by Manny Im
Last week marked the end of our very first E-Testers Program. It was both an enlightening and humbling process. We found much room for improvement and at the same time, found a renewed spark of motivation through the plethora of kind comments and suggestions that our testers gracefully overwhelmed us with.
Before the summary report, which is due to be published for the next Tech Diary, I wanted to bring light to the business aspect of the E-Testers Program. As the E-Testers Program was a Closed Test, I would not be surprised if most people considered this testing period as an event focused solely on the technical aspect of our E-Garden, E-Wallet, and DApps. The fact is, the various data we collected (personal data was only used for identity verification during the selection and reward sending process) through analytical tools provided us insight to our users’ preferences and behavior. Had we neglected the use of such tools, we would have consumed more of our – and your – time conducting surveys to find out what our testers liked, disliked, and so on. One tool that was especially helpful to us was Google Analytics. If you own a business or do research on tracking data, you have probably heard or used Google Analytics. I would like to give you a brief introduction to Google Analytics and one of the categories we focused on during the testing period.
The foundation of Google Analytics reports are dimensions and metrics. Dimensions are the attributes of your data, such as the country where the users are coming from. Metrics are the quantitative measurements for those dimensions, such as how many of our total users are from Russia and India. In short, Google Analytics helps you make decisions based on data. You can justify decisions of all characteristics – paid advertisements, landing page, color schemes, and so on. Google Analytics categorizes data into the ABCs: Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions. For this post, I’ll focus on Behavior, as acquisition and conversion was not our primary focus during the testing period. Some categories within Behavior that were not our immediate focus from a business perspective will not be discussed.
The Behavior gives you reports on how your users are acting within your website. These reports can be used to asses the performance of your content and determine if your visitors are taking the actions you intended. When you first access the Behavior tab, you will see an Overview tab. This view gives you a graph showing the amount of traffic your website received during the time period you’re looking at.
You’ll also see pageviews, unique pageviews, average time on page, bounce rate metrics, and percent exit metrics. All of these metrics describe how a user interacted with your page. Here are some quick definitions:
- Pageviews: Total number of pages viewed.
- Unique Pageviews: Number of individual people who have viewed a specific page at least once during a visit.
- Average Time on Page: The average amount of time users spend viewing a page.
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of single-page visits.
- Percent Exit: Percentage of users who exit from a page or set of pages
After the Overview tab, you’ll find the Behavior Flow view. This shows the path users commonly take when they visit your site. Use this to see where it is that people tend to enter and leave.
Next up is the Site Content section, which reports how visitors interact with the content on your website. This information is broken down into more categories: All Pages, Content Drilldown, Landing Pages, and Exit Pages.
- The All Pages report shows the top pages of your site based solely on traffic numbers. Use this to see which content is performing best on your site.
- The Content Drilldown report can be used for those areas of your site with folders, such as /blog and /news. This report will show you the top folders of content on your site, as well as the top pieces within those folders. You simply “drill down” into the folders to see individual performance. This gives you a more holistic view of how different content sections are performing on your site.
- The Landing Pages report allows you to see top landing pages, which is where your visitors enter your site. This report will show you conversions based on your goals, which enables you to see which pages are most likely to lead people to convert. Use this information to optimize your campaigns to direct more traffic to the pages with higher conversion rates.
- As for Exit Pages, this is all about where people are exiting your site. You’ll want to use this data to see where you’re dropping the ball. Look at these pages and see if you’re missing the opportunity to send users elsewhere on your site.
The Top Events report is all about the events with the most interaction. So say you have multiple video downloads. Use this section to see which video is being downloaded the most. This can tell you what your audience is most interested in — then, you can create more of this type of content.
The Pages report under Events shows you the top pages where visitors interact with your events. So, if you’re working with multiple pages with assets, you’ll not only see which events perform the best, but which pages get the most event traction. This can help you with optimizing your pages and focusing more of your efforts (and events!) on the pages that are performing well.
Next, you’ll see the Events Flow report, which shows the path visitors take when they interact with your event. You’ll be able to see where people are arriving, and where they’re dropping off.
Last but not least, there’s Experiments. Google lets you run experiments, such as A/B tests, to see which landing page performs best for your specific goals. If you want to optimize these goals, you’ll want to use Experiments to see which pages are performing best, and which pages need to be adjusted.
At the end of the day, Google Analytics is not the final answer to all your problems. Instead of answers, you want to be looking for problems. Are customers consistently leaving a certain page? Are customers not interested in a certain content? All of these are issues that you can identify using Google Analytics. We understand that Google Analytics is a tool that can go wrong. Therefore, we are intent on sorting unimportant information – or plain wrong information – from our view so that we can look at what is important. We hope that this is reflected on our future updates and releases.
*All images were taken from a Google Analytics demo account. They do not reflect data from a real business.