difference when it comes to discovering a security breach.
By now, most business owners are already aware of and make use of their basic analytics data. To stay proactive and increasingly agile despite larger volumes of information, data is the key. Failing to utilize your analytics can be a mistake that a business does not recover from.
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