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Capitalize on Your Customer Data

One of the most common mistakes companies make, is assuming that collecting customer data is good enough to improve customer satisfaction.

Aberdeen’s recent report, Customer Engagement Analytics: Take the Right Step, Every time, indicates that 95% of businesses struggle with using customer data. That’s surprising, as most businesses collect user data in some format or the other.

So, instead of focusing on why you need analytics, let’s take a look at some of the basic reports you can use and get some quick wins.

Referring Sites Report

A Referring Sites Report allows you to figure out where your users are coming from. When you know where your users are coming from, you open up the possibility of positioning the content you want them to see in the right place.

On the other hand, if you realize that users are not really coming in from a place you expect them to, say for example, you have a very low number of referrals from Google, then you can work to address that.

Possible Actions:

Work on optimizing your website for search:

  • Consider using meaningful titles and keywords.
  • Google’s SEO Starter Guide provides some useful tips.
  • Check if the website is being crawled.

Failed Searches Report

A failed search implies a user searched for something and did not get any results in return.

This one is probably not an all-time favourite for most. But failed searches can provide some useful insight to content issues – are you using the terms your users have? Do you have the content they’re looking for?

Possible Actions:

  • Analyze search relevancy results to understand and improve the effectiveness of your onsite search engine.
  • Consider using the user terms in elements like titles that bump up the relevance of the article.
  • If the user’s search term is not used in your content, consider adding it your synonym list. Adding support for misspellings can go a long way too.
  • If you don’t have the article, create it!

Abandoned Searches Report

An Abandoned search usually means the user did not find anything in the search results useful.

Possible Actions

  • Analyze search relevancy results to understand and improve the effectiveness of your onsite search engine.
  • Review your content to identify metadata issues that may be negatively impacting search.
  • Consider adding filters to allow users to refine their searches.
  • Consider adding prompts to help provide results that are more relevant to their context.

Page Hits and Path Reports

This one’s obvious and we probably all know about it. If your search is working as desired, pages with low hits indicate users are not using that content and can be automatically flagged for archival.

High page hits on the other hand, does not necessarily mean users find that page useful. You must analyze time on page or use path results to see what your users are doing once they get to the page to understand if it’s truly useful.

Possible Actions:

If the page with high hits is a landing page or navigational page:

  • Consider restructuring content on the page to ensure users get to the information quickly and the abandon rate from the page is not high.
  • Consider placing relevant information you’d like users to see on the page – important announcements, critical updates, new updates.

If the page has low hits, flag for removal and explore time spent on page, and number of unique visitors to determine if you should do away with the page.

Abandon Rate Report

This usually means, your users got to your site, searched for articles, and left without finding information that is relevant to them. By measuring how quickly users abandon certain pages, you can understand how useful those pages are to the user. This can be a good indication of pages that need to be updated immediately.

Possible Actions

  • Update content
  • Consider restructuring content to make it more scanable for users in a hurry – use bullets, lists, and relevant graphics.

In Summary

Don’t let all the data overwhelm you. Take action, it does not have to be big. The key is to make small changes and go back to the same reports to see if you got it right. You can then make it a repeatable process.

Looking at the same reports over a period of time, you’ll see some trends. You’ll get a better understanding of your user’s behavior and basic issues on your website or content. You can then build customized reports that help you focus on a specific audience and tailor the experience you’d like them to have on your website.

 

Rashmi Ramaswamy is a part of Innovatia’s Information Architecture team with a varied experience – support, training, tech pubs, project management, and information architecture. Her experience working with different teams helps her bring the best practices from each team to achieve a common goal – customer satisfaction.

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