More data than ever is being gathered and collated; it's a big mistake not to use it to evolve your business and educate your website.
Data is amongst your valuable assets, and when used in the right way, it can unlock new opportunities for your business. A data-driven website can be the key to creating a good user experience too, so why do companies find it so hard to come up with a data strategy to inform their website?
What is a data strategy in simple terms?
A data strategy is a plan of what to do with a company’s data to turn it into opportunities; it helps to inform what to do and when to do it, based on your business’s objectives.
Most significantly, it defines how and why your company will use the data. A data strategy will pin-point what data will be used to educate your business goals and whether you can rely upon its quality and integrity.
What are the benefits of having a data strategy for your website?
Having a clear data strategy can impact many aspects of your business:
- Seamless user experiences
Data can inform how users use your website. It helps you to understand what language and visuals lead to longer sessions and higher conversion rates as well as what products or services aren’t appealing to your target audience.
Growing your business with new technology doesn’t work without a good data strategy. Extensively testing the website and gathering the data can be of profound importance to define a good plan that can be scaled as your business grows.
3. More ability for personalisation and targeting
The more you know about your target audience, the more you can do to keep them happy. This isn’t necessarily about responsive design, but instead creating different pages and user journeys with different intentions depending on the audience.
4. Cut costs
Data allows you to identify patterns in expenses and user journeys that lead to sales. It can also inform the ways your expenses can work harder for your business.
5. Confidently launch new products
You can’t just rely on your gut instinct when it comes to developing new offerings; you need to have the evidence which proves it’s a good idea and the information to launch them effectively.
What should a robust data strategy include?
There are a few questions you need to ask yourself regarding data.
- Collection and cleansing of data
The data you collect should depend on your business goals and objectives. What information do you need to run the various aspects of your business? What data is necessary to meet your goals?
2. Storage of data and technology
How simple is it to access the data collated? Can you manage and share it easily?
3. Data structure and integration
Which kinds of data coordinate with each other? How is data shared and connected between the different silos?
4. Data insight and analysis
Analysing data is comparing your expectations to reality. Did you get the results you thought you would? What can you learn from the information you found out? Don’t forget that external factors could have influenced your data. You’ll also need to think about whether the data had provided you with enough insight to inform your website design and if you need to collect more data to help you to move forward.
What are the challenges of data for businesses?
Even though a data strategy can do wonders for a website, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be challenges creating and implementing one to benefit your site.
- Businesses previously had a limited amount of information on their consumers, but now there are many chances for them to collect and store data. With these opportunities comes the need for businesses to implement different skillsets and processes which can be challenging for any business to accomplish.
- The sheer volume of data is also a significant challenge for businesses to deal with. Data has always been something to manage, however, never on this scale. Having more data to analyse is excellent for a business, but it can be a lot of responsibility to create value from such a large quantity of it.
- Data can be misleading. Looking at it one way just isn’t enough to inform your website design reliably. Instead, you should use a variety of metrics to get a full and useful picture to build your strategy.
The steps to defining your unique data strategy for your business and website
- What are your business visions and goals?
One of the most important things which can’t afford to be skipped - figuring out your business’ vision can inform what kind of data you need. Your vision and goals should be identifiable in everything you do. What do you want to achieve in 1 year, three years and five years?
2. Perform data analysis
Data can be performed in a variety of ways, but here are some essential types:
- Traffic analysis
This is a great way to define how the aesthetics of your website appeals to your target audience. It determines which aspects of the site is engaging your audience and what areas need working on. Traffic analysis also allows you to compare your own traffic to that of your competitors’ website, all in real-time.
- Site search analytics
Adding a search box onto your website is an effective way to find out what your customers want to find on your site. It gives you a clear and honest idea of the kind of content they’re searching for and whether your suggested pages are keeping them on the site.
- Email marketing segmentation analysis
A good email marketing campaign, together with good website design, can have significantly favourable effects on both simultaneously. Email marketing segmentation analysis allows you to tailor your emails depending on what your subscribers want. By using segmentation, you can send better emails and therefore promoting higher click rates to your website.
3. Perform a competitor analysis
An essential tactic for finding out what your competitors, how they’re doing it, and whether you could be doing it too. You should also be able to find out how much of a threat they are to your business. Firstly, find out who your competitors are and then define what kind of content they’re producing and their SEO structure. It’s also imperative to identify any areas that they would need to improve on – otherwise known as holes in their strategy that you can take advantage of.
4. Understand what your data is telling you
Your data is pretty much useless if you don’t understand what it’s telling you. Data visualisation tools can help you to unravel complicated data or perhaps consider working with a data specialist if it’s particularly tricky. Either way, ensure that you understand the positives and negatives of what your data have revealed.
5. Align your customer’s goals with your own
To capitalise on your customer’s goals, ensure that they align with your own. To do this, you need to understand who your customers are, what they want, and how they operate. You and your customers can’t work as two separate entities; you need to be intertwined.
If you’re looking to understand how your data can inform your website design and how to construct an effective data strategy, then contact us at stunn.co.uk or call me directly on 0121 616 0093.