Analytics play a major role in the success of your business. You depend on thorough and accurate tracking to know how well you’re doing in different areas, and which platforms, services, and links are giving you the best results. Analytics is a field that’s rapidly evolving. There are many useful tools and strategies that give you more refined results. These are often simple and economical once you understand them. Here are 7 simple strategies that will make a big difference in your analytics.
- Switch Your Analytics to the Cloud
There are many benefits to using cloud-based analytics. The more detailed and robust your analytics, the more reason there is to use the cloud. This is more efficient, secure, and flexible for most businesses.
- Faster – It’s faster to manage data in the cloud. You can create new applications and access, manage, and share them more quickly in the cloud.
- Easier Collaboration – The cloud makes it easier for team members to collaborate using different devices, operating systems, and platforms.
- Scalability – As your business grows, your analytics needs expand as well. Cloud computing makes it easy to expand and scale back as needed.
- Saves Time – With cloud-based analytics, you don’t have to worry about keeping your applications updated or replacing them when they’re obsolete.
- Use Click Maps
Many analytics tools tell you which pages your visitors click on. It’s also beneficial, however, to find out more detailed information, such as what parts of the page people are clicking on. Click maps or heatmaps give you a visual representation of where visitors are clicking on your pages. One reason this is useful is that people sometimes click on images and features that aren’t “clickable.” If you find that visitors are often clicking on a certain image or headline, you may want to add a link there.
There are other benefits to click maps. They reveal parts of your page that aren’t getting much attention. They’re also useful when there are multiple links sending visitors to the same URL. A click map shows you which links are getting clicked most. Heatmaps give your analytics more depth.
- Perform Analytics on Your Forms
Opt-ins and other forms play an important role on your website. Even small differences on your forms can significantly alter your results. There are many factors that influence the actions your visitors take. This includes the layout, any images used with it, the amount of information requested, and any glitches people encounter.
Form analytics may reveal that many visitors don’t like filling out a certain field (such as phone number) and are abandoning your form at this point. You also want to know if there are error messages or slow-downs that are interfering with the process. In some cases, certain browsers may not work well with your form. If your form isn’t mobile-friendly, this also lowers your response rate. You want to optimize your forms in as many ways as possible. To do this, you need to do detailed analytics on all your forms.
- Use Natural Language Technology
One of the biggest trends in technology is the advance in AI and machine learning tools. According to a report by Gartner, AI and advanced machine learning are the top strategic technology trends of 2017. An example of this type of technology is Skyphrase, acquired by Yahoo in 2013, which allows users to access analytics data by placing queries in natural language. For example, you can type in a query such as “How many visitors came to my page today?” You can also ask questions regarding dates, locations, and sources (i.e. where the visitors came from). Natural language technology makes analytics data more accessible to people who aren’t tech savvy.
- Generate Demographics Reports
To build your business, you have to know as much about your customers as possible. Many tools provide you with useful reports that tell you all about your visitors and customers. Google Analytics offers Demographics and Interests reports that reveal information such as the gender, age, interests, and other data about your visitors. Other analytics software and services provide similar and, in some cases, more detailed analysis of demographics.
- Use Predictive Analytics
Traditionally, analytics tells you what’s happening now and what’s happened in the past. Predictive analytics, however, provides insights into the future. Data is never static as conditions are constantly changing. As analytics tools get more sophisticated, they’re getting more accurate at predicting the future. While predictive analytics is an emerging trend, certain industries have been using aspects of it for some time. For example, insurance companies analyze data to make predictions on the likelihood of events such as accidents, deaths, or illnesses. Financial institutions generate credit scores based on many factors in order to measure potential borrowers’ reliability.
Predictive analytics lets you make the most of your data and use it to make reliable forecasts about the future. Use existing data to predict the likely future behavior of customers. Create profiles of your most profitable customers and most promising prospects based on past actions. This is relevant to all industries. Hotel owners want to know the percentage of rooms that are likely to be booked during upcoming weeks. Retail stores want to know how much merchandise to stock during different seasons.
- Upgrade Your Business Intelligence
Analytics usually refers to understanding data regarding your business. Business intelligence (BI) takes this a step further and lets you gain more valuable insights from the data you collect. There are now many advanced business intelligence software solutions on the market. You can even find free open source BI software. Some of the benefits of BI software include:
- Helps You Integrate Information – If you collect data from multiple sources, BI helps you connect it all.
- Real Time Data – The latest BI solutions give you real-time information for making faster decisions.
- Greater Data Visualization – Gain access to more intuitive visual information.
- Mobile-Friendly – Access information on mobile devices and across platforms.
Using more sophisticated tools and strategies for your analytics will help you get better results from your online marketing. Following these guidelines will help you gain a more complete understanding of your website traffic, social media engagement, and other crucial elements of your marketing campaigns.