Web Analytics: What You Get, What You Miss
Internet is an enormous platform to sell globally. On the other hand, the competence is also extremely enormous. For many companies, their website is the main entry point to interact with their potential clients and differentiation from competitors is of great importance. As a result, knowing whether the content you are offering on your website is interesting and it is consumed as you expect is a key success factor. There are many tools in the market that can help your company to understand better how your potential clients are interacting with your website. Are these tools giving you all the information you need? What information is missing? In this article, we will try to provide a general view of the knowledge you can get from this kind of tools and the information you are missing.
There is a lot of complementary information that can help you understand better.
Web Analytic tools are focused on understanding how users interact with a website, providing valuable information regarding the visited pages, the flow, type of devices and many other metrics regarding the user behavior. Is this information enough? The short answer is NO. It does not mean that the information provided is not valuable, it is really useful, but there is a lot of complementary information that can help you understand better, not just the user behavior, but the full picture. Shortly, Web Analytic tools tell you a lot of information in order to know who interacts with your site, and how, but they do not answer the why, and that is the most important information.
Data that never leave the web browser never analyzed and used for decision-making; we can call it website’s Dark Data.
In order to achieve this ambitious goal, information regarding the website responses and responsiveness is also important. Basically, what we need to answer the “why” is to combine the user information and the website information itself. It looks simple, but it is not because in most of the cases this data is ephemeral and gets lost. For instance, the partial text is written in an input, the results of a search, the duration of a search, the general lag during the navigation, etc. These are data that never leave the web browser and, therefore, are never analyzed and used for decision-making; we can call it website’s Dark Data.
There are many metrics that are related to the website that impact on the user behavior. Good content and knowing your target is important, but a bad UX or technical implementation can frustrate the user. What did the user write and why the search was not executed? What kind of preview results was the website showing? Was the user writing in the correct input field? Was the search taking longer than expected? Know if the user left the activity due to a UX problem, a bad responsiveness of your application or a lack of content organization is the key question to answer.
A successful plan to give the most valuable information to your potential clients and attract them must include a variety of metrics related to your website users, their behavior and the website itself, including the content and also technical aspects. Assume that your website content and technical aspects can be the cause of your potential clients leaving the website and start tracking your website behavior.
By Andreu Araque, Engineering Director at Datumize.