The desired outcome from an investment in web analytics is to improve business performance. This involves a process of transforming data into intelligence, identify issues & opportunities, propose changes which can be made and implementing these changes, potentially through testing alternative solutions. It is an iterative process aiming for continuous improvements over time. If you choose to work with L3 Analytics through this process, we target an improvement in business performance of at least 20% during the first year.
Stages of the Performance Optimisation Process
The first stage involves reviewing the web analytics data of the organisation. Part of the analysis will be common across any organisation (e.g. traffic sources, entry points) while the remainder will be customised to that organisation (e.g. desired visitor behaviour, navigation, conversion points). This analysis will involve trending data over time and applying key segmentation in order to understand performance.
The interpretation of the data will be guided by a review of the website. All of this will be undertaken based on the experience and knowledge of online organisations of the L3 Analytics team. This gives us an understanding of what the data should look like, when performance is normal and when it needs to be delved into deeper.
Identify Issues and Opportunities
Based on the review of the data, L3 Analytics will identify issues that are negatively affecting performance for the organisation and, based on best practice approaches for online, identify other opportunities where improvements can be made. Not only are these issues & opportunities identified but they can also be prioritised based on the potential impact on the organisation’s performance.
One of the approaches used here is to compare current performance against targets (not necessarily benchmarks) for similar visitor behaviour as represented through data points. The gap identifies the potential uplift if changes are made.
Web Analytics data provides the “what”, where these pain-points and potential opportunities exist. Data alone cannot indicate exactly what change will improve matters, it cannot answer the “why”.
L3 Analytics does provide recommended options for these changes. These are based on experience, best practice and other sources of intelligence such as usability studies, all of which suggest likely answers for the “why”. Often alternatives will be included as these will need to be tested to see which has the greatest impact on visitor behaviour. It is encouraged for organisations to also provide ideas for the “why”, given their own expert knowledge of the market and customers.
Note that L3 Analytics will request information on what changes an organisation can make early in this process. We will not recommend changes that the team within the organisation we are working with has no control over.
The performance review, issues & opportunities for improving performance and the recommended list of changes to achieve this improvment in performance are presented back to the client, at the most senior level possible. The focus within this presentation is not on the data but on the recommended changes, supported by data.
This fourth stage is the most vital – plans that are not put into action add zero value to an organisation. L3 Analytics will work with the organisation to develop solutions and changes to resolve the issues and take advantage of opportunities previous identified. These changes could be to marketing campaigns, website content, website design, business strategy, etc.
This will likely include developing a structure & process for change management related to the use of web analytics intelligence. If website testing is required, assistance will be provided on setting up and evaluating the outcome of these tests. Templates will also be provided that clearly state the:
- issue or opportunity identified
- hypothesis as to a solution
- change that will be made
- predicted impact on performance
- metrics to evaluate this impact
- targets for success
Through the use of such an approach and documentation, the organisation won’t simply be making changes to see what happens but setting out on a path of continuous improvement through the use of the intelligence provided by web analytics.
Foundation of Web Analytics
A key requirement for Performance Optimisation is high quality data. The default web analytics implementation for most organisation is basic, capturing pages viewed but minimal data on other visitor interactions on the website or further details on the content that is being viewed. It is recommended that organisation get their foundation in place for web analytics through:
- An implementation and configuration designed to provide the required business intelligence
- Tagging all marketing campaigns and any 3rd party links they have control over
- Creation of Performance dashboards so internal stakeholders can quickly/easily get an overview of the organisation’s weekly performance
- Training being provided to all stakeholders so they are aware of what intelligence is available and so internal users of web analytics know how to use the tool properly
Proof of Concept – Insights Lite
Obviously there is a significant investment in time, money and resources required to implement a process of continuous performance optimisation. While the uplift in performance that L3 Analytics expects to deliver will exceed the costs involved, this can be too hard a sell internally at some organisations without some form of proof.
Being realistic, L3 Analytics offers a reduced service covering only the first three stages of the Performance Optimisation process as a single project using existing web analytics data. The investment required is thereby reduced to provide this proof. The proof comes in the form of the presentation to senior stakeholders on recommended changes to marketing, the website and/or business strategy that will deliver an improvement in performance.Check out Performance Insights