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

Can Google Analytics Help – improve traffic to the most important page on your website?

Can Google Analytics Help –  improve traffic to the most important page on your website?

Learn more on WebTraffic

Traffic to the most important pages on your website using Google Analytics

The Answer is yes, Google analytics can help you with all information you need to improve traffic. And not just that. It can also help you see how improvements to that page has performed. Or whether traffic actually increased.

The first and  the most important  thing you need to do –  is tell Google Analytics which one of the many pages on your website is most important to you (after of course setting up Google Analytics). This really goes through a little additional setup called Goal Setting .

While Google Analytics has several types of goal that you can track , the one that will help study traffic our important page  is Destinations Goals. Destination goals tells GA that if there is a  visitor to this page from no matter where- please consider that as a conversion.

Now apparently this may not seem that informative. But if I tell you with this you can also know the number of visits that came in from a specific location like Middletown, CT or the most popular devices visitors used – mobile/ tablet or the channel they took- social media, Google Ads or simple search will that be informative?  Will you know exactly which channel or geographic location to focus on ? Will you try to boost some traffic from these sources or locations.  Will you try to find if your website is optimized for mobile phones  etc. And while doing all this are you increasing your chances of highest traffic to that page? Answer is Yes!

If this looks interesting and you would  like to know more please contact us!. Or visit us at Hedgehog Insights.

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.

Why did you bother to have a website?

Why did you bother to have a website?

  

In an ultimate chase to bring about all that should make your business work, you went online. That’s laudable. But know, odd are, it will do more harm than good, if you just have your presence. A website is not just an html page on the World Wide Web, but a well-crafted, representation of your brand- essentially storefront of your business, online.

That is to say, if you put up a rough, unpolished, image of you, people should have no reason to disbelief – it you. But again, that’s not what you want. After those year of building a business brick by brick, pumping in life and blood, through sweat and pain, that’s the last thing you could hope for – a wrong perception.

 

File:This Month In Education Newsletter Pageviews Report Chart 1.png

But as much as I believe, businesses have a role to play to taint their own image, the hands giving shape to their wishes are equally responsible. Why? Because they are supposed to know better what works and what does not. It’s not just a blindfolded execution of “client requirement” but suggestion advices, analytics and key insights. That’s what makes or breaks a deal.

“Know the laws of the land to the survive; know the rules of online territory or perish”

And these rules just do not come by, they needs to be researched – from literature, data analytics, new innovations, theories. There is a reward to stay up to date and if  you think you or you’re your business has  no time for  it, better entrust this responsibility to someone who does – a  good deal of it. Choose your website vendors, cautiously . They could be as  misleading and high priced as a novice.

Twitter Ads and Twitter Analytics- Two big Birds to ride on this Year

Twitter Ads and Twitter Analytics- Two big Birds to ride on this Year

Make the best of Twitter Ads from an in depth understanding of impressions and engagement of your posts. Use the analytics to leverage on ads!

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

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

What’s so Actionable about Actionable metrics?

One of the favorite buzzwords for analysts and data scientist today is ‘actionable metric’. Recently barged into the business lexicon and promising enough to find a long standing position this word hardly ever misses any sales pitch by any person in the business of analytics and data research.  Don’t try to connect to the meaning popular a decade back- here it’s nothing to do with law or criminal offense.

Actionable metrics are those that can be acted upon or used in business immediately, without making too many assumptions or help of a list of others – briefly, insightful information. The opposite of which is vanity metrics. Metrics that are remotely connected to use. Metrics, whose implications are subjected to the interpreter- meanings that differ from man to man.

Often we find web analytics that come with tons of metrics (and more being added even as speak), facing the fury of businesses- “too many dollar spent”, they call out  “and too little an information to use”. Agreed. Figures like number of clicks, number of visits, no. of exits or no of views are big pieces of junk. But so is sales if you did not know cost and cost if you had so information about revenue.

But if we measured count of clicks, over months, weeks, time of a day for posts to that blog you maintain, that could give great information. It could tell a reader’s preferences at various times of the year, hours when your audience are ready to read and time when you run the highest chance of  being in the limelight.

Thus it all comes down to the basis of analytics – contexts and comparisons. With right contexts in the backdrop and relevant comparison across every metric can be actionable or I’d prefer “intuitively informative”!

Since it is most popular among web analysts and Google Analytics as  the uncrowned king- lets just analyze how much action driven information this tool has  to offer.

Among the many types of analysis – dimension/metric combinations in  Google Analytics – We could count on just 5 as downright intuitively informative. They are unambiguous in their implication and pretty readily actionable (if that’s what we best understand)

Benchmarking- in Google Analytics

Bench-marking- in Google Analytics

Bench-marking Channels performance for Acquisition and Behavior- A new feature at Google Analytics and offers a comparative analysis of immediate industry in terms of channels used to acquire users and how they behave in each case.

Similar info is also available across geographic location. Important to note here is that, one gets to understand just which locations does that industry thrive in and sales or promotional channels most effective.

Cost Data- in Google Analytics

Cost Data- in Google Analytics

Cost to achieve goals- This involves uploading Cost data. Goals  achieved  is just as  good as the cost incurred –  be it micro or  macro . So all those signups, downloads, video watching or  purchase, how much did  it cost  advertising online or other , renovating the website  or to stock up that inventory etc.

Content Drilldown- in Google Analytics

Content Drilldown- in Google Analytics

Content drilldown and behavior metrics- Average  time spent on website gives a diluted idea of  engagement , but if you break it  down to each page  and  content level- that’s a solid  piece of  information giving exactly where  visitors  are engaged , if  at all.

It talks about just how good or relevant or engaging  is the content you have put out there.

Behavior- in Google Analytics

Behavior- in Google Analytics

Behaviors and rate of goal conversion across channels- Your bounce rates, page depth, and pages visited can be broken down to channels and within channels, different social platforms, referring websites or keywords that direct organic search traffic.  Is there a correlative movement between the behavior metrics and channels or sources that send. Is there any tips about where they found your link and how far is it  relevant  to that context?

Drill  it down and you’ll see somewhere it relates  to channel performance and effectiveness of all your resource , time  money and energy spent in there.

SEO Queries- in Google Analytics

SEO Queries- in Google Analytics

Queries in Search Engine Optimizations and Resultant movement over period- One of the  best form of  information available on the tool is what queries in  search gives what result- is  your website search engine optimized, where  does  your page rank for  searches  you love and

Conclusion- Metrics vary in the depth of  intuitive and  actionable  quality , but a lot of  it  depends  on the analysis it  self and of course skills of a seasoned  analyst.  If  you do not  have an analyst  or  new  to this as a business  owner, remember  it is important , the way  data is viewed and the context it is put up against. Instead  of viewing data singularly  or as a mass of aggregates, slice it  down and  try al types of  comparisons. Some will turn out meaningless but many will become insightful. Believe it  or that’s  how all analysts start! Good Luck.

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

Can Social Media tell Go-No Go for your business idea?

Sentiment Analysis for startups- Hedgehog Insights

Sentiments people associate with a business launch , new idea or information, cumulatively gives an idea whether it would be a hit or a miss.

Can you recall a time when your mom called, may be a routine call. You received, said hello and was just about to start speaking something else, when she interrupts and says words that feel like warm comforting hugs. Admit, she knows it before you say. She knows what’s wrong, how wrong or how happy and thrilled you are. You’ll say that’s your mom – who better knows you or is more concerned about your feelings, your sentiments or thoughts that occupy your mind. True that!

But they are not the only group of people who care how others feel- deeply mindful about their needs, wants and demands. It may not be as selfless or without a motivation or incentive like our mothers- but sure it could be just as strong, or even more in some groups. For example a business and its customers. Haven’t we been taught all our lives- customer is king. Hell ya. Customer satisfaction, their buying intentions, their opinions and perceptions do matter specially when it is a new service launch, expansion in a new geography or buying a massively expensive equipment to increase productivity. Where there is an investment there is also a risk of loosing it. Businesses cannot let it go without a bit of an analysis or some predictive insights. They need a prior understanding of just how big will the return be and how quickly will it come through, if at all.

With the emergence of social media in internet marketing, this information is available in abundance and capturing is simple. It’s like trying to predict what could be the polarity of reactions to a new business move – positive, negative or neutral – novel form of data analysis around social media. It is called Sentiment analysis of target market. Similar to market research that is done offline by questioning and surveying, sentiment analysis helps add a meaning to all the special media engagement activity your company conducts. Tying it back to meet a business requirement- perception or sentiment of customer spells out chances of acceptability of an idea and thereby chances of success

We at Hedgehog Insights, run sentiment analysis. If you have an idea and would like to validate it, gauge the level of excitement or anticipation among your audience, try us. We will be there to help you. We employ both applications and manual modeling methods to bring out the most accurate analysis. Contact us and let us know.

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 offer modern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation