Digging into analytics
Before moving into our studio in Globe Works, we spent a month working in The Workstation which is also home to Project X Office, an online office furniture supplier. We met John Orford, Managing Director of Project X Office at a networking event and after chatting with him we offered to do one of our leg-up projects. Leg-ups are one of Paper’s principles to help out small businesses, charities and social enterprises.
John says - “My online retail business is almost entirely reliant on the success and failure of my website. I confess, prior to meeting the guys at Paper, I hadn’t really given enough consideration to the ‘user experience’ of potential customers visiting my website. I suspect I’m not on my own in this regard and in their friendly, approachable way, Cam and Jon were able to offer me some insight and open my eyes to what I now realise is an integral part of my business.”
Finding out how Paper could help
Over a coffee John chatted about how he was looking to improve his online sales and increase conversions. It’s clear from spending just a short amount of time that the ordering, delivering and after-sales service that John provides his customers is what sets him apart in what is a competitive market.
In turn we talked about how Paper could spend a couple of days to take a fresh look at the analytics running on the site, looking for themes, trends and behaviours. We identified the five specific areas to look at:
Visitors. Tracking new visitors or returning visitors shows whether you’re gaining, and retaining, volume of interest and prospective sales
Device Type. How someone accesses a website - desktop, tablet, mobile - can have a massive impact on navigation and a buying journey
Goals & Funnels. This can show the relationship between conversions and drop-outs in the sales funnel
Channels. Identifying the performance of paid search (PPC), organic search (oogling something) and referral (i.e. links from other sites) can help determine where to concentrate efforts
Metrics. Understanding the key metrics of conversion rates, transactions, revenue and order value is paramount for any sales orientated business
With only a short window of time, this was an obvious achievable goal. In an ideal world this quantitive research should be complemented with talking to real customers to find out why they’re doing things in a particular way.
What we did
We spent time reviewing the analytics in detail and with each of the above five areas we thought about our recommendations. We think it’s best to break down a recommendation into three items:
An assumption describes a problem that we have identified
A hypothesis describes what we expect is currently happening
A suggestion describes what steps we think could test the assumption
And a real life example can read like;
Assumption: More traffic is being driven to the site but the traffic is less relevant.
Hypothesis: Users coming to the site aren’t having their expectations met on the page they land on and so are leaving the site immediately.
Suggestion: Test content, page layout and usability changes that are better aligned with traffic source content e.g. paid search.
To make our comparisons as fair as possible, we looked at the data from a three month period in 2016 against the same three month window from 2015. We can’t go into any great detail of what was identified as this is all confidential.
After thought and discussions we crafted separate assumptions, hypothesise and suggestions based on our research of the analytics. Each one covered one of the five key metrics and were written with both John and his SEO agency in mind.
As John is already working with a dedicated SEO partner, we were conscious that we didn’t want to tread on any toes. Our work was done impartially and written with both John and his partner agency in mind.
We fed all this back in an easy to digest report which John could pick up review and look to implement.
We’re not sure which is better from John, his lovely words below or the thank you beers which he kindly sent to the studio..
John says - “Ours was a chance meeting, but I’m grateful it happened and I’ve been impressed with how selflessly Paper were willing to offer me ‘leg up’ advice with nothing demanded in return. Thanks Paper for all your help. Your generosity is refreshing and admirable, and I love your insightful, smart and completely unpretentious approach!”
If you’re a small business, charity or social enterprise that are interested in working with Paper on a future leg-up, please get in touch.