When I decided to throw my lot in with digital marketing, part of the appeal was working in an environment where finally there was real accountability! Online, data is everywhere – blogs, social media, web analytics, etc. – all with the potential to provide valuable insights into customer behaviour and attitudes towards our brand.
It’s amazing then that few marketers who play in the digital space take the time to truly understand and interpret the data. And if they do, it is often only a cursory glance at Google Analytics. The fact is that Google Analytics and other clickstream tools are only part of the equation. To get actionable insights from your analytics you need to have a full arsenal of tools that also covers (at a minimum) user experience; social media analysis and site surveys.
- Google Analytics
The industry standard of clickstream tools, and better yet it’s free. If you have a website you should at a bare minimum be using GA to understand what people are doing on your website.
Once you understand the what, you need to understand the why. A robust online survey tool that allows you to create on-exit surveys (like Qualtrics) will let you find out from your visitors why they came to your site and if they were able to achieve that.
Complementing your clickstream data is a tool that visualizes what your visitors did on your website. Mouseflow lets you see how visitors behave on your website by realtime recording and playback of sessions from which you can generate heatmaps for clicks and mouse movements (such as scroll behaviour) as well as some standard analytics.
- Radian 6
While it’s great to know what’s happening on your website, it’s also pretty damned important to know what’s happening beyond it too. Radian 6 is my favourite tool for social media monitoring, allowing you to listen in and analyse conversations taking place all over the world about your brand.
So there you have it, some of my favourite tools for analysing online data with the goal of gleaning actionable, strategic insights.
If you want to find out more about web analytics, I highly recommend heading over to the brilliant and inspiring Avinash Kaushik’s blog.