Digital Marketing

Quick Do’s and Don’ts for Analyzing Data

So, you have a quantitative and qualitative tool on your website. Great!  Now what?  What do you do with a plethora of numbers, percentages, heatmaps and visitor responses?  You start digging, analyzing, and uncovering what’s happening on your website.  But how do you go about this? Here’s are some key Do’s and Don’ts for how to begin analyzing your quantitative and qualitative data:
 
DO understand your company’s KPIs
How do you know what to measure without any measurement goals?  Sure, it’s possible to spend hours upon hours sifting through your data, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, or what impact that data has on your business, then that’s where you need to begin. Defining clear conversion goals and KPIs is key for understanding where your business stands now, and where you want it to go.  KPIs should grow and evolve with your company, but sometimes, the hardest part is figuring out where to start. 
 
DON’T solely listen to the HIPPOs
HIPPOs, or the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion, don’t always take data into consideration.  The HIPPO might read an article that says, “Company A made this change to their website, and it produced X% more revenue!”, and they run to their marketing department and say “We need to try this!”.  However, just because something worked for one company doesn’t mean it’ll work for yours. If a HIPPO comes to you with an idea, make sure you check out what the data says first before agreeing to their request. All ideas are worth considering, but the best decisions are backed by data.
 
DO understand your visitor’s journey
Understanding why visitors visit your site is not only important but essential to ensure you’re offering them exactly what they need. Depending on the type of website (ecommerce, informational, etc.), you’ll need to define the different customer journeys and ensure the customer is able to complete the purpose of their visit easily and in a timely manner. If you’re unclear why your customers are on your site, just ask them!  There are many qualitative programs available that allow you to add quick polls and surveys to targeted pages.  But, it’s important to remember not to overwhelm your site with pop-up after pop-up.  After all, you want your visitors to complete their purpose for visiting, and distractions or interferences can cause them to leave and never come back.
 
DON’T use one data point and DO look at all available data
Let’s say you’re looking at a pages report and see that bounce rates have increased overall.  Instead of going into a state of panic, start digging through your data.  Is there a spike in bounce rates for a specific type of traffic?  Are your mobile visitors bouncing more than your desktop or tablet visitors?  Are there high bounces during a specific time of day or day of the week? Could a different marketing effort have caused this spike? There’s always an explanation, and uncovering the problem is the first step to fixing it.
 
Don’t fear the unknown
Most importantly, do not worry if you don’t understand something. If your quantitative metrics don’t show you a whole story, try adding in and analyzing qualitative research such as heatmaps, user recordings, or poll responses in order to paint an entire picture. And if you don’t know if an intended change to your site will hurt or help, you can run tests to ensure the changes won’t negatively impact your business and most importantly, your customer’s experience.
 
Interested in learning more about how we analyze data? Request a complimentary conversion rate optimization assessment.

About the Author

Amanda is a Conversion Strategist with experience at both creative and digital agencies. She works on the Digital Marketing team and loves optimizing everything she gets her hands on.

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