What is the single biggest mistake businesses make in analytics?

Answer: Losing sight of the single biggest issue on their way to growth.

Here’s what my years of experience in consulting and auditing web business comes down to- challenging the biggest mistake many businesses make while analysing data. My point in writing this piece is also  the same and I believe resolving this  one can resolve many others you face daily trying to get the ‘whole data thing’.

I categorize  it as  the directional issue – wrong direction or lack of it. Better explained as the  inability to understand:

  • Data to track / collect
  • Insights to look for
  • Location of right data
Data , Data Everywhere Not a drop of Insight

A business focus is the foremost requirement in any data analytic exercise.

Let’s understand what I mean with an example.

Q: What do you do when you see spiraling marketing / advertising cost? Do you cut down activities that’s costing you the most?

If you said yes then  welcome to the big club.  You should realize cost is not more  important for business than profit. Cost does not matter much if profit is many times over. Increasing profit is a forward looking attitude , while cutting cost is often looking backwards. If you still believe cost then you should find another job. Otherwise – know that thoughtless cost cutting could be dangerous. It could be that the costliest activity is also getting  highest traffic to your website or your store.  Let us look into web analytics and our marketing activities online.

A  study of Acquisition reports within Google Analytics (with all business goals properly set up) could clearly show  all sources of traffic (Direct, Social, Referral,  Ad or Organic) and corresponding rate of goal conversion.  Also don’t miss relating total goal volume achieved as that will give a  better performance assessment . Add to this an analysis of different campaigns you are running- emails, AdWords, Facebook ads with properly set up campaign tagging. Together these will uncover all those activities that has least return, least conversions or even user session on your website . All of these contribute  to acquisition cost but has least impact of overall sales. These should be your target. These are potential areas to cut cost on. So take a deeper dive- verify your finding and take an action.

Getting back to where we started – the central idea of this analysis is to reduce cost but without impacting business growth. Similarly for every analytics question , I feel its is worthwhile understanding the biggest issues that’s stopping growth.

Author: Hedgehog Insights  visit http://www.hedgehoginsights.com contact: info@hedgehoginsights.com

Advertisements

Web Design is not a conjecture. It is Science.

Web Design is not a conjecture. It is Science.

SMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public DomainWebsite designs is a commoditized service today. Layouts, frameworks, designs, samples, and even color combinations, has been stereotyped. Almost typcasted are each design specifics for each business types: Ecommerce, Lead generating, Content and Blog site, Photographic sites, Hobby and personal site

Does anybody ever spare a thought on the voice of customers?

Aesthetics aside, everything from layout to font choice should be guided by user testing to ensure that the website is not only pretty but also functioning at its best

It is the result of extensive online tests that we today know:

1.    Serial Position Effect- put the important stuff at the beginning and end – mid page has least eyeball.

2.    Loss Aversion- to significantly impact your conversions focus on highlighting losses than on benefits- losses are more painful than gains are pleasurable

3.       Herd Behavior- People tend to do what other people are doing- Testimonials Rock!

4.       Language processing tests of brain- navigation labels and copy in pages must be easy for visitors to understand. Use common words local lingual. Your business is not what you think your business is but what your visitor – a great step towards right keywording.

5.       Von Restorff Effect- In the 1930’s, German scientist Hedwig von Restorff discovered that when given a list of ten items, people remember items if they are a color different from the others – visual differences, or “pattern interrupters.” can create repeat visitors

6.    Headlines aren’t just the first thing seen on a page, they’re looked at more than anything else. Be careful about headlines – words fonts , color and backgroundSMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public Domain

 

SMALL IMAGE (PNG)Public DomainAlthough small each of these aspects are immensely insightful to help create a great online shopfront – one that converts.

Not published widely , but smart and forward looking business, does tons of these experiments every day, to know their customers , understand what they prefer and when and  why. 

And there are great tools. Irrespective of business size and conversion rate, every business that has an online presence should considering trying experiments like A/B tests, and Multi-variant testing or MVT.

And these series of experiments and insights form what is called the science behind a great website – very specifically yours, for your business and tuned into attract your target group.

We have our experts available to help you . Contact Us.

Does Your Brand  Have a Purpose

And  every time you say to build a brand  you need money spent  in  marketing and  advertising – I will say that’s  not enough. Brand without   purpose is like a person without principals, ideals or  personality and it’s  just fitting they go together because alone they makes little sense.

Incidentally small business can also give it a shot. A purpose driven brand is guided by core value proposition, characteristics identifying a business. And even without pots of money bet on it, and just by passionately promoting ideals and core values is the key to building a brand for your small home based business. It does not necessarily involve whole lot of resources- just smart and judicious usage of the few you have access to. SO you should know what to invest and how.

  1.   What product or service should you invest in? Which are the ones, that’s contributing more towards sales. Changes in revenue percentages can signal not only changes in customer spending habits but also broader trends in your industry and market. Changes in the contribution percentage each makes can indicate problems are ahead. The measuring year for this factor is called Revenue Percentage. It measures contribution of revenue from each of the different sources of income in your business- products, service, subcontracting etc.

RP =            Revenue from product A or Service B in a month X 100

Total revenue for your business in that month

2. How to invest : Create the right Brand image online.

A group of metric together measures performance of the entire social media plan. These metrics are together called Virality. So if creating brand image online is your final business goal then the measuring yard to use and check how far you have progressed in your endeavors  is Virality.

So, for your brand name or brand keywords it can tell –

  • > How much are people talking about it?
  • > What is the reach of your influence?
  • > What is the average sentiment you’ve generated- good, bad or neutral?

One tool that can be used as a measuring yard is: www.socialmentions.com

SO with business goals to create a  brand around purpose, a  brand  that  breathes the core  identity of  your  business, that represents  the  core values you need  to use a  cost  effective  media , virulently but  before  that you must know which or  what  services / product  will generate  maximum return on your  investments.

About Hedgehog Insights– We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations, cash flows, website data or ones from social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are sellingis a promise that our analysts will offermodern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation

With Love from..Google Analytics

With Love from..Google Analytics

Google Analytics has revolutionized the web analytics space and it does not really need any proof anymore. Something so easily accessible, literally free is also so robust that it tracks almost every aspect of web presence of businesses- that’s a rare combination. Not only website traffic, but universal analytics now tracks all digital devices a business has flanked its presence in- mobile phones, tablets, kiosks etc. To me , it’s like unconditional love and it’s difficult to resist love in return 🙂

And guess what , that’s not it. Introducing <drumroll> Demographic-Interest and Benchmarking.


Yes it is demography and interest information about your traffic. When GA started this, few months back ,information in it were subjected to advertising and promotional activities with Google. That’s love but not for all. Personally, I didn’t quiet approve it. And then one day to my sweetest surprise- I found it loaded with data. It’s exciting because – it is essentially helping you frame your target group and direct the right advertising messages.

To know the how to settings , please visit: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2819948?hl=en

The other great information are Benchmarking metrics. A group of metrics together show how much traffic flow , in which sales channels and Geographic location , is causing what conversion (Goal Setting).  It compares you /your business compared to the competition in your immediate industry. It shows where you have excelled and where have others.

But if you have paid good attention, you’ll get to read lot more lying between the lines.  It talks which channels are popular among the industry, which of them are greatest and most lucrative source of traffic for the  type of product/service and which of them really stinks. Considering the fact each industry and business type has their own list of favorite channels, this looks like great information. Similarly with geographic location it goes to show possible demand in in terms of traffic flow.  Left me impressed- yet again!

About Hedgehog Insights– We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations, cash flows, website data or ones from social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are sellingis a promise that our analysts will offermodern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation

Shelf Life of Trends

Shelf Life of Trends- A concern for big data analytics era

Shelf Life of Trends- A concern for big data analytics era

One the  most grappling challenges for  business in this era  of  big data  is how  long does  each trend remain a  ‘trend’. With the high rate of idea  metabolism , with the increasing rate  of  technology and innovation driven  change , trends get more and more  short lived.

A trend is essentially based on a period of data and more the period the more  reliable it gets. And this period has minimum factors changing be it government policies, economic factors, environmental conditions or technological advancements. But as  and  how these  factors change , this period of consideration gets  sliced and minced .  It gets  difficult to call it a trend. It is no longer  a  function of a long period of constant conditions. In fact, its the rate of  change of change that is more likely to become a trend.

For example –

Trend in the  demand for touch  technology is valid  only as  long as voice recognition is  not developed and  that in turn will not remain no longer relevant than the  invention and mass access to eyeball detection technology .

Question remains, if long-term climatic trend is actionable in project planning today, at what point do you revisit the trends analysis to verify that the projects you have forecasted for your pipeline are still worthy?”

An important step for most companies using long-term trends information garnered from analytics will be to determine how long they can expect the analytics for each trend to remain accurate and usable for business decision making . Organizations have not yet moved forward into long-term trends usage and decision-making, but as more do, they will also need to apply their own analytics to the longevity expectations for the trends data they capture. “It is determinations like this that sit on the doorstep of the next frontier of big data analytics”

About Hedgehog Insights– We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations, cash flows, website data or ones from social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are sellingis a promise that our analysts will offermodern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation

When is the last time you fed them what they love?

Good newsletter feed-Newsletter analytics

How you know you have fed them well

When is the last time you fed them what they love? Newsletter analytics is a little more than clicks and opens. In case you are getting just that from your e-mailing vendor, you are missing out on a bigger and more important chunk of information. Here is a guide to how you can make the most of newsletters yourself ..

Type newsletter analytics on your search engine. Some 4.5 million records show up in 0.22 seconds. Bravo! Now try checking the links until your hand goes numb and you will see they speak about tracking your newsletter. Your search page is filled with vendors offering tools to track your newsletter. May be you already have one or maybe you will go with one like our clients. It’s trilling to see the count who received your little electronic pack of ‘big –bang-theories’, count who opened to glance through, count who clicked to read more and count who (alas) missed your newsletter.  You will get over this soon and realize it’s all too bogus and often dumb. Like our clients, who almost felt tortured with this recurring dump of counts, matching lumps of recurring expenditure? Why? Because those counts never tell you how much sales you got, cost you could reduce, or social rewards (likes & shares) you’ve earned.  Well I will not repeat ‘How great a king is content’ or ‘how awesome are calls to action’. I will instead draw your attention to 3 steps to compare your current feeds Vs what you should .Just 3 Steps.

    1. Segment topics you have used so far- categorize those to as basic levels as possible. Let’s explain with an example.  Take any story. Say it’s on ‘The Importance of Newsletter Analytics’. At a higher level it’s about marketing. But as you dissect more, you will know it’s about online marketing, direct email communication, analytics etc. It’s like placing it exactly where it belongs, in the right folder.  Now take each issue and repeat this for each of the topics. By the time you are done for all issues you will have a small database with great info in store? Why? Read on ..

   2, Map your counts of opens and clicks. The counts of opens and clicks you’ve had so far will come to  a real use now. You will know what ‘exactly/precisely’ have been accepted, what was dumped and what did not matter to your audience. So it may reveal something you had  been working  hard for long , really  does not  interest them , but a piece of story that’s been  lying  on your desk , was better. Isn’t that a goldmine of information? Sure it is. It indicates popularity of one topic over another, and their trends over months and years.

 You may also be using calls to action, which is obviously different from just feeding in   stories. It requires the reader to take an action and therefore there is a little more than just mapping topics to clicks. Read on this http://bit.ly/1msuzwn

  3.     Check with the market:  You have got a data base . You know how each topic performed now  check with the market. Research. Rummage the internet , dive into books/journals ,get hands on  trends and syndicated  studies that tells what your target  audience  actually prefer. Compare it with what you have  been feeding  and  know  where  you stand. Are you at par with their area of  interest or  falling out.  Customize your newsletter  strategy. Align it  to your business goals . And…all set to start afresh.

With such comparisons over a period , you will have a good  knowledge about  what works and  what does not .Thereby you’ve  have  put  yourself and  your  business in a very advantageous position to make  the most of  your newsletter and  all the  time money and effort you have  invested.

About Hedgehog Insights We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations,  cash flows, website data or ones from  social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients  set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are selling is a promise that our analysts  will offer modern and  conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data. Schedule a free consultation .

4 ways to make the most of your Website and some awesome FREE tools to use.

4 ways to make the most of your Website and some awesome FREE tools to use..

4 ways to make the most of your Website and some awesome FREE tools to use.

Beyond Clickstream- A holistic view of your website

Beyond Clickstream- A holistic look fo the website

Your website is really there for a reason –the raison d’etre   might be selling products as an e-commerce. selling professional services by generating leads, or otherwise for  a home base blogger , the website shares wonderful knowledge and experience. Be it one or the other- you have a chance for  growth and using your website to the fullest can reveal hidden opportunities you never saw were there. Knowledge about – your website-, business goals, your potential customers, audience or your competitors is really knowledge of your business from all possible angles. It’s a 360 degree view that can generate a goldmine of insights and trigger new spikes in sales.

The market offers a range of tools, particularly designed to analyze data in each of these four areas. Some are highly sophisticated, expensive, complicated to implement while the others are free but at the same time not effective enough. Neither of these do really meet needs of our highly conscience, value seeking, and budding business class audience and therefore have  no place in this post.  We are really talking about best of both worlds. Robust, feature rich, smart tools available at zero to little cost.

  1. About Your Website-This bare basic information about your website. It talks about your website but it’s also important for other analysis .What are the most popular pages, and which ones have the highest exits/bounces. What turns your visitor off and never gets him engaged to what appeals to him . How many new visitors to your website and what portion of that traffic leaves from landing page. Some free tools offering this information are – Google Analytics, Yahoo-web analytics, Xiti, Piwik, AWStats etc.
  2. About the Business Goals your Website Achieve– Your website is important because it is tied to your business- 100%. It inherits your business plans, targets and goals . Like your real business, it’s critical you measure rate of success for your website too. Most of the clickstream tools can also measure multiple goals, goal sets and extent of success in each.  So namely these are Google Analytics, Yahoo-web analytics,  Feedburner, 4Q by iPerceptions
  3. About your Audience and Potential Customers– Reading the minds of customer is one the most daunting tasks ever known to marketers. Many god send great marketers, were believed to have that uncanny power, but what about others? Do they get washed down, No. they have customers walk up to them and disclose all that they like or prefer. Yes that’s possible! Website experimentation, A/B split test, Multivariate test quantify the voice of customers. Some great tools are Optimizely, Google Content Experimentation, SiteSpect, Forsee etc.
  4. About Your Competitors– Sitting in the driver’s seat with the window panes painted black, you will know little about the surround. Remove the opaque coat and d now see- you might find yourself  ahead of others, that’s great,  but you might as well be lagging miles behind the rest .  Think of it and most of your strategic decisions are guided by the competition – ones you want to overthrow or avoid. And high chance your website is also competing against the same set of competitors in the cyber space.  Know about clicks, keywords, value of customer engagements , relative to your competition. Google Display Planner, Google Trend , Compete, HitWise  etc.

In our last article we tried typical pain points, queries and confusions of business owners who are unable to use the data readily available for their website. The above list is our solution. Try them out at minimum risk and experience the power of an all rounded information about your business and put them in action.

Look forward to my next post for a detailed pros – cons Analysis and comparison of each tool with others in the   category.

About Hedgehog Insights–  We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations,  cash flows, website data or ones from  social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients  set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are selling is a promise that our analysts  will offer modern and  conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data. Schedule a free consultation or a Free assessment of  your website- with Hedgehog Insights