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 analyze and define the performance of design, digital analytics marketing, online advertising, customer communications, CRM, search engine optimization 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 $60k, rising to $80k for a Senior Web Analyst, $95k for a Web Analytics Manager and a Head of Web Analytics might earn around $125-$150k. Of course, for big campaigns, new website developments and rollouts, new web analytics tools may need implementing, which is where more contract web analysts are employed. These typically command a day rate of $400-$800 depending on the level of experience.

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 behavior 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 analyze 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 examines the visitor’s behavior 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 behavior, so that marketing teams can accurately analyze 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.

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How Digital Analytics & Marketing Help Shape E-Commerce

Since the days of store window displays, the shopping experience has been just that; an experience. So, what happens when you want to recreate the visceral and emotional experience of shopping from within the confines of a computer screen, smartphone, or tablet? Enter Digital and Marketing Analytics. According to a recent report by Adobe, e-commerce sales have seen a 77% jump year-over-year which at any other time in history should have taken 4 to 6 years. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped to escalate and drive these numbers leaving some businesses scrambling and others raking it in. So, what’s the difference? Data professionals. The Role of Data in E-Commerce Whether you buy online and pick up in store or have a product delivered to your door, the role of shopping has irrevocably changed. Ensuring consumers get the personalized experience they’re used to from the days of brick-and-mortar stores, retail stores have turned to Digital and Marketing Analytics to give their customers the shopping experience they’re used to within a different format. Professionals within the UI/UX Design vertical are particularly sought after. Buying habits are changing and competition is fierce. So, how does Data affect e-commerce? Here are 3 examples: Know Your Customer. No longer a lamented visage from yesteryear, knowing your customer is inherent to the survival of an online retailer.  Data professionals bring to life the customer through historical data, demographics, and creates products and services which elicit an emotional response to stop, look around, and buy. And if the cart gets abandoned, follow up email campaigns to jog the memory that you were here and were thinking about buying this or that item. Get Personal. Personalize shopping has evolved into the personal shopping experience. What made someone buy a product during their last visit? Dynamic presentation and emotion-driven verbiage can certainly contribute.  When an online retailer knows what the buyer wants or needs and presents it in a way that resonates. This is the personalization once the domain of sales clerks.  From the Data you enter at checkout to the social media platforms and search engines with information like what you’re looking for, where you’re located, your purchase history and more can sometimes leave the personalized experience out in the cold. Bridging the old personalization with the new is the key ingredient for successful online retailers. Sell Where Your Consumers are Buying. If your customers are on Facebook looking for a product or service, sell to them where they’re looking. Though reviews are still important, even more prevalent is the range of social influencers to help buyers make decisions. Enter social commerce. Layout, design, Data gathering, collecting, and analyzing all have a slightly different flavor within this construct.  Data Professionals in Demand Within the Digital Analytics and Marketing specialism are a variety of Data professionals in demand as retailers are forced online. Businesses need E-Commerce Analysts to help present the new normal for the online retailer. As buy online and pick up in store convenience increases as well as purchases made from devices such as your smartphone, there’s been a rise in demand for Web & Mobile Product Management as well. Digital Transformation is no longer at the doorstep of business, it has crossed the threshold. And rather than focus on one tool or another, the impetus is on the importance of having more than one tool at a candidate’s disposal. What candidates want has changed and evolved as well. Salary and bonuses have dwindled while the demand for experience and professional development have become rallying cries for finding and retaining top talent. For more information In our recently released 2020 Salary Guide we discuss each specialism. What’s working. What isn’t. And how businesses can hire and retain top talent to keep their projects on track and their businesses running smoothly. You can download your copy here.  If you’re interested in Data and Technology, Risk or Digital Analytics, Life Sciences Analytics, Advanced Analytics & Insight, Data Science, or Computer Vision, we invite you to check out our latest jobs. If you’d like to learn more, contact one of our expert consultants: For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.   For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

Machine Learning and Customer Experience for Business Scalability

Over the last four decades, we’ve feared change. Technophobia. Cyberspace. Smart devices. AI, Robotics and Automation. Each of these transformative shifts have changed our lives in one way or another. But there is a new, unexpected and desperately needed change already in play; putting the human back in our lives.  Human Resources. Human-centric customer service. Humans in cooperation and collaboration with smart technology. Both in B2B and B2C businesses, putting the human back in focus is imperative to success.  Consider Netflix. How it began, how it’s evolved, and how its efforts are seemingly leading the way for next gen personalization. Think: If you like this, then you may like (insert service or product here). Amazon does much the same. Putting the Human Element Back in CX When you call customer service with a concern or problem. What happens? Either there’s no phone number at all and you’re forced to send an email which you hope gets read by a person. Or if you do call, you push buttons trying to figure out which branch of the tree will get you to the correct person.  Chatbots have been one answer but they really only alleviate acknowledgement. We’ve all called a customer service number and spoken to two or more people about our issue. Bill Paterson, EVP of Salesforce, suggests a four-point, human-centric customer service engagement strategy, to help solve the problem.  In addition, his article takes a deeper dive into putting the human back in customer service. At the heart of the matter is putting Emotional Intelligence, care, and empathy back into the equation. Technology may be how people reach out, but it’s a human they want to speak to and connect with. When the two are paired, there’s a much better chance of success. And repeat customers. Pairing Machine Learning with a Human-Centric Touch While strategies and metrics still have a big role to play, there are other ways to measure customer success. Data gathered from your customers will only get you so far, but the human element, the human connection, supported by technology, is the next shift in Digital Transformation.  Machine Learning models can help predict what customers will want or need, but meaningful customer relationships are just as vital. It’s this pairing which can generate great service and scalability of today’s modern business. Though there is a strong underpinning of engineering components in building models, only a portion involves code. Much of the effort goes into the pipeline and workflow systems and infrastructure. It’s at this systems level, Data Scientists can focus on design and implementation of production. This strategy ensures that before building good models, a good foundation must be laid. One portion of this workflow has been called the ‘art of Machine Learning’. The ‘Art’ of Machine Learning  Data Scientists and Machine Learning Engineers have any number of ways to solve a problem. Dealing with such vast amounts of Data within a model is not unlike determining how to scale for a website which needs to handle large fluctuations in web traffic. The nuances of technology within the realm of human experience is an artform. Though in the future, most engineering challenges will be automated and open-source will be a go-to framework. As tools improve and ETL processes improve, ML Engineers and Data Scientists will get the opportunity to focus more on models and less on systems. But beyond the artform of experimentation and intuition is the growing trend for soft skills in tandem with technical skills. Those who can lead a technical team, who can communicate to non-technical professionals, and still have the Emotional Intelligence to navigate the human psyche. It’s these individuals who will be ready for the next step in leading businesses into the next generation of customer service.  Ready to take the next step in your career? Take a look at our current vacancies or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more.   For our West Coast team, contact us at (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.  

Privacy Is Big Business For Small And Mid-Size Businesses

Privacy is Big Business for Small and Mid-Size Businesses

If you’re a small to mid-size business and think cyber criminals only go after big business; think again. It’s just as important, if not more important for you to have privacy plans in place. This goes way beyond GDPR and state-to-state rules, this is about how you care for your customers personal information. The return on investment will set the tone for future years of your business. After all, according to a 2018 report by Verizon, 58% of cyber-attacks targeted small business. While it may seem counter-intuitive and larger businesses are bigger fish to go after, they can be difficult to get into. After all, they’ve got the resources to protect their customer’s Data and are hyper aware of what it can be to their business if they don’t. Smaller and mid-size businesses generally don’t have the resources of the larger businesses, and may not focus on cybersecurity like they should which leaves their business wide open for cybercriminals. Chinks in the Armor of Your Data Cybercriminals excel at finding “chinks in the armor” of your Data. They’ll use any advantage to break in from the usual hacking and malware to physical breaches. One improperly secured device can be just the entry they need into your entire system.  What can you do? Be focused in your approach to Data security. Many small businesses tend to put out fires, rather than have a focused strategy. And each approach to tighten security can lead to more opportunity for hacking.Communicate your strategy to every member of your team. Something as small as clicking on the wrong link can lead to a Data breach.Train your staff on measures they can take such as to not click on a link they’re not expecting, to check email addresses and ensure they’re approved or white-listed as okay to access. The more aware your staff are, the better able they’ll be able to help ensure the security of your business’ Data. While staff may be on the front lines, this also requires a commitment from senior executives as well. Understand that just because you’re not dealing in billions of dollars, you may actually be at greater risk. Why? Because unlike the larger companies, your business may not survive the fallout of a cyber-attack. How to Protect Your SMB You can protect your business by creating a Data Security Strategy and consider the following: Encrypt your data;Authenticate your users by either a 2-step verification process or having them enter some kind of code;Authorize access to trusted sources. Encrypting Data helps protect the private and sensitive information and makes it unreadable without the correct key. To ensure only those who are trusted sources have access is through authentication.  Authentication can include username/password, code, tokens, phone number, and image association such as click only the boxes with pictures of street lights or stop signs. This helps your business control who has access and gives you tighter rein over who sees sensitive information and what they can do with it.  By defining the rules and regulations of access to information, training your employees to be aware and what to do to ensure security, you can strike a balance of increased security and transparency to your customers. In other words, the efforts you go through to protect their Data will put you ahead of the competition as you make inroads toward a Data privacy strategy while others take action as things happen. One Final Thought Ensuring your business’ Data is protected and detecting times when it may have been breached is increasingly important to help minimize damage. One issue SMBs face is that it may take longer to detect if there isn’t a Data security plan in place. The more quickly you can detect an issue, the more quickly you can reduce its impact and the more quickly and effectively you can respond, the better.  Interestingly, smaller businesses tend to have a better overall picture of their assets than larger businesses. This can be a boon when you communicate your new cybersecurity strategy to your teams and offers a significant return on investment of your resources. If you’re interested in Big Data and Analytics, we may have a role for you. Take a look at our current vacancies or contact one of our recruitment consultants to learn more.  For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

Web Analytics Trends

Web Analytics Experts On The Year’s Biggest Trends

Size. Scale. Strategy. Metrics. The measurement of the customer experience is inherent throughout our marketing and advertising efforts in today’s world. So, we thought we’d take a step back and ask Data professionals about their thoughts on current and upcoming trends in the realm of Web Analytics.Their answers were as wide and varied as the people who gave them. But to a one, these are all in executive leadership and are exclusively focused on Web Analytics and its effects on consumer behavior. Personalization Gets More Personal  "With IoT, today service providers have a huge amount of data about their consumers. In Web Analytics, this has led to analysis of individual customer behavior, which is enabling companies to offer personalized services to their customers.  Therefore, on-page analysis has become popular because the aim here is to convert the visitor to a purchaser when the opportunity presents itself. With voice search on the rise, this has led to a push towards analyzing voices- so as to understand emotions and identify points of frustration which lead to abandoned carts."  - Avinash Chandra, Founder and CEO at BrandLoom  Privacy Focus  “Many people are concerned about how the likes of Google and Facebook handle the analytics data they collect. Google Analytics has been the default choice for most tech teams for years now, but it's being installed on fewer and fewer sites nowadays. Instead of handing your website's visitors' data to Google, many young companies want to be in control of their visitors' data.”  - Uku Tehrat, CEO at Plausible Insights Reading the Tea Leaves of Web Analytics “Access to deep information has a drawback; it’s made us reliant on the instantaneous raw data from each analytics channel to inform strategy. However, that data isn’t always accurate. To solve the problem, marketers and analysts will need to take a more holistic view of the data.  Instead of, for example, tracking revenue by channel solely in analytics, the analytics professional will be looking at the real revenue of the business and evaluating the changes in the marketing that have led to that result. By looking at the real business KPIs and creating narratives that reflect the whole of the data, an analyst will be able to avoid the short-term thinking that comes from the constant analysis of daily analytics reports.” - Doug R Thomas, Marketing Consultant at Magniventris  The Third Wave of Business Intelligence  Sean Byrnes, the CEO of Outlier, an analytics solution provider, is seeing an interesting shift in Data Analytics. This shift has us entering the third wave of Business Intelligence (BI).  The first wave, data centralization, aggregated business data in a single place, making it easy to know where to look for answers. Next, data visualization tools made extracting answers easy and accessible, allowing anyone in the organization to make use of them.  The third wave is Automated Analysis. This wave will have a big impact on data scientists and how they do their jobs. In this third wave of BI innovation, automated analysis systems will constantly examine all of a business' data and provide "curated" insights related to specific and actionable changes in the business. This is vastly different than today's dashboards, giving data scientists specific, daily direction on which parts of the business to focus on. This also helps data scientists elevate their own brand to one of a data counselor. Helping define how to use data insights to fine-tune the business.  - Sean Byrnes, CEO at Outlier. Video Marketing is Here to Stay “From a marketing perspective, the biggest trend I see moving forward is the continual rise of video consumption.  Consumers are shifting from reading blogposts to watching YouTube videos, and from reading books to watching Netflix. We know that the currency of the online world is engagement. This means that whichever large company, small business, or individual can engage their audience most effectively, wins.  When it comes to web analytics, it is important to identify the metrics that signal strong user engagement and to work to improve upon the mover time. Some of these metrics include watch time, average view duration, re-watches, returning viewers, etc. The better you can get these metrics, the more engaged your audience will be.” - Jeremy Lawlor, Co-Founder & Chief Strategist at Active Business Growth AI-Enabled Data Interpretation  “AI is constantly being mentioned as an enhanced way to interpret and help visualize data, and we are seeing various tools that promise to do that. I also see a lot of potential in using Web Analytics to predict consumer behavior and have better forecasts of performance. In general, we will have better ways to decipher them in order to better serve our needs in understanding the historical data and identifying trends and risks.”  - Gabriel Shaoolian, Founder and Executive Director at DesignRush A Three-Pronged Shift of Integration and Visualization Data connection web + mobile + offline (data integration)  DataViz development (data visualization) Development of the data-driven business model  "This shift towards a more integrated and data-driven approach should be important to business. After all, it’s the business model not just of the future, but now." - Krzysztof Surowiecki, Managing Partner at Hexe Data, a Data Analytics company A Growth Spurt   “Web Analytics should expect a growth spurt in the next decade. Technology has gotten so complicated, we need people – senior level people – with experience to understand and distill data to the business. Even something as simple as Salesforce, needs experts. Jobs aren’t going anywhere.  Businesses are desperate for educated individuals to help them make sense of all the data and filter out that which “fake” (read: bot traffic) in order to really understand the numbers and what that means for their business.”  - Daniel Levine, trends expert and keynote speaker at DanielLevine.  Web Analytics has been backstage long enough. As businesses aim to strike a balance between the data measurement of the customer journey, ensuring customers’ data privacy, and tailoring each experience, there’s plenty of work here to go around. And with the estimated growth spurt in the next decade, now’s the time to jump in. If you’re interested in Web Analytics, we may have a role for you. Check out our current vacancies or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.  For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com. 

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