4 Tips from Top Digital Teams that Maximize Insights from Web Analytics Data

Liam Burns
Written by Liam Burns
October 12, 2020

Your web analytics solution is an investment. And like any investment, you only get out what you put into it.

Simply having access to web analytics won’t show and resolve every user experience (UX) issue on your website or app – and top digital teams know it takes more to optimize those digital experiences.

While web analytics gauge website and app performance, they fail to directly show you the user experiences impacting that data. And unfortunately, insufficient data impacts the bottom line of 88% of companies, with the average company losing 12% of its revenue as a result.

So, how do top digital teams maximize web analytics data so they can pinpoint UX issues dragging down their metrics? We asked them ourselves!

Collaborating with conversion expert Jay Baer, the founder of Convince & Convert, we spoke to analytics experts from 8 top brands about their approach to delivering the best possible digital customer experiences. They adhere to a few simple best practices that you can easily apply in your own web optimization strategy.

1. Identify key web analytics metrics to align your digital experience teams

Transforming the experiences on your website or app often turns into a multi-team effort. In fact, 80% of companies say their digital transformation efforts involve multiple business units or the entire company.

Between marketers, UX designers, web analysts, and digital optimizers, it may seem like there’s ‘too many cooks in the kitchen.’ But the best digital teams know their way around this team management hurdle.

James Linkins, Digital Analytics Lead British Telecom (BT) claims, “The best way to align teams would be to a common key performance indicator (KPI) that ladders up to the whole business. That way that everyone can feel like they’re pulling in the same direction.”

Whether you’re aligned on increasing conversions and lowering abandonment or driving up engagements along with time on site, a common goal keeps multi-team web optimizations on the same page and on target.

2. Utilize digital tools like heatmaps and session replay to investigate issues impacting your metrics

Too many times digital teams find more questions than answers after reviewing their web analytics.

From spiking homepage bounce rates to low engagements across product pages, the unknowns behind these metrics can seem never ending – unless you investigate them like a top digital team.

The trick to making impactful web optimizations lies in understanding the user behaviors and interactions behind your KPIs. The best digital teams look for those clues with tools like heatmaps and session replay which are rated effective by 95% of end-users.

Sharon Flynn, Senior Manager for the Digital Analytics Team at Bank of Montreal says, “We use Decibel as our heatmap, session replay, and diagnostic solution to immediately evaluate datasets. So, the way we try to think about it is Adobe will tell us what our conversion rate is, historic trended data, and will allow us to interpret the work so that our start rate is down.”

Following suit and combining your web analytics with these investigative tools has become a surefire way to make impactful web optimizations. Consider this your go-to method for putting yourself in the ‘user’s shoes’ to find points of UX friction dragging down KPIs.

3. Integrate digital experience analytics to holistically quantify experiences behind your metrics

Body language is a tell-tale sign of excitement, discomfort, or indifference – and it’s no different with digital body language on your website or app.

Digital body language ranges from rage driven multi-clicks and bird’s nests to highly engaged mouse reading behavior and more, but there is one problem. Web analytics don’t track these highly insightful behaviors, which leaves opportunities for web optimizations on the table.

Knowing just how valuable these behaviors are for fine-tuning user experiences, top digital teams lean on digital experience analytics – like Decibel – to collect, measure, and quantify billions of user behaviors instantly.

Tony Lloyd, VP of Digital Customer Experience with Marriott Vacations Worldwide says, “I think there’s a baseline suite of performance metrics that we’re always looking at. You’re looking at visitation, you’re looking at bounce rates, you’re looking at funnel, right?” But those metrics don’t measure user behaviors, so “User experience metrics have changed the game. Now, you can see real interactions; you can see real friction. Those are the types of things that we’re super excited about,” says Tony.

Whether you’re using Decibel’s Digital Experience Score (DXS) to automatically measure experiences on a scale of 1 to 10 or another experienced-based metric, these insights unlock a new level of web optimizations that top digital teams demand.

4. Contextualize and resolve digital experience issues based on extended periods of data

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the micro improvements or setbacks reflected by your web analytics.

Who can blame you for having a knee-jerk reaction to a dip in your metrics? Certainly not us.

But given that 7 in 10 customers abandon and 67% churn due to bad experiences, it often takes a sequence of experiences to drive someone to convert, abandon, engage, or churn – so look at the whole picture just like the experts.

As James Linkins notes: “People can get very hung up on improving micro conversions and you can go around them forever, improving step A to B, B to C. But if you’ve got a broader problem that people then churn after three months because your ongoing service is rubbish, then you’re never going to change that if you keep looking at the small piece.”

From a bump in conversions one week, then engagements falling off a cliff the week after, to a spike in abandonment the next, it’s paramount to stay calm and look at these micro-trends in the context of the entire user journey on your website or app.

Prioritize fixing UX issues that have been derailing user journeys over the long-haul, rather than getting caught up web analytics data fluctuations in the short-term.

Learn to optimize digital customer experiences like top teams in your industry

With a few expert tips from top leading analysts, you and your team should be primed to unlock new insights from your web analytics to help you deliver near perfect improvements to your website or app.

Combining the rights resources – from specific KPIs to digital experience analytics to investigative tools – you can transform your web analytics data from a vague overview of site performance to a highly insightful indicator of user experience quality.

But as you and your team strive to put together the best possible experience on your website or app, wouldn’t it be nice to have more top experts guiding you along the way?

Collaborating with conversion expert Jay Baer, the founder of Convince & Convert, our latest guide features sage advice from top teams at brands like Chipotle, Marriot Vacations, and Web.com, and more. Download What Top Teams Do Differently to Optimize Digital Customer Experiences to model and align your practices with notable industry experts.

Topics: Analytics, Digital Experience, User experience, Website Performance
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