Data is the key which unlocks the growth of your business.
It often falls on the marketing manager’s shoulders to digest information and come up with strategies that drive growth. But with many other responsibilities, web analytics can sometimes feel like an afterthought. When your tasks include developing social media strategies, running advertising campaigns and doing PR promotions, web analytics can seem less urgent and fall down the priority list.
But the need for web analysis should not be underestimated. With its help you can do the following:
- Find out which of your marketing channels and campaigns have the highest ROI,
- Stop losing money on channels that don’t work,
- Learn what your audiences really want so you can sell it to them,
- Discover areas of your website that are losing you sales.
If you want to gain from these benefits, you may need to take the time to do web analytics. But if you’re finding it difficult to find the spare hours or you don’t have enough skill within your team to do the analysis, it may be time to hire a web analyst.
To help you decide, I’m sharing some tips here on choosing the right time for your business to hire a web analyst.
Here are the signs to look out for that indicate your marketing team needs support from a web analyst.
You’re not confident that your data is reliable
If you’re suspecting the data you’re seeing in Google Analytics is incorrect, you might need the help of a web analyst. Here are some possible signs you should be cautious about when it comes to believing your numbers:
- Your marketing channel numbers don’t make sense, compared to your actual marketing activities,
- You’re assigning majority of your conversions to the “Direct” channel,
- Your bounce rates are extremely high or low,
- You have a large number of outliers in your timelines (i.e. unexplained spikes of traffic),
- You don’t have a goal funnel set up,
- You’re not tracking key interactions that users may have on your website – that aren’t simply page views (think file downloads, tab clicks, form fills and submissions, video interactions or scroll events),
- The ecommerce data in Google Analytics shows different numbers to your sales system.
An incorrect setup means your data may have no value at all – impacting your strategy and bottom line.
Before you can conduct valuable analysis, you need to be sure your data is collected accurately and organised in a meaningful way.
If you worry your data accuracy needs improving, it’s a good time to hire a web analyst.
Data analysis is ‘tomorrow morning’s job’
If you or your marketing team find yourselves…
- Skipping on regular data checks,
- Pushing data tasks to the bottom of the to-do list,
- Relying on inexperienced executives for insights,
- Handing your ‘monthly’ reports in two months late,
- Winging it’ when it comes to data-driven decision making
…then it is time to look at bringing in help with your data analytics.
Data science and analysis is simply too important to be ‘tomorrow morning’s job’. You could be losing money or missing key sales opportunities while you’re making decisions that are not rooted in data.
If you and your team are too time-poor to build a growth plan from your data analysis work, then it is the right time to hire a web analyst.
You can’t tell which of your marketing channels are bringing in the money
If your marketing team’s efforts are siloed, leaders can struggle to see the bigger picture. Are you making more sales through Facebook advertising, Google searches or your email discount codes?
A web analyst can help you build customer acquisition funnels which will tell you:
- The best performing marketing channels,
- Which customer touchpoints are proving most effective,
- Where you should allocate your marketing budget.
The benefits of identifying where you are making your money is clear. Once a web analyst has organised your conversion tracking, the big picture becomes crystal clear.
You’re running an A/B testing programme
Running a series of A/B tests is the best route to increase the number of sales you make online without increasing traffic.
A/B testing tools make it easy to test new concepts – but be wary of this simplicity. You still need to know the reasons for coming up with an idea. You still have to make sure your sample sizes are big enough. And you still need to apply the correct level of scrutiny to the numbers – so that you can be confident that one version really is performing better than the other.
A web analyst has the skills to tell you what to A/B test and how – and how to analyse the results.
A business aiming for growth should run A/B tests on their site on a regular basis. With support from a web analyst, these tests can be conceived, pitched, set-up, run and evaluated at speed.
You haven’t pulled any money-making insights from your data
Are you attracting plenty of traffic to your site, but seeing a frustrating lack of sales or conversions?
One sign that it is time to hire a web analyst is when your business has achieved its traffic targets, but the conversion rate is stuck and growth is slowing.
You can convert more of your website users with small and simple changes.
It is web data analysis which will tell you exactly where to make those changes so you can continue your business’ growth.
It’s all well and good if you’re monitoring your Google Analytics numbers. But if your team are struggling to find time or skill to pull insights from your data and turn those into actions, it is the right time to look into hiring a web analyst.
You struggle to approve any data-driven decisions
Successful businesses make data-driven decisions at every level. Data can guide choices as wide as:
- Changes in your messaging, copy and calls to action,
- Restructuring your website or product catalogue,
- Changing your third party providers, such as payment processing or web hosting.
The larger the business, the longer it takes for a decision to happen at a director level. This goes against the dynamism required within modern businesses, where the need to pivot and adapt to changes fast is vital.
Analysts don’t only find valuable insights, but will also know how to present those insights and suggestions in a way which is easy to consume.
Leaders can quickly approve decisions which are backed with data and broken down in a digestible and visual way.
Hiring a web analyst will help your team create an optimisation decision-making process and speed up approval, ideal for busy decision makers and stakeholders who are short on time.
You’ve avoided making data-backed tactical moves
Businesses which invest in digital data analysis can confidently make key decisions that will impact their revenue in the long term.
A web analyst can suggest such tactical moves. These can include:
- Adding or expanding product lines,
- Changes in company structure,
- Expanding locations or delivery options,
Data analysis gives leaders the assurance to make pivots without ‘what if’ scenarios fogging the decision.
Your competitor gets the edge
Many companies decide it is the right time to invest in web analytics after reviewing the activity of their competitors.
Businesses across every industry and sector are investing in analytics – and you will notice the results in your competitors’ successes.
Web analysts can review competitor and sector activity outside of your company ‘bubble’, and help give your company an edge within your sector. Examples can include:
- Testing new value propositions,
- Trying out alternative page layouts,
- Suggesting changes to your website architecture,
- Coming up with personalisation variants,
- Implementing new technologies.
You can’t find the data to support your business strategy
How confident are you that the investment choices you’re making are actually going to result in business growth? You may have ideas and feelings about how things are performing and where the market is heading. But only data can prove what the best opportunities actually are. If you’re trying to get the rest of your team on board, a web analyst can help you build the story to convince them to follow you.
Most people are likely to follow logically presented solutions to problems. And even if your web analyst is not certain of the best solution, they can help devise a plan to test options using fewer resources for maximum effect.
Web analysts can combine different sources of data to build insight reports. These reports digest data highlights that are relevant to your specific problem and then tell a story of how to overcome them. They are great for getting entire teams on board.
Teams within your business and marketing team may not be aligned on your overall goals and strategy. Hiring a web analyst will remove those obstacles and challenges by backing ideas, strategies and targets with data.
Final thoughts on when to hire a web analyst
A web analyst can support your team in many ways:
- Tell you which marketing channels are not performing well – so you can stop investing in them or change your strategy,
- Find out which marketing channels are performing well – so you can scale up your investment and test even better strategies to improve your results even more,
- Provide insight into which elements of your website are losing you money,
- Give you a prioritised list of opportunities to test for improving your website conversion rates,
- Create reports that get your entire team on board for pursuing a winning growth strategy,
- Devise automated performance dashboards that help your team monitor how well all your activities are doing.
Not ready to hire a full time analyst? Engaging with an agency on a one-time project is a low-risk approach to outsourcing web analysis.
If you’d like more tips on what qualities to look for when hiring a web analyst, read my blog post where I lay down the foundations of the job description and share the 10 qualities you should look out for.
A good analytics partner (employee or agency) will help you decide on where to invest your money efficiently according to your budget.
Would you like to gain confidence that your data is trustworthy? Are you struggling to convince a director about the need to hire a web analyst? We’ve developed a package that helps you achieve both. Find out more about our Google Analytics Health Check.