Context is Critical: Creating a Culture of Web Analytics

Continuing my series on Creating a Culture of Analytics I would like to touch on a very critical aspect of creating a culture of Web Analytics and that is Context.

What is Context

According to Princeton.edu context is
  • Discourse that surrounds a language unit and helps to determine its interpretation
  • the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event

Context takes the ambiguity out of the equation. As an Analyst it is very important that you provide full context when reporting your web analytics data. Context gets everybody on the same page. Do not leave anything for interpretation by the end users of your reports, give them the insights in a simple and easy to understand format.

Let’s look at an example to understand critical context is.

60 Degrees

If I say it is going to be 60 degrees tomorrow. What will be you reaction?
If you are in Minnesota – You will yell “Summer”
If you are in Seattle, you will think – ““Spring”
If you are in Florida, you will say “ Damn… Cold”
If you are in India, you will say “WTF….” (Indians measures temperature in Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius is 140 F)

Some other question that might pop in people’s mind are:
  • What is the temperature today?
  • Is it normal to have 60 degrees this time of the year

Without context 60 degrees does not mean much. Right.
Similarly when you report your numbers and tell report on visits, page views, time on site etc. it does not mean much unless you provide the full context.

Web Analytics & Context

Just saying that Visits are down by 10% from last week is not enough. You have to put that 10% decline in full context. Tell your end users what happened and why they should or should not worry.

So add something like : Visits are down 10% from last week and also 10% lower compared to the same time last year. Prior to this week we saw a 10% year over year growth but last week was abnormally down. Isn’t that getting better now?

You should go even further: Last year we got some free advertising from local newspaper sites that drove 20% additional traffic same time last year. Since we did not have the advertising deal this year, it impacted our visits this year. We noted the potential impact of newspaper site advertising in our last year’s annual recap (here is the link to last year report – people forget so remind them). If we take out the impact of spike from newspaper sites then we have a consistent pattern of 10% year over year increase. As noted in last few reports, that increase is due to our social media efforts this year. Now the picture is much clearer. Of course you should look into the full impact e.g. conversion, bounces, sales etc. (Note: How you present this story will depend on what format you chose to present your report)

Now everybody is on the same page and knows exactly what those numbers mean. Without that context, everybody would have had their own interpretations of the data. Misinterpretations lead to wrong action and/or mistrust in the data and the analytics team.

Final Words

Do not provide any reports without providing full context. Keep in mind that most of the canned and automatic reports do more harm than good because they do not provide context.

Other posts in the series


Note: This post was originally posted on March 4th, 2011 but it is still very relevant.

Follow me on twitter @anilbatra

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anil-Batra-Page/130050670343547

Optizent.com - Digital Marketing & Analytics Consulting and Training



    Share
    Web Design vs. Web Development: Key Distinctions to Help Decide Which One You Need

    Whether you just want to update your current website or build one from scratch, you might find yourself wondering what the differences are when it comes to web design versus web development.

    Share
    How To Ensure Your Design System Helps To Achieve The Purpose Of Your Product

    Design System Helps (This is a sponsored submit.) Design techniques assist product groups to method design with a system in thoughts. But not all design techniques are equally efficient. Some

    Share
    Website Design in Naples Florida for Jeff Wilson Pool Services

    We recently launched a redesigned website for Jeff Wilson Pool Service in Naples, Florida to continue to expand on their growth and success in the Southwest Florida market.

    With over 60 employees, and serving Naples Florida since 1985, Jeff Wilson Pool Service is the premier pool service, maintenance and renovation company in the area.

    We’ve been working with JWPS since 2009, and together we’ve built a powerful online presence that attracts new customers every day through Google searches for Pool Cleaning in Naples Florida and a variety of other search terms.

    Today, the new website engages visitors with stunning visuals and important information about their experience and services.

    Each page of the site is carefully organized and helps visitors find the information quickly and easily. Potential customers can schedule a consultation for a renovation, decide on a service plan that fits their needs, and much more.

    Check out the new Jeff Wilson Pool Service!

    Are you in Naples, Florida and need a successful website for your business or organization?
    Let’s talk!

    Share
    Find the Right Keywords Tools You Need for More Search Traffic

    If you want to get the job done right, you need the right tools. For example, if you want to grow your search traffic you need the right free keyword research tools. Otherwise, you will struggle to rank your site for high-converting keywords that drive customers and traffic to your site. This topic is so […]

    The post 7 Keyword Research Tools You Need for More Search Traffic appeared first on Digital Marketing Strategy.

    Share
    The Definitive Website Accessibility Checklist

    Your website can reach a massive audience. Reaching, as well as attracting those users, however, requires a site that anyone can access. That’s why development and marketing teams need to review website accessibility checklists and ensure your site meets web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG).

    Keep reading to view our definitive website compliance checklist of 50-plus standards to meet.

    WCAG 2.0 checklist

    Assess your WCAG compliance fast with our up-to-date WCAG 2.0 checklist:

    • Level A: Make your site accessible to some users.
    • Level AA: Make your site accessible to almost all users.
    • Level AAA: Make your site accessible to all users.

    Level A website accessibility checklist

    If your company doesn’t have a significant amount of time to dedicate to WCAG compliance, Level A can get you started. With Level A, you make some basic changes to your site that make it accessible to some (but not all) users.

    .static-table-heading { color:#fff; font-size:18px; padding: 15px 7px !important; background: #466db2; } .first { line-height: 1.5em; padding:8px; background: #f2f2f2; border: 1px solid #222222 } .second{ line-height: 1.5em; padding:8px; border: 1px solid #222222 }
    Level A Web Accessibility Checklist
    Guideline Action Items
    Non-text content Add alt text to images.

    Add alt text to audio and video.

    Add names to controls, like “Submit.”

    Audio-only and video-only Write transcripts for audio- and video-only content.

    Link or place transcripts near audio or video content.

    Record audio tracks for video-only media.

    Captions Add captions to all videos with sound.
    Audio description or media alternative Write video transcripts.

    Provide audio descriptions of video.

    Information and relationships Use valid and proper HTML.

    Apply clear labels to forms.

    Divide content with subheadings.

    Meaningful sequence Separate navigation menus from content.

    Use valid HTML.

    Use headings and lists.

    Arrange paragraphs in order.

    Sensory characteristics Provide more than one sense, like sight and sound, for instructions.
    Color usage Avoid color references in text, like instructing users to click a green button.
    Audio control Allow users to choose when to play audio, versus playing it automatically.
    Keyboard Remove any function that uses timed keystrokes, like a double tap.
    No keyboard tap Enable navigation control with arrow or “Tab” key.

    Eliminate any instances where users cannot navigate or access your site without a keyboard.

    Timing adjustable Let users turn off, adjust, or extend any time limits except for real-time events, like an auction.

    Allow users to pause moving or animated text.

    Allow users to delay update frequency.

    Pause, stop, hide Provide all moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating content with user controls.
    Three flashes or below Remove any content that flashes more than three times per second.
    Bypass blocks Add a “Skip to Content” link to all site pages.

    Make the “Skip to Content” link visible and accessible.

    Page titled Write unique and descriptive titles for each page on your site.
    Focus order Ensure site functionality with the “Tab” key.

    Make the order of elements, like pages on your navigation, logical.

    Link purpose in content Create easy-to-understand anchor text that aligns with the surrounding text.
    Page language Use HTML to use the appropriate language code for pages.
    On focus Eliminate responses that happen automatically, like pop-ups, form submissions, and link openings.

    Require a user action, like a mouse click to open a link, for responses to happen.

    On input Remove any auto-submit form fields.

    Eliminate any instances that remove a user’s control when interacting with an element.

    Error identification Provider users with explanations for errors and instructions on how to fix those errors.

    Place error explanations near the error, like a required, but blank form field.

    Labels or instructions Label all input fields.

    Describe the preferred format for input fields, like for a phone number or date.

    Provide helpful instructions for completing input fields.

    Parsing Follow proper HTML structure and guidelines.

    Fix any HTML elements with duplicate attributes.

    Name, role, value Ensure site uses valid HTML markup.

    Follow HTML specifications for website scripts.

    Level AA website accessibility checklist

    With the Level AA website accessibility checklist, your business takes a more proactive approach to building and maintaining an accessible site. Most action items on this website compliance checklist make your website accessible to almost every single user.

    Level AA Web Accessibility Checklist
    Guideline What You Need To Do
    Captions for live videos Caption live videos via software or professional services.
    Audio description Add audio description soundtracks to any video content.

    Provide a link to the soundtrack close to the content.

    Contrast Use a light background and dark text or vice versa.
    Resize text Prevent resized text from requiring users to scroll horizontally.

    Enable resizing of text by up to 200%.

    Text images Eliminate any images that use images of text to convey content.

    Use CSS to stylize text, like for pull quotes.

    Finding pages Add an HTML sitemap.

    Enable site search.

    Create a logical navigation menu.

    Make your navigation menu consistent across your site.

    Headings and labels Make headings and subheadings straightforward and descriptive.

    Label site elements, like tables or forms.

    Focus visible Use CSS to add borders or underlines to elements when selected by a user’s keyboard.

    Enable keyboard focus visibility on all site elements, like menus, form fields, and links.

    Language of parts Add a language attribute to pages with content that isn’t in your default language.
    Consistent navigation Adopt a universal location for your navigation menu and order of items in the navigation menu.
    Consistent identification Label and name elements with the same function consistently.

    Use identical alt text for elements with the same function.

    Error suggestion Enable elements, like forms, to identify input errors.

    Communicate errors to users with text suggestions.

    Error prevention Make changes to user-controlled data reversible, like canceling an order.

    Allow users to correct errors.

    Create a confirmation page that details the user’s input and the website’s outcome.

    Level AAA website accessibility checklist

    With Level AAA compliance, your business adopts an aggressive approach to website accessibility. While you can focus on this website accessibliyt checklist, it’s often considered too aggressive for most sites. That’s why many companies focus on Level AA.

    Level AAA Web Accessibility Checklist
    Guideline Action Items
    Sign language Upload alternative video versions with sign language.

    Place alternative versions near original video.

    Extended audio description Create extended audio description soundtracks with enough pauses for users to listen and understand.

    Place soundtracks near the original video.

    Media alternative Write a full-text transcript.

    Position the transcript near the video content.

    Live audio-only Use closed captions.

    Provide the script text.

    Contrast Use a dark background and light text or vice versa.
    Low or zero background audio Eliminate background noise from audio.

    Maintain a background noise 20 decibels below foreground noise.

    Visual presentation Use tools that allow users to customize background and foreground colors, text spacing, and text size.
    No timing Allow time limits for real-time events only, like auctions or live streams.
    Interruptions Remove redirects that happen after a specific amount of time.

    Eliminate pop-ups.

    Re-authenticating Save users data, like items in their shopping cart, when re-authenticating their identity.
    Location Use breadcrumb navigation.

    Add a sitemap.

    Section headings Add relevant headings to content.
    Unusual words Avoid idioms and jargon.

    Explain words in-text or with a link to a relevant page.

    Abbreviations Eliminate abbreviations or explain abbreviations in content.
    Reading level Use a readability testing tool, like Readable.

    Create images or diagrams to explain content.

    Pronunciation Link to pronunciation guides for words or write the phonetic pronunciation.

    Ready for WCAG compliance?

    With this web accessibility checklist, your company (and team) can move forward with achieving WCAG compliance. If you need help, though, WebFX features a dedicated and experienced team of designers, developers, and copywriters.

    Our website compliance services can help your business check off everything on your website accessibility checklist. Explore our plans today, and see why our recommendation score beats the industry average by almost 500%!

    The post The Definitive Website Accessibility Checklist appeared first on WebFX Blog.

    Share
    We Dare You to Try These 6 Marvelous Website Optimization Tools

    Having a full suite of go-to website optimization tools is essential for maintaining a successful website. Without an optimized website, you won’t rank in search results or attract site visitors — and you’ll miss out on valuable leads and revenue.

    But which website optimization tools actually work to make your website more visible in search and ensure that your website is converting visitors to paying customers?

    On this page, we’ll talk about some of the best website optimization tools as well as website testing tools to ensure that your site is successful.

    If you’d like to speak to a marketing specialist before reading on, feel free to give us a ring at 888-601-5359. Otherwise, let’s get started!

    Why are website optimization tools important?

    What’s the big fuss about website optimization tools and why do you need them?

    Simply put, website optimization tools help to automate the process of making your website more visible to search engines in addition to making them more likely to convert.

    Though most tools don’t do the job for you, they’ll help you gain valuable insight as to how you can improve your website to ensure that it’s successful.

    For example, website speed optimization tools help you uncover what page elements could be slowing down your site.

    Link checking tools can help you detect broken links on your pages so that you can be sure Google can properly read and index pages that you’ve linked internally.

    There is a whole slew of website optimization tools that help you make your site the best it can possibly be — for both Google and your users.

    The best web optimization tools and their capabilities

    There are countless web optimization tools out there that have infinite capabilities, but there are definitely a few that we favor.

    1. Screaming Frog

    Price: Free – $189 per year

    Screaming Frog is a crucial part of any marketer’s toolbox. This tool has so many capabilities, it’s impossible to list them all.

    It offers a plethora of beneficial information about your website that can help you find everything from broken links and duplicate content to page titles and meta descriptions.

    This information is invaluable to have all in one place and helps you organize your website optimization efforts.

    Not to mention, you can link Screaming Frog to your Google Analytics account and pull in metrics like site traffic, audience demographics, and more.

    2. Ubersuggest

    Price: Free

    This tool packs a punch when it comes to keyword research and can help you determine what terms to use in your content to have the best chance of ranking.

    Keywords are extremely important to your content and its ability to rank. Ubersuggest allows you to learn everything there is to know about potential keywords before you decide to incorporate them into your content.

    Not only does it provide you with a list of related keywords to the one you provide, but it also gives search volume, estimated cost per click, and ranking difficulty.

    3. Ahrefs

    Price: $99-$999 depending on package and features you’re interested in

    Ahrefs is an amazing website optimization tool that allows you to see what your competitors are up to as far as rankings, content, and target keywords.

    Not only that, but it gives you a ton of beneficial metrics about your site content.

    With Ahrefs, you can dig into your backlink profile, learn more about your top pages and competing domains, find content gaps, see which of your pages are performing the best, and so much more.

    This tool can help you sniff out opportunities to outrank your competitors while also keeping track of your success — tipping you off to potential site issues.

    4. Yoast SEO

    Price: $89-$756 depending on how many sites you’ll use it for

    If your website or any part of your website operates on WordPress, Yoast SEO is a must-have plugin.

    Yoast is one of the best website optimization tools because it catches things that you might miss within your WordPress content.

    With the paid version of this tool (there’s a free version, too), you’ll be able to optimize your content for target keywords, have full control of your breadcrumbs, get internal linking suggestions and content insights, and so much more.

    Although the free version still packs a punch, with this tool, you’ll want to go for the paid option.

    5. Google Search Console

    Price: Free

    Google Search Console is a website optimization tool that allows you to check the technical aspects of your site.

    This tool allows you to submit your sitemap to ensure there are no errors, write and check robots.txt files, check for security issues, set preferred domains, and so much more.

    This website optimization tool also provides search analytics reports which include up to date information about the performance of your website.

    Overall, Google Search Console helps you optimize your website for visibility in search engines and ensures that there are no internal errors that might keep you from ranking.

    6. SEO Checker

    Price: Free

    Our proprietary tool, SEO Checker, provides in-depth information about your site’s performance to ensure that it has everything it needs to rank at the top of search results.

    You’ll get a free PDF report about your site’s performance, and insight into 12 key factors of website performance.

    Your SEO audit will include:

    • Speed analyzation
    • URL analyzation
    • Title tag, description tag, and image analysis
    • Site copy analysis
    • Social analysis
    • Mobile analysis
    • Page link analysis.

    If you’re looking for an all-encompassing tool to help you optimize your website, look no further than SEO checker.

    The best part? Whatever issues you see within your free SEO audit, WebFX can help. We offer page speed optimization services as well as SEO and content marketing campaigns that can help you improve your overall page grade given in your audit.

    Take it from us — check out our favorite website optimization tools

    The six tools we mentioned on this page provide extremely beneficial insights into your website, content, page speed, and even technical aspects like code and linking structure.

    Without the use of website optimization tools, chances are you’re missing out on big opportunities to help your site rank better in search engine results pages.

    We dare you to use all six of these website testing tools to determine a few areas where you could improve your website, and watch the results blossom.

    If you’ve run your website optimization tests and aren’t sure where to get started as far as website optimization, WebFX can help.

    We offer a full suite of digital marketing services that can help take your website to the next level.

    Contact us online today or give us a call at 888-601-5359 to learn more about what WebFX can do for you and your online presence!

    The post We Dare You to Try These 6 Marvelous Website Optimization Tools appeared first on WebFX Blog.

    Share
    What Is Responsive Web Design? (The Non-Developer’s Cheat Sheet)

    How can websites possibly keep up with the millions of screens out there?

    Responsive web design.

    With responsive website design, your website (and its pages) can adapt and deliver the best experience to users, whether they’re on their desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. For that to happen, though, your website needs a responsive design.

    What is responsive web design, though, and how does it work?

    Keep reading to find out, plus see real-life examples of responsive web design! If you’d like to stay-in-the-know about responsive web design, sign up for our exclusive newsletter, Revenue Weekly, to get web design and marketing tips for your business.

    What is responsive web design?

    Responsive web design describes a web design approach that allows websites and pages to render (or display) on all devices and screen sizes by automatically adapting to the screen, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

    How does responsive web design work?

    Responsive web design works through Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), using various settings to serve different style properties depending on the screen size, orientation, resolution, color capability, and other characteristics of the user’s device. A few examples of CSS properties related to responsive web design include the viewport and media queries.

    Is my website responsive?

    You can quickly see if a website is responsive or not in your web browser.

    A GIF for how checking for responsive web design

    • Open Google Chrome
    • Go to your website
    • Press Ctrl + Shift + I to open Chrome DevTools
    • Press Ctrl + Shift + M to toggle the device toolbar
    • View your page from a mobile, tablet, or desktop perspective

    You can also use a free tool, like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, to see if pages on your website are mobile-friendly. While you can achieve mobile-friendliness with other design approaches, like adaptive design, responsive web design is the most common because of its advantages.

    Why responsive web design matters to web designers and business owners

    Responsive web design relieves web designers, user interface designers, and web developers from working day and night creating websites for every single different device in existence. It also makes the lives of business owners, marketers, and advertisers easier.

    Here are a few benefits:

    • One site for every device: Whether viewed on a 27-inch iMac with a wireless connection or from the screen of your Android phone, the website will be configured for the user’s optimal viewing pleasure.
    • Optimal design for the device: With the responsive web design approach, all images, fonts, and other HTML elements will be scaled appropriately, maximizing whatever screen size the user has.
    • No need for redirects: Other options towards designing for multiple devices require the use of redirects to send the user to the appropriate version of a web page. Without the need for redirects, the user can access the content he wants to look at, as quickly as possible.

    Responsive web design is also effective from a price standpoint. It’s also easier for you to manage because it’s one site versus two. You don’t have to make changes twice. Instead, you can work from and update a single website.

    Examples of responsive web design

    To see how responsive web design works, go ahead and access the Internet from your smartphone and browse through some sites listed on mediaqueri.es — an online gallery that features responsive web designs.

    Now look at the same sites on another Internet-enabled device like your laptop or your iPad. You can also use DevTools in Chrome.

    Notice how the pages alter their layouts to fit the device you’re on?

    That’s responsive web design.

    Learn more about responsive web design

    Do you want to learn more about responsive web design? Check out these helpful resources:

    If you’re looking for some professional assistance when it comes to making your website responsive, WebFX can help. We offer responsive web design and development services, with over 1000 sites launched.

    Call us at 888-601-5953 or contact us online to speak with a strategist about your site!

    The post What Is Responsive Web Design? (The Non-Developer’s Cheat Sheet) appeared first on WebFX Blog.

    Share