Analyzing traffic: How to Assess Your Data to Uncover the Story It’s Telling You

Posted by Gregg Alexander on Jul 30, 2019 9:00:00 AM


If you’ve got a website up and running, congratulations, you’ve entered into the 21st century. If you’re collecting data on that website, double kudos. You’re doing more than the average small business, as only 45% of them actually track their data. If you’re actually assessing that data to improve your overall marketing, well then hot dang, we think you deserve all the gold stars. But if you’re sitting in your office, heaped in data that’s drowning you, we’re here to help! Today’s blog is the lifeboat that will steer you to five strategies to analyze your traffic, asses your data, and untangle your results for a better overall strategy. So pick up that icy whistle and blow, because we’re coming for ya!

Realizing That Your Data Tells a Story

When it comes to your data, there are a few concepts to grasp before we start pulling at the thread. First of all, you’ve got to know that your data points don’t exist in a silo. If you think of your data points, not as information but the footprints people leave on your website, you wouldn’t just measure the size of the print to uncover a story; you’d follow every path the footprints made, and step back to see how they connect.

You should take the same approach to your data. Each data point is a piece of a larger puzzle. Likewise, if you were a detective following a set of footprints, some of the paths made wouldn’t be useful to your case. In the same way, not all your data points will communicate with each other to divulge the story you’re seeking. And what you’re seeking will change what data points are relevant.

Let’s say your goal is to create a website that positions you as a thought leader and gains trust, but not customers. You know you convert highest through organic connections and in-person meetings. That would mean that when it came to your data, you wouldn’t really care about a low lead capture rate. You would, however, have a great deal of concern if your website had a very low scroll time and a super high bounce rate. In the same way, a clothing resale site whose draw isn’t a strong brand, but a customer bidding system wouldn’t care as much about low scroll times as they would cart abandonment.

Knowing the Story You Want to Tell

Knowing upfront what you want your website or campaign to achieve helps you a ton when it comes to determining which data points you should look at. If you go into your website or campaign creation with a specific goal in mind, what to measure will automatically make sense. If you create a landing page with the goal to up conversions that don’t convert, you’ve grabbed your first piece of thread in untangling the mess of data waiting on your dashboard.

Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s all great hypothetically, but what the heck does it look like in practice?” We’re so glad you asked! Let’s grapple this baby down out of the high-level and get our hands in the dirt of it all. In other words, let’s analyze a fake conversion campaign.  

Puzzle Piece 1: Analyzing Your General Hits

Your marketing team has been working hard to create their shiniest new campaign, one that will focus on converting more prospects into buying customers. The plan? To offer a free, educational webinar on creating a business plan that will highlight your Business Boot-camp Course at the end (with a discount, of course).

You launch your landing page and begin promoting the heck out of it through social and email. The landing page includes a short video describing what will be covered in the webinar, short benefit copy, a lead capture form, and CTA. Once you launch the page, you see massive results for the number of general hits you’re getting to the page.

This general hits footprint tells you that your promotion style is working. You can further investigate where most of the hits are coming from to see which platform was most beneficial for you. The marketing team takes a minute to clap each other on the back…but how’s that lead capture form performing?

Puzzle Piece 2: Analyzing Your Lead Capture

Uh-oh! We’ve got news, and it ain’t great. Turns out that despite the tsunami of hits, your lead capture percentage is dry. Seeing this path stop short of where you thought it would go helps you identify where something is wrong and develop a new strategy.

What is it about the landing page that’s not convincing all your pretty prospects? Of course, you can’t change everything at once, or else you won’t know what wasn’t working and what’s doing the trick now. You decide to run an A/B test for your video, and then your messaging. You don’t see much of a difference in the results on your webpage that includes the descriptor video and the one that doesn’t.

You’re still coming up relatively empty. So next you move on to CTA. You keep one the same and create a new one that is more exciting. Still, you get nada. Lastly, you move onto your lead capture form, launching a simpler version that requires five fewer fields for your busy prospects to fill out.

Cowabunga, baby.  The results are in, and it looks like you’ve just fit in another piece of the puzzle.

Puzzle Piece 3: Analyzing Your Conversion Rate

After your brilliant form switcharoo, your webinar sign-ups were through the roof! And hey, a shocking amount of them showed up for the live event. There’s just one little problem, the number of them that actually signed up for your Business Boot-camp Course, the whole reason you put this thing together, is puny!

For the number of people who turned out for your webinar, the percentage of those leads you converted isn’t one to brag about. Not uncommon, but we're using our data to refine our strategy, not just tout our success. This means it’s time to do some backtracking and some research, to see if you can follow this path to a new puzzle piece.

Puzzle Piece 4: Analyzing Your Webinar Data

This means it’s time to start investigating the analytics of your webinar. Did people watch until the end, or did they drop off somewhere? An early drop-off rate could mean lots of things that would also need to be tested one-by-one.

Maybe you attracted the wrong audience, and they discovered quickly they weren’t interested. Maybe you were bored and broke all the rules of a good presentation. Maybe it was a good presentation, but just too long. You check your drop-off rate, and it’s actually pretty good.

You also have a high engagement percentage in the live Q and A session you hosted at the end, so it wasn’t that you had a disengaged audience. The only portion this leaves from the webinar is your sales pitch at the end. You gather your marketing team together and decide to test your benefit descriptions, which of you speaks during the sales pitch, and your sign-up price.

If you really want to round out your research, you could even send webinar participants a survey asking them to review the webinar and dig a little deeper. After some iterations and testing, you determine that offering a higher discount on the course landed you five times to conversion rate of your first attempt. The campaign can officially be considered a success!

So, to backtrack. We narrowed down a vague conversion campaign that didn’t work to a price change that needed to occur. One is hazy and unhelpful (not to mention completely disheartening). The other is data-based and actionable. By stringing together the clues in your data, you can zero in on how to improve your business, give customers more of what they’re looking for, and deliver success all-around at a higher rate.

Have questions about your current data points? Ask us in the comments! We’d love to help you figure out which thread to pull at first.

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Topics: Marketing Strategy, Web Analytics and Tracking

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