How web analysts decide success or failure



Today's web users are demanding

As eCommerce continues to overtake high street sales, price comparison websites boom, mobile internet access starts to outstrip desktop access, web users become more focused on price plus service, and companies jostle for search ranking supremacy, website performance has become absolutely critical to online sales success.

At the heart of any thoughtful online marketing strategy is an ongoing investment in web analytics. Large retailers, in particular, recruit teams of web analysts to ensure that the complex customer journey through their website is as inviting and intuitive as possible.

Today’s web users are demanding. Short attention spans, high expectations, social-media savvy, price conscious and fully aware that there is always another retailer eager to earn their loyalty. In the strongest ecommerce teams, a range of web analytics tools are used to analyse and define the performance of design, digital analytics marketing, online advertising, customer communications, CRM, search engine optimisation and the entire on-site user experience.


Web Analytics - It's all about the numbers

It all comes down to conversion; converting visits into sales, visitors into loyal customers. A sound web analytics strategy employs the latest web analytics tools, with Google Analytics, Omniture, Adobe Insight, SiteCatalyst and Webtrends among the most popular, to deliver deep insights into website performance and customer trends, with a view to attracting and retaining customers and increasing sales.

With so much at stake, it’s no surprise that the demand for good web analysts is growing. Typical salaries for a web analyst are £35k, rising to £45k-55k for a senior web analyst, £65k for a web analytics manager and a head of web analytics might earn around £85k. Of course, for big campaigns, new website developments and rollouts, new web analytics tools may need implementing, which is when more contract web analysts are employed. These typically command a day rate of £350-£450.

Such competitive salaries indicate just how important web analysis software is to online sales success. The more sophisticated the analytics tools and techniques, the more accurate the data and the better the customer behaviour insight.


What will you be doing as a Web Analyst?

Truly comprehensive website strategies measure offsite and onsite web analytics.

Offsite web analytics tools measure and analyse the visibility of the website, its penetration of other websites and social media and the potential audience for the goods or services.

Onsite web analytics examine the visitor’s behaviour on the website itself. From landing page performance, to routes into and paths through the website from arrival to checkout – including friction points where a visit may be abandoned.

CRM analytics targets customer purchasing behaviour, so that marketing teams can accurately analyse customer trends from location or route to website, to types and volume of product purchased. Done right, this means companies can promote particular products to particular customers and improve conversion rates.

We’re a very long way beyond the click counters that marked the earliest efforts to measure website performance. Today’s web analysts exploit a raft of advanced software tools to delve deep into the data and deliver the facts on everything from A/B and multivariate testing to the effectiveness of various calls to action.

Harnham blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out our recent posts below.

How Are Digital Marketing Analysts Disrupting Traditional Marketing Functions?

In the age of disruption, the traditional marketing function of organisations across the globe is changing. No longer tied to traditional product-based marketing models and removed from siloed ways of working, digital marketing analysts are changing perceptions of marketing. Successive waves of disruption, from remote working and the shift to cloud-based operations, to developments and advancements in automation, mean that digital analysts are being kept on their toes. In fact, recent research has indicated that worldwide IT spending is set to reach $3.9 trillion in 2021 as digital projects get back on track. Digital Marketing Analysts therefore play a critical role in how organisations adapt their marketing strategies to encompass the use of data and digital to enhance their offer. Through monitoring online marketing trends, analysing statistics and developing campaign reports, these professionals also prepare and share this strategy with colleagues and clients. Here are a few ways in which this is happening. Utilising more and more data Analysing data is one of the most important functions a Digital Marketing Analyst should focus on. We’re all familiar with the value of Big Data to a firm’s operating procedures and applying this to how marketing is completed should have no less value. Looking at complex data sets that can’t be processed through traditional methods, utilising past data and insight to inform future campaigns and channelling this through Cloud systems such as Google Analytics has never been more useful to a marketing team, regardless of size or industry. Targeting a bigger audience Finding, targeting and growing your audience is likely to be a goal set for marketing teams across the globe. Digital marketing functions provide huge scope in reaching a greater number of consumers than just through traditional means alone. Omnichannel marketing, for example, is becoming a key part of a Digital Marketing Analyst’s core role, and campaigns using 3 or more channels are known to have a 90 per cent higher retention rate than single-channel efforts. What needs to be kept in focus though, is that despite the innovation rippling through marketing functions, these audiences still demand personal attention. In fact, 68 per cent are likely to spend more with a brand that treats them like an individual, whatever the channel. Supporting smaller businesses to scale Quite often in big companies digital and marketing functions are operated separately but in smaller businesses traditional marketers are just expected to know about digital methods too, when perhaps their skillset lies elsewhere. As a result, a skills gap can start to open up. Digital Marketing Analysts can come into small business (even on a consultancy or contract basis) to support SMEs to scale and grow their digital campaigns. Interestingly, 76 per cent of small businesses believe their digital marketing efforts are effective, so building on this is crucial. What remains apparent is, with such a high demand for digital transformation across the business community, it is crucial that business leaders can both recruit and retain the best individuals out there to really ensure their marketing function is best placed to maximise all the incredible opportunities and tools available to them. If you're looking for your next Data & Analytics role or are seeking the best candidates on the market, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.

Using Data Ethically To Guide Digital Transformation

Over the past few years, the uptick in the number of companies putting more budget behind digital transformation has been significant. However, since the start of 2020 and the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, this number has accelerated on an unprecedented scale. Companies have been forced to re-evaluate  their systems and services to make them more efficient, effective and financially viable in order to stay competitive in this time of crisis. These changes help to support internal operational agility and learn about customers' needs and wants to create a much more personalised customer experience.  However, despite the vast amount of good these systems can do for companies' offerings, a lot of them, such as AI and machine learning, are inherently data driven. Therefore, these systems run a high risk of breaching ethical conducts, such as privacy and security leaks or serious issues with bias, if not created, developed and managed properly.  So, what can businesses do to ensure their digital transformation efforts are implemented in the most ethical way possible? Implement ways to reduce bias From Twitter opting to show a white person in a photo instead of a black person, soap dispensers not recognising black hands and women being perpetually rejected for financial loans; digital transformation tools, such as AI, have proven over the years to be inherently biased.  Of course, a computer cannot be decisive about gender or race, this problem of inequality from computer algorithms stems from the humans behind the screen. Despite the advancements made with Diversity and Inclusion efforts across all industries, Data & Analytics is still a predominantly white and male industry. Only 22 per cent of AI specialists are women, and an even lower number represent the BAME communities. Within Google, the world’s largest technology organisation, only 2.5 per cent of its employees are black, and a similar story can be seen at Facebook and Microsoft, where only 4 per cent of employees are black.  So, where our systems are being run by a group of people who are not representative of our diverse society, it should come as no surprise that our machines and algorithms are not representative either.  For businesses looking to implement AI and machine learning into their digital transformation moving forward, it is important you do so in a way that is truly reflective of a fair society. This can be achieved by encouraging a more diverse hiring process when looking for developers of AI systems, implementing fairness tests and always keeping your end user in mind, considering how the workings of your system may affect them.  Transparency Capturing Data is crucial for businesses when they are looking to implement or update digital transformation tools. Not only can this data show them the best ways to service customers’ needs and wants, but it can also show them where there are potential holes and issues in their current business models.  However, due to many mismanagements in past cases, such as Cambridge Analytica, customers have become increasingly worried about sharing their data with businesses in fear of personal data, such as credit card details or home addresses, being leaked. In 2018, Europe devised a new law known as the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, to help minimise the risk of data breaches. Nevertheless, this still hasn’t stopped all businesses from collecting or sharing data illegally, which in turn, has damaged the trustworthiness of even the most law-abiding businesses who need to collect relevant consumer data.  Transparency is key to successful data collection for digital transformation. Your priority should be to always think about the end user and the impact poorly managed data may have on them. Explain methods for data collection clearly, ensure you can provide a clear end-to-end map of how their data is being used and always follow the law in order to keep your consumers, current and potential, safe from harm.  Make sure there is a process for accountability  Digital tools are usually brought in to replace a human being with qualifications and a wealth of experience. If this human being were to make a mistake in their line of work, then they would be held accountable and appropriate action would be taken. This process would then restore trust between business and consumer and things would carry on as usual.  But what happens if a machine makes an error, who is accountable?  Unfortunately, it has been the case that businesses choose to implement digital transformation tools in order to avoid corporate responsibility. This attitude will only cause, potentially lethal, harm to a business's reputation.  If you choose to implement digital tools, ensure you have a valid process for accountability which creates trust between yourself and your consumers and is representative of and fair to every group in society you’re potentially addressing.  Businesses must be aware of the potential ethical risks that come with badly managed digital transformation and the effects this may have on their brands reputation. Before implementing any technology, ensure you can, and will, do so in a transparent, trustworthy, fair, representative and law-abiding way.  If you’re in the world of Data & Analytics and looking to take a step up or find the next member of your team, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.

How Web Analytics Can Help Grow Your Business

Six months ago, many businesses had big plans for the new year, and the new decade. Little did we know the year had big plans of its own. So, how can businesses put their best foot forward now? Web Analytics. Understanding your Web Analytics helps you understand your customers. And, as everything stays online for the foreseeable future, you’ll be better placed to understand what demographics and desires drove the customer to your site, how you and your business can improve, and you can ultimately grow your business. So, how can Web Analytics help you? Understand Where Your Customers Come From Enhance Their Experience. Consider how your visitors come to your site – phone, tablet, laptop – and how you can optimise your site to best suit these devices. When you understand their demographic – age, gender, interest, location – you can use this information to enhance their experience through your customer-driven business decisions.  Know What Your Best Content Is and How it Draws Visitors to Your Site Visitors, views, page actions, and more all tell your business how your site is performing and what people like see and read. For example, if you have a ‘best day’ or ‘most read’ tag, find out what it was people identified with, and do more of it. Keep things fresh. Curate Your Content with SEO in Mind When you know your visitors, you can use search engine optimisation (SEO) to gain better visibility, rank higher on search engines, create content focused on what customers want to know based on their demographics and interests. Track and Analyse Your Metrics Align Analytics with Your Business Strategy  By aligning your data, analytics, and business strategies, you’ll have a clear view of your mission, your business objectives and goals, and data-driven solutions to inform your business strategies. Trust Your Team to Make Informed Decisions from the Frontlines Standardise Processes and Tools Explain Clearly to Eliminate Roadblocks to Change  As businesses return to a new normal and begin to rebuild, leaders will want to reassess business models. Though ways of doing business are new for everyone, many consumers say they’ll continue to use digital channels into the future. Make AI and Web Analytics Resources a Priority Look For and Hire Talent from Unexpected Places This has been a time to reassess change in not only business practices, but careers. Distance and remote learning have provided opportunities for those interested in pursuing new paths to upskill themselves for future jobs. Or if you see a professional in your business with potential, this is also an ideal time to reskill those workers ready for a change. Offer training, classes, and more to help drive interest. Build Your Data Strategy More Aggressively Identify risk through an audit of your existing models at the operational, risk, and financial areas and keep a close eye using model-validation. Having this information can help your business to better inform your decisions and reassess your business practices from just a few years ago. Don’t get caught up in one form or another of Data. Be sure to include both external and internal Data in your audit. Having this information can help you decide which Data should be cleansed, what information should inform improvements, and how standardisation can help ensure your Web Analytics metrics keep your business running for the future. From stakeholders to business leaders to employees on the frontlines, everyone is learning at a rapid rate. Ensuring everyone is on the same page with an eye to processes and standardisation can help to position your business for scalability.  Much has changed from January to June, but if you’re ready for the new normal, we may have a role for you. If you’re interested in Big Data & Analytics or other Data professional opportunities, take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.  

Marketing Analytics - Then, Now & In the Future: A Q&A with Sarah Nooravi

We recently spoke to Sarah Nooravi, an Analytics professional with a specialism in Marketing who was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Analytics.  Sarah found herself working in Analytics after being attracted to the culture, creativity and the opportunity to be challenged. Having spent the first four years of her career working within the Marketing space, she has seen a real transition in the way that Analytics and Data Science has informed Marketing decisioning.  “I started my career in a Marketing agency within the entertainment industry, at the time it was doing things that most of the entertainment industry hadn’t considered doing yet”.  At the start of her career she’d meet entertainment giants with advertising budgets of millions of dollars who were, at the time, making mostly gut decisions with how to approach campaigns. “It was common that I’d hear, ‘I think our audience is females over the age of 35 with a particular interest and we should just target them’” she expands.  However, agencies quickly recognised the need for something more Data-driven. Entertainment businesses were going too narrow and were misunderstanding their audiences. The next step was to embed into these businesses the insights from a greater variety of sources, including social media, and to introduce more testing. That translated into a better media buying strategy that could be continuously optimised. It was a big step forward in the utilisation of Data within this realm and its clear focus on ROI.  Suddenly, the market was changing, “There was a massive spike of agencies popping up and claiming to leverage Data Science and Machine Learning to provide better optimisations for entertainment companies, mobile gaming – you name it. There was a huge momentum shift from using these gut decisions to leveraging agencies that could prove that”.  What she saw next seemed only natural, with more agencies offering Data-driven optimisation, companies looked to develop this capability internally. Sarah elaborates; “Now I am seeing these companies starting to take ownership of their own media buying and bringing the Marketing and Data Science in-house”. This shift in-house has been propelled by the major players, companies like Facebook, Google and Nooravi’s own company, Snapchat, working directly with companies to help them optimise their campaigns. This shift has changed the landscape of Marketing Analytics, specifically within the advertising space. Sarah explains, “You no longer need an agency to optimise your, for example, Facebook campaigns, because Facebook will do it for you. They are minimising the number of people behind the campaigns. You give up a little of your company’s Data for a well optimised campaign and you don’t have to hire a media buyer. There is definitely a movement now to becoming more Data-driven. Companies are really leveraging A/B tests and also testing out different creatives”.  It is this change in strategy that is seemingly taking the Marketing Analytics challenge to the next level. With opportunities to pinpoint specific audiences, companies are using their Data to understand how to approach their content, take the opportunity to experiment, and to find out what it takes to resonate with their audience. Sarah has seen the potential of this first hand: “We are starting to see a lot of AR and VR. There are meaningful ways to engage with technology to connect with the world. Moving forward, content will have to become more engaging. People’s attention spans are becoming shorter and with each decision someone makes it is changing the direction of content in the future. There has been a massive shift from static images to video advertisement and, more recently, from video into interactive video like playable adverts. People want to engage with adverts in order to understand a company’s message”.  It is within this space that she sees a gap for the future of ROI positive advertising:  “The biggest issue that I find with the creative and the content is that the value add is missing. The resonance with the brand or company, their values and mission is what is missing. Analytics alone cannot fix that. You need to understand what the company stands for, people want to connect with brands because of what they stand for – whatever it is. Especially in a time like we are dealing with right now, a pandemic, advertising spending has gone down. However, maybe there is a way to properly message to people that would resonate. Not that you want them to buy your stuff but maybe right now is the perfect time to do outreach and to help people understand your brand”. The ability to understand and predict customer behaviour is evolving, but with that, so is the customer. Whereas at the moment, you can build out experiments, you can create models that will be able to, as Sarah explains, “in real-time decide whether a user’s behaviour is indicative of one that is going to churn” and then try and create offers to increase retention.   This is the challenge of the current analytics professional – our behaviours in a global pandemic have shifted consumers into a new world. Now working for Snap Inc, she sees the potential of this from a new perspective. Naturally, like most social media channels and communication technologies, they have seen an increase in usage over the last month.  “People are wanting to communicate more as we are forced to social distance. However, we are seeing different regions engaging a lot more heavily. For example, it's Ramadan right now, people want to share those moments with one another and at the moment the way that they are having to do that is changing”.  So, it will be a question for all those required to predict behaviours to determine how many of these new lines of communication, these new habits, will have evolved. Once people are out of quarantine, are they going to continue to utilise the apps, games, social channels in the same way that they are currently? It certainly is going to be something that many within the marketing analytics space will be trying to forecast.  If you’re looking to take your next step in Marketing Analytics, or are looking to build out your team, Harnham may be able to help.  Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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