In an earlier post, we discussed how important it is to set up your analytics tool correctly. But smart analytics doesn’t just end with implementation. You also need to make sure you’re pulling the right data – data that can lead to useful insights and actionable recommendations. This is especially important with a powerful tool like Omniture-powered Adobe SiteCatalyst. After all, the ways to track your site performance and customer behavior are practically limitless, and it can be intimidating trying to figure out what metrics to focus on.
So, where do you begin? Start with the fundamentals – reports that deliver essential information on customer interaction with your site.
The following three reports are analytics must-haves. Configure them correctly, and the resulting data and insights will enable you to make smarter optimization – and business – decisions:
The Entry Page Bounce Rate Report
By definition, bounce rate is pretty straightforward; it measures the percentage of users who leave your site after only seeing one page. What it reveals, however, goes much, much deeper.
Bounce rates essentially communicate the quality of traffic coming to your site, as well as how successful you are at engaging users. By measuring how often visitors quickly abandon certain pages, you can better understand how relevant those pages are to the end user – a good way to determine which sections of your site need immediate improvement.
However, SiteCatalyst doesn’t include a default metric for bounce rate, meaning you have to manually create one. Here’s how:
1. Navigate to “Pages Report.”
2. Click on “Add Metrics.”
3. Select “Standard Metrics,” and choose “Entries” from the menu below.
4. Change “Metric Type” to “Calculated,” and then click “Define New Metric.”
5. Choose “Percentage” as type, select metrics from the standard metric box, then hit save.
- [Note: Bounce Rate = Single Access/Entries]
Also, consider customizing your report by keywords – doing so can help reveal the intent of your customers. After all, visitors came to your site looking for something, but then left because they couldn’t find it. Maybe your entry pages weren’t optimized for the keywords they were searching for, or perhaps your messaging and calls-to-action failed to resonate. In any case, dive deep into the words and phrases visitors are using to get an even more thorough understanding of what drives action and response.
The Conversion Funnel Report
The ultimate goal of a website is to make sure visitors perform a desired action – whether it’s making a purchase, downloading collateral, completing a form or any other number of conversion points. That being said, I’m constantly surprised at the number of companies who fail to track – and optimize – their entire conversion funnel.
Optimization starts with analyzing how effective each step of your funnel truly is; fortunately, SiteCatalyst allows you to track conversions from each step. To configure this report:
1. If you have a shopping cart, navigate to “Cart Conversion Funnel.”
- (Site Metrics > Shopping Cart > Cart Conversion Funnel).
2. If you don’t have a shopping cart, customize your Custom Events Funnel.
- (Site Metrics > Custom Events > Custom Events Funnel; see maroon box). Click the link next “Selected Events” to choose the events to track in the funnel.
The Referring Domains Report
They say you can’t figure out where to go unless you know where you’ve been. In online marketing speak, that means you can’t identify potential opportunities unless you know where your visitors are coming from in the first place.
That’s precisely why you need the referring domains report, as it delivers a useful breakdown of your various traffic sources. Subsequently analyzing your top referrers – i.e. honing in on the keywords that compel users to click on a link – can uncover new business opportunities, including traffic-driving linking partners and content/messaging themes that resonate with users.
To set up a referring domains report:
1. Select “Traffic Source,” and then “Referrer Type Report.”
2. Click on the “Other Websites” breakdown.
3. Break down by “Referring Domains.”
4. Add useful metrics as you see fit.
The right reports can be the difference between simply collecting data and turning data into actionable insights. The entry page bounce rate, conversion funnel and referring domains reports in particular are essential to the online marketer’s arsenal and can play a pivotal role in enabling timely, data-driven optimization decisions that positively impact a company’s bottom line. In an industry that is built on mountains of data, the ability to extract relevant, difference-making insights and intelligence is invaluable, so take the time to properly configure these key reports – they could be the big boost you need in the new year!
Contact us directly at [email protected] for more must-have SiteCatalyst reports.