If you want to build a great website, you need to have a solid strategy and clear business requirements. But a good website isn’t just that. If you want to know what is useful and what’s outside of visitors’ interest, you need to include analytics and a tracking plan in your project.
Analytics data lets you focus on measuring outcomes – it acts like a bridge between customer behavior and the bottom line of your business. Another important thing is privacy. With the rise of privacy regulations worldwide, designing your website with privacy-by-design principles will help your business stay compliant.
But how do you manage the demands of the multiple projects interconnected with your website?? Read on for ideas on how to gather all the necessary information so you get the most out of your new website and analytics project.
Gathering business requirements is a complex process. To help you sort it out, we broke down the process into seven steps.
Before you move on to collecting requirements, you should learn who will be taking part in the process. After you have a complete list of stakeholders, it will be much easier to understand all the issues and goals this undertaking needs to address. Also, be sure all stakeholders know their role and scope of responsibility.
The categories and business questions will vary as they depend on the digital assets you need to measure. You could have a more generic form, or one specially designed for each stakeholder group.
In this case, building a website and analytics implementation demand clear goals and objectives. Take a look at the questions below. They will help you get clear business requirements for your analytics project.
- Do you need fresh data in minutes or it isn’t a matter for your business?
- Do you need an unlimited number of properties in your analytics?
- Do you need a cloud, private cloud or on-premises hosting?
- Do you use other tools in your marketing stack so you need an analytics platform that integrates with your CRM, ERP and other tools?
- Do you need simple reporting or analytics with advanced features?
- Do you need support with implementation or more, do you need a custom implementation?
- Do you need 100% data ownership?
- Do you need a specific data residency?
- Do you need data anonymization?
- Do you need basic reporting funnel and user flow analysis, dashboards with basic metrics) or your business needs advanced features (e.g. attribution reporting, user-level reporting, custom channel grouping)?
- Do you need to export raw data to other tools in your stack?
- Do you need support, both with the implementation, onboarding and product training?
Do you plan to collect data on citizens in European Union or your business is within European Union? If the answer is yes, read the article to find out if Google Analytics allows you to process personal data in line with GDPR.
The success of your digital marketing activities depends on various factors like tools, creative banners, and engaging content. Fatal flaws in such endeavors include a lack of structured thinking and failure to understand the real purpose of your website or app.
During the requirement capturing process, focus on identifying your business objectives. Start big, and think about the overall purpose. Define your expectations regarding web presence.
In this case, it’s more important what you want to accomplish rather than how. Such an approach will bring you significantly closer to mapping requirements to the analytics goals and KPIs you’re targeting.
Then, dig deeper. Identify the core objectives, like building awareness, generating leads or promoting events.
Consider Avinash Kaushik’s perspective, who says that your objectives should be DUMB:
Focus on objectives that are precise, within your reach, and which bring your business significant value now but also in the long run.
The next step in the process of collecting requirements is to identify goals for every objective. Goals serve as distinct methods you apply to reach your business objectives.
At this stage you should be able to map business goals to different areas of web analytics. And by areas we mean building awareness, lead generation and highlighting events. These domains depend on the web analytics framework you establish.
Also, you need to find the most relevant KPI for each business goal. So instead of measuring only clicks, visits, or emails sent you look for more specific metrics.
Set your mind on KPIs, for example:
- Micro and macro conversions
- Bounce rate
- Top landing pages
- Top exit pages
If you’d like to dig deeper into the KPI topic, read the blog post about 42 KPI ideas for product analytics.
To see the results of your web analytics projects, you should define targets for all the metrics in your report. This is a key but often overlooked practice. These targets help you understand whether the numbers in your report indicate wins or loses.
Let’s say you want to increase traffic by 25% with non-branded keywords in this quarter. This 25% is your target. Your goal would be if you just aimed to increase traffic through non-branded keywords.
Wondering what exactly means privacy-friendly analytics? It is a set of methods for collecting, measuring and analyzing data in a way that respects privacy and delivers relevant insights.
Once the business requirements are captured and you’ve managed to transform them into KPIs, and targets, you need to record all the results in one final document. You could make it a part of your business requirements document (BRD) or create it as a separate piece. Still, it should be shared among stakeholders for their approval before you proceed to the next step in your analytics project.
Once requirements have been solicited from all stakeholders and you have a complete list, you should validate whether the process of collecting requirements has been done properly. In other words, you should check if everyone involved understood the requirements and if they were successfully translated into appropriate goals, objectives and KPIs.
To make sure the project will perform in the real world, there are a couple of things you need to do. Here’s a list:
- Verify requirements and provide an example report
- Present an example report that shows what business users will get when you start collecting real data
- Prepare a mock-up of an analytics report that presents essential data points you can collect to confirm that you’ve got the correct information
- Take advantage of the requirement collection process to ask if stakeholders will manage to make decisions about their digital asset with the help of your report
- If the answer is no, then you should continue to work on the requirements
Now, you’re armed with seven useful steps on how to make a successful web analytics project. Remember, if you want to efficiently use all the resources, you have to keep agility in mind.
Overall, your website and the analytics strategy for it play a key role in providing you with customer journey data so you can improve your communication strategy over time. Be sure to compare metrics across time periods and be creative – great customer experience and better revenue growth will come in due course.