How to evaluate your website performance during times of uncertainty

“The merit of any excellent marketing strategy lies in its efficiency of exploiting the silver linings.”

 

Conventional wisdom dictates that an unpredictable market and an overall state of turmoil equates to bad business. Although we derive that conclusion from the empirical dataset which we often hold as the standard for ground reality, the unpredictable nature of the market can open up new avenues. With smart marketing strategies, businesses can generate unprecedented profits by creating a stronghold in newly created gaps in the market space.

With the recent disruption created by COVID-19, all businesses are in the exact aforementioned space. Traditional means of transactions from the producer’s and the consumer’s end is changing in hitherto unknown ways. Businesses in all verticals are witnessing a downward trend in revenue generation. During a crisis as grave as this, the suggestion of putting effective marketing for trade expansion as the top priority might feel like a proposal to clean the rooms when titanic has hit the iceberg. But that analogy is far from the truth. A more accurate metaphor would be that of a proposal to fix the hole in the ship and prevent it from sinking.

With the economic turmoil caused by COVID, it is imperative to trace every marketing dollar spent to a measurable outcome. During times of uncertainty, marketers understand that attention to detail and careful adjustments to process are required to track and interpret rapid shifts in business goals. That is the role a calculated and well-curated expenditure in the space of Digital Marketing can play.

And just as one needs to have a sound foundation to build a skyscraper, Effective implementation of Digital Analytics is the prerequisite to any Digital Marketing venture.

Using digital marketing analytics allows marketers to identify how each of their marketing initiatives (e.g., social media vs. blogging vs. email marketing, etc) stack up against one another, determine the true ROI of their activities, and understand how well they’re achieving their business goals.

Analytics provides data that correctly categorizes and demarcates user behavior. The same data is used as the base for marketing strategy. And finally, Analytics provides a thorough insight into the effectiveness of the marketing campaign.

In a simpler analogy, marketing without analytics is like the construction of a monument without an architect.

The key to the success of digital analytics is the right measurement Strategy. Measurement strategy is an all-encompassing plan that organizes your business goals and how they will be measured. This strategy follows a path beginning at the broadest goal possible (often a goal for the business) and breaks it into measurable metrics and specific ways to segment the said metrics. Now the end goal is to optimize the website’s performance, derive information about consumer behavior, and work towards collecting necessary dimensions and metrics.

And finally, all the efforts for effective analytics will fail if there is no continuous and rigorous Data Governance. Data Governance encompasses the responsibility of the maintenance of data with regular audits of Analytics capabilities. Keeping up to date with every technical update and making sure that the data which is received is consistent, meaningful, and concise. Data Governance is a continuous activity that ensures the analytic architecture’s effectiveness; catalyzing the output of every marketing campaign.

As mentioned before; this tumultuous era of commerce has opened up various markets that weren’t a mainstream demand till now. This article will now follow three case studies which will illustrate the importance of having a thorough architecture to collect analytics and the importance of making correct inferences to boost up conversations and sales.

Case Study 1:

With hundreds of thousands of courses and certifications available, one of our clients is a pioneer in the vertical of Specialised Education. However with the onset of COVID-19, like the rest of the education sector, the conversations of forms for admissions were at an all-time low. The overall traffic on the website was dropping every single day. Visitors were leaving the website after looking at the first page of all the courses available.

We could observe this by setting up triggers on page views, form interaction, tracking the exit link of every visitor, and heat maps that let us understand the clusters on the web page where users interact with the most.

The inference drawn from this data was that people are not looking for conventional educational certifications since there is no scope of traveling to a classroom. Since this pandemic is notoriously renowned for its unpredictability, students are not even interested in classroom courses whose batches start well in the future.

After multiple variations on the web page possible through testing tools and analyzing their engagement rates, we displayed only distance learning educational programs at the top of the list of the courses available. We changed the form to decrease the UI path to get to Distance Learning courses. We achieved this by creating a separate list of Distance Learning Programmes instead of clustering them in the list of all certification programs.

Under any normal circumstances, distance learning programs are the least sought after program because of limited faculty interaction. But this unpredictable circumstance opened up a new avenue for our client to pursue. Analytics and Digital Marketing provided the information imperative to come to this conclusion.

Case Study 2:

Another client of ours, an E-commerce platform that sells products in the niche of Coffee, Nutrition, and Wellness. The staple product of our client remains coffee. Whenever a new visitor visits the platform, the first product visible to him would be coffee. Usually, this practice would lead to higher conversions. Primarily because a new user would like to buy the staple product of a company rather than the product from their second line of production.

To track the number of clicks on all the products available on the platform, we implemented tags which are small snippets of code with the functionality of tracking every visitor’s interaction on the platforms. Based on the data collected, we observed that the number of people looking for wellness products has shot up whereas the number of people buying coffee has gone down.

In these times of strife, everyone is looking for a way to increase their immunity and be better prepared for adversity. With our recommendation based on the data we collected, we advised our clients to change their default home page and focus more on protein-based and nutrition-based products.

Within two weeks, our client has seen a jump in sales. When every business is struggling to make ends meet, through well-curated investment in analytics and digital marketing, our client has increased their revenues. This happened because they could capture a new gap in the market.

Case Study 3:

Next is the case of a leading premier provider of home, home office, and business products like printers, sewing machines, gear motors, etc. They extensively focus on their Printers’ business. They generate their major chunk of revenue from the office appliances required in every corporate setting. Most notably, printers.

However, with offices shutting down throughout the globe and an increasing trend of going digital, the demand for printers went to an all-time low. This was apparent by the Heatmaps we implemented on all the web pages of their platform. We observed maximum scrolling density around home products. Especially sewing kits.

Based on the collection of this data, the marketing team had an inference. According to them, since there is a tremendous demand for PPE kits and masks across the globe and the commercial industry’s production is less than the demand, people have started to sew their own masks and PPE kits for the welfare of their families. Moreover, a further study indicated that many individuals used this as an opportunity to start a mask and PPE kit production business of their own. The triggering point of this study was the observation of an increase in the sale of industry-level sewing machines. These sewing machines were rarely ever sold, but with careful introspection, we found yet another gap in the market which our client could exploit and increase their profits.

These three brief case studies show the inherent importance of optimizing a website’s performance. However, one major inference that might have eluded within the subtext would be the fact that these companies succeeded in times of turmoil because they had invested in Digital Analytics. They could do this only with the help of a strong, well-balanced, preplanned measurement strategy.

A final recap.

  • In times of changing markets, the importance of Digital Marketing and Analytics is paramount.
  • Without Analytics, Digital Marketing will provide no Return on Investment.
  • As an enterprise, it is necessary to understand your data and through it your consumers to build a more personal relationship with them. Understand their needs and change your platform to cater to those observed needs.
  • Now that the importance of Digital Marketing and Analytics has been demonstrated, the first step to start the journey into the sphere of Digital Marketing is to form a sustainable Measurement Strategy. Layout your expectations, your broad goals, and your monetary investment. Every business has its own measurement strategy based on its resources and the requisite to incorporate Digital Marketing.

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