Analytics brought my site down!

One of the most crucial tools in your online toolbox is your website analytics tool (you do have one right?)

I’m currently using Google Analytics and a newer application called GetClicky. I’m using 2 because Google Analytics is quite possibly the most functional and useful of the free web analytic tools with advanced features and functionality. However I love Getclicky for its real-time reporting and simple dashboard. The paid for version opens up more functionality but for the time being I’m quite content.

Personally I use Getclicky everyday to check site visits and GA less frequently for a more in-depth analysis. It is this very thing that had me running circles recently…

I’d changed a few things on the site, to improve usability and help better our SEO. A day later and visits had plummeted to barely 20 or 30 unique visitors a day from a far healthier number! What had I done? Was I being penalised for black hat SEO that I wasn’t aware of? Was this a seasonal shift (being the bank holiday weekend).

I decided to wait a 2nd day before worrying – yet the same again! Getclicky was reporting only 25 UVs.

It was only until my other half suggested looking at Google Analytics that I found the problem.

I’d inadvertently deleted the code required for the Getclicky tool, except for on the homepage! Google analytics was showing the correct volume of visits!

It is these experiences which help you as a marketer to sometimes remember that the most obvious of answers can reveal the best solution.

But most of all, don’t always trust the numbers!!


Quality of traffic and online conversion

One of the key challenges we all face is integrating conversion analysis across the entire customer journey. This is from acquisition which occurs outside of the website, sending traffic to the website which as a conversion owner, you need to understand.

Tools such as Double Click, Omniture and Webtrends try to go some way to bridge the gap, but all the data in the world won’t tell you anything until you start understanding how to interpret the data.

Conversion begins from the moment your target customer engages with you, whether through online or offline. Once they’re interest in your product increases (i.e. a click or other action) you need to ensure you’re tracking them at each step of the way and you’re marketing to them in the right way. If your company is all about value, then tell them how much they’re getting. If your company is about trends or fashion, make them feel they can identify with your brand.

However conversely don’t think that the more visitors you get the higher the conversion! MISTAKE!

The best converting websites optimise their traffic before it hits the website to ensure you’re receiving quality traffic. There will always be a large majority that are only browsing or are discovering your brand, or have accidentally landed on your site, but your goal is to ensure you maximise your exposure to the maximum relevant people. Only by this will your on site conversion really come to pass.


Driving up the value of your eCommerce website

How do you measure the ‘value’ of an eCommerce website

Our conversion consultant recently conducted a study on the value of our eCommerce website. Considering visitors are up, conversion is down and YOY revenue is also down, this potentially paints a bleak outlook. So what has happened? Due to the newly aligned multi-channel approach adopted, the website is now required to be as much a lead generator as it is a booking channel. The web is not a sales tool, but a tool for the customer to use during the path-to-purchase. An online brochure.

So what does that mean? Focusing on what is best for your customer. This means giving the customer an option to book online or through the call centre. This means giving the customer full access to as much information as they need and to deliver the best brand experience through the website. Offer the customer the opportunity to subscribe to enews, request a brochure and to call. If that’s what they want to do…

So with this in mind, how do you measure the value of your website? I mean, in monetary terms. After all, investing money into your eCommerce website requires a commercial understanding of the ROI. So what is the ROI of a website which is no longer delivering as many sales? Is the website not performing due to sales and conversion tracking down YOY?

Measuring the value of your eCommerce website

Okay so you know the value of your online purchase. For the sake of arguement, your average order value is £100 (that’s GBP!). If you receive on average 50 orders a day, you make £5,000 a day. Great! But you’re down on last year’s average orders a day by 50%. Last year you took 100 orders a day and brought in £10,000 a day. So what’s gone wrong? Well what happened is that you now employ a multi-channel approach and have helped transfer business to your other channels (bricks and mortar shop, call centre…) by changing your online strategy to accommodate the customer’s need.

Whilst orders are down, you notice that the number of sales calls generated from the website are up from 10 a day to 100 a day. You also notice that more people are requesting catalogues. From 20 catalogues a day, you’re now shifting 200. Ok so what? Let’s say your web calls convert at 10% and you generate 10% sales from the brochure.

Therefore you can model the following:

100 calls converting at 40% = 40 bookings a day

200 catalog requests converting at 10% = 20 bookings a day

Those 60 extra bookings at an average value of £100 adds a potential £6,000 totaling revenue generated from the website at £11,000 – that’s £1,000 up on our fictional YOY comparison!
So you see, in order to evaluate the success of your eCommerce website, look further than the direct revenue generated and delve into the indirect revenue for the business


Focusing on Mr Customer

Mr Customer?

Who is Mr Customer? Is it Mrs Customer? Or Miss Customer? We all love to design great websites but not enough online businesses actually think about who they’re selling to.

Here a are a few ideas to get you started on how to understand who you’re selling to is:

Online Surveys

An online survey, if your customers are generally truthful and willing, will enable you to hear the ‘voice’ of your [potential] customer. Get the questions right and you’ll get the right insights

Database Segmentation

Look at your existing customers. Look at the data collected. Segment it. Understand it and make use of it. It WILL prove invaluable.

Focus Groups

Get talking to your customers. Just because you’re an online business don’t think you should not be interacting with potential and actual customers in person. This could prove priceless in putting a face to your user. Imagine your next Marketing campaign in which your Marketing can picture what type of people will be receiving the next email or banner-ad!

Depesh Mandalia

The Key Customer Journey

The Customer Journey is Key

So what is the Customer Journey? This depends on your KPIs, the setup of your site, your path-to-purchase and many other things aside. Web analytics allows you to drill down on the journey your customers are taking. But is this your key Customer Journey?

What is my key Customer Journey?

Your key customer journey is a path through your website defined by you as an end goal. Buy a product. Book a holiday.  These are both key customer journeys; to your business. So how do you define your Customer Journey? Look at your KPIs. This is always a good starting point. What is the aim of your website? Are you selling something? Are you an informational portal? Think about this. Google’s key Customer Journey is to get you to click off of their website as soon as possible. Their measure of success? How little time you spend on their site amongst other things. The key here is to determine what you want people to do on your site.

The Customer Journeys

The Customer Journeys actually undertaken within the website are key for the success of your website. Are users doing what you want them to do? Are they achieving their goals? Using analytics tools within your website will be key in allowing you to drill down to what your [potential] customers are doing. Combine your key Customer Journeys (what you want your visitors to do) with your Customer Journeys (what they are actually doing) to determine your success rate. Only then can you begin a program of optimisation and improvement to continually ensure your website offers the best customer experience and increases propensity to complete a goal.

Depesh Mandalia