Posts

Introduction To The Basics Of Mobile App Analytics

Refer to the new article written by Ben Dickson, published by AppsZoom

For brands that are designing, launching, promoting and investing in mobile apps, tracking the right engagement metrics is critical to long-term success in terms of ROI and growth. Mobile analytics tools are the key to obtaining and measuring data that can help you track the success of your app.

Using mobile analytics tools, you can get real-time app insights, better understand your users and their needs, adapt your app to their behavior and preferences, and make sure they come back for more.

In this piece, I’ll cover the basics of understanding mobile analytics and how to track and use user engagement data.

Focus on user sessions instead of pageviews

Since analytics tools first appeared for websites, marketers and analytics experts tend to perceive mobile analytics with the same mindset as the web. But the reality is that there are some important differences between the two.

The metrics for web analytics are centered around pageviews, while mobile analytics are focused on user sessions. The reason for the difference is that people use mobile apps in a fundamentally different way than they surf the web. While page tabs in browsers might remain idle for minutes or hours on end while the user is busy elsewhere, mobile app sessions are more concentrated and can reflect user behavior more accurately.

Moving away from the pageview mindset to the sessions-based mindset is the key to approaching app analytics.

Think beyond mere downloads

Every app marketing campaign starts with user acquisition, i.e. getting as many downloads for your app as possible. But app downloads per se do not show the long term value of your users. In fact, a considerable percentage of downloaded apps are never used. Therefore, measuring your app marketing with download rates is the same as measuring site success with traffic rates only.

The real metrics of successful app marketing is user engagement data. Successful app developers gather data to measure retention, behavior and revenue streams.

Define the right metrics for your app

The metrics to measuring user engagement will very much depend on your brand goals and your perspective. Developer, marketers, sales executives, and business owners tend to have slightly different goals in mind when looking at analytics data. The following questions can help you define your metrics:

  • What is the main goal you wish to accomplish with your app?
  • How do you expect your users to behave while in your app?
  • What are the paths you expect your users to use within the app?
  • What is the conversion goal?

The key to understand here is that all apps are different and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to defining success metrics. When you have a clear vision of what you need, you can make better use of your analytics data. Otherwise, you’ll end up drowning in endless stretches of data that will be of no use.

Track valuable metrics

Once you set your goals, you’ll need to sift through your analytics data to assess your performance based on those goals. To this end, the following data will always come in handy:

  • Users: Tracking users helps you better understand your user base and gives you a baseline to improve engagement through segmenting and funneling.
  • Session length: The period of time users spend in your app per-session helps you identify your more active users.
  • Session interval: The time between sessions helps you figure out the frequency users open your app.
  • Time in app: The amount of time users have spent in your app over a period of time (e.g. 24 hours). This metric gives a different perspective than session length and interval and can help you measure behavior over time.
  • Acquisition: The number of users who download and install your app. You can further specialize this metric by filtering download rates by region and source (such as word-of-mouth, organic search, etc).
  • Screen flow: This metric involves tracking exits per screen, flow between screens and number of visits per screen. This can help you analyze user interaction with specific screens and pinpoint problem areas.
  • Retention: The number of users who return to your app after their first visit. This metric helps you track your most engaged and valuable users.
  • Lifetime value: This is the main revenue metric and represents how much each customer is spending in your app over time.

Integrate with other channels

While setting up and tracking your mobile analytics, keep in mind that your app isn’t the only channel where users interact with your brand. You must be sure to give a consistent experience to your users across all platforms.

Tracking user experience in various channels and integrating them, such as in both your web and mobile app, can help you obtain a holistic view of your brand’s success and performance, and make decisions that go beyond your app alone.

Choose an analytics tool

When it comes to choosing an analytics tool, you have many to choose from. Here are a few that can help you get started:

  • Localytics: A much praised analytics tool tailored specifically for mobile apps.
  • Google Analytics: Google’s famous web analytics tools is also handy when it comes to mobile analytics.
  • Mixpanel: A fine analytics tool that has decent segmentation and reporting features with highly granular data.
  • Segment.io: This tool will help you consolidate data from different tools, including Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and KISSMetrics.

You can find a more-detailed list of analytics tools here.

“website sins” that makes clients turn their back to you

Through surfing into hundreds and hundreds of websites, I faced technical, structural as well as design-related deficiencies that can be a strong reason for reducing visitors or any kind of decreasing traffic. Some people believe SEO is a magic wand that makes visitors stream right in to the net and convert them to customers. Well, that’s partly true, and you might increase the number of visitors for a while. But besides all SEO efforts, there are some issues that have to be addressed on the website itself as a one-time optimization job. SEO is not the target; it’s a tool that leads people to you. But eventually, SEO alone will not make them customers. Here are some reasons I found during analyzing websites:
1. A website has to be responsive. As more than 51% of online visitors are using mobile devices to connect, Google actually penalizes websites that are not responsive. Websites that lack in this domain are losing the greatest share of the market.
2. Homepages should convey the message of your business. Great banners with turgid slogans are not going to be very attractive these days. You might use the simplest design and a common slang tongue for your motto, but if you do this professionally, this will take effect, that’s for sure. The homepage is the most important page, so it must catch users’ attention and make them stay on the website and dig further. The content must be customer-oriented; i.e. you must say what you can do for the visitor, not how great you are. For instance, most modern websites show client testimonials on their home, which is strongly encouraging other users to make use of your services.
3. Many modern websites are SPA (single page application) as it is the most preferred design these days. In this way, you can provide the most important information about yourself at “a first glance” and as time is money, you’ll use the “5-seconds-chance” as much as you could.
4. Websites have to relate to their target audience. A website is a great stage for catching the interest of clients. But do we understand who they are? You always have to know who you are dealing with. You also have to gauge the social mood regularly and pay attention to what’s “in” or “outmoded”.
5. Search engines and tracking options are very sensitive in a website. Indeed it’s essential to have an easy way to search the site, but simultaneously, you have to be careful and prevent this system from causing a security flaw that will expose you to hackers.
6. Social media is an inseparable phenomenon of the online life we live today. Websites lacking links to your social media accounts are doomed to be isolated and ignored.
7. Load time is very critical for a website; if any visitor trying to check out your links has to wait and look a white page and read the “loading” message, there’s a great potential that the “5-seconds-chance” times out and you lose another opportunity. If you want to see how strong your website is, go to gtmetrix.com and write your website URL in the right place. You will see what’s behind and how it is performing. But having a short load time doesn’t mean you’re doing well. This might come from a very low usage of tools and images. The most important rule here is, being user-friendly and making everything faster and easier.
8. Never forget the mission of your website:
a. If you’re running a real estate company, you have to organize the structure in a way that your contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, employees or even clients find your website as the right platform to deal with you and enjoy your services. Therefore, a simple WordPress theme will not help you as it should. If you are showcasing “projects”, you have to prevent you site from becoming a simple image gallery. While you can totally benefit from a picture gallery, visitors expect to see some information about your accomplished projects. So, there is more need for text here.
b. If you’re running a mall, shop or any kind of product sales corporation, you have to have an E-commerce website. For such, without E-commerce your clients can’t order anything without contacting you personally. And every experienced marketer knows how essential it is to create the easiest mechanism in order to persuade your customer to buy your product. So, everyone should have the ability to order per click. Your clients should have the possibility to share the products, email their friends, and vote for the products, add them to their wish list, or be notified when a product is back in stock. With an E-commerce you can analyze your sales, see what products have been purchased most or who your best customers are…
c. If you’re in charge of any kind of HR, PR or job application business, you should offer the right tools for your target audience. Make the “contact us” page a platform that connects people to you, as well as other relevant sources they might need. Remember, this profession is very social in nature and you need to reach out to people personally. There’s no need to direct everyone to your own links. You may even lead them to others, but if you manage to help people find what they want, you’ll always be remembered as a reliable source and that brings reputation.
At the end of the day, you should ask yourself: Is my website substandard? Now is the right time to get serious about your online presence. More and more clients are turning to the internet for information and advice on their projects, sales, schedules and even connections. If you’re the go-to guy for products, services or even a simple advice, and you have a well-designed and well-functioning website, you’re going to get the job. You can persuade the visitor how to react and whom to refer to. Will you?
I warmly welcome any critic and feedback on this piece and I want you to connect with me at:rodney.goedhart@comelite.net

 

Author: Rodney Goedhart

,

5 web analytic software that can help improve your business

Gathering and processing information is a crucial success factor when you’re running a business. Data and statistics help you understand how you’re performing at the moment, whether you’ve improved in comparison to past weeks and months, and where you’re headed. Using timely information can help you reach new heights in your business success.

Without the proper information to go with your business, bankruptcy and utter defeat can catch you unawares.

Data becomes even more important when you’re running an online business. You need to track your website’s performance both from a technical and user experience point-of-view. And you must be able to analyze the behaviors of your visitors and potential customers in order to funnel them into the right direction.

This goal is achieved through the use of analytics software, a set of tools that help collect, analyze and report on website traffic. Basically, they help you answer many questions about your site:

• Who’s visiting your site?
• How did they find it?
• What do they do once they land on your site?
• Do they visit your site again, and if so, how often?
• What do they need? Do you offer it? How can you help them better find it?
• And a thousand other questions that are crucial in defining the roadmap of your business.

But a simple search of web analytics tools will show an endless list of names, all of which claim to be the best in the trade. Which one to choose? In this article I will present a few good titles that can get you started on your analytics campaign.

Google Analytics

This is one of the most famous and widely used analytics tools. Much of its fame it owes to the big name that supports it, but aside from that, it’s a pretty decent tool, it gives you relevant information, and it’s free.

Google Analytics was originally designed as a tool for AdWords users, and was later refurbished with additional features to make it a fully-fledged web analytics tool. It provides you with detailed reports on performance and activities that take place on your site’s pages, and it also has good features that allow you to conduct A/B testing on your site’s content.
Google also offers a paid premium program that offers unlimited access to data and strong customer support. But it comes at a $150 thousand per year price tag.

Adobe Digital Marketing Suite

This tool is created by graphics software giant Adobe, better known for its Creative Suite. The DMS provides the basic meat-and-potatoes you find in all analytics software with the aim to get all your data in one place, including web analytics, social analytics, and search and paid traffic. It also offers lots of advanced features that make it one of the strongest and most professional analytics tools.

One of its strengths is its ability to create segments, which allows you to perform precise scrutiny of different subsets of your visitors and examine their behavior and preferences. It also has cool features that allow for A/B testing, which allows you to study user behavior to different versions of your site pages.

But as is the case with all Adobe products, all these goodies do not come cheap though, and you’ll have to dig deep into your pocket for a $5,000 monthly fee if you want to benefit from its services.

Have A Mint

This is a good self-hosted analytics tool that offers decent feedback for a low price. Have a Mint gives you real-time statistics and helps you track visitors after they come to your site, including:

• Where they found your site
• What pages are they visiting
• How much time do they spend on pages

Have a Mint will charge you a one-time $30 fee, which is very reasonable in comparison to the Adobe solution, and will provide you with unlimited site tracking and a host of plugins that will enable you to enhance and customize your analytics experience.

KISSmetrics

This is a solution that offers a different, person-centric approach to analytics, which means it focuses on per-visitor data instead of broad stats. It easily integrates with CRM, email marketing and other programs and allows you to analyze data from multiple channels in a single interface. It also offers a timeline view of visitor activity in visual format. Provides a free trial for 30 days.

You can start with KISSmetrics for a free 30-day trial period, but you will eventually have to opt for one of the paid programs, ranging from $49 to $499, depending on the features you select.

Whatagraph

Whatagraph is a web application that takes Google Analytics to the next step. It integrates with your Google Analytics account, which makes it a perfect choice if you’re deciding to port, because you don’t need to start from scratch and can make use of all the data you’ve gathered so far. As soon as you sign up, it taps into your previous Google Analytics data to get you up to date.

Whatagraph adds features that improve your analytics experience and make your job easier. Its greatest feature is the countless ready-to-print graphical reports and infographics it generates based on the data it gathers from your website, which are very suitable for corporate business meetings.

Whatagraph offers an unlimited free starter kit which gives you four weekly reports and one monthly report and some basic insights. For a $12 monthly fee you’ll get unlimited reports, unlimited stats and advanced insight info.

Author:  Ben Dickson, Software engineer and CTO at Comelite IT Solutions.Contributor to TechCrunch, AppsZoom and CanadaFreePress.

Published by: Blog Whatagraph.com