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Posts tagged ‘Analytics’

One simple step to give your visitors exactly what they want

Website owners know less about their visitors than they think — and that’s even with web analytics.

Take one search for example, like “how to tie a tie?” A user could search that phrase and land on your site. Seeing that phrase appear in your web analytics dashboard gives some details, but it’s unlikely that user is searching how to tie a tie to practice in his home.

What if he is getting ready for a wedding? If you knew that info, you could guess he ultimately wants to know, “How do I look presentable for a wedding?” Then, you could offer him step-by-step instructions for how to tie a tie, plus how to match a tie to a dress shirt, which button on a suit jacket to button, and how to polish dress shoes.

Business websites should be just as accommodating for their visitors. Here’s an easy process for finding exactly what your visitors want from you.

Use a free online survey tool, and post a link to the survey on your website. It could even be something as simple as using Google Docs.

Ask these two questions:

  1. What were you trying to accomplish in today’s visit?
  2. Were you able to accomplish that task?

From this simple survey, you will learn more about your visitors than from even the most sophisticated and integrated analytics tools.

How do you give visitors what they want? Ask for it. Use your users’ responses to anticipate their actions, and then tailor your website to align with what they want to accomplish.

Conversions will increase. Revenues will increase. You’ll have more satisfied customers.

Photo by coriehowell

How to Design Web Dashboards That Communicate Actionable Insights

As a web app developer or designer, you have probably played around with the idea of building a web dashboard. Dashboards on modern websites can be helpful tools allowing anyone to take away insights at a glance. Companies that get the right data, ask the right questions and display data in the right way stand out from other web apps.

But sometimes dashboards are only designed as charts for the sake of charts. Recently, Twitter announced they were planning on introducing an analytics platform to help uncover insights in social media campaigns. The tool’s design looks outstanding; overlapping line graphs showing clicks against bar charts showing tweets, plotted out by hour.

Just don’t let the aesthetics fool you. A social media marketer would not be able to glance at the charts and determine how to improve their campaigns with any amount of certainty. This analytics dashboard leans closer to eye candy.

When building a dashboard, remember one thing: All dashboards should communicate information that users will be able to act upon.

The intent behind this post is not to put a spotlight on Twitter. There’s a lot of potential for a Twitter-owned analytics platform.  Instead, put the spotlight on your own web apps.

Take this same perspective we used with Twitter’s dashboard and use it on your own. What kind of implications would users be able to learn from your dashboards? If a chart is strictly showing data points, it’s likely not valuable to a user. Kill those charts. Show your users something they would be able to react to.

For those seeking inspiration, here are a few examples of sites using charts and dashboards well.

Mint.com

Instead of just charting your total assets against your total debt, Mint.com shows how your net worth changes over time.

 

Adobe Business Catalyst

Business Catalyst gives users a snapshot of their businesses’ health, beyond the latest metrics or sales.

 

Facebook Ads

Facebook estimates your campaigns’ reach, which uses marketers own words to indicate campaign performance.

 

Google Analytics

The mother of all web dashboards does not disappoint. Google Analytics works fine when web owners install a tracking code, but the real power is unlocked once businesses begin tracking revenue and conversion data. Suddenly, web design decisions can be motivated by previous sales.

 

Crowdbooster

We wrote about Crowdbooster last year because of the value their dashboards bring to people on Twitter. Crowdbooster helps marketers understand what’s working with their social media campaigns or, more importantly, what’s not working.

How to Use Pricing Tables to Grow Sales

Mini Sprout Web Apps Pricing Table How To
You’ll find plenty of blogs that give examples of CSS and table-based pricing tables. But if the pricing table doesn’t convert, it won’t matter how you built it.

The purpose of a pricing table is to upsell potential customers. It’s set up for customers to pick the most appropriate plan for them, but web app entrepreneurs should design it so it leads to more revenue.

By the time your visitors reach the pricing table, they likely understand the value of your product and are considering making a purchase. From here, you have the opportunity to grow that final transaction cost as high as possible. It’s called “upselling,” and many established web apps do it well. Let’s take a look at some examples.

1: Pricing tables should upsell interested customers

37signals pricing table
37signals offers five plan options for Basecamp, but it pushes for the second most expensive plan, even if the cheapest paid option will work best for most customers. In this case, they’re upselling a customer that is already interested in purchasing.

2: Encourage customers to upgrade by offering free plans with few features

Wufoo pricing table
Wufoo actually calls attention to their free plan because it serves a role in their larger acquisition strategy. There’s quite a range of difference between their free and lowest-level paid plan. In fact, anyone who uses Wufoo on the free plan will quickly run out of fields or entries; they’ll have to upgrade. In this case, Wufoo uses their free plan as a teaser trial.

3: Users should see a value for every level of upgrade

The lowest level paid plan should offer the least value, and the highest level paid plan should offer the best value. Stepping up levels should not be as simple as doubling storage and doubling the price. Instead, users should feel an incentive to upgrade.

Incremental Value for pricing tables web apps
PlanHQ offers plans for $9, $24 and $49 per month. But the more expensive options are not offered simply by doubling or tripling costs and features. Users see an incremental value for sliding up to the next tier level, which encourages upsells for existing customers.

4: Less isn’t just more; it’s everything

It’s too common for new web app developers to build a pricing table that compares every feature. Keep it simple. Restrain the features for the Tour pages. And if you have multiple features that change with each level, consider simplifying the price points. You don’t need ten different components to highlight plan levels. Usually, one feature alone (like storage space, number of projects, or number of credits) will do just fine.

5: Once you build it, optimize

Your first attempt at a pricing table is really your personal opinion about what you think will convert a customer. Every hundred sales or so, make a change and see what boosts conversions. For high-performance sites, look into using Google’s free Website Optimizer tool for dynamic page changes that will tell you what combination works best.

The job of building and refining a pricing table really never ends. Customer needs change, as do your web apps’ features. Schedule time to regularly review the pricing table. It could end up being the most significant sales tool for your business.

Lucky Orange: Real Time Visitor Tracking


Lucky Orange provides real time analytics for exactly how your visitors are using your website. The service doesn’t replace your existing web tracking analytics. Instead, Lucky Orange offers better insight into how your users use your website.

Once you embed the Javascript code, press CTRL + SHIFT + 1 on your keyboard to launch the tool and begin the setup process. Your dashboard gives a live count of the number of people browsing your pages. The global map pinpoints their location, while lists show popular pages, entry keywords and referral sources.

Lucky Orange is broken into tabs. The Visitors tab gives the basic details like how the user found your site and their current page. But you also have the surprising “Spy On” option, which records how your users move about your site. These sessions can be saved and archived for later viewings. The Recordings tab houses the videos. Use them to assess your site’s usability.

We saw real business value through their third feature; one-to-one chat support. For any visitor, you have the option to spring open a chat window and speak to them live. Sales teams will jump at this capability, giving them the instant opportunity to qualify leads the moment people express interest.

We were amazed to see Lucky Orange’s price point. They have one plan, and it’s offered at $7 per month. For that cost, any small business owner can afford the service. If the low price isn’t enough to get you to sign-up, then both the live demo and free trial can change your mind.

Crowdbooster: Bring Analytics to Twitter

Even with so many companies investing in social media, we still struggle to make sense of our data. You may tag your links with utm_source and utm_content to measure best performing Tweets. Or you may run recurring media sentiment analyses to see how people are responding to your brand online. There’s plenty of space for these tools to evolve, and Crowdbooster may be the next step.

Crowdbooster, now in private beta, brings analytics-driven insight to your Twitter account. It goes beyond tweets and frequency to allow you to uncover new ideas on how people are responding to your messages. The service plots your tweets against retweets and people reached to identify your most magnetic messages. Crowdbooster can also track your activity and your followers’ activity and actually recommend the best timeframes for when to tweet. Seriously. Paid members can generate custom reports and export them to PDFs and Excel. Ultimately, Crowdbooster tells marketers what’s working and what’s not working in a matter of minutes.

The twittersphere is not by any means lacking tools for people to plugin and use. Ever since Twitter launched their API, script kiddies and hobbyists have been looking for any excuse to build an app. Fortunately, Crowdbooster provides real business value, and it’s powerful enough to make marketers wonder how they ran their campaigns without it.

Crowdbooster is available in private beta at the moment. Be sure to mention “MiniSprout.com” when you sign-up.

Paditrack: Free Website Conversion Tracking

For anyone who has run a website or marketing campaign, the question you hear each day is “how are we converting?” The service Paditrack allows you to create funnels and watch how users move through each step.

Google Analytics gave us the ability to create goal conversions through multiple points of a website. Online retailers, for example, track how users browse their website, view products, add them to the shopping, and checkout. A goal can be set up to trigger each step in the process. That way, if retailers begin seeing a lot of people abandon the site after they’ve added the product to the shopping cart but before checkout, they now have details they can use to answer business questions, like “why are sales decreasing?” From there, retailers can begin investigating a solution.

Paditrack uses Google Analytics’ data to helps recreate these funnels, but with one exception. While Google Analytics is easily capable of tracking existing conversion goals, Paditrack allows users to create new sets of conversion goals and actually use the existing Google Analytics data to see performance. Instead of waiting months for results on reliable data, you can pivot through data to extract insights in seconds.

Connecting your Google Analytics account to Paditrack could not be simpler. Register for an account, synch with Google Analytics, and begin playing with your data. As we’ve seen with other web apps that connect to outside services, it’s really easy for a web developer to build a convoluted connection process. Paditrack demonstrates they put a lot of thought into how users would use their tools, and it pays off.

Our favorite feature: Paditrack is free. This incredibly powerful tool is available to anyone with a Google Analytics account. With Paditrack, web developers can begin uncovering insights from their data today.