7 Powerful Data Optimization & Analytic Tools
Without the proper data analytics and visualization tools to guide your decision-making, you could be missing out on big opportunities.
And there's nothing more regrettable than missing out on an awesome opportunity!
Below, we're going to outline 7 data optimization and analytic tools you can take advantage of to propel your business forward.
Reap the benefits of being a data-driven organization, all while remaining scalable.
GDPR and Privacy
Before diving into things, it's important that we mention consumer privacy and data security. This includes how the data is going to be collected, stored, and used.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs the way in which businesses gather personal consumer data. This regulation applies to all companies and consumers conducting business in or living in the EU (European Union).
Felix Sebastian of Termly adds:
"The GDPR applies to US businesses, regardless of their size in terms of revenue or staff, if at least one of the following two conditions are met
1. The company offers good or services (even in the absence of commercial transactions) to EU/EEA residents.
2. The company monitors the behavior of users inside the EU/EEA."
Commonly collected personal data protected by GDPR compliance includes name, email address, home address, device information (IP address, model of phone), photos, age, birthday, etc.
Consumers have more accessibility to see what data of theirs is being used and how it's being applied.
They can even go so far as to contact the company to see what data they've gathered. Individuals may request companies to remove certain data or request they stop using it for marketing promotions.
Of course, the cooperation you receive from the company will vary depending on the GDPR requirements they’re bound by. Some companies, in defense, may withhold that they do not have to disclose such information.
And in some cases, they may be right. The rules of GDPR compliance for small companies varies:
"GDPR compliance requirements vary depending on the characteristics of the company. For instance, businesses with fewer than 250 employees do not need to maintain a record of their data-processing activities." — Felix Sebastian, Termly
Ensuring that your customers can traverse your site with ease is a sign of a solid user experience. And, it's vital for keeping retention rates high and bounce rates low.
Knowing where your customers are becoming frustrated, confused, and overall unsatisfied puts you ahead of the game.
This is where implementing Fullstory's innovative "Session Replay" features take charge.
1. Fullstory - Session Replay
To put it short, Fullstory answers the long-running question of "what kind of activity is happening on my site and how are my users interacting with it?".
Fullstory's Session Replay allows you to see where your customers are experiencing difficulties, running into obstacles, and indications as to when they're considering leaving the site (or app).
Sounds like a great way to improve user experience, right?
Some of Fullstory's features and benefits include:
Captures user experience on your site including:
Where they initially navigate to
What they find interesting to read first
Where they click
The extent of their scrolling and more.
Allows admins to take note of:
Which features work well
Which features are broken or buggy
Which features aren't getting enough attention
Excludes the capturing of private data such as:
other sensitive information
Where your customers are failing to convert
What you can do to further optimize for conversions
What you can do to improve and reinforce your call to action (CTA)
Provide a higher level of quality and service by:
Understanding the "what, when, and where", of user experience frustrations
Seeing what users mean with feedback like "it's not working" or "I keep running into the same problem"
Rest assured knowing Fullstory adheres to GDPR compliance and proudly expresses privacy as being of utmost importance.
2. Hotjar - Heatmaps
Similar to Fullstory's Session Replay, Hotjar's Heatmaps summarizes a unique perspective of your users' experiences on your website or app.
Heatmaps quite literally uses a heat map — think thermal energy here — that shows you the more popular parts of your page with "hotter", red shading, and less popular parts of your page with "cooler", blue shading.
This gives you an overall view of how your visitors are interacting with your page and which parts of your page are resonating with your users as intended
Heatmaps shines a light on the assets of your site/app that are receiving the most attention, those that are on the uprise, and those that could use some refining to better improve user experience.
Clearly see, down to the percentage, how many users are traversing the scope of your page.
Here are just a few activities Heatmaps tracks:
Examine where your users are clicking on the page
Monitor where your desktop users are navigating their mouse to
Displays the extent to which a user scrolls down a page
And here are a few of the questions it aims to answer:
Why aren't my users converting?
Where can I better optimize for conversions on my site?
Will renovating my website prove to be more user-friendly and engaging?
Is my landing page confusing and unappealing?
In addition to Heatmaps, Hotjar offers 6 other unique tools upon signing up:
Capture what real users are experiencing
Tag recordings to describe the problem occurring
Take note of where users are failing to convert
See exactly where they're bouncing off your site
Watch recordings of drop-offs
Uncover which of your site's forms and fields are being left blank
Which forms take too long to complete, cause errors or frustrations
Why users depart from your form or page
Allows your visitors to leave immediate visual feedback along with a brief description of the issues they faced
Develop custom polls that can be targeted at specific users on your site/app
Multiple question types, adjust when the poll should appear, etc
Construct your own surveys
Receive responses in real-time across any device
Distribute the surveys via web links, email, or nudge your visitors before they leave to discover their complaints or problems
Data Organization & Presentation
When it comes to sifting through data and making it presentable and sensible, Tableau takes the cake as a data organizer.
Tableau is among the finest data visualization tools on the market.
It offers an amazing array of different angles for picturing and analyzing your data in refreshing ways, all while allowing you to scale your business.
It's where simply seeing data meets extensive understanding and value of data.
Experiment with data by dragging and dropping it to unveil new trends and previously unseen outliers. Confused about what you want to see or create? Use normal language in the query to quickly go from question to answer.
With the help of Tableau, you're able to reshape your data into a medium that creates interactive visualizations for your team.
Sharing your data and dashboards can be easily done through Tableau Online.
Collaboratively, your team can:
Find answers to their own questions
Access data and dashboards
Connect data to spreadsheets, big data, data warehouses, and cloud services at their convenience
With Tableau, you open the door for intuitive discoveries in a reliable and secure atmosphere.
Data visualization and optimization methods are virtually endless, and so are the organizational and analytical benefits.
4. Remarketing - Google Ads
If you're dabbling with Google Ads, it's imperative that you're aware of the importance of its retargeting features.
There's nothing more disappointing than seeing a user who's already visited your page never fully convert through the funnel.
Enticing these types of customers takes knowledgeable insights, strategy, and patience.
So, why might a visitor fail to fully convert?
Lost internet connection during checkout
Decided against buying the product — not the right time
Got distracted and had to abandon the session
Functionality was broken on the website
Found a competitor with better deal and smoother UI
You can retarget visitors who have already come to your site through the following methods:
Your ads are presented to previous users who are browsing websites and apps on the Display Network
Bring the process full-circle by showing customers ads of products/services they previously viewed on your website or app
Remarketing Lists for Search Ads
Show ads of your product/services in Google search, as customers look for what they need with similar search queries after leaving your website or app
Put your ads in front of previous guests who've either seen your videos on your website/apps, or have been to your YouTube channel
Ads can also be presented to users in the Display Network as they browse videos, sites, and apps
Customer List Remarketing
Using the contact information your customers have shared with you, create customer lists
When they're signed in with Google, ads can be shown to them throughout various Google products
Taking advantage of these remarketing tactics can greatly improve your user retention rates and can significantly increase sales.
Be mindful of and optimize the factors that form your ad's Quality Score — expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing age experience.
5. Facebook Pixel
Defined by Facebook, the Pixel is:
"A piece of code for your website that lets you measure, optimize and build audiences for your ad campaigns."
Understanding this is important for realizing its maximum potential for your Facebook ads and audience comprehension.
So why would you use the Facebook Pixel?
Let's say a customer browses through Facebook, stumbles upon one of your ads, decides to click on it, and fulfills a CTA.
This CTA is dependent on your ad's goal; it could be to get a customer to sign up for something, to get them to purchase your product, etc.
On your end, the Pixel will inform you of the action taken and what Facebook ad triggered it.
Curious to see the performance differences of your ads between mobile, tablet, and desktop devices?
With the Pixel, you're able to analyze how your ads are performing across various devices and how they impact conversions.
As more customers fulfill your CTAs and the Pixel generates more reports, it becomes a smarter piece of technology.
Its reliability strengthens and begins to better familiarize itself with the types of users interacting with your ads. In return, your ads start to be shown to qualifying individuals more likely to fulfill your CTA.
Maintain and customize your own custom audiences from those who have already come to your website.
Target them with dynamic ads, ads directed toward visitors who've already been to your site and have viewed a product/service.
Then, they will see a similar product/service as a way of reminding them where they left off!
Lastly, use the Pixel dashboard frequently to see a nice overview of your Facebook ads with insights regarding how your audience utilizes your website.
6. Google Tag Manager
Is your team spending too much time micro-managing your domain's tags?
Is it becoming a hassle managing the context of individual tags?
Tediously managing tags hinders you from making optimal use of your team's time and skills.
Not only that, but having multiple domain tags on your website decreases the speed and performance of your website.
And with page experience signals, like speed and performance, being a Google Search ranking factor, keeping domain tags to a minimum on your website is a sure-bet strategy.
Look no further, this is where Google Tag Manager (GTM) comes into play — it's a tag management solution made easy.
Websites should be developed in a manner that allows the sending of valuable insights to the website owner(s).
This is fulfilled by applying tags to the website. Using multiple tags on your website is common, so it tends to become difficult to oversee all of your tags in an organized and cohesive manner.
One of the biggest conveniences is the "container" in which all of your website tags are stored.
You'll start by creating a new GTM Container. Next, copy the tracking code for your tags (Google Analytics, Google Ads, Hotjar, Facebook Pixel, etc.) into this container.
From there, you'll simply just add the GTM Container ID to your website and leave the execution of your tracking tags to happen within GTM.
Then, you are able to set rules for when you'd like each tag to fire and where on your website.
For example, a Google Analytics tag should fire on all pages of your website to analyze overall performance.
Other tags, like Google Ads, may be assigned to fire on specific pages to monitor key conversions, like a confirmation order page for example.
Benefits of using Google Tag Manager
Significantly decreases page load times due to condensed tag code
Much of the work is a drag-and-drop, user-friendly interface
Eliminates reliance on developers, saves time and money
Collaborate with your team to reaffirm tag optimization and performance
Enhanced flexibility; add, modify, and delete tags whenever you want
Smart error-checking technology and easy-to-understand diagnostic messages alleviate unnecessary worrying
Allows the inclusion of custom tags, and support the use of all third-party tags
7. Adobe Experience Platform
Similarly, Adobe has its own tag management platform with an array of features comparable and arguably more versatile.
Although a newer tag management system, Experience Platform has several interesting integrations that make it a worthy adversary of GTM.
First, if any of your content lives inside Adobe Experience Cloud (AEC), integrating Launch will feel seamless and more comfortable than opting for GTM.
Experience platform is free to use with a valid Adobe Analytics contract or with other AEC products.
Offering a variety of ways to simplify tag management, Adobe's platform allows your team to focus less on tedious details and more on profitable plans.
Check out the following qualities and benefits of using Adobe Experience Platform:
Utilizes rule-based systems to flexibly trigger tag actions as described by yourself. These integrations can be easily accessed, modified, and maintained by your devs.
Harness the advantage of advanced control by deciding what makes up a tag, giving you more control over individual parts, such as fire event & fire page view.
Prompt multiple tags and technologies simultaneously rather than customizing distinct rules for each part.
Properly assign access to the corresponding person, and allow efficient execution of work through separate accounts — no need to worry about unwanted or accidental changes.
One, cohesive view of all your data being collected, whether on web or mobile apps giving you enhanced control over your data & easier to share.
Users can upload and download new extensions via the Extension Marketplace. Simply share and download new templates that suit your optimization needs.
Wrapping Things Up
Hopefully by reviewing these tools, making smart and swift decisions will feel easier than ever before.
Keep on top of competitors by having concise, insightful, and organized results that allow you to drive more action and ease your team's mind.
Finding which tools will benefit your business's needs most will allow you to take advantage of the new revenue-generating opportunities made possible through their application.
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