Many business owners are alarmed by the word ‘Audit’. They associate the term ‘Audit’ with those stern government bodies that ensure that corporate laws are strictly followed by the businesses. Due to which, the word ‘Audit’ is usually associated with something negative by most entrepreneurs.
But the web analytics audit is a whole different thing – and nothing negative about it either!
The web analytics audit is an established method employed by companies across the globe. It allows them to determine that the web analytics tool that they have implemented is paying great dividends in terms of growth and profit. This enables them to spend their marketing budget and manpower most efficiently and prudently.
Web analytics audits can specifically generate tangible benefits for such companies that utilize a wide range of online strategies that include several websites and substantial advertising campaigns running online. But web analytics audit must be carried out regularly by companies of all sizes and industries. Regular audits of the performance and precision of your analytics tool will tell you if your company is accomplishing your intended goals.
Are you planning to audit your web analytics implementation? Then here are some useful tips to note to get the most out of your audit activity!
Leveraging the full power of your web analytics tool
If your web analytics tool is not implemented in full, you may not be able to utilize the full potential of the tool for your business. Many businesses start off with the basics by tracking the visitors and postpone the more complex analytics for the future. This may not happen at all. This approach will not fetch you the desired results from your analytics tasks. Make sure your analytics tool is implemented in full – and not in part – if you wish to accomplish your business goals.
But if you are short of resources and budget initially, identify the most vital metrics that affect your conversions and implement analytics tracking for them first. If you aren’t doing the full implementation of the web analytics solutions for the business units, various departments may install random applications to track various metrics as per their needs. Such disorganized analytics activities can become counter-productive for your business growth.
Studies show that a lot of the companies don’t fully implement the analytics solutions and services that they buy. This will stop you from accomplishing the fullest ROI that you would have otherwise achieved on fully implementing the analytics solutions. With an incomplete implementation, you are deprived of vital analytics insights that would otherwise help you maximize your bottom line.
Make sure your business approach is aligned with your web analytics tool
Your business model must be built on a strategy that is broadly established and precise. This makes the integration of your web analytics tool with your business model seamless and effective. Once the integration is flawless, the efforts and investment that you put into your analytics tool will bring the highest ROI (Return-On-Investment).
To identify the most vital KPIs in your business, you must work closely with the key employees in every business unit of your company. Then gather important information regarding the metrics and traffic sources that you must track to accurately measure those KPIs. The resultant data that you get after measuring those KPIs will validate whether you have an effective business approach in place or not.
If you have the need to modify your business model, you must have a mechanism in place to re-align your web analytics approach. In order to make sure that your analytics tool is performing accurately and collecting the desired analytics data, you must work out a schedule. This can be a weekly or once-in-a-fortnight activity, wherein you will perform a quick test of the tool and its various functions.
Web analytics audit facilitates data reliability
By performing regular web analytics audits, you can make sure that the correct data is being generated by your analytics tool, and also, it is being presented to the right people. With the right data in the right hands, every department can take accurate, educated decisions that can lead to increased profit and growth.
But several companies want their digital marketers and web analytics team to track every metric of their online business.
With a high-tech analytics tool like the Adobe Analytics ready, you can literally track every metric of your e-commerce business. But the question is – is it really required? Are you going way overboard with your analytics efforts? Is there a limit that you must maintain while measuring metrics?
If you are unnecessarily trying to track each and every metric of your e-commerce business, you are most likely going to wind up wasting a lot of time and money, without gaining many tangible results. Hence it is highly recommended to identify the most vital KPIs that affect your business goals and track them as and when required.
This approach is especially important when you have a small analytics team. You can include more KPIs and measure them as your analytics grows.
One of the major challenges faced by the web analytics world is the feeling of unreliability about the web analytics data produced by the analytics tools. The factors contributing to this perception are numerous.
Hence, the only way to get around this perception is by developing robust data governance strategies and regulating auditing practices. This will help get rid of the flaws and instill trust among companies towards web analytics tools and data.
Now, this is where analytics tools like FoxMetrics come into the picture. You can make use of the FoxMetrics data validation suite to skim through your analytics installation. This will discover and inform any disparities in your data collection method, thereby guaranteeing trustworthiness in your analytics data.
If you are still not aware of what web analytics is all about, this short video should get you started.
Does your organization have a competent web analytics team?
This part is highly crucial! Check whether your web analytics team is skilled enough to handle the critical analytics duties of your company. Do they have the trustworthiness to measure decisive KPIs? Are they confident enough to track crucial metrics that affect your bottom line? All of these must be considered before setting up a dedicated web analytics team for your company.
Your web analytics team must have distinctly well-defined goals! Most importantly, the team must be led by an individual who enjoys the absolute credibility of his team members.
And he must also have the powers to execute the objectives. The leader must have the skill to easily interact and convey ideas with business as well as technical teams – equally. Remember, the success of your web analytics team is entirely dependent on its leader.
Check whether your company is ready for a web analytics audit
You can validate your company’s readiness to undergo a thorough web analytics audit by evaluating the following points. This will uncover whether your e-commerce business is a good contender for implementing a state-of-the-art metrics tracking solution.
- Is the web analytics data a driving force in making investments in digital marketing? If so, then how often do you make such investments?
- How do you approach robust analytics data, as an activity or a project?
- How do you manage the changes made to the web analytics tags? Are you using a structured, consolidated system for that?
- How do you ensure the quality of your website tags? Are you employing any quality assurance method for that?
- Does your company have a procedure in place to add, remove, or change web analytics tags?
- Do you have a pre-emptive data quality assurance system in place to ensure high-quality web analytics or you modify the analytics process after you find that your system is not effective?
Please be informed that to ensure the effectiveness of your analytics tools and its data accuracy, you need to carry out a thorough web analytics audit.
Two Vital Web Analytics Audit Tasks
Now that you have a fair idea about what web analytics audit is all about, it’s time to get an overview of the crucial tasks involved in an audit. Let’s check that out.
1. Web Analytics QA (Quality Assurance)
Your web analytics implementation is prone to breaks (or malfunctions) at any point. It can manifest in various forms. The interconnected business components can stop functioning when a change is introduced into the analytics tool. Or the break can occur when new functionality is introduced to your e-commerce website. Inadvertent removal of tags or its duplication can also result in breaks.
The result of a broken web analytics implementation is incorrect data and can be catastrophic for your company. This will lead to a loss of trust among employees in the whole web analytics system. Incorrect data will also stop you from carrying out the right analysis and making the correct decisions. So how do you prevent a break? Through regular web analytics QA.
Carrying out timely web analytics QA is one of the vital audit activities that should help you avoid a potential breakage of your web analytics implementation. There are various tools to help you perform a thorough web analytics QA. FoxMetrics is one such tool. When a new change or functionality is introduced into your system, your web analytics manager must make use of the tool to make sure that the analytics solution is working as expected. This should be a mandatory step while implementing your analytics solution.
2. Web Analytics Regression Testing
Although not as commonly carried out as the QA, web analytics regression testing is still used by businesses as an automated testing process. This testing process ensures that the changes introduced to the website have not affected the web analytics data. Modification in web analytics tags is one such change.
The main objective of a regression testing cycle is to make sure that the web analytics implementation is not broken after a modification. Regression testing is done to also make sure that the functionalities tested during a previous QA are still functioning correctly after the change.
There are several advantages to doing web analytics regression testing. Even though it is a bit expensive to set up this testing process, it is well worth the investment. This is an integral data governance process that will help prevent a number of crucial data quality problems. Hence, regression testing must be a crucial part of your web analytics process – right from the implementation stage!
Having discussed the topic of web analytics audit in length, it’s time to discuss the right analytics tool that you must choose to guarantee data quality. Yes, there are so many analytics tools out there in the market that boasts a lot of killer features that can take your business to the next level. It could be true!
But being an organization that has successfully helped clients to accomplish their business goals through analytics, we must give credit to our brainchild – the FoxMetrics suite. Yes, the FoxMetrics suite of analytics tools is what we totally bank on to undertake any challenging analytics activity for our clients. FoxMetrics is the result of our years of hard work, experience, and ingenuity. Do check out this link to know how FoxMetrics can maximize your bottom line.