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How brands benefit from real-time social media marketing: examples and tips

The term real-time is often used in marketing to describe having marketing strategies that are updated in real-time or ‘near’ real-time, where a business can adjust their marketing efforts as events unfold. While this may seem like a nice goal, it can be difficult to achieve consistently without having the right tools and team in place.

Smart Insights’ research found most companies—76%—claim that real-time brings increased audience engagement. But many may not have a formal process in place to deliver real-time marketing intelligence.

In another study, more than half of respondents say they need to interact with customers more quickly, and the vast majority—85%—say “it is fundamental, significant or important to their future business success to provide experiences that are responsive to customers based on real-time, in-the-moment behaviors”. 

Real-time success relies on having data that can be analyzed—and used—as it happens, instead of waiting days or more for the results to come in. In many teams, once getting that data, it can take even longer to review and approve social strategy. 

Nowadays, as social media and content aggregation platforms become more mature, companies are looking for ways to create and execute real-time marketing campaigns to get better ROI and stay relatable to their customer base.

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What is real-time marketing? Is it actually in real time?

Real-time marketing allows businesses to stay ahead of the competition by creating personalized or more timely messaging and delivering it to their customers where they are, be it their website, email, or social media.

Trying to use real-time marketing in your organization will certainly need a much faster flow of data and insights than marketing teams have used in the past, but how real-time does that data need to be?

Effective retargeting efforts, for example, rely on data that’s up to date and seeing when a visitor to your website looked at something or added it to their cart. A tool like Criteo, which works with retailers to display personalized online display advertisements, is usually delayed by 2 to 8 hours. Similar considerations exist for social media.

Pro tip: Looking at your feed and seeing endless tweets fly in by the minute, many marketers may not realize that not every platform offers instant analytics.

Supermetrics, for example, aggregates data from numerous different social media and marketing platforms. In reality, Supermetrics offers ‘near’ real-time analytics in most cases, only limited by the freshness of the data offered by each source’s API.

Data from most sources updates every 12 hours in your marketing dashboards, but Twitter Ads, for example, has a two-day API delay which everyone has to work around.

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So let’s look at examples of great real-time social media marketing, some key benefits your brand and business can take advantage of, and a few practical tips on how to set a real-time strategy to get you started on your journey to deliver more timely messaging to your customers.

How three brands benefitted from real-time marketing

What real-time marketing looks like in 2022 is, firstly, automated marketing—emails, messaging, or creatives —set up to react to a potential customer’s behavior, and secondly, putting in place the right tools, processes, and team to react and put out new campaigns based on trends and feedback from your audience.

For simplicity, let’s stick to real-time, meaning any strategy that relies on taking action in a period of time under a day or two and isn’t dependent on full automation.

This may be ‘near’ real-time in terms of the tech required, but ultimately for marketers, there isn’t a need for that split-second turn-around when it still relies on a human to put it into action.

While real-time marketing isn’t limited to social media, the most public and successful examples do tend to take place where the virality of the content can result in endless free reach. This doesn’t negate the value of other real-time marketing—email or other channels—but for these examples, we’ll draw from the most public successes.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

In 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral. In fact, it was so widespread that we still all know the concept a decade later.

The challenge was simple: dump a bucket of ice water on your head, post it on social media, and tag three friends to do the same within 24 hours. It didn’t take long for companies to start getting involved. Brands like Dunkin’ Donuts, Samsung, and Virgin Mobile, to name a few, all followed.

While viral challenges had been done before, it was the perfect storm of awareness, charity, and social media that made it take off the way it did. The challenge generated $115 million for ALS in 2014 alone. This makes it a perfect example of the type of opportunities real-time marketing holds for those ready to jump on a trend.

Wendy’s edgy social media

If you’re a marketer and have been on Twitter for any length of time, you’ll have noticed the fantastic and uber-popular voice that Wendy’s official brand account has for snapping back at competitors and customers alike.

The truth is, their strategy only works so perfectly for them because they were true pioneers in this tactic. Back when classic-brand Twitter was reaching its natural oversaturation of tired marketing messages and perfect content calendars in the mid-2010s, Wendy’s was one of the first to break away.

Wendy's tweet replying to a customer: "Name a scam: Some people use frozen beef in their hamburgers"

With their well-timed and edgy comments, the McDonald’s rival was able to carve out an oversized Twitter following with their use of real-time marketing tactics to insert themselves into customer and competitor conversations.

Just as much as Wendy’s is the textbook example of real-time social media done well, it’s also a cautionary tale. Those who practice real-time social media without proper thought, planning, and perhaps a little help from the right tools are more than likely to end up looking foolish when a competitor exploits an opening.

Wendy's tweet replying to a competitor: "Yea, for one, if we were going to diss another restaurant, we'd have more than zero likes and RTs after 13 hours."

Innocent Drinks pandemic updates

In May 2020, forgetting what day it is was all the rage. A few months into a pandemic that turned everyone into hermits, it was easy to lose track of time. The weekdays all started to blend together, and many had started to spend all their time stuck on the couch on endless Zoom calls.

Innocent Drinks seized on the moment with a series of daily tweets with a friendly reminder that we’re not alone in our stay-at-home struggles. These humorous updates fit well into the brand’s voice and let them stay in the hearts and minds of their customers at a time when they needed it.

Innocent Drinks tweet quote of the day: "Daily reminder of what day it is today. It's a Tuesday. We know it might look like a Monday. We know it might feel like a Monday. We know it might smell like a Monday. But trust us, it's a Tuesday."
Innocent Drinks tweet quote of the day: "Daily reminder of what day it is today. It's a Friday. Pinch yourself. It really is Friday. Please note: pinching yourself is entirely at your own risk. innocent drinks LTD will not be held responsible for any pinch-related injuries."

Adding to the concept’s success, the social team extended the friendly updates into a friendly contest. Customers were encouraged to record and share their best “useless sofa activities” in exchange for free smoothies and for the benefit of Age UK charity.

Innocent Drinks tweet: "Win free smoothies and do some good."

How you can benefit from real-time marketing

Here are some tips that can help you take advantage and gain real benefits from real-time marketing.

1. Diversify your content

Take an honest look at the content on your social pages. Does your marketing team have enough creative minds and social media editors to continuously publish interesting and engaging content? Depending on your brand goals, this may be unrealistic, but giving teams the right autonomy to focus on publishing great content is a good place to start.

2. Continuously refine your messaging

There’s a reason why startups and smaller teams are seen as the true innovators—because it’s simply easier and faster to test new ideas. Do you have a culture that encourages people to test concepts as soon as they can, or are the best ideas being left untested?

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If you feel you’re unable to quickly adjust your messaging in the face of feedback or when something new emerges, then social media is a great place to start freeing your comms strategy.

3. Tie your brand to positive messages

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a fantastic example of how hopping on the right trends can work for everybody involved.

Not only did it raise $220 million for charity, but it also gave brands a natural way to interact on social and make real people in the company—up to and including the CEO—more visible. Truly viral trends aren’t going to pop up every day, but it only takes one look at how companies are using TikTok to see the great and repeatable potential of the concept.

4. Take advantage of customer feedback loops

Right back to TikTok. We see the true potential that companies have with continuous customer feedback loops. As marketing professionals, we don’t only need to consider our own point of view when coming up with new campaigns—we also need to make sure that we’re taking an active interest in our customers’ interests.

TikTok makes it really easy to ‘Reply’ to comments with its own new post, which gives you an amazing opportunity to make highly reactive content that’s more likely to get reshared.

5. Embrace the unexpected

The downfall of real-time marketing is that once you commit to constant communication, any misstep becomes magnified. Nonetheless, you’re seeing more and more of the biggest brands in the world trying out new concepts and ideas in public—so the odds are good that your company—which is likely not dealing with the same kind of scrutiny—can still have some pretty wild success.

In the modern era of PPC and social media, all marketers benefit in some way from real-time marketing, almost as a default. The feedback loop in which we work and live is only getting faster compared to 10 years ago. We’re all living more connected to the data points that inform good marketing.

What the 90s can teach us about real-time marketing

Real-time marketing, in a social media context, relies on reacting to the zeitgeist in a quick and relatable way. Zeitgeist is just a fancy way to describe the spirit or mood of culture at a particular point in time—the 60s, the 1800s, or even March 2020.

These days, we can see the effects of the zeitgeist almost immediately. Thanks to smartphones, social media, and meme culture, the definition of real-time marketing has shifted to reflect this.

Since we’re not able to look at something like the 2020s, and COVID, or even the Johnny Depp trial with the massive benefit of hindsight, let’s have a bit of fun and go back to the 90s for a quick example and thought experiment.

How would savvy 1990s marketers benefit from real-time marketing, given the tools we have available today?

The 90s were a time of major change, so the cultural zeitgeist was always in flux. This made it a very exciting time to be in the marketing industry, as marketers reacted to the latest trends to get their brand message across—but nowhere close to the speed and data marketers operate with today.

Now, if you could’ve theoretically monitored social media trends of the 90s, you can start to guess the things that would be trending: OJ Simpson Trial, Monica Lewinsky, Spice Girls, and towards the end of the decade, Y2K. The largest and fastest growing brands included GAP, Ecko Unlimited, Nike, and Coca-Cola.

You probably wouldn’t have wanted to be marketing your up-and-coming Blockbuster competitor around the OJ trial if you were active on the company profiles in the 90s. Maybe you could’ve gotten a solid lift from a well-timed reference on 90s Twitter, but chances are, you’d be running face-first into the controversy you wouldn’t necessarily want to associate your brand with. And what if the whole audience wasn’t on board with that joke, sparking real backlash?

Now the Spice Girls however—that’s the ticket. They existed in a space in the zeitgeist that wasn’t too niche but, at the same time, appealed most to a certain target demographic. You could’ve looked to a social listening tool, organized your organic Twitter and Facebook audiences to inform you of trends, shopped around for content ideas that would appeal to young women, and fueled your own brand profile with the rise of the girl group.

Spice Girls movie in VHS

What does this teach us? Identify interests that are trending but not oversaturated. Use clever storytelling to tie these trends back into your brand. For example, you could explore what toys the kids bought during the 90s and what that means for the videos they—or their parents—would likely rent on VHS.

Now back to the 2020s’.

How to set a real-time marketing strategy

There’s no easy, one-sized-fits-all playbook for getting your team up and running with a real-time marketing strategy, but there are a few key steps you can take to get started.

Define your goals

What are you hoping to achieve with your real-time marketing strategy? Since most potential benefits are hard to know in advance, it’s helpful to have at least some specific goals in mind.

Are you interested in boosting social media engagement across the board? Focusing on getting more eyes on particular products or promotions? Or is your goal simply to connect better with your audience and figure out the type of content that resonates with them?

Ultimately, depending on the size of your business, these can be more or less defined depending if you’re new to social or not and the resources you have. Whatever the goal, try to have a specific metric in mind to measure success against.

Always be listening

Even the most ‘online’ people exist in their own niche, which isn’t necessarily aligned with the business goals. Having social listening in place is an important step to enabling your real-time marketing efforts.

Just understanding your brand and industry is important for any marketing team. It becomes all the more crucial when living on the cutting edge of crafting messages for social media on the fly.

You can start off by getting a good idea of what your competitors might be posting or reacting to, but there are a couple of other places that social media tool Sprout Social recommends for keeping up with and monitoring trends:

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Get the power of big data, even for smaller insights

Advanced solutions to empower real-time recommendations in emails—like Amazon’s Personalize—are great for larger businesses and those built from the ground up to capitalize on the power of machine learning and real-time insights, delivered via your online store, targetted ads, or email marketing.

A first step you can take to start empowering your team with data is to look to a data warehouse for your marketing data. That itself might feel like a daunting step for many small and medium-sized businesses, but when you feel the need to better understand the return on marketing investment across different campaigns, including real-time, the benefits start to become very clear.

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Wrapping up

With the rise of social media at the forefront of the marketing industry, it’s also never been more important or easy to make real-time marketing at the center of your online strategy. While the term can really encompass a large range of execution, the ultimate goal is the same: deliver excellent messaging to customers.

About the author

Community Manager at Supermetrics, William looks to find new ways for our users to connect, learn, and build successful marketing analytics solutions. Before joining Supermetrics, he spent years growing online fanbases, followings, and communities for gaming, travel, and tech brands.

The post How brands benefit from real-time social media marketing: examples and tips appeared first on Supermetrics.

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Amplitude vs Mixpanel vs Smartlook: The biggest differences

Amplitude vs Mixpanel vs Smartlook: The biggest differences

While Amplitude and Mixpanel are two of the most popular product analytics platforms, there are important differences between them that affect the kind of insights you can get.

In this article, we’ll explore these differences in detail and explain how they can affect your day-to-day workflow, as well as how much effort it takes to utilize each platform correctly.

We’ll also discuss situations when Smartlook — our combined product analytics and session recording platform — can be a great addition or alternative to Amplitude and Mixpanel. 

In short, throughout this article, we’ll compare Amplitude, Mixpanel, and Smartlook, with a focus on:

Before we dive in, here’s a quick rundown of the essential differences between the three platforms:

Unique features and capabilities

  • Amplitude is focused entirely on quantitative analytics (i.e., stats and metrics). As an advanced solution, Amplitude has unmatched advanced charts and reports for analyzing quantitative data, provided you have the engineering time and data analytics know-how to use the platform.
  • Like Amplitude, Mixpanel is also primarily a quantitative analytics platform. While it doesn’t have as many advanced reports as Amplitude, Mixpanel comes with a unique data enrichment functionality and supports a wide range of third-party integrations.
  • Smartlook combines the power of quantitative analytics with qualitative data (gathered via session recordings). As a result, you can see what your users are doing and more importantly — understand why they’re doing it with the help of session recordings, which Amplitude and Mixpanel don’t offer.

Setup and data collection mechanism

  • Amplitude and Mixpanel require you to define the events you want to monitor ahead of time and manually set up tracking for each one. This process is difficult and time-consuming and requires a lot of developer assistance. Between the planning, implementation, and data collection, it can take months before you have product usage data to analyze.
  • Smartlook automatically captures every user interaction in your product with a single code snippet and lets you track events without coding. Thanks to this simple setup, you get insights much faster, since you don’t need to spend months creating tracking plans and implementing Smartlook.

Pricing

  • All three platforms have a free plan and free public demo.
  • Amplitude is by far the most expensive platform of all three. The lowest price that users report online is $5,000/year paid annually with a 20% discount. Amplitude also doesn’t have transparent pricing, since you have to contact their sales team to get a quote.
  • Mixpanel and Smartlook both offer transparent and cost-effective plans, as well as an option to build custom ones. This makes Mixpanel and Smartlook suitable for all kinds of businesses, including startups and mid-sized companies, unlike Amplitude, which is mostly enterprise-oriented.

Smartlook is the only combined product analytics and visual user insights platform that won’t take your team forever to set up. Start analyzing and improving your users’ experience with Smartlook’s full-featured, 10-day trial — no credit card required. 

Amplitude vs Mixpanel vs Smartlook: Each tool’s workflow and unique capabilities

Amplitude, Mixpanel, and Smartlook all help analyze user behavior, but they do so in dramatically different ways.

For starters, they collect different types of user behavior data:

  • Amplitude and Mixpanel are focused primarily on quantitative analytics. Their features are geared towards analyzing stats and metrics about your users’ behavior and visualizing them in reports, charts, and dashboards. 
  • Smartlook allows you to perform both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Smartlook’s unique mix of quantitative (events and funnels) and qualitative analytics features (session recordings) means you can go beyond the raw numbers and uncover why users are doing what they’re doing.

With that in mind, let’s explore each tool’s unique workflow and capabilities.

Amplitude

Amplitude is one of the most comprehensive analytics solutions on the market. It lets you do all kinds of event-based analysis and build custom dashboards that are relevant to your business.

The Amplitude platform is comprised of a few different products:

  • Amplitude Analytics: Used for analyzing customer behavior in real-time and finding actionable insights. 
  • Amplitude Experiment: Used for creating targeted experiments and measuring their results.
  • Amplitude Recommend: Used by product and marketing teams to build audience lists and automate campaign targeting.
  • Amplitude CDP: Helps with data governance by allowing data teams to bring in user data from across their technology stack and create a consistent taxonomy.

While these are part of the same platform, they’re also sold as separate products.

Amplitude’s workflow

Before you can start using Amplitude, you have to go through an extensive planning, implementation, and testing process to ensure you’re sending the correct events and properties to the platform. This is a highly-technical task that should be handled by a developer, based on Amplitude’s instructions.

Once Amplitude is set up and has collected enough data, you can start utilizing it. The platform is organized into reports, which you can fill with different charts. 

For example, the screenshot below shows an Amplitude dashboard (which is a type of report) for tracking business KPIs like daily revenue and year-over-year growth.

Amplitude Analytics and Business KPIs

These reports are not created by default. You have to customize each dashboard and chart upfront, meaning you’ll likely spend more time on your workspace’s initial setup than with Mixpanel or Smartlook.

You have four options for customizing your workspace:

1. Analysis: This option lets you create a new chart, like a funnel chart, data table, engagement matrix, retention chart, and more. 

Amplitude charts: Segmentation, Funnel, Retention, Data Table

2. Cohort: This option lets you group users based on their behavior patterns, e.g., power users or users who successfully made an in-app purchase. Cohorts can be used in analysis to compare groups of users against each other.

Amplitude Analytics Cohorts: A place to manage all of your cohorts.

3. Report: This option lets you create dashboards or notebooks for summarizing findings. For example, you can create a dashboard filled with funnel charts that monitor the conversion rates for your most important user flows (onboarding, checkout, etc.)

4. Space: This option lets you organize relevant charts and reports, so you can share them with colleagues.

Amplitude’s unique capabilities: Advanced reports and additional ways to visualize data

Amplitude has some of the most advanced features for analyzing and visualizing quantitative data. 

For example, here are two types of analyses that only Amplitude offers:

1. Personas Charts: These charts group users into clusters based on the similarities of their event behavior, as shown in the screenshot below. They’re helpful for exploratory data mining analyses of how users navigate a product, which can surface unexpected similarities between user cohorts.

Amplitude Clusters and Persona Charts

2. Impact Chart: With impact charts, you can determine if users who interacted with a new feature are taking certain actions more frequently (e.g., making an in-app purchase), relative to the time before they first used the new feature.

Amplitude Impact Chart Data

For more details on all of Amplitude’s charts, refer to their documentation.

Mixpanel

Mixpanel is a product analytics platform comprised of three solutions:

  • Convert: This includes features for analyzing the user journey leading up to a conversion, like funnel reports and behavior flows. 
  • Engage: This includes features for analyzing product usage, such as lifecycle analysis and user segmentation.
  • Retain: This includes features for understanding and improving retention, like cohort analysis and re-engagement via personalized campaigns.

While Mixpanel is primarily focused on quantitative data, it can be integrated with Smartlookto use session recordings to go beyond the raw numbers and understand why users do what they do. 

Mixpanel’s workflow

Similar to Amplitude, Mixpanel requires manual instrumentation. You start by deciding which events to track, implementing the tracking, and waiting for data to roll in. Again, the implementation process should be handled by a developer familiar with Mixpanel’s documentation.

Unlike Amplitude, Mixpanel starts you off with a few pre-made reports out of the box, so you likely won’t have to spend as much time customizing the platform right away.

In Mixpanel, data is organized into dashboards, like the “Core Company KPIs” dashboard below.

Mixpanel Core Company KPIs

While this is subjective, some online reviews mention that Mixpanel’s UI and data visualizations are more easily digestible than Amplitude’s.

When creating new dashboards, you get to choose what type of reports get added to them. Mixpanel offers four report types:

1. Insights Report: For analyzing events, cohorts, and user profiles and displaying the data in various chart types (line, bar, pie, etc). For example, the screenshot below shows an Insights report that displays new user accounts as a line chart.

Mixpanel Insights Report

2. Funnels Report: For analyzing how users go through a series of events and where they drop off. The screenshot below shows a four-step funnel report with a 30-day timeframe.

Mixpanel Funnel Report

3. Retention Report: For analyzing user engagement over a period of time.

4. Flows Report: For identifying the most frequently taken paths to or from any event.

For even more details on how to create and customize these reports, refer to Mixpanel’s documentation.

Mixpanel’s unique capabilities: Data enrichment and extensive integrations

Mixpanel has a unique data enrichment feature that lets you join historical events with new business data (i.e., retroactive enrichment). This can be very useful if you forget to track something and later need additional data for your analysis.

For example, say you track in-app purchases within Mixpanel (with a ProductID property), but forgot to add Price and Category as additional properties. You can easily enrich the data you’ve been collecting by uploading a table with the ID, Price, and Category. This lets you analyze in-app purchases by all of these properties, without having to start your event instrumentation all over. 

Check out Mixpanel’s documentation on Lookup tables to learn more.

Also, Mixpanel’s team has built tons of integrations with A/B testing and experimentation platforms (like VWO and AB Tasty), marketing and messaging automation solutions (like CleverTap and Taplytics), CRMs (like Salesforce and HubSpot), and other popular tools. 

This was done to compensate for the retirement of Mixpanel’s built-in testing and messaging features (push notifications, in-app messages, etc.) and allows the platform to support several use cases. 

While Amplitude also integrates with some of these tools, Mixpanel has an edge with its 90+ integrations.

Smartlook

Smartlook is our combined product analytics and visual user insights platform that brings together four key tools:

1. Session recordings: This shows you exactly how your users experience your product, from the moment they open it to the moment they close it (as you can see in the screenshot below.) Session recordings can help you understand why users do what they do, fix bugs faster, make product insights easily accessible to everyone, and more. 

Detailed Recordings: Spaceboss example

2. Events: Similar to Amplitude and Mixpanel, Smartlook tracks specific user interactions as events. The difference is that Smartlook tracks user interactions with a single code snippet and lets you track events without coding, which you can’t do with Mixpanel or Amplitude. 

Events: Buy Package and Pay Now Button

3. Funnels: Funnels help you analyze your most important user flows.Again, this is similar to the funnel reports in Amplitude and Mixpanel. However, since Smartlook offers session recordings, you can quickly find and watch the session replays of users who dropped off at a specific stage, so you can see what’s hurting your conversions.

New 3-step payment funnel: 32 users (16.41%) drop off between clicking “Pay now” and landing on the “Thank you” page.

4. Heatmaps: Heatmaps show you an overview of a typical user’s behavior on a page or screen. Smartlook supports three types of heatmaps — click maps (left in the screenshot below), move maps (middle), and scroll maps (right). Like our session recording feature, heatmaps are also something you can’t get in Amplitude and Mixpanel.

Reading a heatmap: Click Maps, Move Maps, and Scroll Maps.

We have detailed articles on how to use these features, so if you’re interested, check out:

Smartlook’s workflow

Unlike Mixpanel and Amplitude, Smartlook doesn’t require extensive planning and implementation. 

Instead, our platform automatically captures every user interaction in your product with a single code snippet.

Once Smartlook’s been set up, you can open the dashboard and choose what information you want to see there by adding and removing tiles. For example, the screenshot below shows a dashboard with tiles that report on the conversion rate for a funnel, the top user devices, most visited pages, and more.

Smartlook Dashboard Analytics: Payments, Devices, Top Visited Pages, Top Landing Pages, Visited Cart, Top Exit Pages

Say you’re working on a SaaS product and want to track your daily, weekly, and monthly active users. You can click on “Add new tile”, go to “Active Users”, choose the interval, and select the data range you want to analyze (seven, 30, or 60 days).

Smartlook Active Users: Name of the tile, Interval, Data Range

Click “Save” and the newly created tile will appear in your dashboard. That way, you can easily keep track of your daily, weekly, or monthly active users when you open Smartlook. 

Smartlook’s unique capabilities: Simple setup, session recordings, and the ability to combine quantitative and qualitative data

Smartlook’s simple setup ensures you get product insights much faster because you don’t have to spend months on planning, tracking implementation, and data collection.

Instead, you start analyzing user behavior with session recordings, events, funnels, and heatmaps only minutes after setting up Smartlook.

Additionally, our session recordings

  • Capture every user session in your product automatically.
  • Allow you to actually see how individual users interact with your product. 
  • Make product insights available to everyone, not just the few people who have the analytics skills to work with quantitative data.

Smartlook lets you combine the power of quantitative data (events and funnels) with qualitative data (session recordings)

For example, every event in Smartlook can be traced back to a session recording by clicking the small “Play” button under its name. This means you can see everything a user did before or after triggering that event.

Events: Buy Package and Pay Now Button

You can also watch session recordings of users who dropped off at a specific stage in a funnel to find out what’s hurting your conversions. For example, the screenshot below shows a funnel that maps tutorial completions, with an overall conversion rate of 71.43%.

Funnel, Conversions, and Drop Off Data Analysis with Smartlook.

There’s a “Play” button under each step of the funnel, including the drop-off stages, which takes you directly to the session replays of users dropping off at that stage. This lets you:

  • Find out why users drop off by watching them interact with your product.
  • Save time and effort because you watch only the sessions of users who didn’t complete that step in the funnel, instead of going through all other sessions.

Amplitude vs Mixpanel vs Smartlook: Overlapping reports and features

All three platforms can be used to analyze user behavior on web and mobile apps and they also support a wide range of SDKs for popular platforms and technologies, like iOS, Android, React Native, Flutter, Unity, and more.

Here are three types of analyses you can do with Amplitude, Mixpanel, or Smartlook:

1. Segmentation 

Segmentation is the process of grouping users together based on common properties, like their device, country, or actions (events) they’ve performed. 

Amplitude allows you to create Segmentation charts by selecting events and user properties. 

Amplitude Analytics: New Segmentation Chart example

Mixpanel doesn’t have a separate report for segmentation, but it does let you break down the other reports based on properties. For example, the screenshot below shows an Insights report for monitoring newly created accounts, broken down by device and platform.

Mixpanel Insights Report: Unique and Newly Created Accounts

In Smartlook, you can do something similar by breaking down each event by the location of the user, their device, operating system, plus a variety of custom event properties (e.g., registered or unregistered users, type of subscription, product availability). 

Just open the event you want to break down, click on “Set breakdown” and select your criteria:

Set Breakdown in Smartlook

Then, a breakdown table like the one below will appear under the event.

Smartlook breakdown by device and blog visit.

You can save any combination of events and properties as a user segment (e.g., first-time visitors on Android devices who made an in-app purchase). Then, you can monitor how this segment performs right in your dashboard.

And since Smartlook also offers session replay, you can click on the “Play” button next to any segment to watch how users from it interact with your product.

2. Funnel analysis

Funnels are sequences of steps users take to achieve a goal, like making an in-app purchase, trying out a new feature, or completing a game level. 

Building funnels lets you analyze user behavior through these key flows, find out where users drop off, and calculate conversion rates.

Amplitude has funnel charts, while Mixpanel offers a funnel report (which we also showed earlier) as one of its four key reports:

Mixpanel Funnel Report

In Smartlook, you can create a funnel by placing two or more events in the order you believe your users follow. For example, the screenshot below displays a 3-step funnel that maps a purchase flow.

New 3-step payment funnel: 32 users (16.41%) drop off between clicking “Pay now” and landing on the “Thank you” page.

You can see the overall conversion rate (61.74%), as well as the conversion rates and drop-offs between each step. Again, with Smartlook, you can jump into the session recordings of users who dropped off at a certain stage, which can help you find and eliminate friction points that reduce your conversions. 

This is a massive benefit over Amplitude and Mixpanel since they can’t show you how users experience your product. As a result, their funnels let you see where users drop off, but finding out why often requires weeks or months of testing hypotheses.

3. Retention analysis

Retention analysis refers to the process of tracking what percentage of visitors that perform an action (e.g., log into their account or make an in-app purchase) continue to do so over the next days, weeks, or months. 

Similar to funnel analysis, Amplitude lets you build Retention charts (shown in the screenshot below), while Mixpanel has Retention reports.

Amplitude Analytics: User Retention Charts

Smartlook also has a special feature called Retention Tables, which lets you track user cohorts over time while calculating retention for you. You can easily generate a retention table like the one shown below for any event.

Retention Table in Smartlook: Day 0 to Day 6 example

As you can see in the screenshot, the retention table shows that 376 users triggered the “Account Login” event for the first time on Monday, 10.19, which is our Day 0. 

Over the next few days, the table automatically tracks this user cohort (users who first performed the “Account Login” action on 10.19). 

Here’s the retention data for the next 5 days:

Retention Data Example: Day 0 to Day 6

As you can see, on Day 1, 76 of the 376 users performed the action again. That number gets progressively lower, with a big drop between Days 4 and 5. 

Amplitude vs Mixpanel vs Smartlook: Setup and data collection mechanism

The process of collecting user behavior data with each tool is different, which has massive consequences for your workflow.

Amplitude and Mixpanel take the traditional approach to product analytics and require manual instrumentation. This means that before you get any product insights, you need to:

  • Plan what events you want to track.
  • Have your engineering team implement the tracking.
  • Go through a testing and QA phase to ensure you’re sending the correct events and properties to the platform.
  • Wait for enough data to accumulate.

While manual instrumentation provides granular control over everything you collect, it comes at the expense of being difficult and time-consuming to implement.

Smartlook takes the opposite approach by collecting all user interactions inside your product with a single code snippet. 

When talking to scaling product teams, we’ve found this automatic approach of collecting data with session recordings has three major benefits:

1. Less engineering hours to get started + faster time to insights

Both Amplitude and Mixpanel provide extensive documentation to guide you through implementation, and Mixpanel even has a setup course with over 3 hours of content

But many positive reviews for Mixpanel and Amplitude still mention the lengthy setup or heavy reliance on the data analytics team as a downside, like this one:

Mixpanel review: Advanced and super precise analytics tool

Several Amplitude reviewers have a similar complaint:

Amplitude review: Powerful and customizable tool

In contrast, Smartlook only requires you to insert a single code snippet before it starts recording every user session in your product. As a result, you get the insights needed to build better products within hours or days of using Smartlook (rather than weeks or months).

2. Tracking events without coding, even retroactively

Mixpanel and Amplitude don’t collect user interaction data automatically. You have to tell them which events to track, so every time you want to track a new event, you need to go through the implementation process again.

This is a common problem with traditional analytics tools (like Google Analytics) since teams often don’t know everything they’ll want to track in advance.

Smartlook avoids this problem by automatically collecting user interaction data via always-on session recordings.

With Smartlook, the data has already been collected, so you just have to decide which interactions you want to analyze in the platform. That process is called defining an event. We offer a few ways to define events without coding, like selecting from a list of standard events and clicking on user interface (UI) elements, as shown in the screenshot below.

Defining an Event in Smartlook by clicking on specific elements on the page.

Once you define an event, Smartlook immediately identifies every instance of that event, going back to the moment you added the snippet or as far as your data retention plan goes.

As a result, the event tracking visualization appears instantly, like in the GIF below:

Event Details in Smartlook

Madfinger Games, an award-winning game development studio, highlighted the ability to define events retroactively as one of the biggest benefits of working with Smartlook. As their CTO said:

“That’s the cool thing about Smartlook — we often have no idea what we’re going to need. And Smartlook captures everything for us. We can always set up an event later and start focusing on the problem when it pops up.”

Smartlook also lets you create custom events via JavaScript, so you can track pretty much anything you can imagine.

Additionally, Smartlook has a special feature called anomalies, which alerts you when a sharp surge or drop in the occurrence of an event happens.

Anomalies monitoring in Smartlook

Once an anomaly is created, you’ll be notified via email in case of a sharp drop or surge. You can even set up notifications via webhook to deliver alerts in other applications (e.g., in a specific Slack channel.) 

3. Getting everyone involved in the product analytics process

Amplitude and Mixpanel (as well as other traditional analytics tools) provide mostly quantitative data. While useful, these raw stats and metrics require more technical data analysis skills to interpret.

As a result, most organizations don’t benefit from the insights provided by Mixpanel and Amplitude because the learning curve for understanding their data is too steep.

This is a common problem for Amplitude users, as many reviewers report spending months learning how to utilize the platform:

Amplitude review: Awesome self-service platform

Some Mixpanel reviewers also have similar complaints:

Mixpanel review: With Mixpanel, we know what the customer needs

In contrast, Smartlook’s session recordings and no-code event tracking lower the barrier to entry. Here are a few examples of how different teams can take advantage of Smartlook in their daily workflows:

  • Product teams can collect relevant product events with a single snippet, without needing constant engineering help. For example, they can use the no-code event picker to track clicks on a new feature as events. They can also use session recordings to show others exactly what’s going on with the product, which makes it much easier to communicate their findings and strategy.
  • Customer support teams can use session recordings to quickly understand bugs reported by users. With Smartlook’s Identify API, you can locate users’ session recordings, based on an identifier like email or username. When an identified user reports a bug, support teams can see exactly what went wrong and resolve the problem themselves or send the recordings to the dev and QA teams.
  • Dev and QA teams can watch session recordings to see the exact situations in which bugs occurred. This makes bug reproduction much easier. And developers can often skip reproduction altogether by reviewing the session recordings and the data sent in the background, which Smartlook provides.
  • Marketing teams can track user actions and analyze the effectiveness of changes. For example, say your marketing team updates your checkout page’s copy with the goal of getting more people to complete your form. They can set up events to track text inputs into the form field and clicks on the CTA, allowing them to understand the impact of their changes.

Mixpanel vs Amplitude vs Smartlook: Pricing comparison

Pricing is another area where Amplitude, Mixpanel, and Smartlook have significant differences.

  • Amplitude and Mixpanel have event-based pricing
    • In Amplitude’s case, you need an estimate of how many events you want to monitor in your product. 
    • For Mixpanel, you need the number of users who trigger at least one event in your product per month.
  • Smartlook’s pricing is based on the number of sessions you want to record each month. You only need to know your monthly sessions and select (or build) a plan with a slightly higher number to account for traffic spikes.

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into each platform’s pricing.

Amplitude pricing

Amplitude has a generous free plan, which lets you collect up to 10 million events per month, comes with basic analytics features, and supports unlimited data sources and users.

Amplitude Analytics pricing: Starter, Growth, Enterprise

However, after the free tier,Amplitude is by far the most expensive platform on this list. 

As with most enterprise platforms, their pricing isn’t transparent, as you have to talk to their sales team for a quote. The lowest price that Amplitude customers report is around $5,000/year paid annually with a 20% discount. Some customers report prices between $33,000/year for 25 million events and $40,000/year for 50 million events.

Mixpanel pricing

Mixpanel also has a free plan for up to 100,000 monthly tracked users in total (MTUs, the number of unique visitors who trigger at least one event), with unlimited data history, however, the free plan doesn’t provide access to any of the advanced analytics features like finding causal relationships between feature launches and user behavior. 

Mixpanel pricing: Free, Growth, Enterprise

If you want access to the advanced features (or if you need more than 100K MTUs), you can build a customizable plan, starting at $25/month. For 1,000 MTUs, Mixpanel costs $36/month when paid monthly and $299/year when paid annually (but volume discounts are baked into the price as your MTUs grow). They also have an option to build enterprise plans with additional reports and dedicated customer success.

Important note: Mixpanel upsells two features as add-ons — Data Pipelines (20% of base plan) and Group Analytics (40% of base plan). Data Pipelines let you export Mixpanel data directly to warehouses like Snowflake, BigQuery, and Azure. Group Analytics lets you calculate metrics like active usage and retention at the account or company level. If you need these features, Mixpanel will be between 20-60% more expensive.

Smartlook pricing

Smartlook has a generous free forever plan, which lets you record up to 1,500 user sessions per month (no credit card required).

Smartlook pricing: Free, Startup, Business, Ultimate

The paid plans start at $39/month and come with a full-featured 10-day trial (again, no credit card required). You can also build custom plans based on how many sessions you want to record every month or an ultimate plan with custom sessions, events, funnels, and heatmaps.

Lastly, if you want to learn how Amplitude, Mixpanel, and Smartlook compare to other product analytics solutions like Heap and FullStory, check out our article on the top product analytics tools.

Streamline or enhance your tech stack with Smartlook

Smartlook gives you robust analytics that show what your users are doing — paired with session recordings and heatmaps that show why — all in one place. 

If you’ve already invested in a product analytics solution like Mixpanel or Amplitude, adding Smartlook can give you the necessary context to understand user behavior. Alternatively, many teams find that Smartlook provides all the quantitative analytics capabilities they need, while the qualitative insights from session recordings empower more of their team members to understand user behavior.

If you want to see how you could streamline or enhance your product analytics tech stack with Smartlook, sign up for a full-featured, 10-day trial (no credit card required). 

Or, for an in-depth Smartlook presentation that’s tailored to your business, schedule a demo with our team.

Martin Bolf
Martin Bolf

is the product manager at Smartlook. Martin is enthusiastic about delivering the best possible customer experience. Prior to joining Smartlook as a product manager, he used to work as a consultant for Oracle NetSuite. Martin has a deep professional interest in biometric signing and work digitalization. He is also an NFL enthusiast and likes to enjoy good food (ideally while watching NFL).

The post Amplitude vs Mixpanel vs Smartlook: The biggest differences appeared first on Smartlook Blog.

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Google Guaranteed vs. Google Screened: What’s the Difference?

Google has two different types of badges available as part of their local services ads: Google Guaranteed and Google Screened. Both programs have features, criteria, and benefits, but which is best suited for your clients?

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Stitch vs. Supermetrics: a comparison guide

Are you looking for a data pipeline solution? Or are you using Stitch and trying to figure out alternatives? Then this article might be what you’re looking for.

This article will look at a few aspects like features, integrations, security, and pricing plans to compare Stitch with Supermetrics.

Before a deeper comparison, let’s first look at a basic overview.

Supermetrics overview

Supermetrics streamlines the delivery of data from 90+ sales and marketing platforms into the reporting and analytics tools marketers already use.

Supermetrics does not store any of the transferred data on its servers. It simply moves data from all your data sources, including Google Analytics, Facebook, Shopify, HubSpot, and Salesforce, into destinations like Google Sheets, Excel, and Google Data Studio and data warehouses like Redshift, Snowflake, and BigQuery.

Once there, you can analyze the extracted data you want and build custom marketing reports for your clients, management team, or yourself.

Stitch overview

Stitch is a solution based on an open-source connectors tool, similar to Supermetrics—it gives data integrations from various channels.

The main difference between Supermetrics and Stitch is that Stitch does not support moving data to Google Sheets, Data Studio, or Excel. They primarily focus on data warehouses and data lakes. Another difference between Supermetrics and Stitch is that Stitch is primarily made for tech and data teams, not for marketing teams and agencies, so it’s not as easy to use and doesn’t support many popular marketing platforms. 

On the other hand, we built Supermetrics with marketers and agencies in mind. So with Supermetrics, we can confidently state that we’ll be able to support all your use cases as a marketer. 

But, choosing the right one for your company isn’t straightforward, given the common core function of automating data processing and analysis.

Let’s look at some important parameters to compare Supermetrics with Stitch:

  1. Data sources
  2. Data destinations
  3. Scalability
  4. Usability
  5. Pricing

Stitch vs. Supermetrics: data sources

The platforms, or integrations, allowing users to pull data for analysis or further processing are called data source connectors.

When assessing data source connectors, ask yourself these two main questions: what platforms can I pull data from, and can the platform scale with my company’s growth?

What platforms can I pull data from?

Supermetrics and Stitch offer ETL—extract, transform, load—capabilities and a range of data source connectors, from paid media to sales data.

Most of the platforms covered by Supermetrics fall into these categories:

  • Paid media—Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and TikTok Ads
  • Web analytics—Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics
  • Social media—Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
  • SEO—Google Search Console, Google My Business, and Ahrefs
  • Ecommerce·Shopify, Klaviyo, and Stripe
  • Mobile and app analytics—Apple Public Data and Adjust data
  • Email Marketing—Mailchimp
  • CRM—Salesforce, HubSpot, and CallRail

Stitch may have more connectors, but they’re not designed for marketers and marketing agencies. So, Stitch is missing many popular marketing platforms like Apple Ads, Twitter Ads, TikTok Ads, Yahoo Ads, Adobe Analytics, and Ahrefs. This makes it difficult to use and may not meet all needs. 

Let’s look at some of the popular data source connectors that are missing with Stitch:

supermetrics vs stitch: marketing connector comparison

Additionally, if you look at Stitch’s data sources, almost half of them are ‘Community-Supported’ sources meaning they’re available via a third-party community called the Singer Community. Simply, all the connectors marked as ‘Community-Supported’ are written by the open-source Singer Community and aren’t supported by Stitch’s Support team. 

Supermetrics is built specifically for marketers and supports various marketing use cases. We build all the connectors in-house to maintain consistent quality and offer the most fields from each data source, allowing you to analyze your data more thoroughly every time.

Do we support your data source?

Check out all the data sources you can integrate with Supermetrics

Check them out

New data source development

For developing new data sources with Stitch, you need to either develop it yourself or use the Singer Community and wait for them to develop it.

But, Supermetrics listens to customer feedback and incorporates it into our roadmap, so you can be confident that we’ll meet your needs. To make it easier for you to submit a connector request, you can instantly check the roadmap to see if the connector you’re looking for is under development. Otherwise, you can submit your request here.

“Supermetrics has that hungry attitude of striving to be as useful as possible while listening to customers’ feedback.”
Sam Caesar, Search Account Manager, Sleeping Giant Media

We develop and add new data sources regularly, so you don’t need to worry about finding other ways to integrate them.

Stitch vs. Supermetrics: data destinations

A data destination is a platform where you can bring all your data from the data sources to process, analyze, and use it further.

Every organization has its tech stack, and sometimes when using a new platform, you need to learn the platform first, which isn’t as easy as using your current tools. That’s why it’s a very important aspect to know where you can finally move or store your data.

Where can I move my data?

In addition to moving data to data storage platforms—data warehouses and data lakes—like to Stitch, with Supermetrics, you can also move your data from 90+ marketing channels to almost any destination you or your team are using like spreadsheets, visualization, and BI tools.

Supermetrics data sources and destinations

On the other hand, Stitch offers data transfers to only eight data lakes, warehouses, and storage platforms as data destinations.

So if you’re looking to automate your reports to Google Data Studio or get all the data to Google Sheets, Excel, or Tableau for further analysis, then it’s not possible with Stitch. You’ll always have to store your data first in a data warehouse or another data storage platform—and only then can you move your data further to an analytics tool, dashboard, or visualization platform.

How can I use my data for analysis?

With Supermetrics, you have the freedom to move and centralize your data depending on what suits your needs. You can move it into a spreadsheet if you need to analyze a specific dataset. If you need to create performance monitoring dashboards and reports, you can use Google Data Studio. If you need to build a centralized repository of all your historical marketing data, you can use BigQuery.

On the other hand, as Stitch can only transfer your data to storage platforms, it’s difficult to only analyze a small chunk of data without going through the entire transfer process. Simply, you should add your data to your storage platform every time you need to analyze something.

But with Supermetrics, you can preview your live data before sending it to a storage platform, helping you increase your confidence that you’re pulling the correct information and the data is accurate. There are almost limitless ways to use Supermetrics depending on where you’re pulling data from and where you’re pulling it to without worrying about security and ownership.

Struggling with data integration?

Learn how to centralize your marketing data with an integration strategy

Read more

Stitch vs. Supermetrics: scalability

As your company grows, so do your data needs and analytics maturity.

You might start by creating simple marketing reports for your clients and managers or build easy-to-understand dashboards to monitor performance. As you become more analytically advanced, that may evolve into deeper analysis in spreadsheets or more complex reports that blend large datasets from multiple platforms. 

You might outgrow spreadsheets as a data repository and look for something more suitable, like a marketing data warehouse. At the same time, you’ll be able to move from restrictive and descriptive analytics toward predictive and prescriptive analytics.

We refer to this evolution as marketing analytics maturity.

Marketing analytics maturity model. Lagging, developing, expanding, leading.

How does each solution scale with you?

At Supermetrics, we understand that data integration needs are not static. Data complexity grows with your business, especially for sales and marketing data.

Our solutions keep pace as your needs change, going from spreadsheets and data visualization tools to data warehouses and data lakes. We have the right data delivery solution for your needs, no matter where you are on your data journey.

On the other hand, with Stitch, you can only move your data to a data warehouse or data lake, which might not always be your team needs.

“For us, growth is at the foundation of everything we do. It’s our purpose, and Supermetrics is a product that’s helped that. No doubt about that.”
Ben Fitzpatrick, Head of Strategy, Webprofits

In terms of scale, Supermetrics is significantly larger than Stitch. Supermetrics has 17,000+ customers—and over 700k users—but Stitch only has around 3,000 customers. Due to its many customers, Supermetrics gets the privilege of learning from a much broader client base enabling it to make informed decisions on product development.

And with a large customer base, we also have the experience of working with various use cases. It’s likely we’ve worked on similar cases to yours before at Supermetrics, especially with marketing and sales teams.

Data integration doesn’t have to be complicated

Learn what it is and why you should care

Learn more

Stitch vs. Supermetrics: usability

Supermetrics allows users to modify, map, correct, and transform the data extracted from sources without storing it on third-party servers. You can also perform all data transformations during the data transfer.

Supermetrics offers many destinations to move your data, but to narrow down the comparison, let’s just look at data lakes and data warehouses, as that’s what Stitch offers. The main difference between Supermetrics and Stitch is that Supermetrics gives data in a wide, denormalized format with no nested fields, while Stitch gives data in a normalized format.

To explain briefly, normalization is a technique that aims to remove redundant data and guarantee logical data storage. When designing databases, the normalization process breaks up large tables into smaller ones and connects them using relationships.

Denormalization is the opposite of normalization when redundancy is purposefully added to the data to enhance the functionality of the particular application and data integrity. Since more joins might slow down the process, denormalization minimizes both the number of tables and the complexity of table joins.

​​Graphical user interface, application. Join configuration details from Google Data Studio including join conditions.

Since we offer access to many popular data sources, we’ve included standard schemas to get you up to speed with your data storage integration 

Essentially, a standard schema is a set of metrics and dimensions that you can use to analyze data. With Supermetrics, all the standard schemas are developed based on extensive research and customer feedback.

But if the standard schemas don’t fit your needs, then you can always create custom schemas for total freedom in your data extractions.

Custom schemas

Learn how to create custom schemas for BigQuery

Learn more

Here’s what Jack Giddens, Head of Biddable at Katté & Co. had to say about maintaining their data with Stitch and BigQuery:

“We used Stitch for about six to eight months and had all our clients on it. But, it was very hard to maintain as it was a very bare-bones solution. Since it’s built more for developers, there was a lot to do behind the scenes to make sure the data was usable. We had to deduplicate all our data in BigQuery daily, which started to become challenging, especially since we had to do that in the backend for 30+ clients across five data sources.” 

Since Stitch isn’t built for marketers and agencies, and as it connects to data warehouses and data lakes only, it needs some technical expertise from a developer or an analyst to configure and manage it.

Stitch vs. Supermetrics: pricing

There’s only one thing in common between the Supermetrics and Stitch pricing models: we both offer a 14-day free trial.

Other than the free trial, though, Stitch has three pricing models, out of which only one of them has pricing mentioned on the website. The pricing structure that Stitch offers is usage-based. So their standard plan starts at $100 per month and goes up to $1,250 per month depending on the usage or number of rows queried.

As the price increases with the number of rows, it makes it very unpredictable for the users to understand how much they will pay. So you might end up paying a lot more than you initially planned.

Unpredictable pricing makes it very hard to forecast a budget and might make you cautious with the amount of data you’re pulling and potentially missing out on valuable insights.

Contrary to this, Supermetrics offers several plans from which you can select the right one for your business needs.

“Over the years, I’ve periodically vetted alternatives for contingency planning purposes, and all other similar solutions are either too expensive, have many features we don’t need or require developer time.”
Josh Brisco, VP of Growth, Tinuiti

With Supermetrics, you get fixed-fee pricing, so you always know what you’ll pay and what the package includes. There are no surprise fees or surges in price due to increased usage or credit systems.

Summary

To summarize all the points we covered above, both Supermetrics and Stitch are good tools for data pipelines, depending on what you’re looking for.

Suppose you’re looking for a solution based on an open-source connector tool to transfer your data from data sources to a data warehouse or data lake, and you don’t have to worry about the solution’s scaling, ease of use, or predictable pricing structure, then, Stitch might be a good tool for you.

But if you’re looking for a data pipeline that’s built specifically for marketers, which can cater to almost all of your marketing needs, allows you to transfer data to various destinations, including BI tools and spreadsheets, and can also give you a predictable pricing structure then Supermetrics might be a better fit for you. To see Supermetrics in action, start your 14-day free trial now.

Comparison table between Supermetrics and Stitch.

About the author

Isha is a Junior Demand Gen Manager at Supermetrics. Isha loves to uncover the meaning behind data and helps customers understand the importance of data-driven marketing.

The post Stitch vs. Supermetrics: a comparison guide appeared first on Supermetrics.

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Introducing One-Click Access to all Admitad Publishers for Tapfiliate Users

Tapfiliate is excited to announce that we have a new integration with Admitad Partner Network to help you make the publisher recruitment process maximally seamless and easy.

Place your Tapfiliate program into Admitad Store and access 100 000+ active publishers who generated $ 11B+ gross merchandise value in 2021 with different business models, like cashback and coupon services, search engines, subnetworks, influencer and content creators, youtube bloggers, content websites, and other services.

We are so pumped that this integration will drive more revenue for your business. So, what benefits will you get?

  • With Admitad Partner Network, you get access to 100+K publishers ready to spread the word about you and drive more traffic to your website. This way, the affiliate recruitment process has become almost seamless.
  • You can keep track of your Admitad campaign right in your Tapfiliate account. So, there is no need to create additional profiles or log in elsewhere. All necessary statistics will be displayed in one place.
  • Quick and easy connect - all you need to do to start promoting your business with Admitad Partner Network is to be subscribed to one of Tapfiliat’s plans.

How does it work?

The integration process itself is very simple:

  • First, click the “Connect to Admitad” button in your Tapfiliate account.
  • Then, fill in a short form and confirm the program creation. That’s it!
  • Our team will process your request, which takes no more than 24 hours.
  • Once your program status is changed to “Active,” affiliates will be free to join the program and start promoting your brand, products, or services to their audience.

How can it meet your needs?

If you are already running a successful affiliate program with the Tapfiliate software, the integration with Admitad Partner Network will help you improve its exposure to drive even more revenue.

If you are making your first steps in affiliate marketing and struggling to find new partners, the integration will become a fantastic solution. It will get you connected to an army of influencers, bloggers, and all types of content creators ready to promote you.

Have more questions? Here’s the complete guide on how you can connect your Tapfiliate account with Admitad Partner Network, written by our professional customer support team.

We hope you will appreciate all the advantages the integration offers to help you get the most out of your affiliate marketing.

Stay tuned!

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Key hard and soft product manager skills: what the experts think are underrated (and overrated)

A lot is written on the breadth of the product manager’s role. PMs are responsible for so many things that the full extent of their job is often hard to define. As the scope of every product is so different — a one-size-fits-all approach is impossible. Every PM develops a distinct set of skills, drawing from their experience and personal qualities.

But for those who want to improve as a PM (and anyone entering this demanding field for the first time), the question remains: what skills to focus on?

With this article, we aim to shine a light on this topic. Let’s take a look at the specific hard and soft skills that successful product managers leverage to lead cross-functional teams and deliver competitive products. 

What is a product manager?

A product manager is a leader without direct authority that oversees a multidisciplinary team that develops and supports a product.

A “product” is a general term that refers to anything from software, websites, and service to physical items like pieces of equipment. Although the technology and process vary across industries, a product is something that satisfies a user’s need.

The typical job description of a product manager looks something like this: a professional that is responsible for the entire lifecycle of the product — from development and market positioning to its eventual success. PMs create product roadmaps, oversee the backlog, work with customer feedback, and implement sales and marketing strategies.

It’s important to note that a product manager is different from a project manager, even though both roles are often abbreviated as “PM.” The former focuses on product strategy, while the latter is in charge of more tactical decisions. 

Simply put, the product manager owns the vision of the product. They have a complete understanding of the problems the product solves, including how it makes the user’s life better. It’s not uncommon to hear a product manager referred to as “the CEO of the product.”

With the definitions out of the way, let’s explore the skills that define a great product manager in today’s workplace. 

Indispensable hard and soft skills 

Product management is a challenging field. A PM has to understand the needs of the users and balance them with the capabilities of the engineering team. Depending on the stage of the product life-cycle, the priorities and day-to-day activities of a product manager are very different.

What skills are truly indispensable? We asked the experts.

Research skills, data literacy, and critical thinking

A product manager’s job often involves coming up with a robust strategy, and the only way to do this consistently is by relying on data.

Both quantitative and qualitative research methods come in handy and form the backbone of future product decisions, like the introduction of new features to address specific customer needs or alterations to the user experience to address reoccurring issues.

If you want to know more about the difference between qualitative and quantitative research methods, check out this article.

Many experts agree — knowing how to apply analytical thinking to remain ahead of the curve is a crucial skill for a PM:

For a product manager to truly excel, a key skill they must develop is “the ability to tackle problems at scale.”

In other words, they can’t just solve the problem that they’re immediately faced with. Rather, they need to look for opportunities to solve “the problem behind the problem” in a way that unlocks exponential impact for their company.

Clement Kao, Founder of Product Teacher

I’d say that critical thinking sets great product managers apart. It sets the basis for asking the right questions. Critical thinking implies you question anything and you always look to validate or invalidate hypotheses through data analysis.

Claudiu Murariu, Founder of InnerTrends

Dealing with a constant stream of information from customers and stakeholders requires research skills coupled with problem-solving. The product manager can verify it, get the necessary context, and understand the “why” behind it. 

Time management and prioritization

Product managers are in charge of roadmaps and feature prioritization. This means that time management, organizational skills, and ensuring that all specialists have everything they require is paramount.

In smaller companies, product managers often take on some of the responsibilities of a product owner, taking charge of the backlog and working on the nitty-gritty of the development process.

A big part of this skill is knowing how to say no. For a typical product manager, marking everything as “done” in the to-do list is an unattainable dream. Something always has priority over something else. There is always one more thing.

That said, a good product manager must know what to prioritize and what to sacrifice. Otherwise, they risk taking on Sisyphus’s struggle, trying to accomplish the impossible.

And organizational skills are just a piece of the puzzle here. Ownership of the product and the roadmap, clear planning, and efficient communication — it all helps manage the expectations of stakeholders and keeps the process running like a well-oiled machine.

Industry knowledge

A PM must understand the market and all aspects of the development process like the back of their hand. Product managers work with a diverse team of professionals. Without understanding underlying business processes, it’s impossible to leverage their unique skills and experience. 

A solid grasp of market research and the ability to analyze the work of competitors — and learn from it — can make or break a product manager’s career.  

Product managers should have extensive business knowledge. They should grasp how funding, profitability, and cash flow affect product development.

Skilled product managers can swiftly evaluate [if] a product idea has commercial potential.

David Bitton, Co-Founder and CMO at DoorLoop

Mastery of marketing

A product can be built on cutting-edge tech and push the boundaries of innovation, but if it doesn’t sell — it’s a failure. Marketing knowledge is key to avoiding this fate.

Even though it’s not the singular focus of a product manager (after all, it’s often the job of a product marketing manager), an understanding of market positioning and focus on commercial performance greatly contributes to the success of a product. 

The ability to market and deliver products and services is a must-have for a product manager. Create price frameworks, establish product launch strategies, and learn to adapt to shifting demand.

Lachlan de Crespigny, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Revelo

Interpersonal skills: not talked about enough  

People skills are hard to define, assess, and put on resumes. But for a person that has to work with engineers, marketers, and C-level executives, communication isn’t simply “a nice to have.” A big part of a product manager’s job involves balancing the interests of stakeholders, resolving conflicts, promoting cooperation, and steering teams toward success.

Mental fortitude and confidence are also hard to quantify but are immensely beneficial, as the role of PM comes with plenty of stress, responsibility, and — very often — adversity.

Yes, product managers must prioritize tasks and deadlines and manage development, but when the engineering team isn’t on board with the process — for example, if they don’t adhere to deadlines or aren’t transparent with their workflow — then it’s the product manager’s responsibility to handle it in a way that is acceptable for all parties.

Many PMs work closely with founders and CTOs, and have to work with their ideas and feedback, incorporating their vision of the product into their own.

A product manager who doesn’t possess empathy and doesn’t know how to be diplomatic will have a hard time navigating these challenges. Some founders, like Jane Portman, CEO of Userlist, consider communication skills to be absolutely critical for the product manager’s job.

The number one skill is the ability to read between the lines when it comes to people’s motivation and needs. Not just with customers but also with stakeholders and team members. The entire profession is about understanding and satisfying human needs.

Jane Portman, the Co-founder and CEO of Userlist

Communication is the most important skill for a [PM] to have to help them excel. [As PMs] work with multiple other departments and therefore need to be able to communicate updates, changes, and feedback with at least a few other leaders and employees. The better the product manager’s communication skills are, the more success they’ll have at getting the results they want, especially when communicating changes with the product that needs to be approved by other departments.

Logan Mallory, VP of Marketing at Motivosity

Leadership is another valuable quality that PMs should possess, as they rely on rapport rather than authority to convey their vision. A big part of working with developers is knowing how to motivate team members and explain why specific changes must be implemented. In a way, it requires product managers to translate customer needs into a language technical professionals understand.

An empathic PM, who pays close attention to team members, is able to spot the signs that something is wrong before the worst happens. The ability to remove obstacles and support people when needed is like a secret weapon in the arsenal of any successful PM.

Valuable (but possibly overvalued) product manager skills

A product manager’s role is complex and multifaceted. While many skills and competencies can give a PM an advantage, in reality, no one is equally well-versed in everything. 

Some skills that were considered absolutely necessary in the past can be substituted with modern software tools in today’s workplace.

SQL used to be something every PM had to know (accessing and filtering data, understanding simple and compound queries, and just knowing how databases are populated), yet its importance has declined over the years.

In the past, this skill was highly valuable because there weren’t great tools out there to be able to visualize the answer to complex questions. Product managers who knew how to write their own queries could quickly jump ahead of competitors because they weren’t bottlenecked by the limitations of traditional business intelligence (BI) tools.

However, today there are so many tools that enable people to answer data-informed questions without needing to know how to write in the specific syntax for a particular data query language.
For example, product managers can use tools (…) to quickly vet hypotheses and identify current behavioral trends, all without writing queries in SQL.

Clement Kao, Founder of Product Teacher

In short, while product managers certainly benefit from SQL knowledge, not having it is no longer a deal-breaker.

UX knowledge is also extremely valuable, but as the leader of a team of highly specialized professionals, there is often more value in entrusting it to a teammate.

Among the overrated skills, probably design and UX chops. Sure, it’s amazing if your product manager can produce pretty mockups, but they’ll be just fine delegating this to a UX professional.

Jane Portman, the Co-founder and CEO of Userlist

Certainly, a capable product manager must have a good feeling for the user experience, but it’s totally fine to focus on decision-making based on the schematics and wireframes prepared by a qualified colleague. 

A business degree, like an MBA, is a popular requirement for PMs that doesn’t always directly translate into success. Plenty of specialists excel in product roles, relying on their understanding of user needs and practical experience in fields related to the product they are working on.

However, there are certain advantages that come with business education: basic knowledge of commerce and project management, as well as connections that can prove very useful down the line — and that’s just to name a few.

Specialized technical knowledge definitely helps communicate effectively with the development team. A PM who knows how the product is built and is familiar with development methodologies, like Agile or Waterfall, knows for a fact what the engineers are capable of. These product managers have the hard skills required to back up their product vision and can anticipate the time frame and complexity of implementation of a new feature or functionality.

That said, overreliance on the technical intricacies of software (or hardware) development can lead you down a slippery slope. Consider the now legendary example of Juicero — a team of experts who produced a machine that was as over-engineered as it was unnecessary.

At the end of the day, regardless of background — whether they come from computer science, sales, or management — a product manager’s job is to put the interests and problems of the end-user before anything else. 

Nick Caldwell put it nicely in his 2019 interview for Product school. When talking about engineers moving to PM roles, he said:

The biggest stumbling block by far is over-emphasis on software architecture. Which is understandable. As engineers, we start our careers thinking about building fast and performant systems. But most users don’t care about how things are built; they only care about whether their problems are getting solved.

Every product manager’s objective 

The long and short of it is that product managers have a lot on their plate, but all this work is for the benefit of the end-user. A product is there to make somebody’s life a little easier. And delivering a product is never a job for just one person — it’s a team effort.

Every new product on the market (any market) only has value if it addresses customer needs. Delivering this value is the main responsibility of every product manager. It’s the main focus of the job.

The best product managers I know don’t rely on tech skills. They don’t code. Instead, they know how to tell a story. This capacity for storytelling allows them to communicate the needs of the customer to the teams, and bring maximum value to the end-users. 

Love for the end-customer is what makes them so successful.

Claudiu Murariu, Founder of InnerTrends

Product manager connects development, UX, and commerce, keeps it together, and unites all teams involved in the process behind a singular vision. At the end of the day, every PM has a unique blend of competencies.

If you want to learn how a product manager’s skills translate into a scope of work and a specific framework, read this article about product manager workflows.

Nikita Baydyuk

Nikita Baydyuk

is a content writer at Smartlook. He is passionate about technology, startups, and marketing.

The post Key hard and soft product manager skills: what the experts think are underrated (and overrated) appeared first on Smartlook Blog.

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Growth marketing 101: the basics of marketing experiments

Growth marketing is the next marketing frontier. Through frequent testing, quick learning, and effective adaption, it produces sustainable and replicable marketing activities. Additionally, growth marketing focuses on retention and engagements within the customer base.

In this article, we’ll show you the basics of growth marketing and how to get started with testing and experiments.

Skip ahead: 

Why is growth marketing trending

Growth marketing has been around for a while, but most marketers now aim to test and improve marketing activities in their everyday job.

Sean Ellis' blog Startup Marketing article Find a Growth Hacker for Your Startup from July 26, 2010.

Lately, growth marketing—as a core part of the marketing strategy—has attracted more attention, and it’s now one of the most trusted ways of marketing.

By ensuring that every step of the customer journey benefits them, a growth marketer supports building long and valuable customer relationships.

As important as good tools and a strategic plan are for success—it’s also about collaborating with teams inside and outside marketing. A growth marketer identifies and includes the stakeholders needed during the process. On top of marketing, other teams to include in growth are sales, customer experience, customer support, product, and finance.

By acknowledging customer touchpoints through the entire sales funnel, growth marketers can also detect collaboration points. When reporting results, including stakeholders, pays off. Open communication and transparency increase awareness about marketing and lead to new testing areas and a deeper understanding of your customers.

How to get started with marketing experimentation

Decide what you want to test

Sometimes, a business challenge or a new concept gives you the scope. Sometimes the growth team decides on the scope. Scoping the experiment clearly and starting with smaller goals will give you better insights and help scale.

Find out the needed resources and agree on the schedule

Before starting, make sure that the needed resources are available. This helps a lot in the later stages and also keeps the schedule running smoothly. When different teams agree on the test plan and plan the schedule well, the execution flows, and you can focus on optimizing and learning.

Just get started

Be curious, and be patient. When receiving results—even if they’re not what you wished for—take the time to review and document insights. This is where the magic happens.

Systematic testing 

Ideas usually come up pretty easily when discussing the topic of experimentation. Testing a subject line for an email or the website’s visual appearance can quickly be brainstormed with various approaches. Ideas are always valuable, and you should store them in a backlog for later.

The first thing is still to draw long-term goals for your experiments. What do you want to achieve with these tests? How are you going to use the results? Make the goal simple and clear. With that goal in mind, it’s easier to start going through the following steps.

Growth experiment testing cycle

Plan and hypothesize

Considering the bigger goal you want to achieve is a starting point for testing in general. Answering the following questions can help get started: 

  • Why are you doing this test?
  • What would you like to know?
  • What do you assume will happen as a result of these tests?* 
  • Who should be informed about the results?
  • What are you going to do with the results?

Answering these questions creates the hypothesis* and long-term goals. Based on those, you can plan concrete tests and variations. Growth marketing teams’ strength and value come from creative minds working together and producing out-of-the-box ideas for all customer journey stages. The team can be split between stages and have some experts working purely for the top of the funnel and others around onboarding. The other option is to have everybody work on all the stages individually. 

Brainstorming will bring many different ideas, but you can’t do them all. As part of planning, rate the ideas by their business impact, ease of implementation, and your confidence in the test’s success. The rating will give you a clearer timeline and order for the different test variations. It’s also valuable to have multiple variations for the same step, as it’s probable that not all tests bring significant results.

How to test ecommerce campaigns

Listen to our podcast episode with Colby Flood

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Setup and experiment

Scheduling experiments to run long enough to be statistically significant can be reflected in estimating the target group size. Before starting to experiment, making sure of a few things can save a lot of pain when you’re reporting:

  • Can you tell where the results are coming from based on your setup? 
  • Do you have a clear control variable for your test?
  • Are the test variations different enough?
  • How many things have you changed at the same time?

Having an understanding of the base level results will help you analyze. When starting a test, monitoring the results helps you stop the variations with really poor results and minimize business impact. Here also lies the best learning. Looking into why the results dropped so significantly can give you great learnings quickly.

Analyze and optimize

As the tests run, optimizing them can bring the uplift needed. Stopping the poor-performing tests is the first step, but taking the learnings into action is the next.

There’ll also be a lot of tests with no significant results at all. Reviewing and tweaking them for reuse is highly recommended.

Learn how to run marketing experiments

Practical lessons from four marketing leaders

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When there’s a test with excellent results, spend time with the results. Did the customer from this test react differently to your content or sections on your page? Does the conversion flow have different steps than the average customer? How has your ad copy affected the reader’s behavior while on the page, as well as after they leave?

Going back to the hypothesis and reviewing the results against it gives a possibility to gain many insights. If the confidence against the hypothesis was high and the results returned quite the opposite,  there could be something you don’t know about your customers yet or a blindspot in your customer journey.

Learn and scale

When there’s a learning with really good and statistically significant results, review the marketing activities through different channels and find similar places where your result can be scaled.

When experiments are increasing in number and variations, you should have good documentation from the start. Learning and gaining insight happen while testing, but bringing the results in documentation allows the team to retrospect and share the knowledge with different stakeholders. Having the documentation helps with consistency and long-term goal follow-ups.

The bare minimum you should document includes your hypothesis, channel, timeline, results, and conclusions when reporting and documenting your test results. If the key learnings or conclusions seem hard to come up with, there are different techniques to help this part. One example is to go through the results and stop on each to ask, “But why did this happen?”. The answer might be the key learning that’s hidden in the numbers.

Want to increase your customer reviews?

Check out how to ask customers for reviews—and how we got to the G2 Top 100

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Build your growth strategy and select the right tools

A well-structured set of tools helps become an efficient and powerful growth team. Visualize the strategy so that anyone from any function gets what you’re aiming for.

Example of a growth marketing strategy

Visualizing the growth team’s long-term goals helps communication within the company.

When starting a bigger test, have the team fill out a doc or spreadsheet including the key elements: goal, hypothesis, target group, budget, resources, and responsible people. After that, the goal for the testing is clear and agreed upon within the team. Ideation is focused on a common problem for the whole team to solve. For collecting ideas, the team can use, for example, post-its, spreadsheets, or whiteboards. You can do the rating on the same platform.

Mari Luukkainen leading a growth session at Icebreaker.vc

After the tests are scheduled, executed, and reported on, finding a place to store the key insights is important. A wiki full of good learnings is a valuable vault of knowledge. When a good finding leads to scaling, the team can collect the scaled activities and calculate the estimated business value of these changes to report them forward.

As the key learnings are the most valuable outcome of experimentation, ensuring that the reporting focuses on them is critical. Automating as many reports from the channels and connecting them to KPIs saves time for analyzing. It saves you time getting insights and planning the next steps.

What should you track?

Check out the top 15 growth metrics for acquiring leads and converting them into sales

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As a growth marketer always aiming for the most efficient and outperforming results, automating your reports saves not just time, but ensures accuracy. It ensures you calculate the metrics similarly, not depending on the person creating the report. If you’re looking for inspiration for your automated reports, check our reporting templates here.

Putting it all together

When summing up the key elements of growth marketing, these are the steps to success:

  1. Planning both strategy and concrete testing properly, take your time—it’ll pay off later
  2. Keep an eye on your active experiments and make changes if necessary
  3. Analyze the results and make the next steps using these results as a base
  4. Communicate your results—his way, your learnings spread across the company
  5. Keep your eyes and ears open for the next business case—it can also be outside marketing
  6. Work together with your stakeholders and value the feedback you receive—growth marketers should spread their nets wide

And lastly.

Trusting the company’s marketing in the hands of a growth marketer can be uneasy at first, as the testing method also requires failing. In the end, everything pays off, and the results include both happy customers and efficient and powerful marketing. Being curious and patient during the process leads to the best outcome—as they say, getting started gets you started. Good luck!

Keep reading

Learnings from top growth marketers to help you handle your next growth challenge

Read now

About the author

Minna is a Senior Growth Marketing Manager at Supermetrics. As a growth marketer at heart, she helps different functions inside the organization to solve their business problems and enjoys the time experimenting with new ideas. She has a background in retail and travel, where she has covered multiple marketing roles.

The post Growth marketing 101: the basics of marketing experiments appeared first on Supermetrics.

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Choosing the best social media platform for affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is on the rise, with spending predicted to reach $8.2 billion in 2022

As a result, everyone from big businesses with an online presence to the mommy blogger next door is chasing after a piece of the pie.

Whether you’re an influencer, a small business, or your website already receives 100,000 monthly visitors, affiliate marketing is an excellent way of making extra money or even doubling your income.

And you don’t have to start a blog, learn about SEO, invest in email marketing services, or battle the Google algorithm to have a shot at success, either. 

It can be as simple as building a modest—but loyal—following on social media.

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How to choose the best social media affiliate marketing platform

Picking out the right social media channel comes down to relevance. You need to match the affiliate product with the right audience. If you’re promoting Supermetrics, you might not find the most relevant audience on TikTok, for example. So, here’s how you can start narrowing down the best platforms for you:

1. Hang out where your audience does

If you want to be successful at affiliate marketing, you can’t just rely on people to come to you. You have to be intentional and strategic about showcasing your affiliate products or services to your audience, and the best way to do so is to meet them where they already are.

There are countless social media platforms for you to use, but you’ll never find success by experimenting on every single one.

While you might think you’d want to establish a presence everywhere possible, you’ll have much better luck focusing your efforts on the few that one, most people are using and two, your audience is on.

To start, take a look at this graph that ranks social media platforms by their usage:

list of most used social media platforms by marketers

As you can see, Facebook is the most used of the platforms by most marketers, so it should be in your top three priorities. However, if you have a younger audience who likely uses Instagram more than Facebook, that high ranking doesn’t automatically make it your number one choice.

2. Learn the features and limitations of each

The next step to narrowing down your list of platform choices is eliminating the ones that don’t include the features you need.

Think about what you’d need in a social media platform, or what you’d like most. For example, if your business does better by posting long-form content or informational social media posts, Twitter—which limits the number of characters you can use drastically—probably isn’t the best choice.

Or maybe Instagram’s story feature bumps it up on your list because you like the idea of being able to interact with your audience via mentions, tags, and UGC—user-generated content.

Finally, you should also research each platform’s rules and restrictions when it comes to advertising and affiliate marketing. Although similar, none are created equal, which means certain activities that are allowed on one platform could be prohibited on another.

Plus, the type of product you’re promoting might also restrict your social media advertising liberties.

For example, wellness supplements are strictly regulated and must abide by specific wording. Affiliates need to avoid making health claims. This can make marketing on short-form content platforms like Snapchat and Twitter more difficult than Instagram and Facebook, which allows for lengthier posts.

3. Determine how you’re going to promote affiliate links first

A content strategy is absolutely essential to the success of any social media or affiliate marketing plan. So before deciding which platform to use, determine what kind of content you want to post and which types of advertising campaigns if any, you plan to run.

This will narrow down your list even further. You’ll have to research the trends and restrictions of each platform, some of which won’t align well with your content goals.

The type of brand you are will also drastically affect your content strategy and the ways you can succeed in promoting affiliate links. For example, influencers whose entire presence revolves around social media will have starkly different experiences and needs than a company or small business whose traffic comes from organic search or paid ads.

Types of promotion on social media

There are two major types of promotion on social media, similar to search traffic: organic and paid.

By producing content and publishing it to your public pages, you’re creating organic content that’s discoverable because you’ve strategically followed the laws of an algorithm and optimized it, such as through the use of hashtags. You’ll also be saving money on ad spending.

And of course, you can also run paid ads that direct traffic to any post or webpage. However, this requires much more time invested into researching the guidelines of each platform as well as analyzing risk vs. reward. For example, if an ad campaign falls flat, you’ve lost money and time.

If you own a website, you could direct visitors down a sales funnel that leads them to a blog post of yours that contains your affiliate links. So, an informative Instagram post could lead to a blog post that covers the topic in more detail and includes your relevant affiliate links.

From there, you can also try and convert visitors to subscribers via an opt-in form. This way your efforts have much more long-term value since your weekly email blast to these new subscribers could include affiliate links, promotions, and product updates.

This is a good route to explore if you are considering paid ads on social media. Linking directly to an affiliate product via a paid ad will normally not give you a very good ROI so you have to consider the money you are investing and make sure you profiting from that investment in paid ads.

Social media affiliate marketing: which platform should you use?

Still haven’t made a choice? Let’s take a deeper look into some of the most popular social media platforms and how you can use them for affiliate marketing.

Facebook

One of the oldest, yet still the most used. While not as popular with the younger generation, Facebook’s user base is still active as ever.

In April 2022 alone, Facebook saw over 2.9 billion active users, which of course, awarded it first place. It’s also estimated that 37% of the entire globe has a Facebook account and for three months leading up to April, its user base grew by about 24 million each month.

It’s easy to see why Facebook is on many affiliate marketers’ lists of priorities. With such a large audience, you can reach a significant portion of the globe with just one viral post. But when it comes to affiliate marketing, there are a few guidelines to abide by.

Always disclose posts with affiliate links

You should never sneak in affiliate links without adding a disclaimer somewhere in the content that it contains one (or more), especially because product endorsements are regulated by the  Federal Trade Commission (FTC). However, if you’ve been in the affiliate marketing world for any length of time, you’re likely already familiar with this golden rule.

Customize your links to be short and trustworthy

Long links with loads of special characters and “code-looking” language appear shady, which could lead to your viewers thinking its a spam.

Most affiliate platforms allow you to customize your links, but if yours doesn’t, consider using a link masking plugin like Prettylinks, which is available on WordPress.

Take advantage of Facebook groups

Finally, a feature that sets Facebook miles apart from the other platforms is groups. And as an affiliate marketer, you NEED to take advantage of Facebook groups.

Join several groups that are highly relative to your niche, and you’ve already got potentially thousands of leads (or, people who would instantly be interested in your affiliate products). Of course, be sure to review group guidelines, as some may not allow the promotion of products or any links at all.

Instagram

Facebook’s trendier, younger, more colorful sibling, Instagram is the perfect platform for independent creators or brands with audiences who love consuming aesthetic content and multi-media.

Instagram has rolled out many new features over the past few years, including the addition of stories, reels, and IGTV. This allows for limitless amounts of content creation when compared to platforms like Facebook.

Not only that, but Instagram is already a popular platform for affiliate marketing, as anyone with over a couple of thousand followers seems to have links and discount codes to products in their niche.

Example of affiliate marketing on Instagram

For example, take a look at this post created by The Anna Edit, who’s advertising for the Armani Beauty. She has added a paid partnership tag to indicate that she is earning money through the post and has monetized her links using RewardStyle.

If it has made it to your top list of social media platforms, there are a few tips you should implement to make the most out of your Instagram affiliate marketing efforts.

First, do everything you can to make user-generated content (UGC). This is content made by fans and followers that you can easily reshare and is basically an online form of word-of-mouth marketing.

You can do this by keeping a close watch for mentions and tags, as well as inspiring your followers to create UGC by hosting giveaways, competitions, and other incentives.

Second, take advantage of ALL the features Instagram has to offer. Your content strategy should include as many forms as possible, from regular Instagram posts to reels, IGTV videos, stories, and even live streams. The more forms of media you offer, the wider your reach can get.

Lastly, consider collaborating with other influencers. Even if not to promote the product directly! Simply working with other brands or public figures on the platform can earn you loads more followers, as their fans would already be interested in what you have to offer. Considering you’re in the same industry—which you should be!.

Twitter

Twitter is for those who can make a point in just a few words and who thrive off of humor.

It’s not for the faint of heart, and it can be a powerful tool for brands and figures who wants the public perception of them to be humorous, witty, and to the point.

And since Twitter limits its users to just 280 characters, you kind of have to be.

One of the biggest tips for finding success on this ever-growing platform is strategically using hashtags.

Conversations happen on Twitter through hashtags, and they have the power to bring you thousands of views, new followers, and leads. Find trending tags and jump on the bandwagon, or simply do some research to find the most highly used tags in your niche.

Second, post a LOT—and not about your affiliate links.

Your followers won’t buy anything if you haven’t given them valid reasons to trust or like you. Plus, an increase in posting frequency almost always equates to an increase in followers. And the best part is that creating content on this platform takes no time at all.

Snapchat

Snapchat might be one of the hardest platforms to gain a following on, but its users are highly engaged.

The difficulty of growing a following on this platform is that most people use it primarily for keeping up with family and friends rather than following influencers (and even less so, brands). You’ll likely find the most success in referring your followers from one of your other social profiles to your Snapchat, but the silver lining is that those who do subscribe are way more likely to engage with your content.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, you should first and foremost create high-quality content that’s authentic.

People use Snapchat to get a look into their favorite influencer or brand’s real lives, so give them just that. Say goodbye to using stock photos and hours of photo editing, and instead favor behind-the-scenes shots of your daily life or what goes on behind your brand.

Next, keep your links and CTAs extremely short.

Similar to Twitter, Snapchat limits the number of characters you can use before needing to start a new paragraph. And before you know it, your pictures will be covered up by walls of unattractive text.

Instead, opt for short and sweet CTAs (calls for action) that include your link and exactly what it is, preferably supplemented by a photo of you actually using it for that authentic feel.

YouTube

Last but not least, YouTube: the search engine and social media platform in one.

YouTube is a hotspot for affiliate marketing. Just think of how many videos you watch with paid ads, sponsors, and discount codes in them. 

Most affiliates make money by adding their affiliate links to the video descriptions or by verbally mentioning them during the video. If you mention it verbally, make sure you display text somewhere in the video frame while you are mentioning the affiliate partnership. 

This will help viewers visit the correct link. You could also combine the techniques- mention you have your affiliate link added to the description box during the video to make sure viewers check it out at the end.

Example of affiliate marketing on YouTube

A prime example of this is the channel LouisesJourneyxo, who’s an affiliate for the supplement company HTLT.

Since YouTube is a search engine like Google, you’ll need to know the algorithm like the back of your hand when you start posting videos. This is ultimately how you’ll gain subscribers and maximize the chance of being pushed by the algorithm to people who are likely to enjoy your content.

One way to grow your YouTube subscribers AND promote affiliate products is to create videos that are trending.

Keep an eye on the current trends, which you can easily do by navigating to YouTube’s “trending” tab. Create a video that follows the same theme and use it as an opportunity to promote your links (with disclosure, of course).

And perhaps the best type of video content for affiliate marketers is unboxing and product review videos.

These videos give you the chance to easily promote your links in the most natural way possible. Plus, the people who choose to watch them are already interested in the products themselves.

About the author

Freya is a personal finance expert and founder of the CollectingCents website that teaches readers how to grow their passive income, save money, improve their credit score, and manage debt. She has been featured in publications like Business Insider, Fox Business, the Huffington Post, and GoBankingRates.

The post Choosing the best social media platform for affiliate marketing appeared first on Supermetrics.

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Product manager role, including agile product analytics workflows

Product manager staying at the center and connecting analytics workflows to better develop the digital product.

The James Webb telescope recently revealed millions of unknown galaxies. It’s a huge step for the scientific world. Nasa’s efforts to innovate and advance the human species remind us that the world is in a constant state of technological bloom.

But the scientific world is not the only field experiencing rapid tech growth. According to Product School:

  • Product-led growth is giving product managers (PMs) a seat at the table. 35% of companies see product leaders as essential to driving annual planning.
  • Product managers are a hot commodity. 43% of companies are hiring more of them.
  • Retaining PMs can be tricky. 26% plan to leave their jobs within the next 12 months

There is no doubt that this profession is on the rise. What’s important, it doesn’t matter if you develop a new product or if it’s already a mature one. If you’re the person who’s curious about PMs work, responsibilities and analytical workflows, this article will answer your needs.

After reading this article, you’ll understand:

What do product managers do? 

Type the keyword “product manager” into Google, and you’ll get 2,170,000,000 results. It’s impossible to plow through everything, let alone determine which resources are reliable.

This article will provide insights from industry leaders so you can hear what product experts in Allegro, Monese, Survicate, and Mighty Capital have to say about this role. You’ll also hear what a former practitioner for Airbnb has to say.

Product manager job description

According to Lenny Rachitsky (ex-Airbnb), the role of a product manager is as follows:

There are three parts to this, each essential:

1. Deliver business impact

“Fundamentally, you are responsible for delivering business impact. If your team drives positive impact — hitting important goals, reducing costs, shipping an important project, etc. — you’re doing your job.”

2. Marshaling the resources of your team

“Your job isn’t to do the building yourself but instead to increase the leverage of your cross-functional teammates — designers, engineers, data scientists, researchers, etc. — to deliver impact. To paraphrase Andy Grove, a product manager’s output = the output of their team.”

3. Identify and solve the most impactful customer problems

“Business impact comes from solving customer problems. Thus, it’s your job to lead your team to do identification, prioritization and provide a solution to the most impactful customer problems.”

Lenny Rachitsky, Author at Lenny’s Newsletter

Consider this a solid definition as it provides all the building blocks for understanding the basics regarding the role of a PM. This definition might help you systematize your knowledge if you’re a more seasoned PM. 

Now, let’s look at a quote from a product manager working in the financial sector (specifically, a banking alternative). 

“Working in Product is to work in one of the few roles that needs to know every aspect of the business. We oversee delivery and have an overarching view to ensure that everyone within the product team and across the business are aligned and working towards the same product vision. 

When you work in Product there’s a responsibility to inspire in that way. But ultimately I think that everyone is working towards the same thing — to build features that are relevant for our customers and help them to do things better or more easily than they could before.”

Jennifer Le, Product Manager at Monese

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into the 3 core responsibilities of a PM. 

What are the 3 core responsibilities of a product manager?

Let’s start with Marty Cagan’s description of a product manager.

“A product manager handles evaluating opportunities and determining what gets built and delivered to customers. […] And the mechanics of that are not the hard part. What’s hard is to make sure that what goes on the product backlog is worth building. And, today, on the best teams, the engineers and designers want to see some evidence that what you’re asking to build is truly worth building.”

But there is a different definition by Martin Eriksson. He is an expert in building world-class online products. 

“I’ve always defined product management as the intersection between business, technology, and user experience. A good product manager must be experienced in at least one, passionate about all three, and conversant with practitioners in all.” 

Eriksson definition of product management – as the intersection between business, technology, and user experience. It's shown as a Venn diagram.

In general, both definitions seem clear. But your task may not be as straightforward if you really want to understand the ins and outs of product management jobs. 

Eriksson said product management is the “intersection between business, technology, and user experience.” This definition leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

You may be left asking yourself questions like:

  • Does this mean that product managers are responsible for UX, tech, and business department needs?
  • Do product managers have to deal with UX, tech, and business departments daily? 
  • Which department’s needs and goals are key priorities?
  • In which area should a product manager be the most experienced? 
  • What does it mean to be passionate about all 3 fields? What does it mean to be “conversant” regarding different departments’ stakeholders?

It’s easy to find online sources that misquote or wrongly interpret Eriksson’s Venn diagram. So, what’s the best way to explain what a product manager does?

Let’s explore Lenny Rachitsky’s description of a product manager’s core jobs

Venn diagram by Lenny Rachitsky:
1. Shape the product: Harness insights from customers, stakeholders, and data to prioritize and build a product that will have the most impact on the business.
2. Ship the product: Ship high-quality product on time and free of surprises.
3. Synchronize the people: Align all stakeholders around one vision, strategy, goal, roadmap, and timeline to avoid wasted time and effort.”

It’s different from the previous statement because it’s product-led. It doesn’t focus on various cross-functional teams or stakeholders. The key factor here is the product development itself. 

As Lenny Rachitsky states:

“So, in detail, I’d say that those 3 areas are as follows:

1. Shape the product: Harness insights from customers, stakeholders, and data to prioritize and build a product that will have the most impact on the business

2. Ship the product: Ship high-quality product on time and free of surprises

3. Synchronize the people: Align all stakeholders around one vision, strategy, goal, roadmap, and timeline to avoid wasted time and effort.”

From this Venn diagram, you can assume that: to make an impact, you need balance between all 3 jobs. And the balance comes from making constant trade-offs. 

Remember that a PM’s scope of work differs depending on the organization. It’s rare to see 2 matching PM job descriptions. 

Let’s take a closer look…

How the role of a product manager varies depending on the size of an enterprise

Numerous factors influence the scope of a PM’s work in addition to the number of employees and the turnover rate. Culture and readiness to grow also affect the scope of responsibility. 

Let’s consider the size of an organization and its annual turnover:

  • Large enterprises: employ 250 people or more and have an annual turnover of more than €50 million
  • Medium-sized enterprises: employ fewer than 250 people and have an annual turnover of no more than €50 million
  • Small enterprises: employ fewer than 50 people and have an annual turnover of no more than €10 million
  • Microenterprises: employ fewer than 10 people and have an annual turnover of no more than €2 million 

Key differences between small and large company requirements: 

Micro and small enterprises (e.g., startup)

  • The product manager wears many hats. Acts like a project manager, product owner, designer etc. 
  • Reports directly to C-level
  • Wide scope of ownership (from ideation to launch
  • Quicker decision making process
  • A lot of freedom or autonomy
  • Big impact on business goals and big responsibility

Medium and large enterprises

  • The product manager has more “classical” scope of PM’s work
  • Report to Product Director rather than C-level
  • Narrower scope of ownership (feature- or module-oriented)
  • PMs more often need to get buy-in from leaders. But it doesn’t mean they don’t have autonomy at all
  • A bit smaller impact and narrower scope of responsibility 

But there are some fixed aspects of a product manager’s work. To be a successful product manager, you must:

  • Act like the CEO of the product, taking responsibility for the entire product (or part of the product you lead)
  • Be efficient at developing a product strategy and product roadmap (in B2B and B2C)
  • Be thick-skinned — able to accept criticism without getting upset or offended by things people say and do
  • Have the courage to say “no” to stakeholders (regardless of hierarchy or cultural differences)
  • Have the ability to harness strategic thinking to make quick decisions based on qualitative and quantitative data 

Now let’s look at a more refined product management requirement — agile methods and analytics workflows. 

Why smart product management requires analytics-based workflows

As Cagan said, world-class engineers and designers want to see evidence from  product managers. Proof that what you’re asking to develop is worth developing. 

You must base your arguments on qualitative and quantitative product data. Another key thing is to use lean product development processes like Kanban, Agile, Scrum or ScrumBan, etc. 

Agile development makes it easier to:

  • Deliver customer value faster (in shorter iterations)
  • Avoid hiccups and misunderstandings (continuous feedback)
  • Deliver a product, part-by-part, within a specific budget

The first step in a new iteration is to analyze the data (even better if you have access to product data and customer feedback). Knowing numbers and qualitative insights gives you more awareness regarding a product’s health and possible issues. 

After analyzing a new product feature, you need to plan. Perform proper research and discovery. Later, you’ll have to shift your know-how into specification. Involve your development team. Take their ideas and expertise into consideration. A good product manager acts like a leader and partner, not a micromanager.

agile development loop

At the end of the planning and design stage, be sure to take all important aspects into account. For example, if you decide to put a new session recording player in place, be sure that the funnel analytics feature doesn’t change. The rest of the entire product needs to remain consistent. 

Once you begin feature development, you must be sure that this is the right decision. All new features have to play well with one another in terms of business aspects and technical limitations of your stack. 

“For us, the successful release starts far sooner than when the feature is delivered to users. The foundation for a successful release is having qualitative and quantitative insights from our users. We often use a combination of multiple sources of information. Besides customer interviews and surveys sent with Survicate, we use Smartlook session recordings to see how users interact with our application before and after the release.”

Daniel Korczynski, Head of Product at Survicate 

Now, let’s see what analytics workflows you can use to make better and faster decisions. 

3 analytics workflows: how to make product decisions based on data

There is a good reason every agile loop starts with an analysis. To make the right decisions, you must eliminate hunches from the equation. 

Try analyzing the following:

  • Tabular data from various sources
  • Media, including images, visuals, charts, etc.
  • Text data

By performing an analysis and making decisions based on data, you’ll benefit in 2 ways. First, you’ll make decisions that make sense, and second, you’ll avoid the dominance of HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion).

No matter if you work in a customer- or stakeholder-facing product, try not to listen to those driven by gut feelings.

What does an expert have to say about why analytics data is so important? 

“Capturing and processing product data is crucial in Product Development. It can help the process in many ways — decision making when iterating or building new features, deep understanding of user issues, spotting new opportunities to drive engagement, reduce friction and many other use cases.

Knowing exactly what and how to track product data can be tricky but the journey is worth it, even if it takes a few rounds to tweak it and get the information you want out of it. The recent surge of PM tools is a great start — the initial effort is greatly reduced, and you can leverage these platforms that provide insights and standard product metrics to review much faster.”

Felipe Gasparino, Product Executive at Mighty Capital

Now, knowing how essential analytics data is, let’s arrange them into agile workflows.  

  1. Monitoring and verifying a release, including detecting anomalies

Following every new feature release, look at the qualitative and quantitative data. With numbers, you’ll discover:

  • Usability-related problems 
  • Technical bugs
  • Mismatches between requirements and implementation

Understand how your user base interacts with a feature by comparing their actions with the specifications in your PRD document or design deliverables. The knowledge that the future is used in the right way gives you peace of mind and control over the product’s health.

For example, you can use session recordings to see if your users interact with a new feature like your engineering team planned. This is your first qualitative overview of the situation. 

Dive into product analytics metrics like user engagement (daily, weekly, and monthly active users), retention rate, and conversions. Always set up metrics that are key for the product and business. Then, try to improve them. You should be aware of what influences those metrics and what other metrics might be affected if you make a change. It is good to set up your goals for features as KPIs.

Keep a close eye on the situation throughout the first couple weeks after release. 

Check how Smartlook can enhance your product. See pricing plans and sign up for a 10-day trial.

Remember that when monitoring and verifying a release, it’s essential to combine qualitative (behaviors, observations) and quantitative (funnel analysis, number of clicks) data.

Keep an eye out for odd occurrences after a recent product release. Anomaly tracking will help you monitor user reactions to new features. For example, you may wish to analyze your product funnel for anomalies. 

  1. Observing how users interact with features 

Reviewing a product’s user recordings is the closest thing to observing users “in the wild.” It’s the best way to see the issues they face, including where they seem to hesitate or get lost. Watching how users interact with a specific feature is like watching a beta testing without having to organize a synchronous session. 

You don’t have to spend hours on end watching thousands of session recordings. You’ll easily filter and find key recordings fast if you know what you’re looking for

Imagine strictly watching United States users that spend 5 minutes in one part of your product. With filters, you’ll quickly discover potential usability problems and form a better understanding of user needs and behavior. 

Furthermore, you can determine if a specific user group faces the same issue repeatedly. For example, if users from one country experience a failed payment attempt on the 3rd step of your product. 

Let’s see how a product manager from Allegro (an online e-commerce platform) approaches product analytics. He also has some tips regarding how often you should analyze data.

“A good PM always validates ideas and tries to measure the results. It is all about asking the right questions. Each question requires an answer. 

You can, and you need to talk to your clients. But is it enough? What if you have thousands of millions of users? You need numbers to understand your users, their behavior and also to validate your hypothesis. 

As a PM you should look into data on a daily basis. Based on reports you can define your goals, hypothesis, validate your solutions and just monitor the health of your product.”

Piotr Szostak, Product Manager at Allegro
  1. Binge-watching end-users

As a product manager, you must know customer needs inside and out. By understanding their behaviors, patterns, and abnormalities, you’ll be able to craft a product that’s user-centered and solves key pain points. 

Binge-watching user session recordings is crucial when clients are hard to reach (e.g., steep workloads or different time zones). Understanding your client’s behavior will help you provide value through your product in an account-based sense.

The term “binge-watching users” might convey that it’s a time-consuming task. That’s why you should always have an end goal in mind and look for efficient ways to achieve it. In most cases, a product manager needs to only watch a couple of recordings to understand repetitive user behavior patterns. 

Imagine you notice that 10 users from the United Arab Emirates have trouble logging in. You don’t have to sit back and watch an additional 50 users to determine something’s wrong. It seems there is a global production problem affecting this specific region.

If you have the capacity to observe large swathes of users (more common for medium and large enterprises), plan A/B tests thoroughly and remember to consider all findings. 

“I would say that one of the best ways of aligning stakeholders around one vision is through using tracking, analytics, and insights to communicate clear and profound ideas. Conducting A/B testing for example has given us a lot of significant results and drives a discussion that inspires colleagues to think — “could we be doing things differently?”

Jennifer Le, Product Manager at Monese

Continuously develop to become a great product manager 

Now you understand the key roles and responsibilities of a product manager. 

This career path requires you to remain focused all the time. Product development is a marathon, not a sprint. Pride yourself in becoming a thoughtful manager with a deep understanding of how to shape and ship products and sync stakeholders.

Feature-wise, every new piece of a digital product requires deliberate decisions. Always do your best to strategize and predict how every decision will influence the product, users, team members, and stakeholders. 

Although your role requires plenty of responsibility, positive customer feedback should be your main motivation at the end of the day.

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Joanna Kaminska
Joanna Kaminska

is a content marketing strategist at Smartlook. She is a seasoned writer interested in storytelling, SaaS and new technologies. Her goal is to create content that is easy to understand for all. After work, she enjoys hiking and nature photography. | LinkedIn profile

The post Product manager role, including agile product analytics workflows appeared first on Smartlook Blog.

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How to ask customers for reviews—and how we got to the G2 Top 100

When it comes to your business’s online reputation, reviews play a key role in attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.

Let’s look at why reviews are so important, how you can drive more reviews, and how we got to G2’s top 100 list—the top review site for business software and services.

Fast forward >>

Why customer reviews are important

Customer reviews are one of the most important factors in influencing potential customers. Most consumers say that positive online reviews influence their buying decisions because reviews give social proof that others have tried and liked your product or service.

Giving reviews allows customers to share their experience and voice their opinion. Positive customer reviews can increase sales, while negative ones can lead to lost business.

How to ask for a review

The best way to get more reviews is to simply ask for them. You can do this in different ways, such as:

  • Including a call-to-action on your receipt and encouraging customers to leave a review
  • Sending an email to customers after they’ve used your product or service
  • Adding a pop-up to your product or website
  • Making a personal phone call to your customers

Asking customers for reviews can be a great way to increase the number of positive reviews and improve your online reputation. But, it’s important to remember that not all reviews will be positive.

It’s key that you respond to reviews, both positive and negative, in a professional and polite manner. Responding to negative reviews in a positive way can show potential customers that you’re committed to providing a good customer experience.

Which channels are best to reach your customers?

You should engage with your target audience, and the best way to reach your customers will depend on your specific business and customer base.

Here are a few ways you can engage with your customers.

Website

Your website is a great place to encourage customers to leave reviews. You can add a call-to-action button on your homepage or on specific pages, such as your product pages or contact page.

Chat tool

If you use a chat tool on your website, such as LiveChat or Intercom, you can encourage customers to leave reviews.

When you chat with potential customers, you’re building a relationship with that individual. You’re also creating a brand personality as the target audience actively speaks to a human and not just browsing your website.

Example of a review-asking message from our Intercom chat.

Email lists

Email is a great way to reach your customers and ask them to leave reviews. You can segment your email lists to only contact those who have recently made a purchase or inquiry.

Example of a review-ask from an email campaign

Social media channels

Social media is a great way to connect with your customers and ask them for reviews. You can post updates, run competitions or simply include a call-to-action in your bio.

For example, we ran a giveaway to drive reviews for our podcast—The Marketing Analytics Show.

.

Support tickets

Many organizations use a software platform such as Zendesk or Freshdesk to centralize customer support operations. Whenever a customer support agent solves an issue and closes a ticket, you can ask for a review, as your offering and service are top of mind for the customer.

Ask your customer in person

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can ask customers to leave a review in person. This personal touch can go a long way in building relationships with your customers.

Asking customers for reviews should be part of your wider customer engagement strategy. By engaging with your customers on multiple channels, you’re more likely to reach a wider audience and collect more reviews.

Top tips when asking for reviews

Here are our top tips when asking customers for reviews.

Find a scalable method

You need to find a method of asking for reviews that can be scaled as your business grows. For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can’t ask every customer for a review. But, you can include a call-to-action on all your receipts.

Reduce the barrier to submit a review and give incentives

Make it as easy as possible for customers to leave a review. The easier it is, the more likely they are to do so. You can reduce the barrier by providing a link to your review page or simply asking them to leave a review on Google.

Another great way to attract more reviews is to place a poster in your store with a QR code that will direct the customer directly to your review page. All they will need to do is scan the code and leave the review.

You could also offer an incentive, such as a discount code or a voucher, to those who leave a review.

Meet your customers where they are and use their happy moments

Connect with your customer when they’re in a good place. In other words, when they’ve just received great service or complimented you on your business. There’s a far greater chance of them leaving you a positive review than asking them to do so when they’ve had a negative experience with your brand.

But, it’s important to emphasize that getting negative reviews is not always the worst thing in the world. When people look at reviews, they want to see authenticity, not just a perfect 5/5.

Respond to reviews and move complaints forward

Take the time to respond to reviews, whether it’s positive or negative. By doing so, you’re acknowledging the customer’s experience and showing that you care about their feedback.

Of course, if a customer leaves a negative review, you’ll need to take action to resolve the complaint. The best way to do this is to reach out to the customer directly and offer a solution. By doing so, you’re not only dealing with the complaint but also turning a potential negative into a positive. In addition to potentially turning a bad customer experience around, you show future review readers that you truly care about your customers and do anything to help them.

How to analyze your customer review data

Not only do reviews give you valuable feedback about your business, but they can also help attract new customers.

But what if you could go beyond just reading your reviews? What if you could actually analyze them to learn more about your customers and their needs?

Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your customer review data:

1. Look for patterns

One of the first things you should do when analyzing your customer reviews is to look for patterns. Are there certain topics that come up again and again? Do certain products or services get more positive or negative feedback than others?

This helps you identify areas where you need to make improvements or areas that are already doing well.

2. Compare different products or services

If you offer multiple products or services, you can use customer reviews to compare them. This helps you see which ones are most popular with your customers and which ones might need some improvements.

3. Beware of connotations

When reading customer reviews, pay attention to the words used. What sentiments do they imply? Are they mostly positive or negative? This gives you a good indication of how satisfied your customers are overall. If you’re analyzing your reviews in Google Sheets, you can then use something like the Google Natural Language API to evaluate sentiment automatically.

Google Natural Language API example

4. Use software to help you analyze your data

There are various tools and software programs available that can help you analyze your customer review data. This makes the process a lot easier and helps you get better insights. By connecting your review data from Google Play, Tripadvisor, Yelp, or Capterra, for example, into Google Sheets or Data Studio, you can quickly get to those insights and start acting on the results.

These are just some ways to analyze your review data to fine-tune your customer service approach.

Diversify your review platforms

If you’re only using one platform to collect customer reviews, you’re missing out on a lot of valuable data.

There are many different review platforms, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. By diversifying your review platforms, you can get a more well-rounded view of your business and what your customers think.

Let’s take a look at some of the more popular review platforms.

Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor is one of the most popular travel review sites. It’s a great platform for getting honest feedback about hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. If you’re in the hospitality business, then you need to not only be on Tripadvisor but be active.

Make sure your profile is up-to-date, and you respond to all reviews. Those shopping around for restaurants or hotels will take a lot of guidance from what they see on this platform.

Since Tripadvisor is a restaurant, accommodation, and activity review platform, users can easily leave and browse reviews and book tables or rooms. The platform has over 460 million users, and over 860 million reviews have been submitted to aid travelers worldwide. 

The Supermetrics Tripadvisor Reviews connector doesn’t require any authorization, so users can easily access reviews and analyze them in the reporting tool of their choice. The connector allows you to quickly compare businesses in the hospitality industry and see the key differences and similarities between them.

Pull data such as text and rating of the review, the average rating of the reviews, and the time user submitted the review.

Tripadvisor Reviews Report

Try our free Data Studio template for Tripadvisor

Check it out

Yelp

Yelp is a social network and consumer review website that operates internationally. If you own a restaurant, this is one to look out for. For many people, it’s the go-to place when looking for somewhere to dine out. With Yelp, you leave a review and rate the business out of 5 stars.

It’s a great place for local business reviews and for consumers to interact with local businesses. Although the majority of its users are based in the US, the platform has over 170 million unique users per month globally. 

The Supermetrics Yelp Reviews connector allows you to easily move the data to a destination like a spreadsheet or data visualization tool. Create a report to see how your reviews have varied and compare the results to the companies you’ve benchmarked. If you automate the delivery to happen each month, you have up-to-date information at hand whenever you need it.

Pull data such as the number of reviews, average ratings, reviews replied to, and so much more.

Google Business Profile (Google My Business)

Now referred to as Google Business Profile—or GBP—Google My Business is one of the most popular review platforms out there. While it’s more than just reviews, it’s usually the first place people look when considering a purchase.

It spans all businesses, as opposed to being more focused on just one, and as per Yelp, the reviewer leaves a review and rates you out of five stars.

Organizations can manage their company profile, such as location, phone number, and reviews on Google. With the Google Business Profile account, companies can increase their reach and be more likely to be found in search results.

Unlike the review connectors above, this connector requires authorization. You can pull data from your profile and manage your ratings and reviews. The Google Business Profile connector allows you to pull all the necessary data for your business and combine it with your other business tools, such as marketing platforms.

Pull data such as review star rating and text, average star rating, review replies, and so much more.

Google Business Profile Report

Try our free Data Studio template for Google Business Profile

Check it out

Google Play

Google Play is an app store for Android smartphones, and there are millions of apps developed by third-party developers. 

The Supermetrics Google Play Reviews connector doesn’t require authentication, similar to the Capterra Reviews connector. You can easily pull review data and see what kind of reviews your competitors have received or how the reviews of the most popular apps have changed over time. 

Pull data such as reviews and review ratings, the average rating, and the time user submitted the review.

Google Play Reviews Report

Try our free Data Studio template for Google Play

Check it out

Capterra

Capterra is a popular platform for business software reviews. It’s a great place to get an in-depth look at different software products and how they compare. It’s often dubbed as ‘the most comprehensive software directory on the web’.

Being a free business software marketplace showcasing different B2B business tools, it’s a good place to connect buyers to software vendors and helps its users discover the right product with user reviews and research.

The Supermetrics Capterra Reviews connector allows you to access the review data easily. Capterra Reviews don’t require authorization which is why it’s a great tool for competitor benchmarking or analyzing the positive feedback others have received to understand what works and what doesn’t.

Pull data such as review ratings, the software’s pros and cons, the number of reviews, average rating, and much more to a reporting tool of choice.

G2

G2, the most trusted and largest software marketplace, is a great place to find and review software. Companies also use G2 to manage and optimize their software stack to sustainably grow their business.

What’s great about G2 is that you can build an automated review collection machine. You can leverage automated tools in your email system, on your website, or even with existing customer support systems you already have set up and are running.

Think of G2 as a peer review platform focused entirely on software.

How Supermetrics got to the G2 top 100

If you’re involved with software purchases, you definitely have heard about G2. It’s a great platform to research a product you’re interested in. It’s a great channel to check what your users are thinking about your product to gather feedback. You could think of it like TripAdvisor, but for software.

G2 offers users a platform to review software in a variety of formats—including text and video. It’s a great channel for direct and honest feedback. Additionally, vendors aren’t allowed to delete or edit reviews, so the users’ voice is kept intact.

Brittany King LinkedIn post about getting on the G2 grid
Source

G2 compiles reports showcasing the best products across different categories. The crown jewel is the annual best software awards—which recognize the top 100 software products. The list includes the biggest disruptors and market leaders in all categories, so getting into the list is a huge feat for any product.

When Supermetrics got into the G2 top 100 products list this year, we were hyped. Our hard work paid off, as we had made sure we were recognized on G2 for the past 6 months. To get on the list, you have to be active on G2. It does take time and effort to get your G2 efforts to bear fruit, but it was worth it. How did we do it? These tips helped us get on this coveted list.

What’s the G2 grid?

The G2 grid was designed to help buyers select the right products for their specific business. With it, G2 rates software products based on three key areas—reviews of products from G2 users, aggregated data from digital sources, and social networks.

G2 grid example

Based on the market presence data and customer reviews, companies are placed into different quadrants—high performers, niche, leaders, and contenders.

How to get more G2 reviews

We’ve covered different topics in this article to get you started on your review-gathering journey. It’s not as complicated as you think, even if your product is a bit more complex, like software.

Here are the 6 core considerations for making you stand out on G2:

1. Have a good product that solves your customers’ problem

This one is obvious—you must have a good product to get recognized on G2. You can’t game the system since all the reviews are done by real users. You need to give value to your users first. Then, you can start building your G2 profile and gathering reviews.

A key scoring metric is the average score of your profile. G2 reviews have a scale of 1 to 5 stars. The more stars you’ve got, the better your score is. The review scores are calculated, and the average gives you your overall score. Having a bunch of bad reviews can really sink your average score down and will affect your rankings. The product quality can directly affect this, so a quality product is likely to get better reviews than a poor quality one.

2. Keep your G2 profile up to date

Think of G2 as a social media platform like LinkedIn or Instagram. Many bigger brands and successful influencers have very well-maintaining and nurturing profiles. This drives users to engage more, as they can see you’re actively maintaining your presence on the platform.

You want the best visual assets, banners, facts, and feature lists about your product on your G2 profile. You want to showcase your product clearly, and visually appealing, so people get information about your offering. A well-designed profile paired with great reviews will drive more engagement and attention to your product. After all, G2 tracks the traffic to your profile, and high-traffic profiles are more likely to end up in the Top 100.

3. Get your users to submit reviews

Even with the most carefully designed profile, you can’t expect people to start typing in reviews. You need to guide them to the right place. 

The easiest way to promote your G2 presence is to put a G2 banner on your website. It’s easy, clickable, and drives people to your profile. If the website visitor has something to say, G2 will make it easy for them to review you. G2 has a good collection of ready-made assets, so you don’t need to spend time designing a cool G2 badge.

Supermetrics landing page with G2 Top 100 badge

Website is only one of the many channels you can use to promote your presence. Putting your G2 CTAs into email newsletters or signatures can drive people to review your product. Creating awareness of the platform is a surefire way to get your reviews flowing in. Maybe your customer onboarding emails could have a mention about reviewing the product.

4. Get your users to review you even if you need to add an incentive

If you really want to drive results, you have to invest in your review gathering efforts. A targeted campaign will get you reviews as long as you incentivize. With the help of a small incentive—such as a gift card—your users will happily start giving you reviews. Targeting helps you segment your audience, so you can have a consistent stream of reviews. 

G2 applies grid decay to their reports. The older your reviews are, the less likely you’ll be up and to the right. Getting fresh reviews is important to maintain your status as a leading product.

Targeting specific segments at different times helps keep a steady stream of reviews. If you have different product lines, target users of one line, and then in the next quarter, target the other product lines’ users. User data collection helps you create these segments and drip campaigns that’ll keep your reviews coming in.

5. Get your team involved

G2 can be a part of your internal work. As users give you reviews, you gain valuable feedback to give your product teams a view of what users are experiencing when using your product. At Supermetrics, we get a Slack message on a public channel whenever a customer reviews us. This keeps the team informed on what the users are thinking.

Slack automated message about a new G2 review

Communication is a two-way street. G2 offers you a chance to answer reviews and questions posted. These inform your users that you listen to their feedback. It also shows that you care and react to what people post. Having your team answer them improves the overall G2 experience, as you’re actively engaging. And hey, that’s also a plus when it’s the ranking season.

6. Optimize, optimize, and optimize

Reviews aren’t everything when it comes to getting into the Top 100. When G2 makes their lists, they don’t depend solely on the engagements you get on their platform. They also follow other channels to ensure you’re worthy of being on the list.

G2 Research Scoring Methodologies
Source

For example, G2 is constantly checking your web presence. Your website being up-to-date and having a good amount of traffic can help you get ranked. Having good SEO is important since search results and SEO-friendly pages are viewed as a plus. Social media activity is used as a measure. If you’re active on social and have a healthy follower count, you’ll definitely have a better chance. 

Finally, your company performance is used as a metric. G2 checks for your employee count and your overall growth. If you’re a growing company that’s constantly hiring and your web presence has drastically improved, you just might have higher chances of making the Top 100. Growing companies usually have a proven product and can offer a better experience for their clients overall.

Getting top-ranked in a G2 report requires a lot of effort. With these steps, you’re in a good position to move up in the Top 100 list. With the effort you put in, you also gain a great resource on the side. G2 reviews are some of the best forms of feedback you can get. It’s unbiased and detailed.

Wrap up

By understanding the importance of reviews and knowing what you can do to attract more positive ones, you’ll improve your online reputation in no time. By getting your review strategy right, you’ll see your sales soar.

So remember to focus on finding a scalable method, meeting your customers where they are, reducing the barrier to leaving a review, responding to reviews, and moving complaints forward.

How are you getting reviews for your business?

About the author

Riku Mikkonen is a product marketing and marketing operations specialist. He’s currently a HubSpot Consultant at Kaksio Labs.

The post How to ask customers for reviews—and how we got to the G2 Top 100 appeared first on Supermetrics.

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Stripe Integration to Track Growth and Revenue Data in Your Client Reports

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3 Ways to Use Keyword Rank Tracking to Drive Growth

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Revamped Databases: Google, Bing, Amazon, Google Play, App Store and Domains

DataForSEO has recently overhauled its database offering. Today we’re happy to present new SERPs & Keywords Databases for Google, Google History, and Bing, along with a state-of-the-art Amazon Products Database, cutting-edge Google Play and App Store Databases, and a robust Domains Database.

All of these databases provide sweeping and accurate datasets that will help you glean insights faster and devise winning strategies with confidence. Relying on our databases, you can develop your own SEO tools, speed up processes and workflows and build unique case-specific reports.

In this article, we will walk you through the practical values and use cases of each DataForSEO Database.

Contents

Unfolding Possibilities With DataForSEO Databases
Leveraging Google SERP & Keyword Databases for Custom Analysis
Diving Deeper with Historical Google SERP & Keyword Databases
Turning Bing SERP & Keyword Databases to Your Advantage
Driving Market Intelligence with Amazon Products Databases
Boosting Mobile Marketing with Google Play & App Store Databases
Accessing Traffic and Whois Data with Domains Database
Wrap-up

Unfolding Possibilities With DataForSEO Databases

The larger your SEO project gets, the more limitations you bump into when working with out-of-the-shelf solutions. The thing is, ready-made tools are built as a one-size-fits-all to capture larger audiences, but they aren’t tailored to fit every use case.

In contrast, when you use a proprietary solution and know a bit of SQL, you’re free to tweak the data to fit your needs. This is exactly what you can do with DataForSEO Databases. We have designed them to be easily adjustable to unlimited use cases. Using our datasets, you can efficiently combine various sources, aggregate the necessary metrics, and create flexible filtering.

Starting to work with our databases is rather straightforward. Once you place an order, DataForSEO can deliver the database straight to your storage (AWS S3, SFTP, Google Cloud, etc.). What’s more, we offer a 50% discount for database updates.

Speaking of the updates, below we’ll shortly summarize the timeframes needed to actualize different types of data.

Data from search engine results pages (SERPs), including product data from the Amazon marketplace and app search results, is updated gradually, taking between 60 and 90 days for a full update.

Keyword data is collected from several sources, including Google Ads, Bing Ads, and search engine results pages. We’re continuously adding new keywords and updating keyword data gradually in the second part of each month (due to the update cycles of the data sources).

The Domains Database is updated gradually in the second part of each month.

To find answers to common questions about DataForSEO Databases, visit our Help Center.

The cost of a specific database depends on its size and selected location. You can review the full pricing for all DataForSEO Databases on our pricing page. If you’d like to discuss specific terms or order a custom database, feel free to contact us via chat or this form.

In the following parts, we’ll explore different types of DataForSEO Databases in-depth, and will take a look at a few practical examples of each database usage.

dataforseo google database

Leveraging Google SERP & Keyword Databases for Custom Analysis

To begin with, we’d like to tell you more about the contents of DataForSEO Google Databases. They come in four variations:

Regular Google SERP Database contains standard organic and paid search results and featured snippets. It also provides accurate keyword metrics for relevant search terms. Given that winning a featured snippet has become equivalent to ranking number one, you can rest assured important rankings won’t be missed. Regular Google SERP Database is available in JSON format only.

Advanced Google SERP Database contains all kinds of SERP elements, including organic and paid results, featured snippets, knowledge graphs, top stories, and more. It also provides keyword metrics for relevant terms. What’s notable about this database – it highlights Page Rank and Domain Rank for organic results based on the DataForSEO Backlink Index. This database is offered in both JSON and CSV.

Google Keyword Database encompasses over 5.5 billion search terms enriched with related Google Ads data: search volume trends, keyword difficulty, and more. We offer this type of database in JSON only.

Full Google Database combines data from the Advanced Google SERP Database and Google Keyword Database. Accordingly, it contains millions of SERPs with most of Google’s advanced SERP features, offers Page Rank and Domain Rank for organic results, and provides billions of search terms with related Google Ads data. You can order this database in JSON or CSV.

As you can see, DataForSEO Databases based on Google data are designed with convenience in mind. If your project requires only basic data from search results, you can order a Regular database and you won’t have to overpay for unnecessary SERP elements or backlink stats. Once you do need them for a deeper analysis, you can go for the Advanced database.

Similarly, if Google Ads data for a certain location is enough for your keyword research project, you can get just that with a Keyword Database. At the same, those who’d like to inspect both Google Ads and SERP data can order a single Full Google Database without having to purchase two separate databases and waste time and money combining them.

Now that you know how to pick the database that fits your research interests best, let’s take a look at a few research tasks that Google Databases can help you solve.

Let’s say, you run an SEO agency serving clients operating in the US. Accordingly, you have a number of big SEO projects. For each of them, you need to conduct keyword research and find new long-tail terms. Besides generating large lists of keyword ideas with important metrics, you’d like to stitch them together with SERP data to see if some target pages are already ranking for the keywords you discover.

By using DataForSEO’s Full Google SERP database, you will obtain an extensive source of keyword ideas along with their SERP overviews. For example, you can quickly run the necessary function across the whole database, and pull out relevant search terms along with their metrics into a spreadsheet. In addition to that, for each keyword, you can swiftly add the SERP position for your target site and the URL featured in the result.

Importantly, you won’t miss a single ranking, as the Full Google Database supports all SERP features. So, if your site ranks inside the People also ask section or the Recipes feature, you’ll surely see it.

All in all, the major advantage of using a Google database is the possibility to run a quality large-scale keyword and SERP analysis for the necessary location. This wouldn’t be achievable with standard tools and could be too costly with APIs.

dataforseo historical google database

Diving Deeper with Historical Google SERP & Keyword Databases

Besides recent Google data from search and Ads, DataForSEO also offers historical SERP data back to August 2021 and historical keyword data back to January 2019. Similar to fresh stats, past insights are also organized by the depth of anticipated research needs.

Historical Google SERP Database contains millions of monthly Google SERP snapshots with data on all elements appearing for a term on each given date and time. Providing accurate keyword metrics, Page Rank and Domain Rank for organic results, this database will substantially increase your rank tracking, keyword research, and competitor research perspectives.

Historical Google Keywords Database offers over 5 billion keywords enriched with historical keyword metrics since the beginning of 2019. You can get search volume distribution, keyword difficulty and more to conduct a highly granular keyword analysis.

Full Historical Google Database is a combination of the Historical Google SERP and Historical Google Keyword Databases. It contains millions of monthly Google SERP snapshots with all extra SERP features and over 5 billion search terms with historical metrics. This database is a perfect fit for a profound analysis of keywords and rankings.

All historical Google databases are available in both JSON and CSV.

The vast datasets offered in Historical Google Databases will allow you to accomplish two crucial objectives:

1 Obtain keyword metrics that go beyond the past 12 months of data;
2 Investigate past rankings without leaving out SERP features, ads, and competitors.

In more specific terms, historical search volume data from Historical Google Keywords Database will help you identify rising keywords and topics, declining keywords, and seasonal terms. Having a longer perspective in review, you will be able to make smarter data-driven choices, which wouldn’t be possible with Google Keyword Planner where stats only date back to the last 12 months. Read more about taking advantage of historical search volume.

As for Historical Google SERP and Full Historical Google databases, they will allow you to get detailed past rankings. This data will be especially useful if you didn’t track rank before or couldn’t export your historical data from an SEO tool you used.

Another use case where historical SERPs will come in handy is running a comparative analysis of your and competitors’ past rankings. Given that both Historical Google SERP and Full Historical Google databases support all SERP features, your analysis will be highly accurate and you will be able to identify contender URLs that got into Google’s rich results. Knowing this, you can look into adversary tactics further and leverage their experience in your strategy. To learn more about the research potential of historical SERP data, check out this article.

dataforseo bing database

Turning Bing SERP & Keyword Databases to Your Advantage

DataForSEO knows full well that a large part of our customers employs Bing in their SEO strategies. Given this and the fact that Bing is the top 2 search engine after Google, we couldn’t overlook it when crafting our new database offering. To give you a better understanding of what you can get with DataForSEO Bing Databases, we’ve summarized the main details below.

Advanced Bing SERP Database encompasses millions of Bing search result pages with extra SERP features, such as featured snippets, knowledge graphs, etc. It also offers Bing keyword metrics.

Bing Keyword Database contains millions of search terms enriched with related data from Bing Ads: search volume history for the past 12 months, current search volume, and more.

Full Bing Database is a combination of the Advanced Bing SERP Database and Bing Keyword Database. It contains both search result data with extra SERP elements and data for millions of search terms from Bing Ads.

All Bing databases are available in both JSON and CSV.

Now, let’s dive into the practical values of DataForSEO Bing Databases.

Unlike the majority of Bing rank trackers and commercial datasets, DataForSEO offers a wide spectrum of Bing SERP features (see full list) in the Advanced and Full Bing databases. So, if your project requires high data accuracy when tracking Bing SERP positions for your target sites, then you should consider these database types. Besides rank tracking at scale, Advanced and Full Bing databases can also be used for ad verification, competitive intelligance, and content gap analysis.

In case you need a complete dataset that closely reflects Bing search results and provides accurate keyword metrics, Full Bing Database can offer you both in a single package that’d be easier to work with.

As for the Bing Keyword database, you can apply it to researching the most promising keywords across the whole country-level dataset. With Bing, you will also get more exact values compared to Google’s stats. The thing is, search volume in Bing is precise to the nearest tens, while Google provides rounded values. What’s more, since 2016 Google lumps together data for close search terms (e.g. “seo” and “search engine optimization”), which you can ungroup using insights from Bing where you can see data for each search term individually.

All in all, whatever your use case is, with DataForSEO Bing Databases you can rest assured that the data you employ is accurate. This will help you to gain a crucial point of difference by providing the depth of insights that the majority can’t reach.

dataforseo amazon database

Driving Market Intelligence with Amazon Products Databases

Amazon is the largest retail platform on the web, which catalogs over 350 million products. This also means that the marketplace provides vast amounts of data on offered items, including their characteristics and the positions they occupy in the Amazon search results.

Knowing how valuable Amazon product data is for e-commerce businesses, we’ve collected a database with millions of Amazon search results pages each containing the top 100 ranked products.

Amazon Products Database is currently available for the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia locations in both JSON and CSV.

Before jumping on to the use cases for Amazon data, we’d like to give you more details on what’s inside the Amazon Products Databases.

It contains up-to-date data on keywords and product listings ranking for them, including product title, description, regular and upper-limit prices, and product page URL. Besides that, you’ll get keyword search volumes, product ratings, search rank, and delivery information. What’s more, you will obtain the following types of search results: editorial recommendations, organic and paid Amazon search results, top-rated results from Amazon brands, and related searches. You will also know if a certain result is marked with the “Amazon’s Choice” label.

Now, let’s talk about putting this data to use.

First of all, Amazon product datasets are indispensable for reverse engineering your rivals. For example, you can collect a list of keywords you already rank for or want to, and go through DataForSEO Amazon Products Database to find other sellers appearing as the top results for these terms.

Next, you can narrow down the scope of your contenders to those performing the best. To do so, you can filter out sellers who won the “Amazon’s Choice” and those whose products got listed multiple times on the first page.

Once you’ve compiled the final list of your challengers, Amazon Products Database will help you to quickly examine product titles, descriptions, prices, images, and other details that will let you grasp the main contributors to your competitors’ success. Once you’ve figured that out, you can start optimizing your product listings and pricing strategies to increase conversions.

However, the number of use cases for Amazon product data isn’t limited to competitor analysis. It can be applied to monitoring product rankings, running price comparisons, and more.

See Amazon database documentation to check if it aligns with your research needs.

dataforseo google play app store database

Boosting Mobile Marketing with Google Play & App Store Databases

Apple and Google dominate the app store market share owning more than 95% across iOS and Android respectively. As of the first quarter of 2022, Google Play offers 3.3 million apps, while Apple App Store has around 2.11 million apps available.

Considering such an abundance of apps on both platforms, getting ahead in the app search is a requisite to boost downloads and revenue. This is where app store optimization (ASO) comes into play.

Basically, ASO is the process of improving an app’s visibility in the app search. To be more specific, ASO includes the optimization of keywords used in the app’s name and description, optimization of screenshots and images, appropriate usage of categories, and so on. The goal is to help an app business succeed, that is, to win a higher rank in search, to increase reach and installs.

Sure enough, to craft a successful ASO strategy, app professionals need data to ground their decisions upon.

DataForSEO can provide you with mobile marketing data from the top two app search platforms – Apple App Store and Google Play.

Both databases are currently available for the United States location in the JSON format only.

Google Play and App Store Advanced Databases contain 4.3M SERPs and 2.1M SERPs respectively.

Each database encompasses millions of app search result pages with related app data, including app ID, icon, reviews count, rating, price, and more. You will also get keyword search volume values from the relevant platform.

Having this data, you will be able to identify your rivals by looking at the top-ranking results for your target keywords. You can then go through competitors’ app descriptions and other details to understand what ASO tricks might be helping them get ahead or what features they have that you don’t. You can also use app ranking data to measure where your application currently stands in search and to assess the optimization results once you start implementing a certain strategy.

Besides employing data for research purposes, DataForSEO customers often use it to develop analytical software of their own as well. For example, with App Store and Google Play data, you can build an app rank tracking tool and a competitor research solution for the two most popular app search platforms in the market.

Importantly, with DataForSEO, you will get App Store and Google Play databases at a reasonable cost. Check out our pricing page to get more information and download data samples.

dataforseo domains database

Accessing Traffic and Whois Data with Domains Database

Expired domains are a popular product as they allow acquiring an old website along with its backlinks and visitors. However, there is no point in expired domains without much traffic. That’s why thoroughly reviewing a domain you’re going to acquire is crucial, and plenty of advanced domain search platforms and marketplaces can help a lot. One of the ways to power such platforms with data is by acquiring a database of domains with Whois information.

At DataForSEO, we offer a Domains Database in both JSON and CSV with over 60 million domains, including structured data on their timelines, updates, and statuses. Yet, that’s not all.

As we’ve mentioned above, traffic is an essential point to consider when planning to buy an expired domain. That is why each domain in the database is enriched with a range of useful search visibility metrics from Google that will make it easier for you or your users to estimate a domain’s traffic potential.

You’ll get not only the number of SERPs where the domain is found, but also the distribution of the domain’s ranking positions from 1 to 100, both in organic and paid search results, along with an estimated cost of driving organic and paid traffic to the domain. Estimated traffic is represented by two metrics that are counted based on CTR and search volume in the first case, and based on CTR and impressions in the second case.

Data offered in the Domains Database is especially helpful when it comes to the development of domain search tools. In this case, a private database is easier to work with. Given that you’ll need to combine Whois records with other data, such as search visibility and backlinks, requesting the necessary stats from your local storage can help you decrease the response time of your application.

Josh Adams who is the founder of the Skyrocket domain search tool, and who’s also one of our customers, explains his choice of incorporating the DataForSEO Domains Database as follows:

“Skyrocket is a live solution that serves many customers, the results must be super fast, and the data for each domain includes many additional parameters such as domain strength according to various SEO tools, number of backlinks, or even searches based on domain owners’ names. That’s why our solution required a proprietary database that can be enriched locally for more advanced queries and faster response time.”

You can discover more details on the Skyrocket’s story with DataForSEO by this link. To find out more about building a domain search tool, check out our earlier API-based article on this topic.

Wrap-up

DataForSEO team has spent years collecting and processing vast SEO datasets. Now, as the result of this work, we’ve been able to produce a number of quality up-to-date databases:

Google SERPs & Keywords
Historical Google SERPs & Keywords
Bing SERPs & Keywords
Amazon Products
Google Play SERP
Apple App Store SERP
Domains Database

Whatever your use case is, with DataForSEO Databases, you can rest assured that you will get everything you need neatly structured in JSON or CSV and timely delivered to your storage. If that isn’t enough, we also offer a 50% discount for database updates.

Check out our documentation to learn more about each database and download samples.
SEE DOCS

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Marketing Data Integration: 4 Challenges Faced by Marketers (Who Don’t Code) and How Our Tool Solves Them

Managing and organizing the immense amount of marketing data that modern brands generate to create useful insights is a huge challenge for 4 reasons:

  1. Marketing data is notoriously difficult: Aggregating it from many different sources (not just marketing) is complicated and time-consuming, and even many data integration tools have a limited number of sources from which data can be collected, forcing your team to still do some manual integration.
  2. The data ends up inaccessible to marketers: Most existing tools collect the data and store it in a database, where the data is only accessible via database programming, thereby making it inaccessible to most marketers.
  3. Calculations on data metrics can only be done manually or by complicated third party tools. To generate useful insights, marketers spend dozens of hours crunching numbers or waiting for data teams to help them.
  4. Creating visualizations and reports in a separate tool or manually is tedious and difficult, especially when it has to be done every reporting period. 

To address these pain points, effective marketing data integration is essential. Having a solution which pulls data from all your marketing (and other) data sources into one place that’s accessible by marketers to automatically do any calculation, visualization, and report is hugely efficient.

In this post, we’ll discuss in more detail the data challenges marketers face and look at the current landscape of marketing data integration tools. Then, we’ll show you how TapClicks provides an all-in-one solution specifically designed for marketing data integration. 

Marketing ETL: Important Factors All Marketers Should Consider

If you’re interested in how TapClicks could work as a marketing data integration solution for your organization, you can try it free for 14-days or schedule a demo to learn more.

The Challenges of Marketing Data Integration

Not only do marketers handle a large amount of data in terms of volume, but that data is made up of many (sometimes hundreds) of different data sets. 

For example, there might be campaigns running on different social media channels (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), sales data from eCommerce platforms, or customer data within a CRM platform (e.g., Salesforce). 

The challenge for marketers is that these data sets are stored in silos (i.e., within their own platforms), so pulling that data together and into one place (or single source of truth) can be complicated. We’ll discuss further how this is typically handled below, but often, the data is pulled into some kind of data warehouse (e.g., BigQuery) that can only be accessed by data engineers or data teams with coding experience and not by marketers. 

The next challenge faced by marketers concerns data quality. Data comes in different formats and these have to be standardized (e.g., columns removed, date fields made consistent, etc.) or “normalized” so that the data can be organized and mapped to create a unified view.

Once that’s been done, in order to create visualizations and marketing analytics, calculations (such as working out the total ad spend across different campaigns) and comparing campaign results is crucial for measuring KPIs and marketing performance. 

You’ll want to present meaningful insights in reports to clients and stakeholders on a regular basis.

To recap, the challenges are:

  1. Aggregating a huge amount of disparate data from various sources.
  2. Pulling that data together into one data management system accessible by marketers.
  3. Normalizing that data so it is consistent and usable and then being able to do advanced calculations to create marketing analytics.
  4. Creating and presenting reports from the integrated data to clients and stakeholders whenever required.

These 4 key challenges illustrate the necessity for effective marketing data integration, but many marketers don’t have an efficient solution in place. 

The Landscape of Data Integration Tools for Marketers

To solve the common issues we outlined above, most marketers do one or more of the following:

Solution #1: Manually Integrate the Data

The most obvious and manual way to assemble marketing data to a central location is to go into each platform separately and download each set of data and assemble all of them into a spreadsheet or upload them into your database.

Obviously this is tedious, and after a brand or agency has more than a few marketing platforms it works with, it becomes impractical. 

Solution #2: Use a Data Team or Software Engineer to Code a Process

To help reduce the number of hours of manual work (Feature #1 above), some businesses deploy a data engineer or data team who code home built solutions to get data from different marketing platforms (using public APIs) and store it in a database or data lake. 

If a company has the developer resources to do this, this can be a viable solution. But it should be noted that home-built data integrations like this require constant maintenance and resources to ensure that the APIs work properly and that any new data sources are included as needed. Also, marketers typically can’t easily access the data when it’s stored in a database like this, so they’ll need to ask developers or data engineers to extract data whenever they need it. 

Solution #3: Use ETL or ELT Tools to Do Some of the Work

There are some useful tools that act as connectors that move your data from one location to another. ETL or “extract”, “transform”, “load” tools (e.g., Supermetrics and Improvado) extract data from various sources, transform it by normalizing it and then push it out to a data warehouse or business intelligence (BI) tool such as Tableau.

There are also ELT tools (e.g., Hevo and Talend) which do the same process but in a different order — “extract”, “load”, “transform”. The advantage of ELT versus ETL is that the load times are reduced because the data is transported in its raw state before transformation.  

While these tools are helpful, one disadvantage is that most of these ELT tools have a limited set of connections to marketing data sources. If your organization has marketing data in a platform that’s not on your ELT tool’s list, you’ll need some other custom solution on top of one of these tools or you’ll have to pull data from these sources manually and separately. 

And, because these tools usually pull data into a data warehouse, this is also not accessible by marketers without coding knowledge. So, if marketers want to do calculations or analytics, although the data has been transformed by the ETL/ELT tool, their usefulness stops there. 

You can read more about data pipeline (ETL) tools in this article

Using Analytics Tools (aka Business Intelligence Tools)

Whichever of the 3 solutions are used, marketers want to create meaningful insights and present analytics and reports to clients and stakeholders. 

These can be created manually with spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides (which is really time-consuming) or by using a business intelligence tool such as Tableau. However, BI tools are complex to use, and it may be that only your data team can use them, once again meaning that marketers do not have easy access to their own data and are reliant on another team’s skill set and timescale. 

For a truly effective marketing data integration that’s fully accessible to marketers, you need a tool that can handle the entire process — from pulling data from all your sources, right through to analytics and reporting — all without coding needed.

Our tool, TapClicks, is a complete data integration platform that does exactly this.

Feature #1: The TapClicks “Smart Connector” Tool Ensures You Can Pull Data from Thousands of Data Sources

As mentioned, the key to complete marketing data integration is being able to pull data from every marketing data source. TapClicks was designed specifically for marketers and can connect to essentially every marketing data source easily and automatically with no coding experience needed. 

Our “Smart Connector” tool is a feature within the TapClicks platform that helps users build connections with any data source they may have. To date, we have connected to over 6,000 data sources and in some cases, 12 months historical data can be integrated, too. 

The beauty of this feature is that users are not limited to a restricted number of pre-built API connections offered by many other tools but can build their own connections (or have our team help build one) to any data source. 

TapClicks integrates with over 250 instant-on connectors.

Since no coding knowledge is required, marketing teams without coding experience can set up and manage the connections themselves within our easy-to-use graphical interface. Marketers can do all the tasks usually carried out by a coder such as naming a smart connector, picking data types and mapping fields, as well as uploading data sources manually

Here are just some examples of data sources we can connect to:

  • Email Files
  • Google Sheets
  • Amazon S3, Athena and Redshift
  • Box
  • Dropbox
  • FTP and SFTP
  • Microsoft OneDrive, Azure SQL and SQL Server
  • Google Drive, Google BigQuery, Cloud Storage
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Snowflake
  • QuickBooks Online
  • SalesForce SOQL

This means you can connect to any kind of company data, customer journey data, database, or offline data source you want — all within the TapClicks platform.

Here’s a short video showing how to set up a Smart Connector:

In addition to our Smart Connector tool, we also have hundreds of pre-built API-based data integrations including all the marketing platforms you would expect (e.g., Facebook Ads, LinkedIn, etc.) as well as lesser known ones too (e.g., Genius Monkey and Tiger Pistol). 

Because TapClicks manages the API connections, you don’t need to worry about your data team managing the connections if they break because TapClicks will take care of that for you. 

Once you’ve set up your data connections, whether via our Smart Connector tool and/or via our direct API connections, your data will be pulled through automatically in near real-time daily or whenever you choose to refresh it. 

Being able to easily set up data connections with any data source is easy and time-saving, and gives marketers direct control of their data integration.

Feature #2: TapClicks Stores All Your Data in One Place, Permanently

Most tools move your data to some kind of data warehousing facility either after it’s been transformed (via ETL tools) or before (via ELT tools). To access data from these data warehouses, marketers usually have to rely on data teams with data engineering skills.

With TapClicks, your data is automatically stored in your own TapClicks fully-managed data warehouse, forever. Having everything stored within the same platform means you can use it as a central hub to create analytics and reports directly (see Feature #3 and Feature #4 below)

No coding experience is required so marketers can access their data whenever they want without involving data teams or engineers. And, just because coding knowledge isn’t required, it doesn’t mean that this is a lightweight tool. It’s the opposite. With TapClicks, you have all the benefits of being able to integrate data from any source, and utilize the platform’s sophisticated analytics and reporting features. 

You can read more about TapClicks marketing data warehouse in this article

Feature #3: Integrate Marketing Data by Setting Up Complex Calculations within the TapClicks Platform

While some tools help with standardizing data (such as ETL tools), their usefulness usually ends there. In contrast, not only does TapClicks normalize and “transform” data by ensuring it’s consistent, it also allows marketers to do complex calculations within the platform so you can create visualizations and reports (see Feature #4 below).

Standard ETL Tools vs TapClicks example

TapClicks allows marketers with no coding experience to set up or define advanced calculations just once and execute those calculations at any time in the future. 

Here are a couple of examples:

Customizing and Combining Metrics

Marketers often deal with metrics from different marketing platforms that have unique names but the same (or similar) meanings. For example, a social media agency may track “follows” on Twitter or Facebook and “subscribers” on YouTube simply as “engagement” and want to report that to clients.

Reporting on a “Total Engagement” metric like that is tedious — every month, “likes” and “follows” from different platforms have to be added up by the team and tracked in a spreadsheet. 

But with TapClicks, you can define an umbrella term once and it will remain available and updated with the latest data for all future reports you want to create.

For example, you could create a new term inside TapClicks called “Total Social Engagement” and define it as the sum of post-reactions on Facebook, “views” on YouTube, or click-throughs on LinkedIn (see below)

Edit engagement metrics in TapClicks
Active Metrics in TapClicks

Once that custom metric is defined, it will be available in TapClicks forever, with updated data, so you never have to manually add those engagement metrics yourself again to report on it. In any dashboard or report you build in the future, you can just drop in the metric “Total Social Engagement” (or a graph of this metric over time) and TapClicks will automatically calculate it based on how you defined it and have the number or graph ready for you. 

This is a huge time-saver from doing this manually and goes way beyond the scope of any ETL tool.

Easily Set Up Repetitive Calculations

In addition to defining custom metrics, you can also automate more complex data calculations in TapClicks. 

For example, if your client is a tire manufacturer and you want to view their data by brand but you have multiple ad campaigns running for each brand, you can set up advanced calculations that find the specific brand names within campaigns and aggregate stats across all of these campaigns into single metrics for that specific brand. 

In our example below, we can see that there are 266 Facebook Ad campaigns, all pulling in data from our data sources. 

We’ve decided to name a certain segment of those campaigns ‘HNP Campaigns’ (see arrow on the right-hand side).

HNP Campaign - 1

This means we can now pull data for just those HNP campaigns into any report or dashboard we want to create. 

In this example, there are 191 of them and it pulls the data for all of those campaigns into one line (see arrow on the right-hand side).

HNP Campaigns - 2

You can use this function to group and view data by all types of location or by any segment you like — product, campaign type, or group, and zoom in and out as you need to. 

You can also calculate the overall click-through rate by adding up clicks across many campaigns and dividing by total impressions. You could calculate cost per click for campaigns across a region or specific product lines by adding up total spend and dividing by total clicks. 

The possibilities are endless and are not something that could be achieved by an ETL tool that only “transforms” data fields. And to do this manually would involve several hours of tedious work. 

As with everything in the TapClicks platform, you only have to set up these calculations once and they can be used for multiple campaigns or clients. Then, every week or every month, these metrics are automatically updated and ready for you to report on — saving your team a massive amount of time.

Feature #4: Create Powerful Marketing Reports That Are Automatically Updated with Your Latest Data

As discussed earlier, many marketers manually create reports for their clients each month or have their data team use a separate reporting tool such as a business intelligence tool. 

With TapClicks, because your data is already integrated (Features #1, #2 & #3), it’s easy for marketers to create reports in two ways:

Dashboard Visualizations

You can create dashboards to view campaign data in near real-time. 

TapClicks dashboard tools are designed to be scalable, meaning single dashboards or visualizations can easily be turned into templates and applied across dozens or hundreds of dashboards. 

Editing widgets in TapClicks

As with the advanced calculations (Feature #3 above), marketers can create one dashboard for a specific type of report and filter the data for each client. This has the advantage of letting you make a change to this report in one place and having it instantly apply to all clients.

Here’s a video that shows you how to create a dashboard:

PowerPoint-Style Reports That Are Always Up-to-Date

Our reporting solution, ReportStudio, automatically populates PowerPoint-style reports. These can be scheduled to be sent out to your chosen audience whenever you want (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly, etc.).

TapClicks Reporting Example

Here’s a short video on how to schedule reports with TapClicks:

TapClicks Delivers Data to Any Other Platform

If you prefer to analyze and visualize data in a third-party tool (e.g., a BI tool), you can also push data from TapClicks to any other destination.

For example, if you use Tableau or Google Sheets for analysis and visualization, you can push data from TapClicks there. 

You can read more about TapClicks integration with Google Sheets in this piece.

These are just a few examples. With ReportStudio, you can schedule and automate when the data is sent out. 

Want to Try TapClicks for Your Marketing Integrations?

TapClicks offers full marketing data integration in a single platform which is easy for marketers to access and use without any coding experience. 

If you think TapClicks could work as a marketing data integration solution for your organization, you can try it free for 14-days or schedule a demo to learn more.

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Why The Best (and Most Interesting) Marketing Insights Come from Multiple Data Sources

Broadly speaking, a marketing insight is a piece of useful information about what activities are generating traffic, leads, and sales for the business that will, in turn, influence decision making. Marketing insights are typically gained from many sets of business data. For example, this could include how a particular campaign is performing, how sales revenue is driven, and whether messaging is reaching the correct customers.

In this post, we’ll explain the essential processes marketers need to maximize marketing insights. Then we’ll show you how our software, TapClicks, helps generate marketing insights of real value from multiple data sources by:

  1. Gathering data from all your marketing sources as well as almost any other source.
  2. Storing your data forever in your own data warehouse where it can be accessed by marketers with no coding experience and used for marketing insights whenever you like.
  3. Analyzing your data into unique marketing insights by allowing you to do advanced calculations just once on any data metric that will be there for you to use indefinitely.
  4. Automating powerful visualizations that show your marketing insights from multiple sources via dashboards or PowerPoint-style reports.

If you think TapClicks could work as a marketing insights solution for your organization, you can try it free for 14-days or schedule a demo to learn more.

The Processes Marketers Need to Maximize Marketing Insights

Since the role of marketing is to drive revenue, almost all marketing insights can be traced back to these two questions:

  1. What activities are driving revenue for their clients/brands?
  2. What is the cost of that revenue?

But here is a key realization we’ve had after helping hundreds of brands and agencies analyze countless marketing data points: Answering these questions for a single channel is easy, answering them for multiple channels is more challenging. 

For example, if an eCommerce brand wants to know how much revenue is being driven by Facebook Ads, it can just look up this information in Facebook and see conversions and cost per conversion. Perhaps they may want to corroborate Facebook’s numbers with, say, numbers in Google Analytics, but it’s a simple exercise regardless. 

But what if you wanted to know how much revenue is being driven by a radio ad campaign, broadcast TV, or OTT ads? Radio ads don’t have clicks that lead to web visits so it’s not easy to track or understand the response or the revenue gained. Because of this, you have to correlate their data with other marketing data sources, like how online sales performed in a region where radio ads were run or how click costs of digital campaigns changed when the radio ads were on versus off. All of a sudden, the same two questions above become more challenging to answer because you’re dealing with multiple channels.  

And, what if you wanted to learn how different campaigns influence each other’s performance? What if you wanted to see if programmatic display ads perform better in regions where you’re also running social media ads or TV ads?  This is an important question but non-trivial to answer because they require correlating data sets.

For example, you may learn that if you run a radio ad campaign in a certain region, it reduces the cost of your Facebook Ads in that area from $12 to $7. That’s a valuable marketing insight

Marketing insights gained from correlating data from multiple sources will give you the most valuable information on your marketing efforts so you can make business decisions that really impact your bottom line. 

To be able to regularly generate these insights, marketing teams need the 4 essential processes we outlined earlier: 

  1. Gather data from all marketing sources.
  2. Store it permanently in a place where marketers can easily access it without needing to call on data engineers.
  3. Easily analyze the data.
  4. Visualize and generate reports.

Below, we’ll explain how TapClicks helps with each of these 4 processes.

Process #1: Gather Data from All Your Marketing Sources

The first essential step to generating non-trivial marketing insights that come from correlating data across multiple sources is having easy access to all marketing data in one place

If you don’t, it’s time-consuming and logistically complicated for rank and file marketing employees to regularly correlate marketing performance data across multiple sources, and it won’t be done often enough to regularly generate these insights. They’ll have to download data from a data source and put it in a spreadsheet for each digital marketing campaign or data set, then organize and normalize the data so it’s all consistent. 

This is extremely time-consuming. Plus, the more friction your team has in doing marketing data analysis, the less of it they’ll do, and the less marketing insights they’ll generate.

Organizations who want to routinely generate good marketing insights need software or tools that pull data from multiple marketing platforms and data sources into one place. 

How TapClicks Helps

With TapClicks, you can connect to all of your sales and marketing data sources and pull that data into a single location so your marketing team always knows they can find the data they need inside of TapClicks. 

To date, we have connected to over 6,000 data sources via our “Smart Connector” tool, including proprietary and offline data sources (e.g., customer insight or customer loyalty information). With this tool, TapClicks users can essentially build their own connection (or our team can help build one) to any data source (including home built or even offline data sources) and be able to access it for insight marketing. 

Here’s a short video showing how to create a Smart Connector:

In addition, TapClicks also has hundreds of pre-built API-based data connections that can be instantly turned on to the most popular marketing platforms you would expect, such as Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads as well as broadcast platforms such as Wide Orbit and Marketron.

Once you’ve set up your connections, TapClicks will extract data automatically every day or whenever you choose to refresh it. In many cases, we can extract 12 months of historical data, too, so you can incorporate this into your insight marketing analytics, resulting in deeper insights from the get-go. 

Another benefit of using TapClicks to gather your data is that we manage the API connections for you, rather than your development team having to build API connections and manage them with each platform individually. You don’t need to worry about any connections breaking because the TapClicks team will take care of it for you. 

TapClicks integrates with over 250 instant-on connectors.

Removing the need for your marketing team to spend hundreds of hours each month gathering data and number crunching it in spreadsheets saves a massive amount of time which can be better spent on producing valuable marketing insights that influence your marketing strategy and business initiatives.

Process #2: Store Your Data Forever in Your Own Data Warehouse Which Requires No Coding Experience

It’s one thing to connect to data sources and pull data, but if all that data is stored in different places or in a SQL database that only data engineers can access, it’s not helpful for your marketing employees to be able to quickly dig into that data and correlate different marketing campaign performance and insights.

To get around this and to minimize the inevitable wait times in getting hold of data from busy data teams, a central data warehouse that’s accessible to marketers with no data engineering skills is the second essential process needed for creating marketing insights.

How TapClicks Helps

With TapClicks, all the data sources you have connected to (#1 above) are pulled into your own fully-managed TapClicks data warehouse. No coding or data engineering skills are required, so the data can be accessed at any time — which is critical for marketers. 

The data is stored in your TapClicks data warehouse forever, ready to be drawn on whenever needed for marketing analytics and insights.

Marketing ETL: 3 Important Factors All Marketers Should Consider

You can read more about our TapClicks marketing data warehouse in this article

Storing your data where it can be accessed by marketers with no coding experience and used for marketing insights whenever you like cuts through many unnecessary and time-consuming processes we outlined earlier (e.g., downloading data sets from different platforms, using multiple spreadsheets, etc.).

Process #3: Create Unique Marketing Insights by Doing Advanced Calculations on Multiple Data Sources

The third essential step to creating deep, non-trivial marketing insights is the ability to do advanced calculations and customize metrics from multiple data sources. 

While there are some tools (e.g., ETL “Extract”, “Transform”, “Load” tools) that will help transform or normalize data (e.g., making data sets consistent by removing columns or mapping unstructured data), they do not have the functionality to do the complex calculations needed by marketers to create marketing insights from multiple data sources.

As we mentioned in #1 (above), most marketing teams do this by juggling several complicated spreadsheets and manually calculating the metrics needed for their insights. This is hugely time-consuming and because of the complexity of the work, it is less likely to be done — meaning that fewer valuable marketing insights will be generated. 

How TapClicks Helps

With TapClicks, you have all the data sources you need being pulled into your TapClicks warehouse (#1 and #2 above), and you can set up custom metrics and calculations to create deep insights from your marketing data. And the beauty of TapClicks is that you can create or define a new metric just once and use it for any data analytics or reports thereafter.

Example: Combining Metrics for Marketing Insights across Platforms

Marketers often deal with metrics from different platforms that have unique names that mean the same thing (for example a social media agency may track “follows” on Twitter or Facebook and “subscribes” on YouTube as “engagement”).

Reporting on that every month is tedious — every month each metric has to be added up and tracked on a spreadsheet. 

With TapClicks, you can decide what you’re going to call a particular umbrella metric across a variety of platforms and the TapClicks software will categorize it for you so you can view and compare the data together. 

For example, you could create a new term inside TapClicks called “Total Social Engagement” and define it as the sum of post reactions on Facebook, “views” on YouTube, or click-throughs on LinkedIn(see below).

Edit engagement metrics in TapClicks
Active metrics.

Once you’ve defined the custom metric, you can set up which social media data you want to be included and it will be used for everything — dashboards, reports, campaigns, and clients. This saves a huge amount of time and gives you meaningful marketing insights automatically with very little work involved. 

Example: Marketing Insights across Multiple Locations

If you run a business with multiple locations, or if you have clients who have several locations, creating marketing insights at a granular level is challenging — the same manual and tedious processes we’ve talked about in this post apply here, too.

But with TapClicks, if you want to analyze social media campaigns at different location levels, you can easily combine stats at local, regional, or national levels. 

For example, if you were running social media campaigns for a car dealership, you might want to look at social media spend for one specific dealership. Or you may want to group together, say, three dealerships in a certain area (see below). Any of this can be done with TapClicks. 

You can also view your performance data for the entire car dealership:

Multi location client report.

TapClicks has a default mapping function which means you can report on social media campaigns for an individual location right up to an overall company level as well as every other segment in between. You can hone into whatever location you want to view data for by hovering over that area on a map — zooming in and out of cities, countries, or even globally.

Widgets can be configured so you can view the data as you wish (e.g., CTR by month), shown below, and you can then view this by location where the data will update dynamically.

Impressions by state in map form, performance over time as a bar graph and more.

Categorizing by target audience (or any other metric) by simply using the filters within TapClicks opens up a whole world of deep marketing insights that can be easily created by marketers.

Process #4: Automate Powerful Visualizations & Reports for Your Marketing Insights

Many marketers who don’t have data teams spend time manually combining insights from individual platforms to create visualizations and reports. Or, they may use a separate BI (business intelligence) tool to do this for them. Either way, marketers are either reliant on other tools or departments to do the work for them or they have to spend dozens of hundreds of hours doing it themselves every week or month. 

How TapClicks Helps

Once you’ve set up your metrics and calculations (#3 above), you can view multiple data sources in powerful visualizations by filtering in two ways:

Visualize Your Marketing Insights within Dashboards

Marketers can view their marketing insights via dashboards in near real-time (typically updated daily). Because the TapClicks dashboards have been designed to be scalable, single dashboards of visualizations can be used as templates and applied across dozens of hundreds of dashboards, campaigns, and clients. 

Marketers can also create one dashboard for a specific type of marketing insight report and filter the data to each client. The benefit of this is that you can make a change to just one report and the change will apply to all clients instantly. 

Here’s a video that shows you how to create a dashboard:

View Your Marketing Insights within PowerPoint-Style Reports

With TapClicks, sharing your marketing insights with stakeholders and clients is simple. Our reporting solution, ReportStudio, automatically populates PowerPoint-style reports. These can be scheduled to be sent out to your chosen audience whenever you want (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly, etc.).

Here’s a short video on how to schedule reports with TapClicks:

You can also distribute data to any other third-party platform, for example, Tableau or Google Sheets.

Want to Try TapClicks as Your Marketing Insight Platform? 

With TapClicks, you can easily fulfill all 4 essential processes that marketers need to follow in order to create meaningful and valuable marketing insights from multiple data sources. 

TapClicks offers a flexible and scalable solution for enterprise-level marketers who want to create marketing insights for dozens or hundreds of stakeholders or clients. 

If you think TapClicks could work as a marketing insights solution for your organization, you can try it free for 14-days or schedule a demo to learn more.

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KPI Reporting Examples to Track Client Success

Let's face facts, some clients won’t know what a KPI is. But, educating them on what they are is worth your agency’s time. Once you explain how key performance indicators impact their overall business, they’ll better understand the value your agency is adding to their long-term success.

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Interview with StackAdapt: How Companies Should Advertise Sensitive Verticals

TapClicks recently connected with StackAdapt’s Director of Platform Quality, Connie Yan, to discuss how companies should advertise sensitive verticals (i.e. cannabis, tobacco, gambling, etc.). In this article, we dive into federal laws and restrictions surrounding ad placement, how advertising sensitive verticals have changed since 2020, the successes and challenges companies should consider when advertising sensitive verticals, and more.

1. Can you introduce yourself and StackAdapt?

Hi, I’m Connie, the Director of StackAdapt’s Platform Quality Team. StackAdapt is a self-serve programmatic platform that offers technology to target interest-based audiences online. Our multi-channel platform helps brands buy ads on channels such as display, native, video, connected TV, and audio.

The Platform Quality team at StackAdapt is comprised of ad specialists who work closely with our legal counsel to keep informed and compliant with all advertising regulations, including targeting requirements for campaigns. Our team vets and reviews every campaign prior to going live. They also approve every domain on our sitelist, enabling StackAdapt to have a proactive approach to brand safety. 

2. How has your success in Canada benefited as US states begin legalizing?

StackAdapt has leveraged its success in Canada to standardize a program for the US. As the US has begun legalizing sensitive verticals, StackAdapt has built a great foundation to scale deployment across these verticals. Sensitive verticals are complex due to evolving regulations, regional specific requirements, and looming privacy laws. As more states begin to legalize sensitive verticals, having solid practices in place has helped us tremendously.

Our Platform Quality team is equipped with the right tools and expertise to advise clients at every stage of the campaign lifecycle. From onboarding, campaign planning, to creative consultation, we offer support every step of the way. Over time, we’ve become more sophisticated in developing best practices and have built sustainable and scalable infrastructure to take on sensitive vertical complexities all across the globe. 

3. What are some of the hurdles clients have found when advertising sensitive verticals (i.e. tobacco, cannabis, gambling, etc.) in the digital realm?

Understanding advertising regulations in the digital realm can be complex. Take cannabis for example; there are federal laws, state-specific laws and even by-laws that advertisers need o navigate. Taking the time to dissect and analyze each layer of law requires effort and a level of understanding from the digital advertising perspective. 

Another challenge is turnaround time. For verticals like political, speed really makes the difference as state regulations frequently change. Keeping up-to-date on policy is crucial to execute campaigns that align with current regulations, but can be time consuming. 

With all these factors combined, it’s important to have a strong working relationship with our clients. We have a team of compliance experts who work closely and collaboratively with StackAdapt clients to advise on our policies, infrastructure to execute same day turnarounds, and provide support around the clock.

4. How has advertising sensitive verticals changed, grown, or evolved since 2020?

Sensitive advertising has become increasingly complex in the past few years, especially as the popularity of brands in these verticals has grown. The lessening of regulations has allowed more brands to advertise. Considerations include geographic nuances, and privacy regulation differences within each region.

StackAdapt has been able to anticipate this growth early on and ensure we built platform infrastructure and business processes to support this global expansion. For example, since 2020, we have seen a handful of states legalize sports betting in the US, which is now available in 30 states. The industry is booming, especially among younger fans who are betting online. Last year, sports betting in the US doubled. Americans wagered more than 52.7 billion throughout the year, according to a report from Morning Consult. 

Overall, the number of Americans who bet on sports grew by 30% over the 18-month period ending in September 2021. This was an overall increase of 15.3 million bettors, according to a September study released by the National Council on Problem Gambling. This demonstrates that there is indeed an opportunity to get ahead of change when you address the increase in popularity of sensitive verticals.

5. What are some of the federal laws and restrictions companies should be aware of when advertising sensitive verticals within the US and Canada?

When advertising sensitive verticals, companies should be aware of laws at the federal level, country and regional level, and vertical specific laws. At the federal level, laws like GDPR in the EU were enacted to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens in 2018. In 2020, we saw similar laws adopted in the US at the state level, starting with California and its CCPA/CPRA

Three US states currently have comprehensive consumer privacy laws: California (CCPA and its amendment CPRA), Virginia (VCDPA), and Colorado (ColoPA). At least four other states (Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania) have proposals in committee right now. There are also state-level laws that carve out coverage of individual aspects of data privacy. Examples include e-privacy book rules in Missouri and the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which gives people privacy rights over their biometric data (such as their fingerprints or face scans).

In Canada, we are seeing vertical specific regulations come into play. Last year, Canada passed Bill C-218, legalizing single event sports betting at the federal level. Ontario is the first province to launch its regulated sports betting program. iGaming Ontario (iGO) has worked with the Government of Ontario and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to establish a new online gaming market that helps protect consumers gambling through private gaming operators. 

6. What concerns should businesses consider when advertising sensitive verticals?

Businesses should consider the evolving rules and regulations when advertising for their sensitive brand. Businesses that cannot keep up with these regulations may see a detrimental impact to the success of their advertising campaigns. 

It’s critical to ensure that laws and regulations permit the brand to advertise in specific geographic locations, as these rules tend to change on a regular basis, regardless of vertical. Similarly, depending on the nature of the product or service that you are advertising for, there may be technicalities in the advertising rules for this vertical that need to be considered. For example, within the gambling vertical, advertising may be allowed if you are simply promoting the brand of your business, or not allowed if your business is advertising a medium for gambling and trading. These small technicalities in advertising may seem menial, but they are extremely important to consider when creating an advertising plan for a sensitive brand. Keeping up with these regulations is crucial to a successful advertising strategy. Finding the right advertising partner who is up-to-date creates a second level of assurance and trust for your business. 

Another concern for businesses is the quality of inventory within their sensitive vertical. Finding the right partner who provides transparency in reporting for domains and supply sources is important, as it enables advertisers to reduce media waste and ensure quality control in their digital ads. To combat the risk of low-quality inventory, ask for regular domain reporting from your advertising partner, and analyze performance per domain to ensure your media spend is being used optimally. 

7. When considering ad copy, should ‘cannabis’ or ‘CBD’ be used in place of ‘marijuana’? What are some other insights that are helpful for advertisers to know? 

Cannabis and marijuana can be used interchangeably, but CBD should not be used. This is a common mishap in ad copy and is an even bigger issue for compliance. 

The most common compounds derived from the cannabis plant are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The 2018 US Farm Bill legalizes hemp that has a THC concentration of no more than 0.3%, so we’ve had to include additional checks as part of our vetting practices.

When it comes to ad copy, we’ve seen a lot of creativity. It’s more important to know your audience rather than outright using the word cannabis. There are better ways to connect with the intended audience—using cannabis or marijuana alone doesn’t always resonate.

About TapClicks

TapClicks, Inc. is the leading provider of unified marketing operations, analytics and reporting solutions for media companies, digital marketing agencies, brands, franchises, and HIPAA covered entities. The TapClicks Marketing Operations Platform provides end-to-end business intelligence capabilities that include SEO, social and PPC reporting, automated order entry, set up and approval workflows, marketing performance analysis and the creation of interactive visual reports and presentations. TapClicks integrates more than 200 different data sources via its Connector Marketplace to provide marketers with the ability to analyze data from the full breadth of popular marketing and advertising tools used in the industry today.

If you think TapClicks could work as a data pipeline solution for your organization, you can try it free for 14-days or schedule a demo to learn more.

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Task & Client Management Tools Your Agency Needs To Improve Productivity

Growing your digital marketing agency requires a certain mastery of the art of task management.  Streamlining workflows helps plan, test, track, and report on your clients’ campaigns month-over-month, and year-over-year.

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What makes RocketLink the best link shortener choice in 2021?

The year 2021 has made itself at home for good. And year by year, technology is getting more omnipresent. Of course, there are undeniable advantages to this fact. It facilitates the work in many aspects, speeds up the analysis of results and gives you greater control over many processes. Technology is also an essential aspect of marketing. When looking at digital marketing, many new ideas and best link shortener tools appear on the market every now and then, but how to choose the best ones?

If you share content on social media, you are probably aware of the importance of links. They must not only look good but also be analytically monitored. And above all, they must lead the user to the right page.

Getting your links shorter is the foundation of sharing them across the Internet. After all, no one will click on a link that contains various letters and numbers and takes two lines of your post.

So let’s get down to the business and focus on the best link shortener you should use this year – RocketLink.  

What makes RocketLink the best link shortener? Keep reading, we will about its features and describe how to use it. Grab a pen and make some notes!

What is RocketLink, and what is its offer?

As you probably know, RocketLink is best link shortener that can help you with monitoring your links and audience performance. It is a great tool, thanks to which you will be able to manage your links and audience more efficiently. What else can RocketLink give you? 

Retargeting pixels

This is one of the basic functions of best link shortener that allow you to expand the reach of your website. Here it works. Each user who sees your link and clicks on it will be automatically added to the target audience list. This way, they will be redirected to your website.

Thanks to retargeting, you create a customer base and use it in social media or Google Ads. What else will you gain? First of all, you will be able to refine the content more precisely. Retargeting gives you many tips regarding the preferences of your recipients. And most importantly, you will cut costs significantly.

QR codes

RocketLink, as the best link shortener, allows you to get to your customers via QR codes. It seems convenient and very popular these days. By sharing such code, you can also get the same information as in the case of links. About half of China population scan QR codes a few times each week. Maybe it is worth considering letting your audience scan the codes?

Call to action 

About 90% of people who read your headline also read your CTA copy. It shows how important it is to focus on CTAs and do not forget adding them. Thankfully RocketLink allows you to add a call to actions to each of the given link you want to share and promote.

UTM tags

Thanks to them, you can easily track the performance of your links. It is a great support to the analytics and allows you to have a comprehensive overview on your Google Analytics account. Read our article on how to use UTMs for improving your campaigns. You would see the whole power of them and how to improve your marketing strategy thanks to UTMs. 

Overall, analytics is RocketLink’s strength. Not only thanks to UTMs. This tool allows you to collect information such as a referrer, localisation or even the recipient’s operating system. Thanks to this, you can keep an eye on statistics and links performance and be more aware of who your audience is. 

Custom domain and thumbnail 

Creating your own subpages is a great advantage of RocketLink. This allows you to create a unique, branded URL, which builds brand awareness among recipients. Helps a little with SEO, too. 

In addition, you can also adjust the titles, graphic and description of links that you share on social media platforms. This type of content encourages people to be clicked on a link or, on the contrary, they can be lazy. Such aspects build communication and trust.

Widgets 

Customer retention is important to any website. And RocketLink will help you make a difference. You can set up external widgets such as pop-ups, push notifications and many more. It aims to encourage users to visit this site and stay there. 

Invite users to the newsletter or to create an account. You will see how customer retention results will increase. And it’s all thanks to one tool!

Custom 404 Redirects

Everyone gets it wrong sometimes, and so do your users. Especially, when it comes to typos. Therefore, you can choose where the users who incorrectly enter your domain address or click on the link will be redirected. 

GDPR Consent Option

To keep things lawful, RocketLink also allows you to add a GDPR consent to your links. What is the GDPR? It is a shortage of the General Data Protection Regulation. This is a way to ask for consent to use your users’ data. Valid in the European Union. Non-compliance with these norms can cost you heavy penalties.

Integrations 

RocketLink is available as Firefox and Google extensions. So it is not rocket science to use it.

Moreover, you can integrate it with SocialBee and Publer. This makes managing your link’s performance even easier. 

Support

Support is very important in the case of this type of tools. If you have any questions, RocketLink has very efficient support, feel free to ask any questions. You can also look for answers in the Knowledge Base section, which is filled to the brim with tips. The blog with many articles and interesting data and statistics can be a good source of support and inspiration for further digital activities.

As you can see, the range of features is quite big. This is not only a tool to shorten the link, but you can do much more. The above functions will allow you to lower your CPC and increase your CTR. At the same time, you can increase brand awareness, too. Doesn’t that sound good?

How to use it?

So you already know what RocketLink is and what features and benefits it offers. But to use its full potential, you need to know how to use it. So here’s a quick tutorial.

  1. First, you need to sing up, create an account, set the password and be ready to dive in. This tool is really intuitive and easy to use.
  1. The next step is to add your own pixels. Nothing easier! You click on the Pixels tab and choose New Pixel. When you see a pop-up, you have to enter pixel info there. That’s basically it. This way, you can add as many pixels as you want. 
  1. Now let’s move to links. Similar rules here – click Links first and then New Links. At this point, you can start adding different pixels to the links. At this stage, you can also add UTM for even more precise tracking. Then you will be redirected to shortened links, and you can copy them or set your own domain. We recommend the latter option.

What’s important is that SSL certificates are generated automatically for your custom domains. It is a significant factor, especially for the end-users. Everyone wants to feel safe online, and SSL certificates make that possible. Everyone wants to feel safe online, and SSL certificates make that possible. The importance of an SSL certificate is of the utmost and if you want to secure your website, you need to buy an SSL certificate from a reputed SSL certificate authority. A reliable SSL provider can give you the best after-sales support and higher encryption-enabled SSL products.

  1. Once you publish your links, you should keep tracking their performance. So you can obviously do it via your RocketLink account. You can follow your links on a regular basis, you have access to all the most important statistics, and thanks to UTMs, Google Analytics comes in handy too. The only thing you can do now is to keep analysing and draw conclusions. 

And this is the whole process of using and creating links with RocketLink. Quick and efficiently, doesn’t it? Hopefully, you now comprehend how much RocketLink can help, and from now on, you will only shorten your links through this tool.  

Over to you

As you can see, RocketLink is a very user-friendly tool, thanks to which you can take care of your links. Use them, and you will surely notice the difference. Thanks to this tool, you can not only shorten or customise links but also you can follow their performance and get to know the audience better. 

Pricing is an undeniable advantage of RocketLink. You have three plans to choose from. Liftoff costs $19 per month, Space which is $29 per month and Galaxy – $69 per month. Each of them has ten days of free trial to use. You can also get a custom plan. There is also a possibility to get a demo! Are you ready to make the most of your links?

The post What makes RocketLink the best link shortener choice in 2021? appeared first on RocketLink.

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Hotjar vs FullStory vs Smartlook: A Detailed Comparison (2022)

Hotjar vs FullStory vs Smartlook: A Detailed Comparison

Hotjar, FullStory, and Smartlook are three of the most popular options you’ll encounter when researching behavior analytics tools.

While they have some overlapping features (like session recordings and heatmaps), there are also crucial differences that can be easily overlooked. In this article, we’ll discuss these differences and how they impact your ability to analyze and improve your users’ experience.

Before we dive in, here’s a quick comparison between Hotjar, FullStory, and Smartlook:

Platforms and technologies

  • Smartlook and FullStory are compatible with websites and mobile apps, while Hotjar can’t be used on mobile apps.
  • Smartlook and FullStory both work with native iOS and Android apps, as well as React Native ones. 
  • Smartlook is compatible with more mobile app development technologies than FullStory. For example, FullStory can’t be used on Flutter apps, while Smartlook can. Overall, Smartlook is compatible with React Native, Flutter, Cordova, Xamarin, Ionic, Unity, and Unreal Engine. 

Setup and data collection mechanism

  • All three tools are easy to set up because you only need to install one small code snippet.
  • Smartlook and FullStory record every single user session and interaction on your site or app (no sampling). This ensures you have a complete view of your users’ experience and can track business-critical interactions (events) without coding.
  • Hotjar can record all sessions on your site, but can’t index every user interaction (event) automatically. Instead, you have to manually set up event tracking, which is difficult, time-consuming, and requires programming skills.

Key capabilities

  • All three platforms offer session recordings (sometimes called session replays) and heatmaps.
  • Smartlook and FullStory let you build funnels to analyze key user flows (e.g., onboarding and checkout) and calculate conversion rates. Hotjar retired their Forms and Funnels feature in 2020.
  • Hotjar lets you ask visitors about their experience via surveys and user feedback features. In contrast, Smartlook and FullStory can show you the entire user journey and help you understand the context behind users’ actions (which surveys can’t do).

Pricing structure

  • Smartlook and Hotjar have transparent pricingBoth tools have a free plan, two standard subscription levels, and an option to build a custom plan tailor-made to your business.
  • FullStory doesn’t have public pricing or a free forever plan.

Now, we’ll look at the practical implications of these differences in more detail. 

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide: 

Smartlook brings rich product analytics & visual user insights under one roof — without hiding the price tag. Start analyzing and improving your users’ experience with Smartlook’s full-featured, 10-day trial — no credit card required. 

The differences in analyzing user behavior with Hotjar, FullStory, and Smartlook

Hotjar, FullStory, and Smartlook all use session recordings to show you how users experience your site (and mobile app in the case of FullStory and Smartlook). 

However, there are key differences in the type and volume of behavior data these tools collect:

  • Hotjar can record all sessions on your website and use the gathered data to populate your heatmaps. However, Hotjar does not automatically capture user interactions like button clicks or text inputs.
  • In contrast, Smartlook and FullStory automatically record all sessions and user interactions on your site or app. 

Having both session recordings and user interaction data at your fingertips has a huge impact on the type of behavior insights you can get (and how easy it is to get them). 

Specifically, recording user sessions and user interactions automatically has four massive benefits.

#1. Track events without coding or using a third-party tool

Tracking individual user actions like button clicks, text inputs, or link clicks (known as events in web analytics) is essential for understanding user behavior. 

Monitoring events lets you perform quantitative analysis, so you can answer questions like: 

  • Which of the links in the navigation bar do users click the most?
  • How many times was the button for the new feature clicked since it was added?
  • How many times was each call-to-action (CTA) on the homepage clicked during a marketing campaign?

Hotjar, FullStory, and Smartlook all have event analytics capabilities. However, the different data collection mechanisms we just discussed have big implications on how easy it is to work with events.

Since Hotjar doesn’t index all user interactions automatically, you need to tell it which ones to track upfront. This means you have to write JavaScript code and use Hotjar’s Events API. The actual interactions can also be tracked with Google Tag Manager or Segment, but they still have to be sent to Hotjar via the API. As a result:

  • You need to accurately predict which events you want to track in advance. 
  • You need programming skills to track even simple events like button clicks.
  • Because the interaction data isn’t automatically collected, there’s always a delay between realizing you need to track an interaction and having the data to do so.

In contrast, Smartlook and FullStory automatically record all user sessions with every interaction in them (FullStory refers to this as “Tagless Autocapture”). Because all the interaction data is collected for you, all you have to do is select which interactions you want to monitor as events

For example, in Smartlook the process of selecting which interactions appear in your dashboards as events is called defining an event. You can define events in three ways without coding:

1. Use the no-code event pickerWhen defining a new Smartlook event, there’s a “Pick event on page” button, which lets you define an event by clicking on elements in your site or app’s UI, as shown in the screenshot below. Because the interaction data is already collected, you get information about the number of clicks on that element just by hovering over it.

Get a 1-to-1 demo button

2. Choose from a template list of standard eventsincluding clicked on URL, clicked on text, typed text, clicked-on CSS selector (allowing you to select any element on the page).

Choose from a list of standard events.

3. Define an event from a recording. While you’re watching a session recording, you may see some actions that you’d like to track. In that case, you can pause the replay, click on the “Session events” tab, and make that action into an event without leaving the replay by clicking on “Create Event”.

Create an event within a recording.

When you define an event, Smartlook immediately identifies every instance of that event, going back as far as your data retention plan goes, so the tracking visualization appears instantly (like in the GIF below). 

Event Details in Smartlook

You can see how event tracking works in our free public demo (no registration or credit card required).

Put simply, Smartlook and FullStory’s automatic collection of user interaction data ensures that: 

  • You don’t need a developer every time you want to track a new event (like you do with Hotjar).
  • You don’t need to worry about accurately predicting which events you’ll need in the future. Instead, you can always define events retroactively, based on historical data.

Lastly, both Smartlook and FullStory let you create custom events to track pretty much anything that’s not automatically captured (this requires some programming skills, though).

#2. Filter session recordings based on events that took place in them

Being able to track events without coding is a powerful capability. However, combining event tracking with session recordings opens up even more ways to gather insights into your users’ behavior.

For example, the screenshot below shows two button click events being compared on the same screen in Smartlook. As you can see, there’s a “Play” button under each of the events.

Events: Buy Package and Pay Now Button

Clicking that button takes you directly to all session recordings where each event took place. This lets you find relevant sessions much faster, compared to watching hours of random videos.

Smartlook also takes you to the moment five seconds before the event takes place, so you don’t have to sit through the entire recording. Alternatively, you can always watch the entire session for context on what the user did before or after performing the action.

You can just as easily do the same thing with FullStory, since it also lets you filter session recordings based on events. And while this is also technically possible with Hotjar, the manual event tracking setup makes working with events much more difficult and time-consuming.

Combining events with session recordings is also useful for finding and fixing bugs or other frustrating elements.

In fact, Smartlook and FullStory both track rage clicks and JavaScript errors as events by default (FullStory also tracks dead clicks and thrashed cursor events)

For example, the screenshot below shows “Error” and “Rage Click” events being compared on the same screen in Smartlook.

Events, Errors, Rage Clicks in Smartlook

By clicking on the small “Play” button under each event, you can instantly identify the sessions where they took place. In the case of JavaScript errors, you can send the relevant replays to your developers. Then, they can watch the exact steps which led to the problem and learn more about it by clicking on the “DevTools” button.

DEVTOOLS option to send to developers

And since the recordings also include the data that was sent in the background, developers can often skip bug reproduction altogether because they immediately see what went wrong.

Like Smartlook and FullStory, Hotjar also tracks rage clicks by default, so you can use the rage click event to filter recordings. However, Hotjar doesn’t track JavaScript errors, so you can’t speed up bug finding and reproduction like we just showed.

#3. Allow everyone to benefit from your analytics tool

Combining session recordings with automatic event tracking lets many different teams take advantage of your analytics tool. For example:

  1. Product managers can automatically collect all user interactions (events) in the product with a single snippet. This makes the product analytics process much easier, compared to the traditional method of manually setting up event tracking. They can also use session recordings to show others exactly what’s going on with the product. This is a huge improvement over traditional product analytics tools, which only show stats and metrics that are difficult to interpret.
  2. Marketers can track user actions and analyze the effectiveness of website changes without needing constant developer help. For example, say your marketing team updates your homepage’s above-the-fold copy with the goal of getting more people to click on a CTA button. They can set up an event to track each time a user clicks on the CTA button (using Smartlook’s no-code event picker) and monitor it over time to understand the impact of their changes.
  3. User experience (UX) designers and researchers can see the entire context behind users’ actions, from the moment they open your site or app to the moment they close it. Additionally, they can filter session recordings based on a specific event if they want to analyze a particular user interaction. 
  4. Customer support teams can use session recordings to quickly understand and resolve problems. With the Identify API (which we’ll discuss in a bit), you can actually locate users’ session recordings, based on an identifier like email or username. Then, when an identified user reports a bug, your support team can see exactly what went wrong, without nagging the user for an explanation. 
  5. Development and quality assurance (QA) professionals can watch session recordings to see the exact situations in which bugs occurred, making bug reproduction much easier. And, as we said, developers can often skip reproduction altogether by using the session recordings plus the data sent in the background.

Besides automatic event tracking, all of these teams can also benefit from using session recordings in combination with funnels. Here’s why.

#4. Build event-based funnels and combine them with session recordings for fast insights

Funnels (sometimes referred to as conversion funnels) are sequences of steps users take to complete a goal on your site or app, like purchasing a product or completing an onboarding tutorial. 

FullStory and Smartlook allow you to build event-based funnels without coding, so you can analyze key user flows and calculate conversion rates

For example, if you have an e-commerce store, you can build a funnel that maps each step of your checkout process. Or, if you have a SaaS app with an onboarding tutorial, you can map each step of the tutorial to an event, so you can find the overall completion rate as well as where most users drop off

More importantly, with Smartlook and FullStory, you can combine funnels with session recordings to understand why users drop off

For example, the screenshot below shows a 3-step checkout funnel built with Smartlook.

New payment funnel: Buy/ Upgrade

This funnel can be built with three standard events, without any coding:

  • Event (Step) 1: Users click on the button for buying a package. (You can select the button with our no-code event picker.)
  • Event (Step) 2: They click on “Pay now” (Again, use the no-code event picker.)
  • Event (Step) 3: They arrive on the “Thank you” page (Use the “Visited URL” standard event and enter the page URL.)

As you can see, there’s a “Play” button under each step, including the drop-off stages, which takes you directly to the relevant replays. As a result, with a few clicks, you can narrow tons of sessions down to a few that are guaranteed to show you a point of friction on your site or app. 

We’ve talked about the importance of combining funnels and session recordings in other articles, so check out our funnel analysis guide for more details and examples.

While Smartlook and FullStory both let you build event-based funnels like the one we showed above, Hotjar retired their Forms and Funnels feature

Today, you can’t build funnels in Hotjar, so if you want to analyze key user flows, you’d have to use Google Analytics in combination with Hotjar. This makes finding and fixing usability issues slow and inefficient, as we discussed in our article on Smartlook vs. Hotjar

The big problem is that there’s no quick way to learn why users are dropping off, since you can’t pinpoint users who didn’t convert like with Smartlook and FullStory. 

At best, you can use Google Analytics to find the URL or button click that preceded the largest drop-off, and then filter sessions in Hotjar for that URL or button click. However, that will leave you with sessions that advanced beyond the step, meaning you’ll have to watch hours of irrelevant recordings.

Hotjar vs. FullStory vs. Smartlook: Overlapping features

Since all three tools are designed to help you analyze user behavior, they naturally have overlapping features and capabilities. Before we dive into those, note that all three tools are private and secure by design, meaning they never capture sensitive information like passwords and credit card information. 

Session recordings and heatmaps

As we said, all three tools can record every user session on your site or app automatically. 

They also have similar filters to help you quickly find relevant session replays (like date, URL visits, country, device, operating system, referrer URL, and more).

Recordings, Events, Users, Location, Source, Technology options in Smartlook

On that note, if you want to learn how Hotjar, FullStory, and Smartlook stack up to other popular session recording tools like Mouseflow, CrazyEgg, and Lucky Orange, check out our article on the 8 best session replay tools.

Again, Smartlook and FullStory make it much easier to filter sessions based on user interactions (events), since they track those by default. 

In contrast, Hotjar lets you filter recordings based on customer feedback. For example, you can quickly find recordings of users who filled out your NPS survey with positive responses.

Besides session recordings, Hotjar, FullStory, and Smartlook also offer three types of heatmapsclick maps (far left in the screenshot below)move maps (middle), and scroll maps (right).

Reading a heatmap: Click Maps, Move Maps, and Scroll Maps.

It’s worth noting that FullStory has two other variations: Rage Click and Dead Click heatmaps.

Creating a heatmap with each of the three tools is easy since they all collect scrolls, clicks (or taps on mobile), and mouse movements by default.  

Identify API

Hotjar, FullStory, and Smartlook all have an Identify API, which lets you send identifying characteristics (like user id, name, or email) to the service. 

For example, the screenshot below shows a mobile game session replay in Smartlook. Since the user was identified with our API, you can also see their ID, email, and name (in the bottom-left corner).

Spaceboss Detailed Recording User Information: User ID, User Email, User Name.

This functionality can save your customer support teams tons of time because they can filter session recordings based on one or more of these characteristics. 

When a user reports a problem, customer support can jump into the recordings of that user’s sessions and immediately understand the issue. This also results in a much better customer experience, as your support team doesn’t have to ask users for explanations.

Integrations

Hotjar, FullStory, and Smartlook all have integrations with popular software solutions that marketing, product, UX, support, and dev teams use. These integrations allow you to fit each of the three tools into your workflow. 

For example, all three have an integration with Optimizely, which is one of the most popular experimentation platforms. Thanks to this integration, Hotjar, FullStory, and Smartlook can show you session replays of users who landed on a specific version of a page you’re testing. This is crucial for validating the accuracy of your experiments as we explained in our article on the top 10 A/B testing tools.

However, FullStory and Smartlook have a much larger library of integrations compared to Hotjar, which only has seven native integrations (the rest have to be set up via Zapier).

Besides A/B testing tools, FullStory and Smartlook can also be integrated with:

  • CRMs like Salesforce.
  • Bug tracking software like Sentry.
  • Analytics tools like Mixpanel, Segment, Google Analytics, and more.

Hotjar vs. FullStory vs. Smartlook: Pricing comparison

Pricing structure is one of the biggest differences between Hotjar, FullStory, and Smartlook.

On one hand, Smartlook and Hotjar offer transparent and flexible pricing that’s suitable for all kinds of businesses. Both platforms have:

  • A free plan that you can use without providing a credit card. 
  • Two paid pricing plans (between $39-99/month). 
  • An option to create custom plans, based on how many sessions you want to record on your site (and mobile app, in the case of Smartlook).
Smartlook Pricing Package Options

In terms of recorded sessions per month, Smartlook is more cost-effective at every price point, but Hotjar stores data for longer periods of time compared to Smartlook in the lower pricing ranges. 

On the other hand, FullStory doesn’t have a free forever plan or a transparent pricing model. Instead, they only offer two paid plans: Business (which has limited features but includes a 14-day free trial of their web product, but not their mobile) and Enterprise, which provides access to everything. But to find out how much either plan costs, you have to reach out to the sales team.

Also, since FullStory is targeted toward enterprise customers, many reviewers report that while the introductory price for the first six months or so is reasonable, the renewal rate can get very steep (a problem we discussed in our article on the 11 best FullStory alternatives.) 

We’ve found that most smaller teams can’t afford to get a plan that records all of their traffic, which is crucial for getting the most out of a session recording tool.

Smartlook is the only one of the three that offers access to session recordings on web, iOS, and Android platforms in all of its plans, including the free forever plan.

Start analyzing and improving the UX on your website or mobile app with Smartlook

Smartlook brings rich product analytics and visual user insights under one roof — without hiding the price tag. Our platform can help you analyze user behavior on websites and mobile apps (which Hotjar can’t do) while offering transparent and flexible pricing options (which FullStory doesn’t do).

Smartlook combines the power of quantitative and qualitative analytics, so you can track what users do, uncover why they do it, and improve their experience.

Try out Smartlook today with our full-featured, 10-day trial: no credit card required.

For an in-depth Smartlook presentation that’s tailored to your business, schedule a demo with our team.

Martin Bolf
Martin Bolf

is the product manager at Smartlook. Martin is enthusiastic about delivering the best possible customer experience. Prior to joining Smartlook as a product manager, he used to work as a consultant for Oracle NetSuite. Martin has a deep professional interest in biometric signing and work digitalization. He is also an NFL enthusiast and likes to enjoy good food (ideally while watching NFL).

The post Hotjar vs FullStory vs Smartlook: A Detailed Comparison (2022) appeared first on Smartlook Blog.

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Social media marketing funnel: how to easily reach and convert customers at any stage

Whether you work in a B2C, B2B or D2C, your business and sales depend on connecting with individuals and winning them over.

Social media is all about connection—with each other and with brands. That’s why there’s a huge amount of—often untapped—potential in harnessing the power of different social media platforms in getting your message across to the right people at the right moment.

Adults in the US reportedly spend 95 minutes a day on different social media platforms. All this time spent on social media isn’t just about entertainment and seeking inspiration and advice.

How then does all this fit in with your business goals? Can social media marketing bring any real value to your business, or is it a waste of time and money?

If you do it right, it can become a crucial part of your overall marketing strategy that brings measurable results and has a proven impact on your sales.

Note: This article focuses on the paid social marketing funnel, i.e., targeted ads. But, many of the points also apply or give food for thought to your organic social media strategy.

Fast forward >>

What’s a social media marketing funnel?

The marketing funnel is a model that describes the customer journey and the different touchpoints that a user normally goes through before becoming your customer. Different cases describe and label the funnel slightly differently, but the idea is the same.

Social media marketing funnel visualization

Typically the stages of the social media marketing funnel are described like this:

  • Awareness: first becoming aware of your brand or product
  • Consideration:  finding out more about it, comparing different options
  • Conversion: making a purchase, starting a trial, or becoming a lead for sales

Depending on your strategy, sometimes also include the post-conversion stages of:

  • Loyalty: existing customer satisfaction, upselling
  • Advocacy: spreading the word and becoming an ambassador for your brand

At each stage of the funnel, you have the opportunity to reach the potential audience and lead them further along the funnel. Ideally, the social media marketing funnel is a collaborative effort between different stakeholders at your company, with

  • Sales: providing insights about target markets, audiences, and accounts
  • Paid social: targeting your potential audience with the right message, driving the goals of each funnel step
  • Organic social: managing content pillars to capture interest and delight your audience
  • Community management: engaging with users and followers, leading a conversation, and providing customer service through social channels

In reality, the customer journey isn’t often as straightforward as the funnel image shows. Users may drop off or go back and forth within the funnel. They might often revisit your website and take actions multiple times before converting—often through a different channel than where the first touch point happened.

That’s why it’s important to set the right expectations and KPIs for each social media funnel step and be mindful of the attribution you use to measure them. More about those later.

Marketing Attribution

Learn how to build an attribution model for your business

Read now

How to build a social media marketing funnel

How should you define your audience for each funnel step, and how can you reach them? Before you can start reaching your audience on social media, you need to know who they are and where they spend their time.

Who are you trying to reach?

Think about what shared attributes your target audience has.

  • Where and how to they spend their free time? 
  • What kind of content interests them? 
  • What kinds of challenges do they face? 
  • What brings them relief and joy? 

Some of this information can be gained through customer and market research and insights from your organization’s sales and customer service teams.

Start with the information you have, and gain more through testing along the way.

Even the most established norms and most out of the box hypothesis are worth testing—and that’s what social media marketing platforms are perfect for.
Anna Leikas, Paid Social Media Manager, Supermetrics

Where to reach them?

Research the demographic and usage of the different social media platforms to determine which ones have the most potential to reach your target audiences.

Distribution of TikTok users in the United States as of September 2021, by age group. Statista.
Distribution of TikTok users in the United States as of September 2021, by age group. Source: Statista
Percentage of U.S. adults who use Pinterest as of February 2021, by age group. Statista.
Percentage of US adults who use Pinterest as of February 2021, by age group. Source: Statista

Each platform serves a different purpose and attracts different audiences with different behavior. Find the ones where your audience spends their time. Test different platforms to determine which performs best at driving your KPIs at each funnel step. 

Here are some examples and recommendations for each funnel step’s goals, audience definitions, and metrics.

Funnel Step 1: awareness

Goal: ad recall and brand lift

Before we want to commit or buy something from a brand—or even spend any of our time with it—we usually want to feel like we know them, trust them, and see them as a match for our individual needs and values. 

At the awareness stage, we have the opportunity to communicate this to our broadest possible audiences. That’s why we should start big and capture the attention of everyone who can become our customers or influence the purchase decision.

The messaging at this stage could include a problem statement your audience can relate to and the solution you offer to that problem. Or it can be about the values your brand represents that your target audience shares. The main goal for this stage is to catch the user’s attention and leave a mark. Ultimately, make them remember your name and what you can help them with when the time comes.

While static image ads work well, the video format is ideal for ads in the awareness stage. 

It’s great at capturing the user’s attention through dynamic visuals and storytelling. Because if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million.

Using video ads unravels new opportunities for building retargeting audiences for your next funnel steps, for example, those who watched 50% or more of your video ads, demonstrating a clear interest in your brand or products.

According to HubSpot’s report The State of Content Marketing in 2022, “Video is the number one format marketers used in their content strategy in 2021.”

FedEx ad video

Metrics to measure awareness stage performance

At least:

  • Reach: how many unique users have seen your ads
  • Frequency: how many times on average a unique user has seen your ad
  • Estimated ad recall lift: when running an ad recall campaign 

Brand lift tests offered by Facebook and LinkedIn are worth testing if you have a chance.

… but you should also usually track:

  • Impressions: how many times have your ads been shown
  • Engagements: how many times have users engaged with your ads
  • Engagement rate: how many ad impressions led to an engagement
  • CPM: cost per 1,000 impressions
  • CPV: average cost per video view
  • Video views 25%–100%: how many times your videos were watched to a certain timestamp
  • View rate: how many impressions led to a video view

… and vanity metrics are an interesting extra, too, such as:

  • Likes
  • Reactions
  • Follows
  • Saves

How to optimize awareness campaign performance

Analyze your campaign performance against the above metrics and your campaign objectives. 

Some things to consider:

  1. Which audience segments or targeting methods bring the best results? Does your targeting need adjusting?
  2. Is your budget distributed so your focus segments and markets get their rightful share?
  3. Think, what’s more important to you—maximizing your reach among a certain key audience or market, even if that means higher costs or maximizing your reach while optimizing the cost?
  4. Is one of your creatives underperforming, and can you make changes to it? What can you learn from the highest performing creatives? 

On LinkedIn, analyze the demographics report to see whether your ads are getting in front of the right people—job titles, seniorities, industries, companies—or whether you should adjust the targeting.

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After you’ve reached and engaged with your audience at the top of the funnel awareness stage, some of them will be more receptive to learning more about our products and services at the next stage. Some might not be ready yet, but you want to ensure they know where to go when the time comes. That’s why you should never underestimate the long-term impact of brand advertising.

Awareness campaigns also allow us to recognize our most potential users and build future audiences for our next stage.

Funnel Step 2: consideration

Goals: website visits and engagement

Great, so you’ve hopefully gotten their attention. Your next job is to convince them your product is what they need.

Use your consideration campaigns to tell your audience more about the benefits you offer and about your unique selling proposition.

Aiming for conversion events that are too far along the purchase flow in the consideration stage can easily lead to an unreasonably high cost per action.
Anna Leikas, Paid Social Media Manager, Supermetrics

Give them reasons to choose you instead of one of your competitors. When I say competitors, that’s not only your direct competitors but also indirect ones, like finding an alternative solution to their problem or simply not buying anything.

What makes your products unique? How will the user benefit from them? Is it the amazing selection, price, ethics, time or money saved, experience, or ease of use?

At the consideration stage, you want to target a more specific audience—those who’ve already shown interest or recognized the need that your product or service could potentially fulfill.

To reach them, you can retarget audiences who’ve already expressed interest in your brand or similar products. This is also where the previously mentioned video engagement audiences come in handy. Or maybe they’re following a relevant discussion on Twitter or Reddit or engaging with brands similar to yours on Instagram. If they’ve already continuously engaged with content around certain topics, they might also be ready to hear about what your brand can offer them.

As always, test different ad formats, such as video and carousel, both great for engagement, and collection ads, without forgetting the oldie but goodie single image ads. Single image ads can often have a relatively high click-through rate as long as the message and call to action are on point.

Metrics to measure consideration stage performance

Depending on your campaign goal, whether it’s website traffic:

  • Link clicks: number of times the ad link was clicked
  • Link CTR: the percentage of times a user clicked your ad after seeing it
  • Link CPC: cost per link click

Or engagement with your social media content:

  • Video views 25–100%: how many times your videos were watched to a certain timestamp
  • View rate: how many impressions led to a video view
  • Engagements: how many times users engaged with your ads
  • Engagement rate: how many ad impressions led to an engagement

Or performing measurable actions on your website:

  • Website micro-conversions: users entering your purchase flow or consuming content
  • Website conversion rate: the percentage of users entering your purchase flow after engaging with your ad

How to optimize consideration campaign performance

After your campaigns have been running for up to a week or so, look at how they’re performing against your key metrics.

Compare your campaign performance against your campaign benchmarks and the general industry benchmarks.

Facebook advertising benchmarks
Facebook advertising benchmarks: average click-through rate. Source: WordStream.

Here are some other tips on what to look for in the consideration stage:

  1. Analyze the volume and quality of the website traffic coming from your social media campaigns. In your analytics tool, pay attention to the bounce rate and time spent on site after arriving through your ads.
  2. Is your engagement rate up to the expected level, and what’s the quality of engagements? Remember to monitor the comments and replies you receive and perform community management.
  3. Have your conversion campaigns completed the learning phase and started delivering fully? If not, maybe adjust your targeting to gain more data for the platform to optimize for your goal.
  4. If you’re using micro-conversions as your campaign goal, are conversions coming in, or have you set the bar too high? Aiming for conversion events that are too far along the purchase flow in the consideration stage can easily lead to an unreasonably high cost per action.

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Don’t forget to build audiences from the top segments you’ve engaged with, brought to your key landing pages, or introduced them to your purchase flow. You’ll need them later at the conversion step.

Funnel Step 3: conversion

Goals: conversions, purchases, and leads

By now, you have your potential customers well defined and know how to reach them again. Now all you need to do is give them that final nudge to go ahead and do what you know they want to.

After your awareness and consideration campaigns, chances are you or—in the age of machine learning—the social media platforms have a pretty good idea of who your ideal customers are, how they behave, and what they like.

Now, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to finish their purchase. Use the audience lists you have built in your consideration stage and retarget the users with your best direct response messaging.

Remove any final bottlenecks or shadow of a doubt. Give them social proof through awards, recommendations, customer reviews, or testimonials. Remind them of how easy it is to get started with your product. Maybe give a discount code as a little welcome present. Whatever you think will put a smile on their face and encourage them to become your customer or finalize a purchase.

Pro tip: If you work in ecommerce, Facebook and Instagram offer intelligent catalog sale ads. Not only can they remind the user what they left in their shopping cart, but also recommend other similar products that they may like in an easily browseable format—complete with your branded frame and added discount automatically displayed.

The main thing is to be clear about what you want the user to do after seeing your ad, including a direct CTA that prompts them to do that specific action. Also, a sense of urgency often helps. No room for hesitation at this point.

Emirates conversion ad example
Emirates ad
Smartly conversion ad example
Smartly.io ad
HappySocks conversion ad example
HappySocks ad

Metrics to measure conversion stage performance

At this stage, it usually comes to your most business-critical metrics, such as:

  • Conversions: the most valuable events you have set up in your ad tracking
  • Catalog sales: items sold from your ecommerce catalog
  • Leads, MQLs, form fills: form submissions on your website

And of course, the effectiveness of these, whether for you it’s the:

  • Conversion rate: the number of conversions divided by visit,
  • Cost of conversion: ad spend divided by the number of conversions
  • Value of the items sold: revenue from sold items
  • ROI, ROAS: the ratio between net income and investment or revenue and ad spend

How to optimize conversion campaign performance

Now it’s the time to put your money where your mouth is. 

Ideally, you’d know your target ROAS or cost per customer acquisition and be able to optimize the ad spend towards that value. At the very least, you want to:

  1. Make sure that the cost you’re paying per action is reasonable to pay for the given action, knowing the value of your products.
  2. Know which social media platforms perform better at driving home conversions depending on your industry and product type. Test what works best for you in each stage of the funnel. Spend a small share of your total budget on testing new channels.

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  1. Ensure the page you direct the users to is simple and easy to navigate. For social media audiences, the landing page must be mobile optimized, easy to scan through, and process smoothly to complete.
  2. A/B test different call-to-action and landing pages to see what converts most efficiently. Note differences between different markets.
  3. Look at the bigger picture instead of just the social platform metrics. Compare your ad spend to the revenue attributed to your ads in your analytics platform.

For example, use Supermetrics to pull your Facebook ad spend next to your revenue generated by your Facebook Ads and use a formula to calculate the last click ROAS.

How to calculate ROAS

Revenue generated from your company / Ad spend = the $$$ that each $ generated or ROAS

Example:

$5,000 in revenue / $1,000 in cost = a return on ad spend of $5 or 5:1

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It can be tempting to focus on this third funnel step and expect all your campaigns to make direct sales or leads. But suppose you haven’t done the awareness and consideration stages right. In that case, the chances are that you’re not only wasting money on low or negative ROAS but also irritating your audience with pushy ads when they’re nowhere ready to commit. Also, by ignoring the top of the funnel, you’re limiting your potential audience size and neglecting the longer-term impact of building awareness.

After someone’s become your customer, you want them to move on to the loyalty phase.

Funnel Step 4: loyalty

Goals: upselling and cross-selling

After all that hard work of acquiring new customers, you don’t want to lose them. So keep them happy, make them feel special, and give excellent customer service.

This is part of a bigger experience that combines the efforts of many different teams within your organization, including—but not limited to—customer service, account management, marketing automation, and website development. Social media’s potential should still not be overlooked at this stage either.

Follow and listen to what people say about your brand and products on social media. This gives you valuable insight into customer satisfaction and how your brand is perceived. There are plenty of social listening tools available for this purpose.

Social media channels are also great customer service channels, so make your brand available and approachable and respond to the comments, replies, and messages you receive. Every touchpoint matters.

Some of the ways you can support the loyalty with social campaigns:

  • Get people to follow you and keep delighting them with good quality organic content
  • Promote exclusive sneak peeks, early access to your products, and sales to your existing customers
  • Express that you want to hear from them, maybe give a little prize for leaving a review
  • Recommend products that you know they might like, based on their purchase history
  • Let them know when the products they liked are on sale
  • Let them know about new products and features that they might be interested in
  • Give them industry insights, inspiration, and tips and tricks of how to get most out of your product

Metrics to measure loyalty stage performance

The loyalty stage really comes down to the customer experience, and there are multiple ways to measure it. Depending on what efforts you’re taking on social media, you might want to track:

  • Reviews and review ratings: how many reviews your profile has received on social media
  • Page likes and followers: new followers to your company page or profile
  • Net followers: new followers minus unfollows
  • Engaged users: the number of people who engaged with your page or profile
  • Positive and negative actions: the type of actions taken on your posts

Also for sales campaigns:

  • The conversion stage metrics but for your existing customer segment
  • Customer value: increase in the average value of your current customers
  • Average purchase value: increase to the average purchase value from your customers

How to optimize loyalty campaign performance

  1. Give excellent content that prompts engagement from your current followers and fans and attracts new ones
  2. React, respond, and lead the conversation
  3. Use user-generated content and customer reviews
  4. Try customizing your ads to different customer segments and learn what works best for each
  5. Focus the biggest share of your budget on your highest value customers, but also put a share aside for trying to activate the churned ones

Studies on the impact of positive interaction with a brand indicate how social media help increase customer loyalty.

State of social media report from Sproutsocial
Likelihood of action after a positive interaction. Source, Sprout Social.

By nurturing and taking good care of your existing customers, some of them will make it to the next, ultimate stage of the funnel.

Funnel Step 5: advocate

Goals: social proof and credibility

Advocate stage is for the customers who have not only gone through the funnel successfully but are so happy with the outcome that they want to spread the word. What better for your brand, and what better channel for it than social media. Harness the power of social media to have your happy customers attract more customers.

In this stage, you can partner with influencers, industry experts, or other organizations to become your brand ambassadors who’ll advocate for your brand through their networks.

Some of the ways to do this are:

  • Collaborate with your fans and power users to create organic content
  • Share the content they create and add a paid boost if possible to extend the reach
  • Share positive reviews
  • Partner with affiliates, offer commission and in some cases co-selling opportunities
  • Offer a private group where customers can talk to each other and share their experiences and insights

Metrics to measure advocate stage performance

  • Mentions: times your brand has been mentioned in social media posts
  • Influencer content engagement: engagement and react or views of your influencer-generated content

When it comes to affiliates:

  • New affiliate sign-ups: if you have an affiliate program with a sign-up form
  • Affiliate traffic to your website: users arriving through your affiliate links
  • Affiliate sales and bookings: sales generated by your affiliate traffic

At best, strong brand advocates can help support your whole social media marketing funnel from top to bottom—spreading awareness and influencing consideration to drive conversions and increase loyalty.

Funnel stages and metrics

This is what your social media marketing funnel could look like, with the key metrics to track at each stage.

Social media marketing funnel infographic

Let’s talk budget

Social media marketing budgets, of course, vary incredibly between organizations depending on their resources and priorities.

As mentioned before, it’s an easy mistake to put too much of your budget into the bottom funnel and ignore the potential the top funnel has to offer.

Think about it—you have the whole world of social media at your fingertips.

Why limit your reach to the few who are most likely to act impulsively and buy without much consideration. Are those users likely to become loyal customers, super users, and ambassadors to your brand? Some might, but why settle with this small segment.
Anna Leikas, Paid Social Media Manager, Supermetrics

It’s not always an easy sell, but top brands and most digitally mature companies are benefitting from the long-term brand impact and audience definition opportunities of the top funnel. When you put enough budget into prospecting, you’ll see your brand grow and your customer acquisition costs decrease.

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Prospecting

The general guideline is that you should dedicate most of your budget to the top funnel or prospecting campaigns—approximately 70–80% of your overall budget.

As the audience definition is broadest at this stage, the audience size is also the largest. Reaching large audiences and gaining quality engagement costs money. But this step is crucial for every stage to follow. Each will consist of more and more defined—smaller—audiences.

Retargeting

Technically, there are two or more types of retargeting—people who’ve only just expressed initial interest in your brand and those who are ready to buy.

Because traffic and engagement are cheaper and lower threshold goals to gain, the mid-funnel campaigns might require a slightly smaller share of the budget to bring profitable results.

Your bottom-of-the-funnel audience is the smallest but also the most valuable. So it’s worth paying a bit more per every user reached. You want to ensure that your budget is sufficient to reach them and optimize your conversions, with the conversion cost being in the right balance with the value or revenue it brings.

For example, you’ll struggle to bring a $100 lead in with a $20 daily budget.

As a guideline, I’d recommend a 10/20% split between consideration and conversion campaigns. But, as always, test different shares of the budget to see what brings the best results cost-efficiently for your brand and products.

Budget allocation by funnel step

Recap

Being on social media is no longer an option for brands—it’s a must.

Whatever your business, there are ways to implement the social media funnel into your marketing strategy.

Depending on your business, social media may not always be your go-to direct sales channel—especially in B2B or products with a long purchase cycle. There’s still undeniable potential and value to be gained when you have a social media strategy that supports your sales funnel and business goals.

Build brand value through awareness before asking your audience to commit. Give thought to content for each stage, and remember that it’s always about the audience and rarely about you.

Track your campaign performance without forgetting to keep an eye on the bigger picture and see the overall impact on your company’s growth.

Always be testing and have fun!

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About the author

Anna Leikas is a Paid Social Media Manager at Supermetrics, planning and executing paid social strategy and campaigns. Before joining Supermetrics, Anna worked as a digital marketing consultant at marketing agencies and within data, content, and vendor management in the global technology business.

The post Social media marketing funnel: how to easily reach and convert customers at any stage appeared first on Supermetrics.

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A practical guide to product analytics: examples, tools, and more

A practical product analytics guide: examples, metrics, tools, & more

In their early quest to find product traction, most product teams make decisions based on user surveys or one-on-one customer interviews with early adopters. 

The insights gained through direct customer feedback are an essential part of finding product-market fit. But when a product reaches the scaling phase, relying on subjective opinions for future product decisions becomes way too risky.

Instead, scaling product teams need to shift to making decisions based on reliable data about how their users actually interact with the product

This is the purpose of product analytics.

Product analytics is the process of collecting and analyzing data on how users interact with a product, allowing you to answer key questions like:

  • What actions do users take most?
  • Which features do they use the most/least?
  • How much time do they spend using the product?
  • What percentage of users convert from free to paid?
  • How many paying customers do you retain over a specific period?
  • How long does it take them to reach important milestones like tutorial completions and in-app purchases?

Having the data to answer these questions ensures your decision-making process is based on how the majority of users engage with your product, not just the vocal minority. 

However, the standard approach to collecting this data has three major shortcomings: 

  1. Traditional product analytics tools require someone with programming skills to set up tracking for each user interaction (event). Even monitoring something as simple as a single button click can require help from a developer. Scaling product teams aren’t usually flush with developers sitting around looking for things to do. 
  2. Traditional tools provide only quantitative data (i.e. stats and metrics), which require analytical skills to interpret. Even when product teams make the significant investment to implement behavior tracking, most insights remain stuck in the mind of one or two people on the product team. It becomes their job to translate the data in a way that others can understand. As a result, most people in the organization never benefit from the tool itself or the insights it provides. 
  3. You have to predict everything you want to track in advance. It can take several months between requesting tracking implementation on a specific element or feature, actually getting tracking setup, and collecting enough data. And if you realize you forgot something (which is easy with so many possible interactions), you have to wait even longer. 

In this practical guide to product analytics, we’ll show you how scaling product teams can overcome these challenges with Smartlook, a product analytics tool that combines quantitative data with qualitative insights. 

Specifically, you’ll learn how to automatically capture every user interaction in your product with a single code snippet, so you always have reliable behavior data to analyze.

We’ll also show you three in-depth examples of how product teams used Smartlook to make informed decisions. 

Here’s everything we’ll cover in this guide:

Smartlook combines the power of automatic event tracking, always-on session recording, funnel analysis, and heatmaps to help you improve conversion rates, fix bugs faster, and boost customer retention. Try out Smartlook today with our full-featured, 10-day trial: no credit card required

Solving the central challenges of product analytics with automatic data capture and session recordings

Again, traditional product analytics tools require manual instrumentation before they start collecting user interaction data. This results in a time-consuming setup and a high probability of human error due to the manual work involved. 

These tools’ steep learning curve and quantitative nature also limit their accessibility. Typically, only a few people with advanced analytics skills can utilize them, while lots of other team members (like product marketers and customer support specialists) can’t directly benefit from their insights.

In contrast, tools that auto-capture every user interaction with a single snippet installed in your product (like Smartlook) drastically simplify the product analytics process. 

Here’s why:

  • You don’t need to spend countless engineering hours implementing tracking since only one snippet has to be installed. Besides being faster and cheaper, this simple setup means you get analytics data much faster. Plus, with Smartlook you can track tons of user interactions (events) without coding, which saves even more time and effort. 
  • You don’t have to predict everything you need to capture in advance. When you realize you want to track a new event, you can analyze it immediately thanks to the historical data that’s already been collected. Again, this is much faster than getting an engineer to set up tracking and waiting for data to roll in.

That’s why we built Smartlook to automatically capture every interaction in your product with the help of session recordings.

In fact, session recordings not only capture each interaction but also allow everyone in your organization to benefit from the product analytics process.

Always-on session recordings: Empower everyone to take part in the product analytics process

Session recordings (sometimes called session replays) show you exactly how your users experience your product, from the moment they open it to the moment they close it. 

For example, the screenshot below shows a mobile game session replay in Smartlook.

Spaceboss Detailed Recording User Information: User ID, User Email, User Name.

As you can see, this isn’t a text-based representation of users’ sessions (i.e., not just a bunch of stats and metrics). It’s their exact experience with your product, with every interaction in it.

Plus, there’s tons of useful information like the time and date when this session took place, the user’s device and location, as well as their name and email (if you set up our Identify API).

Besides showing you users’ authentic experience, having session recordings as part of your analytics stack provides two essential benefits:

  1. It makes it much easier for product leaders to communicate their strategy, vision, and findings. Product leaders can use session recordings to show others exactly what’s going on with the product. This is a huge improvement over traditional quantitative tools, which aren’t intuitive for most people. With Smartlook, you can actually combine quantitative data (i.e., stats and metrics) with qualitative insights (from session recordings) to help other colleagues and leadership connect the dots between raw numbers, user actions, and product decisions.
  2. It lowers the barrier to entry, making the product analytics process accessible to everyone. Anyone can watch a session replay and understand exactly what’s going on, as opposed to a dashboard with numbers on it, which only a few people in the company can interpret. 

Put simply, session recordings open the door for everyone to participate in the product analytics process and even use the analytics solution. 

For example, with Smartlook:

  1. Development and quality assurance (QA) professionals can watch session recordings to see the exact situations in which bugs occurred. This makes reproducing and fixing bugs much easier. And since the recordings also include the data that was sent in the background, developers can often skip bug reproduction altogether because they can immediately see what went wrong.
  2. Customer support teams can use session recordings when users report a bug to understand the problem, without relying on users’ explanations (which are often incomplete or incorrect). With our Identify API, you can actually locate users’ session recordings, based on an identifier like email or username. When an identified user reports a bug, your support team can instantly jump into their sessions and see exactly what happened. Then, they can resolve the issue themselves or escalate it to the dev and QA teams by sending them the relevant session replays.
  3. UX designers and researchers can see the entire context behind users’ actions, from the moment they open your product to the moment they close it. They can also use heatmaps to visualize the typical user’s experience on any page or screen.
  4. Marketers can go beyond analyzing the campaigns that led users to the product (i.e., marketing analytics) and get insights into what users do once they sign up. This can give them new ideas for what to highlight in their campaigns. Also, they can set up events without coding to analyze the effectiveness of certain changes. For example, if they changed the messaging and button colors on the homepage, they can easily see if that change leads more people to perform a desired action. We’ll show you how to do this in the next section.

Also, Smartlook has more than 30 filters that let you find relevant sessions fast. For example, you can filter users from a specific country, new or returning users, users with a specific device, and more.

Filter categories include location, user and technology.

Lastly, with Smartlook, session replays are always-on by default, which means:

  • You don’t have to worry about manually starting and stopping the session recorder.
  • Every interaction is collected automatically and traced back to a session recording. For example, say you’re tracking when users click on a new feature in your product dashboard. You can watch all session recordings where this interaction took place, which gives you the full context behind users’ actions, i.e., what they did before and after clicking on that button. 

Event tracking: Monitor important user actions, even retroactively 

Tracking the right user interactions (called events) is fundamental in product analytics. 

But oftentimes, you simply don’t know which events you need to track in advance. For example, if you just released a new feature, redesigned the UI, or haven’t analyzed product usage before, it can be nearly impossible to predict every event you’ll need down the line.

As a result, you can spend months planning and implementing tracking only to realize you’ve missed a crucial event. When this happens, you need to start the process all over, meaning you’ll have to keep waiting until enough data rolls in.

Fortunately, the auto-capture method solves this issue. Since the user interaction data is automatically collected, you don’t need elaborate tracking plans or perfect predictions. All you have to do is decide which interactions you want to track as events.

In Smartlook, this process is called defining an event. And, to avoid the need for a developer each time you want to track a new action, we’ve created three ways to define events without coding:

  • Use the no-code event pickerWhen defining a new Smartlook event, there’s a “Pick event on page” button. Clicking it allows you to define an event by clicking on elements in your site or app’s UI. You can immediately see the number of clicks on that element over the last seven days, based on the collected data.
Defining an Event in Smartlook by clicking on specific elements on the page.
  • Choose from a template list of standard eventsincluding clicked on URL, clicked on text, typed text, clicked-on CSS selector (allowing you to select any element on the page).
Choose from a list of standard events.
  • Define an event from a recording. While you’re watching a session replay you may see some actions that you’d like to track. In that case, you can pause the recording, click on the “Session events” tab, and make that action into an event by clicking on “Create Event”.
Define an even from a recording.

Once you define an event, Smartlook immediately identifies every instance of that event, going back to the moment you added the snippet or as far as your data retention plan goes. As a result, the event tracking visualization appears instantly, like in the GIF below.

Event Details in Smartlook

Madfinger Games, an award-winning game development studio, highlighted the ability to define events retroactively as one of the biggest benefits of working with Smartlook. Their CTO had this to say:

“That’s the cool thing about Smartlook — we often have no idea what we’re going to need. And Smartlook captures everything for us. We can always set up an event later and start focusing on the problem when it pops up.”

Besides these standard events, Smartlook also lets you create custom events via JavaScript. With custom events, you can track pretty much anything you can imagine.

Additionally, you can break down any event by a specific property, like country, device, or browser. 

Break down any event by a specific property, like country, device, or browser.

You can save any combination of events and properties as a user segment, like US users who performed an in-app purchase. The segment will appear in your dashboard, so you can monitor it over time.

You (or your development team) can tailor this analysis to your needs further by creating custom properties, which let you log specific data for every event.

Lastly, Smartlook’s Anomaly detection feature can send you notifications in case of a sharp increase or drop-off in the occurrence of events.

3 product analytics examples from a web platform, mobile app, and mobile game

So far, we’ve covered various product analytics features that can be applied in all sorts of use cases. Next, we’ll explore three examples of teams using these features in their workflow.

StoragePug: Using session recordings and custom events to analyze feature adoption and improve the customer experience

StoragePug is a website platform that helps self-storage businesses rent out facilities faster and attract new tenants. 

The company experienced rapid growth, which brought many challenges, including the need to make sure product changes aligned with the needs of their now much larger customer base. 

They initially chose Hotjar but decided to move away from it after the Forms and Funnels feature was removed (which is an issue we’ve discussed in our Hotjar alternatives article).

Once they switched to Smartlook, StoragePug’s team started using event trackingfunnel analysis, and session recordings to monitor crucial user actions and analyze customer behavior.

Custom event tracking: StoragePug’s team used Smartlook to set up a series of custom events to track business-critical user actions over time, such as:

  • Portal log-ins.
  • Location page visits.
  • Log-ins to the Lead Manager and Unit Manager (their platform’s modules).

Feature adoption analysis: StoragePug’s team wanted to see if users prefer accessing data through their new “scheduled email reports” feature over logging into the platform. 

To do that, their team used Smartlook’s funnels feature to filter session recordings to watch only those where users tried the new feature. This helped validate that users preferred to access data via the scheduled email reports. Based on those findings, the team decided to promote this feature to their entire user base.

StoragePug's analysis of the “scheduled email reports” feature.

The screenshot above shows StoragePug analyzing the “scheduled email reports” feature with Smartlook’s funnel analysis.

Session replay for bug reproductionOftentimes, customers asked StoragePug’s customer success team for help, but provided inaccurate information about their problems. This made it difficult to diagnose and fix a lot of issues.

With Smartlook, the customer success team can filter session recordings by the customer’s email and see where and why the problem happened, saving them at least eight hours a week. Replays are also invaluable for developers since they show what steps the user took that led to a bug, along with what data was sent in the background, making debugging much easier.

AstroPay: Using funnel analysis and session recordings to boost conversions

AstroPay is a fintech payment application that connects 5M+ users with 500+ merchants in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. 

Like most scaling product companies, AstroPay needed more data about how users interacted with their products. Specifically, they needed to analyze feature adoption, study customer journeys, catch places where users get stuck, as well as detect bugs and anomalies.

With Smartlook, AstroPay’s team created event-based funnels to map their most important user flows. Their analysis of event data showed that a lot of users didn’t complete their cryptocurrency purchase process after starting it. 

Since Smartlook combines this quantitative data with qualitative insights from session recordings, AstroPay’s team was able to watch the exact replays of users who dropped off, which led to the following insights.

  • Some users dropped off because there were way too many steps in the purchase process.
  • After purchasing, many users spent minutes anxiously looking for the cryptocurrency in their wallet, not realizing the transaction was still pending. 

Armed with these insights, AstroPay’s team confidently redesigned their cryptocurrency purchase flow, removing unnecessary steps and adding a “Purchase Pending” banner. This resulted in a much better user experience and a 56% lift in conversions.

Put simply, Smartlook’s combination of quantitative and qualitative data allowed AstroPay to quickly find points of friction in their product.

Today, AstroPay’s product and dev teams both use Smartlook to make the right product development decisions, based on product analytics data.

AstroPay's iterative process.

Vertigo Games: Analyzing and improving the game experience with session recordings, funnels, and heatmaps

Vertigo Games is a small game development company that develops and self-publishes first-person shooter games.

During the early development stages of one of their games, they lacked important information, like:

  • How many gamers complete the full onboarding guide?
  • Do players complete the game’s missions according to the initial design?
  • What are the exact paths that lead to a bug?

Bug reproduction specifically was a huge problem. The lack of session recordings forced developers to reproduce issues via trial and error, making the process time-consuming and often unsuccessful.

As one of their game analysts said:

“Before Smartlook, we couldn’t find the reasons for the drops occurring in various parts of the funnels in our game. In order to find a solution when we had a high drop rate, we were trying to experience it ourselves and to determine the source of the error in the specified place, which caused a great waste of time.”

With Smartlook’s session recordings:

  • The QA team can see exactly how bugs occurred, which saves tons of time.
  • The product team can verify whether new players get a great first impression of the game by watching them play.
The QA team and the product team both benefit from recordings.

Both teams use extremely detailed funnels (with as many as 60 steps) to map how users go through the tutorial, as well as other key user flows. This lets them verify the functionality and user experience throughout the game.

Essential product analytics metrics (& how to track them)

There are two types of product metrics that pretty much all product managers need to track — user engagement and monetization metrics. Both types are inherently connected, since the more engaging and useful your product, the more chances you have to increase revenue and vice versa.

In this article, we’ll show you how to track how many active users you have, monitor your retention rate, and calculate your conversion rate. 

Daily, weekly, and monthly active users (DAU, WAU, & MAU)

Smartlook automatically calculates DAU, WAU, and MAU for you, so you can easily analyze real-time user engagement metrics. You can see how in our free public demo (no registration or credit card required). 

Inside the Smartlook dashboard, click on “Add new tile”.

Click on the grey plus sign.

Go to “Active Users”, where you can choose between daily, weekly, or monthly active users, plus the data range you want to analyze (seven, 30, or 60 days).

Specify the active users you want to view.

Finally, click “Save” and the newly created tile will appear in your dashboard. That way, you can easily keep track of your daily, weekly, or monthly active users every time you open Smartlook. 

Retention rate 

In product analytics, retention rate is the percentage of customers who continue to perform a given action (like paying for a product, logging into their account, or using a feature) over a timeframe. Monitoring and improving retention is crucial because:

  • Retaining existing customers is much cheaper than bringing in new ones.  
  • The better your retention, the more chances you have to increase users’ lifetime value (LTV). 

You can use Smartlook’s Retention Tables feature inside the events tab to track user cohorts over time and calculate retention. 

To set up a Retention Table, you first need to select a user action (i.e., event) and choose a date range to analyze. After that, scroll down to the Retention table” section, click on “Generate”, and you’ll see a table similar to the one below.

Example retention table.

The screenshot above shows a retention table for an account log in event. This lets you track how many of the users that log into your product for the first time on a specific date continue to do so each following day. The group of people you track (in this case users logging in for the first time) is called a cohort, which is why this type of research is sometimes called cohort analysis.

As you can see in the screenshot above, 320 users completed the “Account Login” action on Tuesday, 10.13, Day 0 for that cohort. The next day (Day 1), 70 users completed the same action, for a Day 1 retention rate of 21.88% (70/320*100). 

Once you have that baseline, you can use Day 1 Retention as a KPI and evaluate how changes to your product affect retention for the next user cohorts.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action in your product, like:

  • Completing an onboarding tutorial.
  • Opening a newly released feature.
  • Finishing a specific game level.
  • Making an in-app purchase.

Each product has tons of user flows, so you’ll likely need to calculate conversion rates for various situations.

For example, if you want to analyze user engagement, you may want to see what percentage of users complete a certain number of levels in your game. Or, you may want to see what percentage of all users make an in-app purchase in order to analyze your monetization strategy.

Smartlook can help you calculate conversion rates for any user flow you like, thanks to our funnels feature.

Funnels are sequences of steps (i.e., events) users go through to complete a goal. Building funnels lets you analyze user behavior through these key flows, find out where users drop off, and calculate conversion rates.

For example, most mobile apps, games, and SaaS products have a product tutorial for first-time users. However, many users don’t complete the tutorial, which makes it difficult to convert them from free to paid. 

By mapping the entire tutorial to custom events in Smartlook you can see: 

  • What percentage of users complete the tutorial (the funnel’s overall conversion rate).
  • What percentage of users successfully move between each step. 

More importantly, you can find valuable insights by watching session replays of people who quit the tutorial early.

Learn why users don't convert.

The image above shows a moment during a Smartlook session recording of a mobile user’s journey while navigating an onboarding sequence. During the roughly 10-minute session, the user completed 91 events.

Let’s say the overall conversion rate for this funnel is only 10%. That might make you consider redesigning or removing the entire tutorial. However, if the average user completes almost 100 events, there’s probably some value in the tutorial. 

If you look at the drop-off rate between each step, you might find that the sharpest drop-off happens between two specific steps. Perhaps there’s a technical error there or users simply think they’ve learned everything they need at that point. Either way, Smartlook helps you find why drop-offs occur by watching session recordings of users who dropped off at a specific stage.

We’ve explored this topic in detail, so if you’re interested, check out our funnel analysis guide (with many SaaS and e-commerce examples.)

Bonus: Track JavaScript errors and rage clicks automatically

Tracking errors and rage clicks can give you tons of useful insights. 

For example, rage clicks might indicate that some elements in your product look clickable to users when in reality, they aren’t. Redesigning these elements can be an easy way to reduce users’ confusion and frustration.

Smartlook tracks JavaScript errors and rage clicks as events by default, allowing you to instantly find session replays of users who were frustrated or experienced an error. 

As you can see in the screenshot below, there’s a “Play” button under the “Errors” and “Rage Clicks” events. Clicking that button takes you straight to the relevant session replays, which can show you exactly what went wrong.

View events where the user ran into an error or bug.

One of our clients used session recordings to find 15 bugs on their website in three hours. 

Once you find these errors, you can send the relevant session recordings to your dev and QA teams. Again, having a video of the error taking place makes the debugging process much faster. They can get even more technical information about the error by clicking on the “DEVTOOLS” button.

DEVTOOLS option to send to developers

5 product analytics tools (a quick comparison)

In this section, we’ll do a brief overview of five useful product analytics tools. 

Before we dive in, note that we’ve already done a comprehensive review of the best product analytics tools, so we won’t cover all the details here.

1. Smartlook

Smartlook
  • Data capture method: Automatic with a single code snippet.
  • Session recordings: Yes.

Smartlook is the only combined product analytics and visual user insights platform that won’t take your team forever to set up. You can use it to analyze user behavior on websites, web apps, as well as native iOS and Android mobile apps built with various frameworks and engines — including React Native, Cordova, Flutter, Ionic, Unity, Xamarin, and Unreal Engine.

Once our code snippet is installed (for websites) or the SDK is set up (for mobile apps) Smartlook starts recording all user sessions and interactions in your product, which means:

  • Every session is automatically captured for you (no sampling), so you don’t have to manually start and stop the session recorder. 
  • You don’t need to submit an extensive list of events you want to track to your engineering team before you start collecting data.
  • You won’t be missing important data when analyzing your users’ behavior. 
  • You can create events and funnels retroactively, based on historical data.

To try our platform, start a 10-day, full-featured trial — no credit card required.

2. Amplitude

Amplitude homepage: The Digital Optimization System has arrived.
  • Data capture method: Manual instrumentation, meaning you need to create a tracking plan at the start to ensure you’re tracking what you want.
  • Session recordings: No.

Amplitude is one of the most comprehensive and seasoned product analytics solutions on the market. It can do all kinds of event-based analytics, comparisons, segmentations, visualizations, and more.

However, being a manual instrumentation solution, it’s tedious and overwhelming to set up and use on a daily basis. 

3. Mixpanel

MixPanel
  • Data capture method: Manual instrumentation, meaning you need to create a tracking plan at the start to ensure you’re tracking what you want.
  • Session recordings: No, but you can integrate Mixpanel with Smartlook, allowing you to see your visitors’ session recording URLs in your event feed and access them directly.

Mixpanel is another popular product analytics platform, with features for analyzing product performance, usage, retention rate, churn, and more. Similar to Amplitude, Mixpanel also lets you track tons of different interactions and compare them, but is also time-consuming to set up and utilize.

4. Heap

Heap homepage: Better Insights. Faster.

Heap is a digital insights platform that offers a few different categories of tools for data analysis, data foundation, and data management. Similar to Smartlook, Heap also collects user interactions automatically, making its setup much easier than Amplitude and Mixpanel.

5. FullStory

FullStory
  • Data capture method: Automatic with a single code snippet.
  • Session recordings: Yes.

FullStory is a Digital Experience Intelligence (DXI) platform that offers session recordings, heatmaps, funnel analysis, and other analytics features. Similar to Smartlook, it also automatically records user interactions, so you can set it up quickly and define events retroactively.

One downside to this platform, as we’ve discussed in our FullStory competitors article, is its pricing structure. Lots of users report having to manually sample their website traffic because they couldn’t afford a plan they can leave turned on all the time. 

Try Smartlook for free today

If you want to see how Smartlook works in detail, start a 10-day, full-featured trial — no credit card required.

Smartlook can be used on all kinds of digital products, including:

  • Websites and web apps built with popular CMSs like WordPress, Joomla, and Shopify. Implementing Smartlook on your site is as easy as pasting a code snippet directly or via Google Tag Manager. 
  • Native iOS and Android mobile apps, built with various frameworks and engines — including React Native, Cordova, Flutter, Ionic, Unity, and more. We have detailed documentation to guide you through the implementation, but if you need any assistance, our Support team is ready and waiting.

Lastly, Smartlook has integrations for A/B testing solutions (like Google Optimize and Optimizely), CRMs (like Salesforce), analytics platforms (like Google Analytics), and other widely-used tools (like Jira, Slack, and Intercom).

For an in-depth Smartlook presentation that’s tailored to your business, schedule a demo with our team.

Petr Němeček
Petr Němeček

is the Chief Product Officer at Smartlook. His free time is mostly filled with his family (2 kids, wife), but from time to time he loves wake-surfing, canoeing, hiking or cross-country skiing.

The post A practical guide to product analytics: examples, tools, and more appeared first on Smartlook Blog.

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Making data-driven decisions is difficult without analytics tools to help you out. Even if your data already exists in marketing platforms, CRM, financial systems, or survey tools, this scenario doesn’t give the insight you need to draw decisions from your data.

Luckily, there are multiple analytics platforms to choose from. We’ll cover two of them: Google Analytics 4 and Adobe Analytics. We’ll go through the key differences in how you can use them to report and analyze your data. Let’s first take a look at both platforms in detail.

Fast forward >>

What is Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 is the new version of Google Analytics, introduced in 2020 and will replace Universal Analytics in 2023. GA4 allows you to report app and web analytics all in one place. The tool has machine learning built into its core to help you better understand your customers at every touchpoint. Machine learning also helps identify trends from your data, such as predicting the churn rate from your customer base or calculating potential revenue from a specific segment to build audiences with higher potential.

Google Analytics 4 dashboard

Google Analytics 4

Why you should move now rather than later

Read now

How does Google Analytics 4 work? 

Google Analytics 4 tracks user interactions across websites and apps in data streams, so you can easily create and manage reports from several sources. For example, you can create reports showing conversions across YouTube videos, paid ads, organic searches, and email campaigns. This way, Google helps build an understanding of your combined marketing efforts and, ultimately, make better decisions in the future.

GA4 uses event-based tracking, but the old Google Universal Analytics used website tags. This improvement allows you to monitor user interactions or events in real-time. The beauty of this new feature is that you can monitor searches while they happen instead of looking back at site searches.

Google Analytics 4 deepened integrations within the Google family. Several improvements have been made on, for example, the Google Ads integration. You can deliver more relevant content at the right time to your audiences. Web and app analytics are now working together, and you can easily understand your marketing efforts.

GA4 is privacy-centric by design, so tightening privacy legislation or changes with cookies shouldn’t affect its use. Instead, it uses a flexible approach to measure and fill out any gaps if data is incomplete.

Get started

Start reporting your GA4 data with our ready-made template

Try it now

What is Adobe Analytics?  

Adobe Analytics is part of the Adobe Cloud Suite, allowing you to analyze data from the entire customer journey and understand web behavioral data. The solution goes beyond web analytics and allows you to deepen your knowledge of customer and visitor behavior. The product is mostly targeted at larger companies.

Adobe Analytics dashboard view
Adobe Analytics workspace

How does Adobe Analytics work?

The web analytics report in Adobe Analytics allows you to build an understanding of who comes to your site and why, the traffic sources, the pages, and products shown or visited—all in real-time. Combining the data with third-party analytics gives you a comprehensive picture of the customer journey.

Marketing analytics reports go beyond web analytics, but in the center lies the customer journey and its various online and offline channels. The view of the customer journey helps you paint a picture of your ROI, detect anomalies, and do cohort analysis to effectively dictate the budget.

The marketing analytics report gives you a great insight into the actions, but the attribution reports create insight into what works and doesn’t. Adobe’s attribution analytics uses machine learning to better understand each touchpoint. Understanding what works allows you to see the value of each piece of content.

Adobe also allows you to build predictive reports to see what might happen in the future. The feature uses machine learning and advanced statistical modeling to picture possible outcomes. Predictive reports are especially useful when predicting customer behavior, such as churn.

Predictive analytics

Get started with a step-by-step process explained

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What’s the difference between Google Analytics 4 and Adobe Analytics?

Now that we’ve inspected the two platforms separately, let’s dive deeper into the factors that separate these platforms from each other.

We can’t start a comparison without first talking about pricing. Google Analytics 4 is free to use until your company’s website requires more custom event parameters or custom user properties. When you exceed the quota for GA4, you need to move to Google Analytics 360 with a hefty price tag. On the other hand, Adobe Analytics has a handsome price tag from the start, and enterprises are the platform’s target audience.

Getting started

The platform gives you a ready-made home page and pre-made reports when getting started with Google Analytics. You can easily jump right into your data and start investigating. So setting up doesn’t require that much knowledge of the platform itself. Adobe Analytics is a bit more complex.

The platform doesn’t offer ready-made views, requiring you to build reports themselves. It would help if you were more data-oriented and more data mature to use Adobe Analytics.

Reporting and analyzing

After setup, a new level of differences appears with reporting. Let’s start with a basic one, terminology. Here’s a glance at the terminology differences between Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics 4.

Metric descriptionAdobe AnalyticsGoogle Analytics 4
An event metric that represents a page—or screen on an app—that’s been viewedPage viewPageview
A metric that represents a group of interactions on your website or app that take place in the same time frameVisitSession
A metric that defines an identified device—based on multiple criteria, including cookies and other behavior patterns to stitch user informationUnique visitorUser
A metric that tracks the actions visitor did or didn’t doSuccess eventsGoal completion

The home page view is customizable in Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics 4. So you can modify the experience that happens after logging in. In Adobe Analytics, you navigate a workspace environment, where you’ll see all your reports and select any of these as the opening screen. In Google Analytics, you’ll have a pre-built home screen where you can add reports.

Report builders in Adobe Analytics Workspace offer a wide range of templates and allow you to build reports with full freedom. Google Analytics has a report builder, but it has its limits. Google dashboards and custom reports allow you to add visualizations together but only using simple correlations, and Google has determined which data you can put into what column.

In custom reports, Adobe Analytics Workspace allows you to easily drag and drop anything anywhere and compare data. You can create complete breakdowns of your data. Moving the data from Adobe Analytics is made easy with Supermetrics data connectors. The connectors allow you to pull the data you need to a data warehouse, data visualization tool, BI tool, or spreadsheet.

Google custom reports have limits. You can access the data you need, but filters apply to each tab on your report. So without the filtering option creating comparison reports is difficult.

You’d need to move data to an external data visualization platform like Google Data Studio. You can do this easily and automatically with a Supermetrics connector.

Using ready-made reports

Both platforms have similar ready-made template reports to ease usage when using the reports tools. Let’s make a bit of a comparison.

Google Analytics’ behavior report allows you to report frequent events and metrics such as page views, engaging sessions, and other events. Similar to this is the Adobe Analytics site metric report that covers the basic metrics and allows you to report on bots and how the bots are behaving on your site.

Acquisition report in Google Analytics lets you report where the new and returning visitors are coming to your site. In Adobe Analytics, this report is split into a few different ones, allowing you to go into detail with specifics. The traffic sources report focus on referrers, the campaign report focuses on campaign codes, and the marketing channel report lets you focus on what you can do with the campaign code data.

Google Analytics’s audience report lives up to its name. You can use the ready-made template to report user demographics, technology, and campaign acquisition. Adobe Analytics has divided these into visitor profiles and visitor retention reports.

Adobe AnalyticsGoogle Analytics
Site metric reportBehavior report
Traffic sourcesAcquisition report
Campaign reportAcquisition report
Marketing channels reportsAcquisition report
Visitor profileAudience report
Visitor retention Audience report
Customer conversionCustom dimension reports
Custom traffic Custom dimension reports

Which one to choose? 

Now that you understand the differences between the two platforms let’s jump right into figuring out which one to choose. The first thing you need to consider is your data maturity. Choosing an analytics platform should be a reflection of that.

You can achieve great things with Google Analytics, and it’ll certainly serve you even if you’re starting your data journey or you’d be on your way to excelling at it. Google develops its product family constantly so you can ensure your data analytics are in good hands.

As mentioned in the beginning, Google Analytics is easy to start without that much knowledge from data reporting. You’ll learn as you use it. Reporting is made simple with reports you can modify to a certain level, but more advanced reports probably need to be done in an external tool like Data Studio.

There may come a time when Google Analytics’ limitations are starting to catch up. You’d like to take a deeper look at your data and have a more comprehensive understanding of your customer journey, but the platform is slowing you down. Maybe it’s time to think of alternative solutions like Adobe Analytics.

Adobe Analytics does make sense for a more established company that knows what it wants to achieve with its data. It would also be wise at this stage to have a data team in place or someone whose main responsibility is data management and reporting. Don’t get discouraged by the groundwork you need to do after you start with the platform. Even though the platform doesn’t offer the reports to you on a silver platter, Adobe Analytics shows its best qualities along the way.

To those who hesitate between these two, don’t worry—it’s not uncommon to use both platforms simultaneously. Use Google Analytics to glance at your data and check the performance daily, but Adobe Analytics serves you in more detail.

Ultimately, it matters more about what you’ll do with the data and how you maximize your results. Having your data centralized in one location ensures overall control of your performance. In addition, you’ll make the data accessible for the entire company regardless of your chosen analytics platform.

Data centralization

How to centralize your marketing data with an integration strategy

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About the author

Tea Korpi is a Product Marketing Manager at Supermetrics, and she’s passionate about helping marketers discover new ways and tools to help their day-to-day work life. At Supermetrics, Tea works closely with the product team to fully understand every product spectrum and position them for the customers.

The post Google Analytics 4 vs. Adobe Analytics: Which One’s Best for You appeared first on Supermetrics.

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13 Google Analytics alternatives for 2022 (super detailed review)

Google Analytics alternatives

While Google Analytics (GA) is the most popular tool for collecting website traffic data, it has big limitations when it comes to analyzing user behavior. Specifically:

  • GA doesn’t track all important user interactions (events) automatically. Instead, you’re often required to set up event tracking via code changes or with Google Tag Manager, which is difficult and time-consuming. As a result, there’s always a delay between realizing you need to analyze a particular action and having the data to do so.
  • Due to its lack of qualitative analytics features, GA can only tell you what users do, but not why they do it. For example, GA can show which step in your checkout process leads to most cart abandonments. However, you can only guess why that is, as there’s no way to watch users’ sessions.

These limitations can prevent you from finding and fixing the issues that hurt your user experience (UX) and conversion rates. Additionally, GA’s GDPR compliance problems and steep learning curve also lead many users to look for an alternative solution.

In this article, we’ll show you how our GDPR-compliant platform — Smartlook — can help you overcome GA’s limitations. Specifically, you’ll learn how Smartlook automatically captures all user sessions and interactions on your site or mobile app. We’ll also show you how to combine quantitative and qualitative data to find insights for improving your UX and conversion rates.

Lastly, we’ll compare 12 other best Google Analytics alternatives. 

Best Google Analytics Alternatives

  1. Smartlook
  2. Clicky
  3. Matomo
  4. Piwik PRO
  5. Woopra
  6. Mixpanel
  7. Heap
  8. Fathom
  9. Plausible
  10. FoxMetrics
  11. GoSquared
  12. Kissmetrics
  13. Adobe Analytics

Try out Smartlook for free with our full-featured 10-day trial (no credit card required). Our tool captures every user interaction on your website or mobile app and lets you watch session recordings, define events, build funnels, create heatmaps, and much more.

1. Smartlook: Our product analytics and visual user insights platform that’s GDPR-compliant by design

Smartlook homepage: Analyze user behavior in ways never possible before.

Smartlook is the only combined product analytics and visual user insights platform that won’t take your team forever to set up.

Our platform comes with four key features — session recordings, events, funnels, and heatmaps. With this unique feature set, you can do both quantitative and qualitative analytics, allowing you to uncover what users do and why they do it.

Let’s look at three ways our customers use Smartlook’s features to analyze customer behavior and find actionable insights fast.

#1 Record all user sessions on your site or mobile app with a single code snippet

Session recordings (sometimes called session replays) capture a user’s entire session on your site or mobile app, with every interaction in it. This means you get to see the full context behind users’ actions, which helps you understand why they do what they do.

Once our code snippet is installed (for websites) or the SDK is set up (for mobile apps) Smartlook starts recording all user sessions, which means:

  • Every session is automatically captured for you (no sampling), so you don’t have to manually start and stop the session recorder. 
  • You won’t be missing important data when analyzing your users’ behavior. 
  • You can create events and funnels retroactively.
Completed Session Recordings in Smartlook

Smartlook also has 30+ filters, like device, operating system, country, IP address, and more, which help you find relevant sessions fast. With Smartlook, you can always find the precise session you need, when you need it — no more wading through a sea of session recordings. ​​

Add New Filter: Location, Technology, User

Additionally, Smartlook tracks JavaScript errors and rage clicks by default, allowing you to instantly find session replays of users who were frustrated or experienced an error. One of our clients used session recordings to find 15 bugs on their website in three hours. 

Events, Errors, and Rage Clicks

As we said, Smartlook is GDPR-compliant by design and we’ve built various features to ensure the safety of your users’ data. Specifically:

  • Passwords and credit card information are never captured by our session recorder.
  • You can mask and exclude elements from appearing in session replays. 
  • For mobile apps, we also offer wireframe rendering modes. When one of these modes is enabled, Smartlook doesn’t capture the UI as your users see it. Instead, it replaces it with an abstract representation of the content of the screen, so no personal data is ever recorded by our tool.
Mobile Viewing Modes in Smartlook

#2 Track user actions (events) and build event-based funnels without coding

Tracking specific interactions is vital for understanding your users’ behavior. In GA (and most other web analytics tools) these interactions are called events

While it’s possible to track events with GA, there are two big problems:

  • Setting up event tracking often requires programming skills and the use of an extra tool — Google Tag Manager.
  • GA starts tracking user actions as events only after you set up tracking. As we said, this means there’s always a delay between realizing you need to track a user interaction and having the data to do so.

GA4 made some progress in this area by tracking more events automatically. However, in a lot of cases, event tracking still needs to be set up manually by a developer.

In contrast, once Smartlook is set up, it automatically starts recording all user interactions (via the session recordings we discussed above) and lets you track events without coding.

Automatically recording all user interactions removes the most tedious parts of the event tracking process because:

  • You don’t have to set up tracking on every element. 
  • You don’t need a third-party tool like Google Tag Manager.
  • You don’t need help from a developer each time you want to analyze a new user action. 

Instead, Smartlook collects the interaction data and all you need to do is select which interactions appear in your dashboard as events. The process by which you select these interactions is called defining an event

You can define events in three ways without coding:

1. Use the no-code event picker. When defining a new Smartlook event, there’s a “Pick event on page” button, which lets you define an event by clicking on elements in your site or app’s UI, as shown in the screenshot below. Because the interaction data is already collected, you get information about the number of clicks on that element just by hovering over it.

Defining an Event in Smartlook by clicking on specific elements on the page.

2. Choose from a template list of standard events, including clicked on URL, clicked on text, typed text, clicked-on CSS selector (allowing you to select any element on the page).

List of standard events: Visited URL, Clicked-on text, Typed text, etc.

3. Define an event from a recording. While you’re watching a session recording you may see some actions that you’d like to track. In that case, you can pause the replay, click on the “Session events” tab, and make that action into an event without leaving the replay by clicking on “Create Event”.

Create an event within a recording.

You can also create custom events with JavaScript to track pretty much everything else outside of the standard events. For mobile apps, most events are typically custom. 

When you define an event, Smartlook immediately identifies every instance of that event, going back as far as your data retention plan goes. This allows the event tracking visualization to appear instantly (like in the GIF below).

Event Details in Smartlook

An essential use case for event tracking is building funnels. Funnels are sequences of steps (i.e., events) users go through to complete a goal, like purchasing a product or completing an onboarding tutorial. Building funnels lets you analyze user behavior through these key flows, find out where users drop off, and calculate conversion rates.

In Smartlook, you can create a funnel by placing two or more events in the order you believe your users follow. Then, the funnel visualization appears instantly.

Creating a funnel in Smartlook example

After that, you can see the funnel’s overall conversion rate, as well as the conversion rates and drop-offs between each step. 

Visitors, Highest Dropoff Rate, and Conversion Rate with Smartlook.

For example, an e-commerce store may want to track the user journey from landing on the homepage, through searching for an item and completing the purchase. 

In Smartlook, you can build such a funnel with five events without coding:

  • Event 1: A homepage visitor clicks on the shop (select the button with our no-code event picker).
  • Event 2: The visitor searches for an item (use the “Typed text” event).
  • Event 3: The visitor clicks “Add to cart” (select the button with our no-code event picker to define the event).
  • Event 4: They click on the “Pay Now” button (again, select that button with the no-code event picker).
  • Event 5: They land on the “Thank you” page (use the “Visited URL” standard event and enter the page URL).

You can see how event tracking and funnel analysis work in detail with Smartlook’s live public demo (no registration or credit card required).

#3 Combine session recordings with events and funnels for fast UX insights

While events and funnels are powerful tools, they only provide quantitative data. This means you can use them to find out what users do but not why they do it. 

In fact, that’s one of the biggest problems with doing funnel analysis in GA. You can build all kinds of funnels (especially with GA4’s new funnel tool), but you’re in the dark when it comes to understanding the problems that lead to funnel drop-offs or how to fix them.

That’s why Smartlook combines the power of quantitative (events and funnels) and qualitative data (sessionrecordings) to help you quickly find opportunities for boosting your conversion rates.

When you open an event, there’s a “Play” button under the data visualization. Clicking it takes you directly to all session recordings where that event took place.

Events, Buy Package for Projects, Pay Now Button

Besides quickly finding all sessions where an event took place, this functionality also shows you the full context behind specific user actions. For example, you can watch all sessions where users reached your site’s “Thank you” page after a successful purchase and see what they did before and after that. 

You can also combine funnel analysis with session recordings to see why users drop off.

For example, the screenshot below shows a three-step checkout funnel. As you can see under Step 2, 73.86% of all visitors who entered this funnel clicked on the “Pay now” button, yet only 61.74% of those same users landed on the “Thank you” page (Step 3).

New 3-step payment funnel: 32 users (16.41%) drop off between clicking “Pay now” and landing on the “Thank you” page.

There’s an issue here since users who went through the checkout process and clicked on “Pay now” clearly want to buy. Now, if you built this funnel in GA, you’d have to start guessing what went wrong. However, with Smartlook you don’t need to guess, because you can instantly watch the session recordings of the users who dropped off between steps two and three.

As you can see, there’s a “Play” button under each step of the funnel, including the drop-off stages. Clicking that button under the drop-offs between steps two and three (or any other drop-off step) takes you to the session recordings of these 32 users, so you can find out why they dropped off. 

This is the feature one of our clients used to discover that many users were abandoning their purchase funnel at the last step. 

By combining funnel analysis with session recordings, they deduced that shipping prices were the biggest factor driving away customers. When they implemented changes based on their findings, orders increased by 161%, bringing in half a million dollars more in yearly revenue.

Smartlook Pricing

  • Free Plan: Records up to 1,500 user sessions per month (no credit card required).
  • Paid Plans: Start at $39/month (on our Startup plan), with a 10-day free trial. There are pre-made plans as well as an option for building custom plans.

Start analyzing and improving the experience of your website or mobile app’s users with Smartlook’s full-featured, 10-day trial today — no credit card required. If you need more time to evaluate, use our forever-free plan as long as you need.

2. Clicky

Clicky homepage: Privacy-friendly Website Analytics

Clicky is a privacy-friendly web analytics software, which provides real-time analytics about your website’s traffic. Similar to GA, Clicky’s focus is on quantitative analytics, while also offering additional features like uptime monitoring and heatmaps.

Clicky Pricing

  • Free Plan: Available for websites with up to 3000 daily pageviews.
  • Paid Plans: Start at $9.99/month, depending on the number of websites you want to analyze and their daily pageviews.

3. Matomo (formerly Piwik)

Matomo homepage: Google Analytics alternative that protects your data and your customers' privacy.

Matomo advertises itself as a privacy-friendly web analytics platform that’s built to replace GA. As a result, it comes with similar quantitative analytics features as GA and Clicky. Matomo also provides a self-hosted free version, which is more difficult to set up and maintain but gives you complete data ownership.

Matomo Pricing

  • Free Plan:Matomo has a free version (MatomoOn-Premise), which is self-hosted, meaning you need to set it up and maintain it on your own server.
  • Paid Plans: There’s only one paid plan (€19/month), which comes with more advanced analytics features and is delivered as a SaaS tool.

4. Piwik PRO

Piwik homepage: Analyze the customer journey across websites and apps

Piwik PRO is an analytics solution for analyzing user journeys across websites and mobile apps. It offers standard quantitative analytics features, coupled with additional capabilities for coordinating tag behavior, building customer profiles, consent management, and more. Since Piwik PRO is a quantitative analytics tool, we offer an integration with it, which allows you to access your Smartlook session recordings directly from the Piwik PRO Analytics dashboard.

Piwik PRO Pricing

  • Free Plan: Tracks up to 500,000 user actions per month.
  • Paid Plans: Available upon request.

5. Woopra

Woopra homepage: End-to-end Customer Journey Analytics

Woopra is a quantitative analytics solution for tracking your customers’ journeys end-to-end. It’s more versatile than traditional analytics tools, as it comes with features for product, marketing, sales, and customer support teams.

Woopra Pricing

  • Free Plan: Tracks up to 500,000 user actions per month.
  • Paid Plans: Start at $349/month, with a 14-day free plan.

6. Mixpanel

Mixpanel homepage: Build Better Products

Mixpanel is a product analytics tool, with features for analyzing conversions, app usage, and retention rate. It lets you build reports and custom analytics dashboards to analyze product adoption, conversion rates across different segments, and other important metrics. It’s another purely quantitative analytics tool, which is why we offer an integration with Mixpanel that allows you to see your visitors’ recording URLs in your event feed inside Mixpanel.

Mixpanel Pricing

  • Free Plan: Includes up to 100,000 tracked users (unique visitors that performed at least one event). 
  • Paid Plans: Start at $25/month, with the option to build custom plans.

7. Heap

Heap homepage: Better Insights. Faster.

Heap is a digital insights platform that has both quantitative and qualitative analytics features. It offers a few different categories of tools for data analysis (e.g., reports and dashboards), data foundation (e.g., event tracking and enrichment), and data management (e.g., governance and security.) Although Heap was founded as a primarily quantitative analytics tool, with the recent acquisition of session recording and heatmapping provider Auryc, Heap now offers several qualitative analytics features. 

Heap Pricing

  • Free Plan: Records up to 10,000 monthly sessions for one website or product.
  • Paid Plans: Start at $3600/year, with the option to build custom plans.

8. Fathom

Fathom homepage: Website analytics without compromise

Fathom is a website analytics tool with a big focus on privacy. It’s easy to use, as it’s only a single, user-friendly dashboard with quantitative stats and metrics about a site’s traffic (pageviews, referrers, user devices, bounce rate, etc.) Fathom also claims to bypass ad-blockers and that its embed code loads faster than GA’s, making it better for search engineoptimization (SEO).  

Fathom Pricing

  • Free Plan: No free plan, only a 7-day free trial.
  • Paid Plans: Start at $14/month and scale depending on how many monthly pageviews your site generates.

9. Plausible

Plausible homepage: Simple and privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternative

Similar to the previous entry, Plausible advertises itself as a privacy-friendly alternative to GA. Plausible is also an open-source solution (the code is available on GitHub), which doesn’t require cookie notices and is compliant with several key privacy laws like GDPR, CCPA, and PECR.

Plausible Pricing

  • Free Plan: No free plan, only a 30-day free trial.
  • Paid Plans: Start at $9/month and are customizable depending on how many pageviews your site generates each month.

10. FoxMetrics

FoxMetrics homepage: Unified Data Analytics Platform

FoxMetrics is a data analytics platform that lets users store and analyze behavior data from both web and mobile sources. Besides its standard quantitative analytics features, FoxMetrics stands out with its offering for restaurants, which lets restaurant owners collect analytics data from their website visitors, ordering systems, loyalty platforms, and other sources.

FoxMetrics Pricing

  • Free Plan: No information about a free plan or trial.
  • Paid Plans: Start at $399/month and scale depending on factors like how many events you want to track per month, user seats, the number of dashboards you want to build, and more.

11. GoSquared

GoSquared homepage: Grow your subscription business with us.

GoSquared is a platform for engaging with your users and analyzing their behavior. It offers tools for marketing automation, live chat, web analytics, and more. The entire platform is GDPR compliant by design.

GoSquared Analytics Pricing

  • Free Plan: No free plan, only a 7-day free trial.
  • Paid Plans: Start at $9/month and scale depending on the number of sites you want to analyze and their monthly pageviews.

12. Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics homepage: Advanced Product and Marketing Analytics

Kissmetrics is an analytics tool, specialized for SaaS and e-commerce businesses. It focuses on quantitative analytics, reporting on stats and metrics like new subscriptions, revenue, churn rate per customer segments, time to sign up, and more.

Kissmetrics Pricing

  • Free Plan: No information about a free plan or trial.
  • Paid Plans: Start at $299/month and scale depending on the monthly visitors, user seats, and domains tracked.

13. Adobe Analytics

Adobe Target homepage: Test and optimize every experience, every time, with Adobe Target.

Adobe Analytics is an enterprise analytics platform with a focus on quantitative analytics. The platform brings together a suite of tools that can help you capture and analyze real-time data from the entire customer journey. They have a huge focus on attribution and predictive analytics, which analyzes customers’ data and makes predictions about their future behavior. 

Adobe Analytics Pricing

  • Free Plan: No information about a free plan or trial.
  • Paid Plans:Adobe Analytics’ price is available upon request.

Start tracking all user sessions and interactions on your site or app automatically with Smartlook

You can get a free 10-day, full-featured Smartlook trial (no credit card required) and start analyzing your users’ behavior with the help of session recordings, events, funnels, and heatmaps

Our tool can be used on websites built with popular CMSs like WordPress, Joomla, and Shopify and also has integrations with popular A/B testing tools like Google Optimize and Optimizely.

Smartlook also has SDKs for 10 native mobile app platforms, frameworks, and engines — including iOS, Android, React Native, Flutter, Unity, and Unreal Engine. We have detailed documentation to guide you through mobile app implementation step-by-step. If you get stuck or have any questions at all, our Support team is ready and waiting.

For an in-depth Smartlook presentation that’s tailored to your business, schedule a demo with our team.

Martin Bolf
 
Martin Bolf

is the product manager at Smartlook. Martin is enthusiastic about delivering the best possible customer experience. Prior to joining Smartlook as a product manager, he used to work as a consultant for Oracle NetSuite. Martin has a deep professional interest in biometric signing and work digitalization. He is also an NFL enthusiast and likes to enjoy good food (ideally while watching NFL).

The post 13 Google Analytics alternatives for 2022 (super detailed review) appeared first on Smartlook Blog.

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14 Retail Strategies to use to Simplify the Shopping Experience for Your Customers

Simplify the shopping experience

The e-commerce landscape has changed drastically from being a nice-to-have to being an essential part of people’s lives. The boom in online shopping has meant a big opportunity for people who wish to see huge business development and succeed in the online store business. As a result, multitudes of retail businesses have popped up, and the competition is very tight.

With all of these options, customers now have the luxury of choosing where to buy online in the ever-growing retail environment. One of the essential ranking factors they consider is the simplicity of their shopping experience. How can you master this aspect to optimize your sales figures? Here are six retail sales strategies business owners can use to simplify the shopping experience for their customers.

Here’s what we’ll cover

 

1. Simplifying your sitemap and navigation

The integral part of any e-commerce platform is its sitemap and navigation. If the browsing is complex, the chances of customers exiting your site increase. If the sitemap is complex and has many branching out pages and some with dead ends, the customer experience will be negatively impacted.

From a customer’s perspective, if the navigation bar or footer is complex for a novice online shopper such as an older person, their customer experience will also be ruined. Customers expect to be able to find things quickly and easily.

Try to simplify the sitemap and navigation by all means possible. You can even solidify some pages to avoid having many item categories.

Alternatively, have subcategories under a few main categories. You can use the guide on eCommerce trends to identify other ways to improve on product listings, build your site, and set it up to be released.

 

2. Make searching your store easy

This ties in with the point above about simplifying navigation; however it narrows it down to the search functionality for products. First things first, make sure that the search bar is easy to find. Next, make sure that consumers don’t struggle to find the product they are looking for.

Your search functionality needs to be responsive so that it fills in words when the customer begins to type something and even understands any typos that appear. Another way to simplify the shopping process for consumers is for related products to also show up in the search below the actual product the person was looking for.

You can even go above and beyond this and take the need to search away by having suggested and related products at the bottom of the webpage. Cross-selling is a great way to improve your sales, as long as the products you’re suggesting are relevant. Bombard your users with options that aren’t relevant, and you risk alienating them and pushing them away from your business.

 

3. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly

Nowadays, most people do online shopping via their mobile devices. Therefore your website needs to be mobile responsive. Having a website that functions the same on both mobile phones and laptops means that consumers can easily shop whenever they wish.

Make sure that your website is optimized for a smaller screen. You need to ensure that your text is still readable, your website loads quickly, and your pictures fit the screen.

Things to take into account when making your website responsive are:

  • The users’ network connection
  • The size of the device’s screen
  • The way users interact (touch screen vs. touch bad)
  • The graphic resolution the device can handle

Being mobile responsive not only makes things easier for your consumers but it also improves your website traffic potential. The more website traffic, the higher your chances are of making a sale.

 

4. Develop an app

Why not take your mobile responsiveness a step further and actually develop a mobile app for your consumers to use. Creating a mobile app means that your business will remain relevant as people increase their mobile device usage and mobile commerce follows.

Having a mobile app brings the following advantages, you gain an advantage over your competitors, you differentiate yourself from your competitors, higher conversion rates, improved marketing communication, increased average order value, a more personalized shopping experience, increased customer loyalty and retention, reduced cart abandonment rates, and efficient customer service.

Why wouldn’t you take the time to develop an app?

The main negative of having a mobile app is that you need the right resources to develop one. You need a lot of time, money, and, most importantly, human resources with an excellent software development skillset. Having a mobile app that doesn’t function efficiently and effectively will only further annoy your users.

 

5. Encourage others to leave reviews

You may be asking yourself how encouraging previous customers to leave reviews helps to simplify the ecommerce shopping experience? Well, making decisions, even simple ones about which product to buy, can be mentally exhausting. Having product reviews makes decision-making easier as the user knows what they’d be getting from the product.

But isn’t a product description enough?

No. This is the concept of social proof. Consumers tend to believe the word of other consumers over that of the business, as consumers have no ulterior motives as the business may do.

Sephora product reviews
Image source: Sephora

Having honest reviews of your products also reduces your chances of product returns. This is not only an advantage to your business, but it also makes life easier for your customer. They are more likely to be satisfied with their purchase, and they won’t have to waste their time going through the entire shopping experience all over again.

 

6. Improve your customer service and support

No matter how much effort you put into perfecting your ecommerce store, things can still go wrong. And when they do go wrong, the last thing you want is for your potential customers to be left floundering and without any clue of what to do.

This is where great customer support comes in. It is important to have a customer support team that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You never know where your customers are geographically located, which means that they may be accessing your stores from a variety of different time zones.

If something goes wrong, customers need to be able to sort it out ASAP, so it is important for your responsiveness to be efficient. Especially if the issue is related to payment. That is why our main suggestion for customer support would be to have live chat software installed on your website.

Having a live chat option also benefits your website as it means that you have access to real-time feedback and can quickly make changes and updates to your website before anyone else encounters the same problem.

Nordstrom live chat
Image source: Nordstrom

Other customer support options include a contact form, an email option, and even a phone number people can call to chat with one of your dedicated customer service team members.

Knowing that consumers can get hold of a team member, even if they don’t ever need to, will put them at ease throughout their shopping experience. Having happy consumers should always be a priority for an ecommerce store.

 

7. Have a FAQ page

Some consumers don’t like to reach out to customer support teams. They’d rather get the answers to their questions without having to go out of their way. Sometimes they just want to be able to solve the problem by themselves. Cue the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page. 

The FAQ page is a central place that contains answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. More often than not, these questions relate to shipping and returns.

Levi FAQ help page
Image source: Levi’s

Some questions worth answering include:

  • Is there a delivery fee?
  • Do you deliver to my country?
  • What is your returns policy?

Having a FAQ page not only helps to make the consumer shopping experience simpler, as they have the answers to their questions at their fingertips, but it also makes the lives of your customer support team easier as it takes off some of their workload.

 

8. Include product photos

Sometimes a product description isn’t enough to accurately portray your amazing products to consumers. You need to include product photographs with your product descriptions.

How does this help to simplify the shopping experience for your consumers? Having product descriptions shows consumers exactly what they can expect when their delivery arrives. This takes away any potential for disappointment when they open their delivered package.

Under armour product pics
Image source: Under Armour

Less disappointment means less chances of a consumer wanting to return the product they purchased. 

Another advantage of including good-quality product photos is that you get that aspect of visual appeal, which may encourage consumers to make a purchase. This means more sales for you!

 

9. Make checking out as easy as possible

Imagine how annoying it would be for consumers to go through your website and add all the products to their cart, only to stumble at the final phase. The checkout process.

Don’t ask for unnecessary details during this phase, as people will be hesitant to give out their details and will often be deterred by this time-consuming activity. The shorter the process, the better.

If your consumers can check out in two or three clicks, then that’s ideal!

 

10. Store shopping cart information

This goes hand-in-hand with the point above.

You are shopping online, and you accidentally close the tab with the e-commerce site. The first thing that crosses your mind is probably the progress you have made on filling the shopping cart and if it will be saved.

That is exactly how your customers feel when they accidentally close their tabs while shopping. If the shopping cart info was not saved, they might be slow to come back, and by the time they’re ready, another supplier could have caught their eye.

Storing shopping cart information can seem like an unnecessary step, but as highlighted, it is a long-term strategy that can save you a significant amount of shoppers.

Even if the shoppers do not want to sign up or log in, you can use technologies such as ‘cookies’ to store the cart information - you don’t need to have a lot of customer data to enable this. Using this technology does not contravene any privacy policies because shopping cart information is not classified as sensitive.

Abandoned cart email Shopify
Image source: Screenshot from Shopify

 

11. Integrating effective CRM solutions

Customer relationship management plays a pivotal role in improving consumer journeys that might have gone a little awry.

For example, if a customer has a complaint or query you are supposed to follow up on, using a CRM tool can help you give the best customer support. If different agents handle the matter, they can easily pick up where the other left off.

Also, a record of all the queries or complaints can help with identifying the pain points that might need to be officially addressed.

Some CRM tools come with in-built visualization tools for easier reference and identification of areas where the experience can improve. There is a wide repertoire of tools for different kinds of communication channels.

Overall, investing in a multifaceted tool can bring more value to a retail business than picking tools with limited features. However, which tool best suits your business, will depend on your overall goals and objectives, so make sure to keep those in mind when deciding.

Shopify Payments
Image source: Screenshot from Shopify

 

12. Offer robust universal payment methods

Regardless of whether you are targeting an international or local audience, having robust payment methods is critical for a simplified customer journey. The downfall of some e-commerce platforms involves a lack of diversity in terms of payment methods, including cryptocurrency.

Other payment methods such as digital wallets, like PayPal and Skrill, have been ignored by some suppliers. Some individuals prefer keeping their money digitally, and asking them to pay by credit or debit card might be a lot to ask from them. Therefore, consider the options that are most relevant to your target customers. This might involve getting consumer feedback on which payment methods they prefer using.

Whatever you do, make sure the payment methods you choose are safe and secure. The last thing you want is consumers getting scammed out of their details - that could lead to some serious negative word of mouth.

 

13. Offering proactive shipping updates

Consumers tend to be anxious after making a purchase from a supplier that is new to them or one they rarely use. It is your job as the online shop owner or manager to ease their anxiety by having a proactive strategy and sending timely updates in the form of text content or informational videos from when the purchase is made.

For example, after making a purchase, you could send an order confirmation email to the consumer, letting them know that it has been processed.

Afterward, send an email once the order is in transit and offer them a package tracking number. Even if the delivery is not done in-house, follow up with the courier company to send the tracking number and timely updates. You could even send a thank you email once the customer has received their order.

However, it is best to avoid sending a flood of emails to consumers because this might suffocate them. This provides your customer with an ideal shopping experience.

Shopify email automation
Image source: Screenshot from Shopify

 

14. Improving on user interface and user experience

The UI/UX should be a focal point when developing the visuals and functions of the e-commerce platform. UI or user interface refers to the point where the consumer interacts with the computer whereas UX or user experience refers to the interaction the consumer has with the product (or service)

One key element to a suitable and user-friendly UI/UX is a clean design that is easy to follow. That means content sections should be kept brief and easy to scan.

The buttons used must be visible, all text easy to read, and should be of good size. Also, consider that many people will be visiting your website on a mobile device, so the interface should be mobile-friendly.

Remember not to make the website too heavy because the user experience part of it dictates that it should be fast-loading.

For example, instead of using a lot of images, try to use scalable vector graphics for illustrative pictures since their code is lighter than an uploaded image. In general, the design should be modern and easy to use. Those are the elements consumers look out for and can provide your potential customers with a memorable shopping experience.

 

The bottom line

Developing an e-commerce shop is more than just sourcing products and marketing. It includes the business practice of customer relationship management and mapping out consumer journeys to create the best online shopping experience for your visitors.

Use the tools at your disposal, such as CRM tools, to manage customer queries as professionally and helpfully as you can. Lastly, remember to simplify your sitemap and improve your overall UI/UX for a better customer experience that leads to your store becoming one of their favorite businesses, to higher sales, and to better consumer relationships.

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UTM Tracking: What Are UTM Codes and How Do I Use Them?

UTM tracking is a method to monitor campaign performance and ROI. Learn how to use UTM tracking codes properly for clear, insightful analytics.

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New SERP Analyzer: Get a data-driven roadmap for creating new pages

Much work needs to be done if you want to create a high-performing page. Creating a page blindly is a bad strategy because you should understand what kind of content needs to be produced, which []

The post New SERP Analyzer: Get a data-driven roadmap for creating new pages appeared first on SE Ranking Blog.

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Introducing Cross-platform analytics

Track user behavior across your website and mobile app simultaneously. It’s a small step for man but a giant leap for the world of analytics.

Customers access websites and mobile apps through various devices. Tracking each of them can quickly become tiring. Explore our new feature, analyze user behavior better and prepare a seamless user experience. 

The main benefits of cross-platform analytics:

  • Data from various platforms in one place
  • Easy user identification 
  • Qualitative and quantitative analytics in one tool

Session recordings

Sessions are recorded across both platforms and listed in chronological order. Sessions are then combined via a user’s unique ID. An icon displays which platform a customer used throughout each session.

Saved Segments in Smartlook

Need to analyze sessions that are mobile-only? No problem! Use filters to adjust the feed to match your specific needs. 

Heatmaps

Switch between the website and mobile app heatmaps using a single project dashboard. Explore the differences between the two and create a user-friendly environment. 

Events

Choose between mobile-specific, website-specific, or merged events. Analyze how users interact with your product across both platforms.

Funnels

Funnels help you analyze the user journey through web and mobile apps. Merged events enable you to create a top-notch funnel that meets your needs. 

Highest dropoff in Step 2 of the Funnel with 25.41%

Behavior flow

Switch between mobile and website flows. You can track a user’s behavior across both platforms merged into one. 

Cross-platform analytics help marketing and product teams enhance the user experience. Developers use cross-platform analytics to locate bugs on all platforms. Even customer support teams use cross-platform analytics to help them with troubleshooting.

The cross-platform analytics feature is now available for every Smartlook user. Create a new project, choose the option “a combined website and mobile project,” and then follow these steps

Adding a New Project in Smartlook

For smooth setup, follow these instructions:

https://help.smartlook.com/en/articles/6088359-combined-website-and-mobile-project

Learn more about cross-platform analytics here:

https://www.smartlook.com/blog/cross-platform-analytics/

Vojtěch Šibor
 
Vojtěch Šibor

is a Product Marketing Manager at Smartlook. Vojtech is a marketer with product blood running through his veins. He always knows about all the new features and what's coming up. Sometimes he talks about brand stuff and makes sure that the communication is consistent.

The post Introducing Cross-platform analytics appeared first on Smartlook Blog.

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How to centralize your marketing data with an integration strategy

Marketers, advertisers, and agencies face the challenge of scattered marketing data regularly. New marketing channels appear all of the time. This means that more data is available for business decision-making.

It becomes challenging for marketers to handle all this information. The data pool becomes too large and messy, slowing your reporting processes and impacting your decisions. In the age of rapid data-driven business decisions, these delays can be very costly.

So why is this happening, and what can be done about it? Luckily, there are several ways to tackle this problem. Let’s dive into the differences between centralized and. decentralized data models, the world of data warehouses & data lakes, and when to consider moving your data to a centralized model.

Fast forward >>

What is the difference between centralized and decentralized marketing data

Centralized data access model

Data centralization is becoming increasingly popular. Cloud-based data warehousing vendors have made it easy for anyone to spin up a data warehouse in the cloud. With just a few clicks and a credit card, you can store and process an unimaginable amount of data.

As budgets grow, marketing and advertising performance become harder to measure. The need for internal visibility of marketing performance is driving companies to centralize their marketing data into a data lake or data warehouse.

Centralized data access model infographic

Decentralized data access model

While centralized data models are growing in popularity, the benefits of decentralized data access models have been overlooked. Such models don’t require that raw data be stored in a centralized warehouse but rather give users direct access to the raw data they need.

Decentralized data access model infographic

What is a marketing data warehouse?

A marketing data warehouse is a cloud-based destination for storing and analyzing cross-channel marketing data. By consolidating data from multiple platforms in one place, data warehouses allow teams to analyze campaigns, create reports, and improve their targeting strategies all in one place.

Data warehouses consist of structured tables, making it quick and easy to query the exact data you want to include in your report or analysis.

Data warehouses consist of two main elements:

Storage

Data warehouses let you store a large amount of data in one place for an affordable price. Instead of relying on your marketing platforms’ retention policies, which can be restrictive, or paying for all the historical data you need from multiple vendors, you’ll have everything in one place and for a relatively low cost. Your storage capability will grow as your dataset grows.

Compute

In addition to storing data, data warehouses also support processing large amounts of it. If you want to scale your business by rapidly crunching more numbers, on-premise solutions won’t help you. With a cloud data warehouse, you can scale up and down quickly—which is critical for analytics because you’ll want to be able to quickly query specific datasets.

What are the benefits of marketing data warehousing

The major benefits of using a cloud-based marketing data warehouse include:

Creating a single source of truth

Marketing teams are often slowed down by scattered data because they either don’t have the time to sign in to a dozen different platforms to collect the data they need or spend so much time collecting data that they don’t have time for analysis and optimization.

Data warehouses can help marketers by consolidating their data into a single source of truth. This helps them get a better handle on important metrics like customer acquisition cost (CAC), return on investment (ROI), and return on ad spend (ROAS).

Time to insight

You can start centralizing your marketing data in a cloud-based warehouse without buying expensive hardware or getting access to a physical data center. Simply choose your data warehouse—e.g., Google BigQuery, Azure Synapse Analytics, or Snowflake—and start moving your data with a fully managed pipeline like Supermetrics.

And since getting started only takes a few clicks, you can immediately start pulling insights from your DWH.

Analytics capabilities

To query data with SQL or feed data from your data warehouse directly into a data visualization or BI tool, you can process complex queries in seconds and push the data you need into reporting or analytics tools of choice.

Key analytics tools, such as Google Data Studio, can pull real-time data from your data warehouse instance without extra configuration.

Data ownership

Instead of placing your trust in the data retention policies of Facebook, Google, HubSpot, and other platforms, you can store your cross-channel marketing data in a warehouse.

This ensures that you always have access to historical data about your marketing campaigns, which will empower you to make better decisions about the future.

Cost & scalability

Whether you work for a growing SMB or an enterprise company, storing marketing data in a cloud-based data warehouse is relatively inexpensive. Additionally, having elastic storage means your data warehouse will always be ready to grow with your business.

Cloud-based marketing data warehouses are also known to require low to no maintenance since the cloud provider takes care of the upkeep for you. You just pay for the resources you use.

What is a marketing data lake?

A marketing data lake is a cloud-based solution for storing and consolidating your organization’s unstructured and structured cross-channel marketing data in its raw form— usually as CSV files. In the marketing context, cloud storage solutions such as Amazon S3, Azure Blob Storage, and Google Cloud Storage are often used as data lakes.

Marketing data lakes

Everything you need to know about cloud-based data warehouses

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In a marketing data pipeline like Supermetrics, you can replicate data from the most popular marketing data sources—like Facebook, Google Analytics, and Salesforce—directly into your data lake of choice.

After that, you can move the data into a data warehouse for reporting and business intelligence workflows and give direct access to your data science team so they can get the data they need with whatever tools they use.

For example, here’s what your marketing data architecture might look like if you’re working in the Google ecosystem.

Google Cloud Platform network visualization

What are the benefits of storing marketing data in a data lake?

The major benefits of using a cloud-based marketing data lake include:

Better data governance

Managing data from multiple channels and departments in one place is easier with a data lake than it is with a data warehouse. For example, you can store all your Facebook Ads data in one cloud storage bucket and start a new bucket for LinkedIn Ads, Twitter Ads, etc. Alternatively, agencies can have a dedicated cloud storage bucket for each client. 

Data lakes are also a great option if you want to keep access to historical marketing data that you may need one day—but you don’t want to clog your data pipeline or data warehouse with a bunch of metrics and dimensions you may never use.

Data governance

What it is and why you should care

Learn more

Security and access

Most enterprises with stringent security standards would rather not have a managed data pipeline writing directly to their data warehouse. Even in a smaller company, you may have information in your data warehouse tables that you can’t share with any external parties.

If security is a concern, you can create a data lake architecture that allows you to avoid putting your data warehouse behind a firewall. A managed data pipeline like Supermetrics can automate your data transfers into a dedicated bucket in your data lake, and then you can move data between your data lake and warehouse with a tool like AWS Glue or Google Dataflow.

Data ownership

Similarly to data warehousing, you’ll own all your marketing data once you have moved it into a data lake.

This means that you don’t need to trust the data retention policies of Facebook, Google, HubSpot, and other platforms. Also, this ensures that you’ll have access to data about your past marketing campaigns, which will empower better decision-making in the future.

Near-instant backup

If you’re used to analyzing your data using SQL, you’ve probably noticed how easy it’s to make mistakes. As a result of a bad SQL script, you might lose access to some of the data you need for your analysis.

Instead of going back to your data pipeline tool to rerun the queries and waiting for the data to reload, a data lake offers a faster way to restore the lost metrics and dimensions. Rather than waiting for your pipeline to back up the lost data, you can quickly restore the data you need from the data lake and pick up your analysis where you left off.

Cost

The pricing model of data lakes is mainly built around storage and can have very low costs in most cases. This makes storing marketing data in a data lake an attractive option.

Wrap up

If you need to answer big-picture questions, you’ll usually want a centralized data model in the form of a data warehouse or data lake. This is because the volume of data needed to answer those questions will probably not fit in a single spreadsheet or a dashboard’s local memory.

Basically, you need a broad perspective on your data. To know how different marketing strategies have performed over several years, you’ll need centralized tools to answer that question.

Get started

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About the author

Pieter is a Sales Engineer at Supermetrics. He works closely together with customers to identify opportunities for increased value return in their marketing data stack.

The post How to centralize your marketing data with an integration strategy appeared first on Supermetrics.

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Google Data Studio vs. Tableau: A Comparison Guide

Marketers need access to good and relevant data, regardless of whether you’re analyzing your latest blog post or evaluating the performance of your year’s biggest 360° integrated brand campaign. To do that, you need your data presented in an easy-to-understand and digestible format. This is why good business intelligence tools are more crucial than ever.

With these tools, you can blend data to explore, analyze, and visualize the data and find actionable insights. It also makes it understandable to all types of audiences and helps support important decisions.

Luckily, many different BI tools are available today, each with its strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we’ll compare two top tools—Tableau and Google Data Studio—to help you decide which is right for you.

First, before going into a deeper comparison, let’s look at an overview of both the tools.

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Google Data Studio Overview

Data Studio is a free-to-use, open-source data visualization, and analytics tool. It’s a complete cloud-based tool and doesn’t currently support a desktop version. 

Unlike most BI products, Data Studio was designed keeping the marketers in mind. It has good integrations with major marketing and sales platforms. These things make Data Studio a good starting point for marketing teams or agencies.  

Data Studio gives a very easy-to-adapt, user-friendly interface, making it easy to build interactive dashboards for reporting, so you don’t always have to rely on technical teams. 

Tableau Overview

Tableau has similar core functionality to Data Studio: data analytics, transformation, and visualization. It was originally launched as a desktop application, but they’re also launching other versions with different functionality.

Unlike Data Studio, Tableau isn’t specifically designed for marketers, so it’s a bit more sophisticated and might be difficult to work with for people without technical skills. With Tableau being designed for a broader audience, it connects to all your different data sources and not just marketing and sales.

Tableau product range

Currently, Tableau offers four versions of the tool: 

  • Tableau Cloud/Online: This is the cloud version of the tool, which has some feature limitations compared to the desktop version. You can modify online dashboards in the online version and publish/share them with your internal teams.
  • Tableau Public: This free version acts as a central storage space where you can publish your documents, and anyone can view them publicly.
  • Tableau Server: This is like an extension of the Tableau Online version where you can publish dashboards externally. It gives more security and controls as compared to the online version.
  • Tableau Desktop: This is the free Windows and Mac software version where you can create and edit dashboards. You can use the above three versions to publish the dashboard or report.

Tableau can deploy models on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices and is suited to absorb enormous volumes of complex data. A key feature is its adaptability, including integrations with different dashboards and web portals.

Both Tableau and Data Studio give many data connectors, including individual platforms to cloud storage and databases.

But, along with the similarities, several key differences in both platforms set them apart. The right option for you might depend on considering a few important parameters.

Let’s look into a deeper comparison based on data visualization, pricing, shareability and collaboration, integrations, data blending, custom fields, learning curve, and advanced analytics.

Data visualization

Data visualization is one of the important steps in data analysis to understand your data completely. Consider the charts and graphs each program allows you to create when selecting your data visualization tool. You should produce images that speak to your audience and convey your point.

To choose the best data visualization tool, consider the graphics you’ll need to create, as both Data Studio and Tableau offer a data visualization feature.

Data Studio is a data visualization feature that gives many interactive visualization options like graphs, charts, heat maps, pivot tables, scorecards, etc.

Google Data Studio visualization integrations

Data Studio allows you to create dashboards using data from different sources, generally from the connectors or Google applications. It’s useful for marketing teams or agencies to understand the complete picture using data from paid ads, site stats, organic ranking, etc. It also gives a comparison option to easily monitor changes by comparing periods.

The dashboards in Data Studio are completely customizable to match the look and feel of the dashboard with your brand look.

Supermetrics Charts for Data Studio

Create better charts with Supermetrics Charts

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Tableau has many more features and depth when compared to Data Studio. It gives very powerful data exploration and analytics tools. In terms of interactive charts and graphs, in addition to the Data Studio offerings, Tableau also offers infographics, cluster maps, and much more.

So if you’re a casual business user or data scientist, Tableau will still be able to match nearly all of your use cases.

Pricing

Pricing is a major deciding factor for many organizations, which is also a big difference when looking at Data Studio and Tableau.

Data Studio is a free tool, so you don’t have to pay anything to use it, no matter how big the team is. Unless you want to bring data from platforms that don’t have Google connectors, you might have to look into the partner connectors’ pricing plans for each one you want to use. 

Data Studio Pricing

Fetching data from non-Google platforms, you may have to pay for a third-party connector provider

Learn more

While Tableau doesn’t offer a free version, it offers a free trial for 14 days. Other than that, all plans are billed on a license agreement, and you can choose either monthly or yearly payment terms.

Tableau has multiple pricing packages—like Creator, Explorer, Viewer, eLearning for Explorer, and eLearning for Creator—depending on the role and functionality level, you can purchase and assign the license. The basic ‘Creator’ license starts at $70​​ per user per month, where you can bring data, build, and publish dashboards.

The pricing structure for Tableau is designed so you can purchase a less expensive package for team members who won’t be using the creating or editing dashboards. For example, the explorer package costs 42$ per person per month, while the viewer package costs 15$ per person per month.

Shareability and collaboration

Data Studio works well with all Google products, such as Firebase, BigQuery, Gmail, Forms, Google Docs, Google Analytics, and Google Sheets.

Data Studio is a good choice for organizations that use Google Cloud and other Google apps because it has native support for many data formats and simple, effective integrations.

The Google Data Cloud platform can present challenges with other software and tools, including relying on third-party connectors and integration tools. For example, the platform does not natively support Microsoft Excel files, so importing them requires additional steps and manipulation, such as converting them to a Google Sheet or CSV file.

Additionally, Data Studio may not always play nicely with other vendors’ cloud data, requiring additional steps or software for importing. But, the platform integrates with over 150 cloud SQL, ecommerce, and digital advertising platforms.

Data Studio is very useful when working in a big team because it allows people to collaborate on the same data visualization simultaneously.

Google Data Studio main interface

Tableau’s sharing functionality isn’t as straightforward and user-friendly as Data Studio, but it offers the sharing ability via its server.

It’s directly linked to many data sources like Microsoft Excel, SQL, BigQuery, Snowflake, SAP, Salesforce, and Amazon Redshift. It can access data from all the major cloud-based data storage providers, including Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and Box.

Tableau has the advantage of being part of Salesforce, which it integrates with. It’s also strong in integrating seamlessly with Slack and other applications.

Tableau makes it very easy to share data between the internal teams in your company, but it’s difficult to share it with external clients and stakeholders. To share the dashboards and reports created in Tableau, you need to use the sharing tools such as Tableau Server, Tableau Online, and Tableau Reader.

Tableau's Viz of the Day

To explain further about the Tableau versions:

  • Tableau Desktop: You can share dashboards and reports internally or on Tableau Public.
  • Tableau Public. You can only share reports and dashboards on Tableau Public cloud with limited privacy and security, as anything on Tableau Public can be viewed and downloaded.
  • Tableau Server. You can focus on collaboration with the server version, so it comes with more security than Tableau Public and can share created reports externally.
  • Tableau Online. This web version of Tableau allows users to share the reports and dashboards with internal and external stakeholders. It gives more security using user authentication.
  • Tableau Reader. You have access to a read-only version as well, where users can view the dashboards or reports created.

To know more about shareability in Tableau, click here

Integrations

Integrations are one of the core parameters to consider when looking at business intelligence software as it essentially determines how much of the complete picture you can see. Simply put, your BI tool must integrate with as many tools as you want to pull data from.

Integrations are also called data connectors as they connect the source to the destination so you can pull the data.

Data Studio gives an extensive list of connectors which includes 20 Google Connectors—that includes Google applications like Google Ads, Google Analytics, etc.—and 600 Partner Connectors.

Google has quite a few external connectors for which you need to use third-party connectors to pull the data. You can check Google’s recommendations if you’re unsure which third-party app to use for pulling data. Google and security firms evaluate these apps to ensure they’re safe.

Google Data Studio connector interface

Unlike Data Studio, Tableau does not have a direct connection to all the Google products, but it still offers connections to a wide range of connectors using an API. You can view the list of all the connectors offered by Tableau here.

Tableau offers many connections to databases and file-based connections, or even SQL and NoSQL databases or even web-based HTML and Java sources.

Tableau connectors interface

Both Data Studio and Tableau offer a wide range of data connectors. If you’re missing some connections, you can use a tool like Supermetrics to help you move data from marketing and sales sources to Data Studio or Tableau. You can also automate data refreshes with Supermetrics.

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Data blending

Data blending is when you merge data from various sources in a single dashboard to create visualizations. You can contrast and compare data from various sources using this feature.

Charts based on many data sources can be produced using Data Studio’s data blending feature, which is essentially a left outer join. Data from up to four separate sources can be combined as long as they have at least one join key or piece of shared information in common.

Each data source in the blend must share a collection of one or more join keys to unite the data. It’s important to remember that this action only affects reports—your data sources dashboard won’t display the results.

Initially, Data Studio featured the LEFT JOIN only, but now they have added four other joins: INNER JOIN, RIGHT (OUTER) JOIN, CROSS-JOIN, and FULL (OUTER) JOIN.

Data blending join options in Google Data Studio

Tableau Prep is a tool that allows you to connect and visualize data from multiple sources. You can create a flowchart to visualize the steps in a process, the shape of your data, outliers or null values, and row-level detail.

Data blending view in Tableau

Data blending is more sophisticated in Tableau vs. Data Studio—it follows the following main ways for blending data.

Relationships

Relationships are the recommended approach and can be used in most circumstances. Relationships are flexible and can be tailored to the sheet-by-sheet organization of our data analysis. But, relationships between tables from data sources uploaded to Tableau Server or Tableau Online can’t be created.

Joins

Joins combine tables by introducing additional data columns across related row structures. Before beginning the analysis, joined data sources must be rectified as they may result in data loss or duplications if the tables have different detail levels.

Unions

Union helps when you want to add more rows of data with the same column structure based on a matching column between the two tables.

Blends

Blends independently query each dataset and aggregate the outcomes to the appropriate levels. The outcomes are then shown in a view. Because of this, the blends approach can handle various detail levels and public data sources.

Tableau help page

Custom fields

Custom fields or calculated fields are used for various cases like filtering out unwanted data, segmenting data, calculating ratios, converting the data type of a field, or even aggregating data. 

With the tools Data Studio and Tableau, you can customize the fields and add calculations in the data source or just in the visualization required for your use case. 

In Data Studio, you can use three types of manipulations to transform data—arithmetic, functions, and logic. While Tableau gives this on three different levels: 

  • Basic expressions allow you to transform values or elements at the level of detail of the data source—a row-level calculation—or the level of detail of the visualization—an aggregate calculation.
  • Level of Detail (LOD) expressions compute values at the data source and visualization levels. The level of granularity you want to compute, though, is even more flexible with LOD expressions. They can be carried out at a more detailed level (INCLUDE), a less detailed level (EXCLUDE), or a completely autonomous level (FIXED).
  • Table calculations only let you change values at the level of the visualization’s level of detail.

Learning curve

Data Studio is an easy-to-use tool that doesn’t require complex software installations or registrations. Data Studio also supports a low level of complex functionality compared to Tableau, making it easier to start and work with, even for a layperson. Data Studio has a relatively simple learning curve, which can be an advantage for companies that want to set up short reports or dashboards without much technical knowledge.

The learning curve with Tableau is much more difficult than with Data Studio as it might require good training or a technical person on the team to unfold its full potential.

Tableau’s interface is pretty straightforward, but it has many features and might be best suited for a trained analyst if you require a deeper analysis.

To support non-technical people with data analysis, Tableau offers the artificial intelligence feature ‘Ask Data’ and ‘Explain Data’ features where users can ask their queries and get simplified answers.

Overall, Tableau looks better suited to medium and large companies requiring high-level dashboards and reporting and a dedicated technical team to work on.

Advanced analytics

Predictive analytics

If you use Data Studio to analyze data, you won’t be able to use predictive analytics methods like regression, time series analysis, or forecasting. This might be a big decision point for the companies that are more data-driven and have advanced use cases that might include forecasts and predictions.

Tableau offers a built-in data modeling solution that includes forecasting and trends, where you can instantly forecast data into any graph and look at it in more detail. This contrasts with Data Studio, which does not have these features.

For more advanced users, Tableau also has an R studio plugin. It allows you to move the data to R, where you can manipulate and create models via Tableau, and results can again be pulled back from R to Tableau.

Tableau R studio plug-in interface

Supporting programming languages

Data Studio is a basic business intelligence tool—it does not support any programming languages like R or Python. If you want to use the more advanced features, you can connect Google Sheets to Data Studio and set Python to update it for smaller datasets. For larger datasets, you can use BigQuery similarly rather than Google Sheets.

On the other hand, Tableau supports languages like R and Python using integrations. You can use vast machine-learning libraries available with Python in Tableau just by using ‘TabPy’ API. If you’re more familiar with R, you can integrate R using calculated fields and tap all the libraries, packages, functions, or even the saved data models.

Tableau cluster visualization interface

Embedded analytics

With Tableau and Data Studio, you can embed a report to any website or application supporting the HTML iframe. This is a very easy-to-use feature and does not need knowledge of HTML.

In Data Studio, the embed report’s link is automatically generated and can be updated in real-time as per the original dashboard. It’s important to know that the embedded report is just a view-only version of the original dashboard.

To access this function in Tableau, you need to purchase it separately as it isn’t included in the Tableau Creator plan. In terms of embedded reports, Tableau offers it using a set of APIs for integrations.

Data Studio vs. Tableau: Which one is best for you?

In summary, Google Data Studio and Tableau both produce strong visualizations through dashboards and other tools.

Data Studio is appropriate for marketing teams or agencies that need an affordable, easy-to-use yet powerful tool to automate their dashboard and client reports.

Additionally, it contains various data source connectors—mostly Google products—and if you can’t find what you need, you can use third-party applications like Supermetrics. Data Studio only offers a small amount of data modeling and primarily calculated fields and does not allow predictive analytics.

Get started with Data Studio

Bring the data from all your marketing and sales platforms in Data Studio using Supermetrics.

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In other words, if you primarily want to concentrate on creating straightforward, cost-effective, interactive dashboards, and simple modeling and operations are not necessary, Data Studio is for you.

On the other hand, Tableau is more complex and challenging for beginners to understand. It allows multiple layers of complicated data modeling and R and Python-based predictive analytics.

Tableau is a great choice for companies with the resources to invest in a robust business intelligence ecosystem. Tableau allows users to connect to multiple data sources and make complex correlations between datasets, making it ideal for deep analysis.

Similar to Data Studio, even for Tableau, you’ll have to use the partner connectors to get data from outside the direct connectors. With Supermetrics API you can automate your data extraction to Tableau Prep Builder where you can perform complex data modeling tasks which usually require a data warehouse.

Get Started with Tableau

To know more about how to connect a partner connector to Tableau prep using API

Read the guide

About the author

Isha is a Junior Demand Gen Manager at Supermetrics. Isha loves to uncover the meaning behind data and helps customers understand the importance of data-driven marketing.

The post Google Data Studio vs. Tableau: A Comparison Guide appeared first on Supermetrics.

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10 best A/B testing tools for websites and mobile apps in 2022

Mobile A/B testing

A/B testing tools allow you to compare two versions of a webpage or mobile app against each other to see which one converts better. Having this ability to run experiments can help you:

  • Optimize key user flows such as sign-ups, onboarding tutorials, and checkouts. 
  • Test all kinds of design and copy elements to see how they affect user behavior.
  • Make data-driven decisions, instead of blindly implementing design or copy changes and hoping they lead to better results.

But despite these massive benefits, A/B tests can easily backfire, leading you to incorrect conclusions. This can happen when you don’t run clean experiments, for example, by not waiting for a large enough sample size or introducing more changes than intended in a variant.

Now, most A/B testing tools help you avoid some of these scenarios. For instance, they tell you when a test reaches statistical significance, so you don’t make conclusions before that. 

However, A/B testing tools can’t show you how users interact with each variant you’re testing. This means that a test’s outcome can actually be misleading when multiple changes are introduced in a variant (on purpose or by accident) since you only see which variant performed better but not why. 

Put simply, most A/B testing tools provide no way of verifying the accuracy of your experiments. As a result, you may end up spending engineering hours and money implementing design changes that actually perform worse than the original.

We’ll start this post by showing how to overcome this issue with Smartlook — our product analytics and visual user insights platform. Specifically, you’ll learn how to combine Smartlook with popular A/B testing tools to verify the accuracy of your experiments. We’ll also explore ways to generate good hypotheses for new tests and go over the benefits of mobile app A/B testing.

Lastly, we’ll review 10 A/B testing tools for running website and mobile app experiments:

  1. Google Optimize
  2. Firebase A/B Testing
  3. Optimizely
  4. VWO
  5. AB Tasty
  6. Adobe Target
  7. Maxymiser
  8. Omniconvert
  9. Kameleoon
  10. Unbounce

How to verify the accuracy of your A/B tests with Smartlook

Again, the ability to validate the accuracy of your A/B tests is essential, as it prevents you from spending time and money on implementing variants that actually hurt your UX and conversion rates.

For example, say you’re running an A/B test to determine which call to action (CTA) button copy results in more users making a purchase in your e-commerce store. Using an A/B testing tool, you create a variant that includes the new phrase you want to test out. 

But in the process, you also introduce a second change to the variant by merging the “First Name” and “Last Name” form fields into one “Name” field. When you evaluate this experiment’s results in your A/B testing tool, you’ll only see which variant performed best. 

But since there are actually two changes being tested, you can’t be certain which one is responsible for the outcome. If the new variant does perform better, was it because the new CTA button was more compelling than the original? Or was it because more customers completed the form when they were required to fill out one less field?

Now, you can avoid such issues by only testing one variable. In fact, changing only one thing at a time is a fundamental rule for running clean tests. However, multiple changes can get introduced to a variant without you even knowing it. 

For example, an A/B test may trigger a bug for users on a particular device or browser, which alters their behavior. Or someone in your organization may make a seemingly minor update on the live version of the page you’re testing, which serves as the control group for your test. 

Such inconsistencies happen all the time. In A/B testing terms, they’re called “confounding variables”. But since A/B testing tools can’t show you how users interact with each variant, they usually remain unnoticed. Even if you suspect something’s wrong, you can’t easily verify or disprove your hunch without running the experiment again and hoping for more reliable results.

Put simply, you need a way to check the accuracy of your experiments during the testing process, so you can be confident when implementing a specific variant. This is where Smartlook comes in.

Thanks to its session recording feature, Smartlook can show you exactly how users interact with your site or app. For example, you can see how a mobile app session recording looks in the image below.

Session Recordings Example in Smartlook

The center shows a replay of the UI exactly as the user saw it, minus the system keyboard area, which isn’t recorded in order to protect user privacy when entering passwords. Below the session recording, there’s a dotted green line, representing the session timeline with all user interaction events that occurred. Lastly, on the left, you have additional details about the session, such as when it took place and on what device.

When it comes to A/B testing, you can use Smartlook’s session recordings to watch how users interact with each variant you’re testing. 

Let’s go back to our example of accidentally introducing more than one variable in an experiment. As we said, an A/B testing tool won’t be able to show you such an inconsistency. But with Smartlook, you’d immediately notice the differences when watching the session recordings for each variant.

To enable this capability, you first need to get the experiment and variation IDs from your A/B testing tool. For instance, in Optimizely, these IDs are located in the “API Names” menu, as described in this article.

API Names in Optimizely

Once you have the IDs, Smartlook’s Identify API lets you look up session recordings based on them. 

For example, say you want to watch how users interacted with “Variant B” of a specific experiment. In that case, you can locate the experiment and variant IDs in your A/B testing tool and find the session recordings in Smartlook with the Identify API.

API Identification in Smartlook

You can learn more about this process in our articles on using Smartlook with:

  1. Google Optimize
  2. Optimizely
  3. Firebase A/B testing

Note: We’ve shown examples of the A/B testing tools that most of our customers use. However, the same process should work for any tool that provides you with variation and experiment IDs.

In short, using your A/B testing tool along with Smartlook’s session recordings lets you:

  • Verify the accuracy of your experiments’ results by watching exactly how users interact with each variant.
  • Confidently spend resources on implementing a variant because you can see why it performs better.

How to generate ideas for what to test by analyzing user behavior data

Besides validating your results, A/B testing tools have another blindspot — they don’t tell you what you should test. And since there are countless ways users interact with a site or app, coming up with good test hypotheses can be challenging.

While there are different methods you can use to generate ideas for new tests (like surveys and usability tests), the best way to fuel your experiments is with user behavior data (i.e.,information on how users interact with your site or app). This data can show you which pages users are visiting, what actions they’re taking, where they’re struggling, and much more.

Besides session recordings, Smartlook has three key analytics features that can help you generate A/B testing hypotheses:

  1. Event tracking: Event tracking lets you monitor business-critical user actions over time, like account logins, button clicks, or in-app purchases. Smartlook tracks tons of events automatically and also lets you define custom events using JavaScript.
  2. Funnel analysis: Funnel analysis shows you how many people move from one step to the next through key user flows (like onboarding and checkout) as well as the conversion rates between each step. 
  3. Heatmaps: Heatmaps provide an overview of a typical user’s behavior on a page or mobile app screen. 

On its own, this combination of quantitative and qualitative analytics features provides tons of insights into your visitors’ behavior. We’ve shown how to get the most out of these features in our article on tracking user activity on websites, so we won’t go over all the details here.

For now, it’s important to note that you can use Smartlook’s Identify API to get even more valuable information about your A/B tests and their impact on the entire customer journey.

Let’s go back to our example of changing the CTA buttons on your e-commerce store’s homepage. This change can affect users’ behavior after they leave the homepage, so it’s a good idea to trace its impact on the whole checkout process.

First, Smartlook can map the entire checkout flow to a funnel, as we’ve shown in our funnel analysis article. This funnel shows you how many people move from one step to the next (e.g., from a product page, to adding an item to their cart, to reaching the checkout page), as well as where most of them drop off. 

New payment funnel: Buy/ Upgrade

Then, you can use the Identify API to group sessions of the A/B test with specific parameters and save them as filters. These can be used to break down your funnel, based on which homepage variant users initially landed on. 

As a result, you can see how your changes affected the entire purchase journey, not just users’ actions on your homepage. For example, you’d be able to see whether Variant A or Variant B led to more funnel drop-offs at each step, as well as which one resulted in more purchases. From here, you can create new A/B testing variants, based on the insights you got.

The importance of mobile A/B tests and validating their results

So far we’ve mostly explored A/B testing in the context of websites. However, A/B testing mobile apps is just as important.

Mobile users behave differently than website users. This means insights gathered from website A/B tests often don’t translate to mobile, so your app’s copy and design changes should be tested separately.

Additionally, mobile app updates require a lot of engineering resources, unlike website ones, which can often be made without coding. If changes aren’t tested beforehand or if their results haven’t been validated, the implementation of a mobile app variant that doesn’t perform better can cost you a lot of time and money (in addition to lost conversions).

That’s why testing and validating your mobile app’s changes is crucial. However, there’s a big issue here — very few tools actually have session recording capabilities for mobile. And as we showed above, session recordings are the primary tool for validating your experiments’ results.

Fortunately, Smartlook has SDKs for 10 native mobile app platforms, frameworks, and engines — including iOS, Android, React Native, Flutter, Unity, and Unreal Engine. 

You can set up Smartlook on your mobile app, then use a mobile A/B testing tool to conduct mobile A/B tests, and use Smartlook to verify the accuracy of the test results using session recordings.

Additionally, Smartlook’s other analytics features, including event tracking, funnel analysis, and heatmaps are also available for mobile apps. You can use them to analyze key moments in your app, like user onboarding, retention (via our Retention Tables), user engagement metrics, and in-app purchase flows. 

Again, gathering behavior data for your app can give you tons of experiment ideas. For example, say you build a funnel to analyze your app’s onboarding tutorial and see that most users drop off between two specific steps. You can try A/B testing different versions of these steps while using Smartlook to validate the results and see which one reduces funnel drop-offs.

Lastly, for a more in-depth look into Smartlook’s analytics capabilities for your mobile app, check out our article on mobile app tracking.

If you want to see how Smartlook works in detail, start a free 10-day, full-featured trial — no credit card required.

10 best A/B testing tools for websites and mobile apps

In this section, we’ll look at 10 A/B testing software tools (sometimes referred to as split testing or bucket testing tools) categorized by:

  • The platforms you can use them on (i.e., web or mobile).
  • Their key features.
  • Their pricing.

1. Google Optimize

Google Optimize homepage: Your website is your store window.
  • Supported platforms: Web only. Can be used on mobile apps only through Firebase A/B testing.
  • Key features: A/B testing,multivariate testing,split URL testing, and server-side experiments.
  • Pricing: Google Optimize is free. There’s a paid enterprise version (Optimize 360) but there’s no publicly available pricing.

Google Optimize is one of the most popular A/B testing solutions out there. It’s completely free and designed to work with other popular Google products like Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Firebase.

Note: See how to integrate Google Optimize with Smartlook in this article.

2. Firebase A/B Testing

Firebase homepage: Optimize your app experience through experimentation
  • Supported platforms: Mobile apps only.
  • Key features: A/B testing, remote config experiments, messaging experiments, and in-app messaging experiments.
  • Pricing: Firebase A/B testing is free.

Firebase is an app development platform created by Google. Its A/B testing module can help you experiment with changes to your app’s features, UI, or engagement campaigns.

Note: See how to integrate Firebase A/B Testing with Smartlook in this article.

3. Optimizely

Optimizely homepage: Unlock digital potential
  • Supported platforms: Web and mobile.
  • Key features: A/B testing, multi-page experiments (also called funnel tests), marketing planning, and a content management system (CMS).
  • Pricing: There’s a free plan with the most basic functionalities. Paid plans are custom, depending on which Optimizely products you want to use.

Optimizely is a digital experience platform. It comes with A/B and multivariate testing capabilities, as well as a CMS, website personalization features, feature toggle capabilities, and more.

Note: See how to integrate Optimizely with Smartlook in this article.

4. VWO

VWO homepage: Fast growing companies use VWO for their A/B testing
  • Supported platforms: Web and mobile.
  • Key features: A/B testing, multivariate testing, and split URL testing.
  • Pricing: Available upon request. A free 14-day trial is also available.

Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) is an all-in-oneA/B testing platform powered by SmartStats — a Bayesian statistics engine. Besides its testing features, VWO also offers analytics, server-side testing, personalization tools, and more. 

One of VWO’s most popular features is its intuitiveVisual Editor, which is a “what you see is what you get” tool (commonly referred to as WYSIWYG editor). You can use it to change page layouts via actions like drag and drop (i.e., without writing code). 

For more advanced users, VWO also offers a Code Editor, which lets you make changes directly in a site’s HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

5. AB Tasty

AB Tasty homepage: Revolutionize brand and product experiences
  • Supported platforms: Web and mobile.
  • Key features: Client-side experiments, AI-powered personalization, and engagement widgets.
  • Pricing: Available upon request.

AB Tasty is a customer experience optimization platform. It has a broader focus than just A/B testing, with additional personalization, feature management, segmentation via machine learning algorithms, and product optimization capabilities.

6. Adobe Target

Adobe Target homepage: Test and optimize every experience, every time, with Adobe Target.
  • Supported platforms: Web and mobile.
  • Key features: A/B and multivariate testing, AI-powered automations, and omnichannel personalization.
  • Pricing: Available upon request.

Adobe Target is an experimentation platform that’s part of Adobe Experience Cloud. Like the entire experience cloud, Adobe Target is built for enterprises, with a focus on omnichannel user experiences and running tests across thousands or even millions of users.

7. Maxymiser

Oracle Maxymiser homepage: Oracle Maxymiser Testing and Optimization
  • Supported platforms: Web and mobile.
  • Key features: Testing and targeting, real-time personalization, advanced targeting, and predictive insights.
  • Pricing: Available upon request.

Maxymiser is a testing and optimization tool that was acquired by Oracle in 2015. Its main focus is putting experimentation and personalization into the hands of marketers by removing the need for development resources.

8. Omniconvert

Omniconvert homepage: Unlock growth. Fuel your eCommerce engine.
  • Supported platforms: Web only.
  • Key features: A/B testing, web personalization, surveys, and advanced segmentation.
  • Pricing: Free plan is available. Paid plans start at $99/month with a 30-day trial.

Omniconvert is a conversion rate optimization (CRO) software that comes with three distinct modules:

  1. Revive, which includes the fundamental CRO features like A/B testing and segmentation.
  2. Reveal, which is an e-commerce customer analytics platform.
  3. Survey, which comes with various ways to get customer feedback, like click surveys and exit surveys.

9. Kameleoon

Kameleoon homepage: Make every customer experience better.
  • Supported platforms: Web and mobile.
  • Key features: A/B testing, real-time personalization, and feature management.
  • Pricing: Available upon request.

Kameleoon is an A/B testing and personalization platform that helps teams increase conversions. Similar to the previous entry, this platform also offers various features, bundled together under three modules:

  1. A/B Testing, which allows unlimited A/B and multivariate test variations.
  2. Full Stack, which helps rollout features to targeted audiences, update them remotely, and roll them back with automatic alerts.
  3. Personalization, which helps increase user engagement by providing visitors with tailored experiences across channels and devices.

10. Unbounce

Unbounce homepage: Smart Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business
  • Supported platforms: Web only.
  • Key features: Landing page builder, A/B testing, pop-ups and an AI-powered copywriting generator.
  • Pricing: Starts at $90/month with a free 14-day trial.

Unbounce is a unique entry to this list, as its focus isn’t solely on experimentation, but on building landing pages from scratch or with the help of pre-made templates. 

The user-friendly landing page builder has a built-in A/B testing tool, so you can create landing pages and A/B test different variants in one tool. Additionally, Unbounce also has a Smart Traffic feature, which automatically sends visitors to the landing page variant most likely to convert them.

Validate your A/B test results and analyze your users’ behavior with Smartlook

It’s easy to incorporate Smartlook’s user behavior analytics features into your A/B testing workflow. You can get a free 10-day, full-featured Smartlook trial (no credit card required) and start validating the results of your A/B tests today.

Our tool can be used on various types of websites, including those built with popular CMSs like WordPress, Joomla, and Shopify. Implementing Smartlook on your site is as easy as pasting a code snippet (directly or via Google Tag Manager). 

Smartlook also has SDKs for 10 native mobile app platforms, frameworks, and engines — including iOS, Android, React Native, Flutter, Unity, and Unreal Engine. We have detailed documentation to guide you through mobile app implementation step-by-step. If you get stuck or have any questions at all, our Support team is ready and waiting.

Lastly, besides A/B testing tools, Smartlook is also compatible with tons of other solutions that product, UX, and digital marketing teams often use like CRMs (e.g., Salesforce), analytics tools (e.g., Google Analytics and Segment), and much more. 

For an in-depth Smartlook presentation that’s tailored to your business, schedule a demo with our team.

Martin Bolf
Martin Bolf

is the product manager at Smartlook. Martin is enthusiastic about delivering the best possible customer experience. Prior to joining Smartlook as a product manager, he used to work as a consultant for Oracle NetSuite. Martin has a deep professional interest in biometric signing and work digitalization. He is also an NFL enthusiast and likes to enjoy good food (ideally while watching NFL).

The post 10 best A/B testing tools for websites and mobile apps in 2022 appeared first on Smartlook Blog.

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How to overcome the marketing data management

Any effective digital marketing strategy is built around one thing—data. Anyone who has suddenly been served ads for a product after being to a specific website knows their data is being collected.

This strategy is certainly not new. Marketers have collected data for a long time. Back in the ’60s, media mix modeling was already being used by marketers to see how impactful advertisements were on sales.

While it’s been around for some time, collecting data has changed drastically. Today, data collection methodologies are significantly more sophisticated and accurate.

Marketers can track each individual’s journey from the first click to the final purchase. They can see what pages were visited, how long each page was viewed, what products were added to the cart, and finally, whether a purchase was made.

The sheer volume of data now available to marketers is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, marketers have more information at their disposal than ever before. They can segment their audience into smaller and more targeted groups, resulting in more effective campaigns. On the other hand, this vast amount of data can be overwhelming and difficult to manage.

We’ll discuss the various issues related to managing marketing data and how a centralized data warehouse differs from a decentralized one.

Want to skip ahead?

First, let’s look at how data management can help your organization.

How data management benefits an organization

For many organizations, marketing data is very much an afterthought. Some find it too time-consuming or simply not relevant to their strategy.

There are many benefits to setting up an efficient data management system for businesses.

  • Identifying and targeting new markets to ensure growth. Data can help you identify new markets that you can target. This is especially useful if you want to enter a new market or grow your business.
  • Gaining insights into your audience to update your ideal customer profile—ICP. If you’re not reviewing your data regularly, you might be missing out on insights into your target audience. This information can be used to update your ICP, which in turn will help you create more targeted campaigns.
  • Creating a 360-degree view of your customer base. By reviewing your data on your customers, you can get a 360-degree view of them. This will help you create more personalized experiences for them and improve customer retention rates.
  • Targeting specific segments based on highly specific data. The more data you have, the more granular your segments can be. This allows you to target specific groups of people with focused campaigns that are more likely to convert.
  • Making sure compliance with stringent data privacy regulations. With data privacy regulations becoming more stringent, it’s important to have a data management system in place that ensures compliance.

Let’s now take a look at some of the problems with marketing data management.

What’s the problem with marketing data management?

The main problem with marketing data management is its complexity.

Marketers now have huge amounts of data from consumers to deal with. The problem they have is how do they make sense of it all? Two key areas make this a problem for marketers—data integration and limited data analysis resources.

Data integration

The first challenge is data integration. To make sense of the data, marketers need to be able to bring it all into one central location. This can be difficult as the data is often scattered across different departments and systems. It’s not just a case of putting all the data into one place but ensuring that it’s accurate and up-to-date.

It can be difficult to turn consumer data into actionable information. One common stumbling block is that marketers collect various metrics that may not be comparable immediately. It’s vital to normalize activities across campaigns from different sources so that marketers get a balanced view of their target audience.

Learn more about

Marketing data integration: what is it and why you should care

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Limited data analysis resources

The second challenge is limited data analysis resources. Even if marketers can overcome the hurdle of integrating their data, they need to analyze it effectively. This can be a problem as most marketers don’t have the necessary resources or expertise to do this effectively.

This lack of resources can lead to inaccuracy which in turn can cause poor decision-making and missed opportunities.

Often data analysts spend far too long reviewing data. When you finally understand what the data tells you, it’s usually too late to use that information for the campaign you’re working on.

Learn more about

Why the marketing industry has a data problem, and how can you fix it

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Why is siloed data the biggest data management problem

So what’s siloed data.

Siloed data is data that’s isolated and not integrated with other data sets. This can happen for many reasons, such as different sources of data, departmental boundaries, different software applications, or even just incompatible formats.

Here are a few reasons why this is the most significant data management issue.

They give incomplete data sets

One of the main problems with siloed data is that, individually, they give incomplete data sets. This is because they only contain a subset of the total data that’s available. For example, if you wanted to compare the performance of your Facebook ad campaigns with your Google Ads, it’s a very manual effort if they’re not in the same location. Any manual effort is likely to lead to inaccurate results over time.

Data tends to be locked away in silos, preventing certain users from accessing it, some who could benefit from it might not even know about it. This prevents organizations from making decisions and strategies based on all the available data. This can lead to flawed decision-making.

Inconsistent data

Another issue with siloed data is that it can often be inconsistent. Each silo will have its own way of storing and organizing data. For example, one department may use different field names or codes than another department. This can make it difficult to join data from different silos together.

It’s also common for departments to have different definitions for the same terms. For example, one department may consider a customer to be someone who has made a purchase. And another department may consider a customer to be anyone who has interacted with the company, regardless of whether they have made a purchase. This inconsistency can lead to confusion and errors.

Duplicate data platforms and processes

Siloed data often leads to duplicate data platforms and processes. Each department or business unit will have its own data platform and process for managing its data.

This can lead to inefficiencies as there are now multiple platforms and processes that need to be maintained any time a change needs to be made. And every time there’s a change, you increase the likelihood of the two platforms ending up with inconsistent data.

Less collaboration between end-users

Siloed data can also lead to less collaboration between end-users. If each department in an organization has its own way of managing data, collaboration will be challenging. Siloed data can make it difficult for end-users in different departments to access and use each other’s data.

It’s far more difficult for department or team members to work effectively when there’s no shared access to the same data.

A silo mentality in departments

When data is siloed, it can lead to a silo mentality in departments. This is because each department will view its data as the most important. This can lead to a ‘us vs. them’ mentality, where departments are more concerned with defending their data than sharing it.

This silo mentality can be harmful to an organization, leading to a lack of trust and collaboration between teams. It can also make it difficult for an organization to make decisions that are in the company’s best interest as a whole.

Data security and regulatory compliance issues

Another issue with siloed data can often lead to data security and regulatory compliance issues. This is because each silo may have its own security procedures and policies.

If an organization has sensitive data, such as customer credit card information, this data must be properly secured. When data is siloed, it can be more difficult to secure as there are now multiple entry points. This can increase the risk of a data breach.

For the reasons above, siloed data can also make it more difficult for an organization to comply with regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation—GDPR. 

There can be hefty fines for an organization that violates such regulatory bodies.

Reporting reliable marketing data effectively

One of the most frequently seen issues with siloed data is that it can make reporting marketing data effectively more difficult. This is because each silo will have its own way of tracking and reporting data.

Let’s take a look at four consequences of siloed data.

Standardized mapping and categorization are difficult

Different departments often have different category names for the same thing. This makes it difficult to map data from one silo to another. As a result, it can be difficult to make accurate reports that include data from multiple silos.

Let’s say you’re trying to report on a marketing campaign performance. But the data from the campaign is stored in two different places, each with its own categorization system. This makes it difficult to make an accurate report.

It’s true that you’ll need to do this mapping to centralize your data properly, but far better to do it once and do it well than to leave it up to individuals to map the data each time they need it.

Attribution is difficult

In marketing, attribution is a reporting strategy that allows sales teams and markets to consider the impact on a specific goal, for example, a customer purchase.

With siloed data, attribution is challenging because to attribute with accuracy, you need to see the data from all of the marketing channels that a customer interacts with. This is very difficult when the data isn’t centralized.

For example, a customer saw an ad on Facebook, clicked on it, and then made a purchase on your website. If Facebook and your website data are stored in different silos, it can be difficult to attribute the purchase to the Facebook ad.

Automated cross-channel reporting isn’t really possible

Organizations often have data stored in different silos for each channel. This makes it difficult to make reports that include data from multiple channels.

For example, let’s say you want to report on the performance of your marketing campaigns across all channels. If the data for each channel is stored in a different silo, you need to manually pull data from each silo and combine it into one report. This is time-consuming and error-prone.

Create trust with data governance

It’s critical for any organization to ensure that key data assets are managed formally. If critical business decisions are being made based on given data, there needs to be significant trust in that data. That’s where data governance comes in.

When it comes to creating trust with data governance, siloed data makes this challenging. Here’s why.

There’s no single source of truth

If there is no single source of truth, there may be different definitions for similar concepts. This makes it challenging to get accurate and reliable results.

Duplication of data and workload

If data is duplicated across different storage areas, your costs are multiplied. The cost of storing the data, the cost of any processing of that data, and above all, the maintenance effort costs when there are any changes.

Trust from users is lowered

When data is siloed, there can be different calculations used for similar definitions. This creates distrust from users who lose confidence in their understanding of the data.

Lack of control over personally identifiable information—PII

If data is siloed, it can be difficult to control and manage PII. This could have serious consequences if the data were to fall into the wrong hands.

A centralized data warehouse addresses these challenges by providing organizations with a single source of truth with all security measures in place.

No clear data lineage

With siloed data, it can be difficult to determine where the data came from and how it has been transformed.  This means when changes are made, it’s very hard to ensure you’re not impacting other data undesirably. It can also have legal implications if you can’t show how the data used in your business decisions was calculated.

The benefits of a centralized data warehouse

Hopefully, I’ve now convinced you there are plenty of challenges with siloed data. For these reasons, more organizations are moving from decentralized and siloed data systems to ones that are centralized—most commonly a data warehouse.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of a centralized data warehouse.

Centralized data access model visualization

Easy, fast access to your data

A centralized data warehouse gives you easy and fast access to your data whenever you need it. Storing all your data in one central location saves time and resources by avoiding accessing multiple siloes. 

What’s more, the performance of your reporting and data visualizations will also greatly improve when a data warehouse feeds them.

Historical access to your data

Another benefit of a centralized data warehouse is having historical access to your data. This means that you’ll be able to track changes and trends over time and make better business decisions.

If you’re just using the data directly in reports and not storing it in a centralized data warehouse, data won’t be available for other purposes in the future.

Improved data integrity and security

With a centralized data warehouse, you can focus your security on this single asset. You can more easily monitor who has access to the data and keep track of activity.

In addition, with a centralized data warehouse, data integrity is improved. As all of your data is in one place, you can more easily ensure data is accurate and up-to-date.

Reduced cost

A centralized data warehouse can also help reduce costs. Organizations often need to invest in different hardware and software to support each platform when data is siloed. This can quickly add up and become very expensive.

A centralized data warehouse will save you money in the long run by reducing the need for multiple platforms.

Improved decision-making

A centralized data warehouse gives organizations improved decision-making capabilities. As all the data is stored in one place, it’s easy to make reports and conduct analyses. This means you’ll be able to make better-informed decisions for your business.

Data centralization to solve your siloed data problem

We’ve already covered quite a bit about the various challenges of siloed data and the benefits of a centralized data warehouse. By now, it should be clear that data centralization solves the various problems and challenges associated with siloed data.

Data is one of the most fundamental assets that any business can have. So, it needs to be managed efficiently and effectively to ensure that all data-driven decision-making is in the organization’s best interests. 

That’s why so many businesses invest in a centralized data warehouse.

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About the author

Lee has over twenty years’ experience immersed in data. Starting as a developer-consultant focussed on ETL and specializing in data warehouses, he transitioned through roles in data architecture, solution design, and people leadership that fueled a passion for mentoring in data-centric thinking. Lee is from Australia, has worked in New Zealand and the UK, and now lives in Finland. He’s a Senior Sales Engineer at Supermetrics, where he helps customers access their marketing data quickly and easily.

The post How to overcome the marketing data management challenge appeared first on Supermetrics.

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What’s Happening To Google Ads Smart Shopping and Local Campaigns?

The power of automation can no longer be ignored! We’re talking about Google Ads' newest campaign type: Performance Max.  It’s officially time to start upgrading your Smart Shopping and Local campaigns with this new, autonomous way of advertising. Google states that Performance Max was created to do just what...

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Qualitative and quantitative data: differences, examples, and use cases for businesses

What are the significant differences between quantitative and qualitative data? If you’re here, there’s a good chance this question bugs you. The good news is that you’ll get answers to this question, and more, throughout this article. 

If you’re interested in how qualitative and quantitative analysis applies to business, then you won’t want to miss the second and third sections. 

Table of contents:

What is the difference between qualitative and quantitative analysis?

Generally speaking, quantitative data refers to anything you can quantify or measure. On the other hand, qualitative data refers to anything descriptive or that adds context to your business analysis. 

Compare qualitative and quantitative analysis using the table below. It will give you a short but clear overview of the key differences between both types of business analysis.

Quantitative analysis

  1. Typically used in a probability-based sample size
  2. Used in hypothesis testing — a later research phase
  3. Generalizable
  4. Used for quantification. Answers “How many,” “How often,” “When,” and “What”
  5. Typically refers to numerical, non-descriptive data
  6. Quantitative data can usually be collected faster and is easier to analyze
  7. Lacks context and detail
  8. Objective in nature

Qualitative analysis

  1. Typically used in a non-probability-based sample size
  2. Used in hypothesis generation — an earlier research phase
  3. Non-generalizable
  4. Used to describe. Answers “Why” and “How”
  5. Typically refers to non-numerical data that’s descriptive
  6. Qualitative data is usually time-consuming to collect and analyze
  7. Rich in context and detail
  8. Subjective in nature

For a more detailed comparison, read our first article about qualitative and quantitative research methods. 

Although the comparison is clear, we’d like to address an important nuance. Most online resources describe qualitative and quantitative data in very specific terms. But the devil’s in the details. Let’s allow two of our experts to explain what this nuance is all about:

“The terms qualitative and quantitative refer more to the type of research. You analyze the data to draw conclusions from it.

Data is not qualitative or quantitative. You can collect ‘categorical’ data and analyze it quantitatively, and you can ask for ‘numeric’ data and analyze it qualitatively.


In a recent research project, I asked employees how big their companies were. They told me a specific number. I used this number to better understand the context in which this person works, but I wasn’t doing any statistical analysis with them. 


I did qualitative research even though the data is ‘numerical.’


In the app onboarding flow, we ask people about their role — they can answer ‘UX designer‘ or ‘Developer‘ and so on. But I might be trying to do some statistics with this data and conclude something like, ‘50% of our users have product-focused roles.‘ 


In this situation, I would be doing quantitative research even though the data is ‘categorical’.”


Andrej Kiripolský, Senior UX Researcher at Grafana Lab

“There is this misconception about quantitative data — that anything numbers-related is quantitative.

But that’s not the case. When we talk about quantitative research, we are mostly talking about data which can be used for inference. 


For example, say I ask a group of people how many of them drink coffee. Let’s say I found that 80 people out of 100 drink coffee. That’s a number — but it’s not quantitative data — it’s just a description.


Descriptive data without statistical significance, even if it has numbers, does not constitute quantitative data
.”


Aditi Paul, PhD, Mixed-methods researcher, LinkedIn profile

You still can operate on both qualitative and quantitative data terms. Just keep in mind that experienced data professionals will refer to qualitative and quantitative research projects and analysis rather than “data” itself. 

What’s more, seasoned data professionals usually know the purpose of their analysis, including what obstacles they may encounter along the way. For this reason, numerical data is sometimes collected for additional context. It’s also why professionals sometimes collect descriptive data but analyze it statistically. 

Now, let’s jump to the second and third sections. They examine the use of quantitative and qualitative data analysis in business settings. 

What is quantitative data analysis: goals and the general approach in business settings

In this section, we’ll look at 5 practical examples of quantitative data analysis, including the overall goal of the analysis and how a business can use this type of data to its advantage. Let’s begin with a short definition of quantitative data.  

Quantitative data typically refers to data that you can count or measure. As mentioned in the previous section, you can collect data qualitatively and quantify it. Quantitative data collection methods include online surveys, probability sampling, interviews, questionnaire observations, and document reviews.

5 examples of quantitative data in business settings   

First, let’s look at a few examples:

  • The amount of new visitors in numbers, e.g., 100 visitors per month
  • Number of pageviews e.g., 500 pageviews
  • Number of errors participants made during usability testing, e.g., 3 errors 
  • The amount of customer lifetime value in dollars, e.g., $500 CLV
  • The amount of time it takes usability testing participants to complete a task, e.g., 20 minutes

Now, let’s look at how you can use quantitative data in a business setting. You’ll learn about the goal of quantitative analysis, including the general approach to this data type among business professionals.

What is the goal of quantitative analysis: what does it mean for businesses? 

A quantitative approach can provide your business with a lot of value. It’s better to make decisions based on data over hunches. 

The main goal of quantitative data analysis is to:

  • Confirm a hypothesis — to measure or quantify a phenomenon by testing various hypotheses 
  • Set causality — quantitative analysis aims to explore the relationship between independent and dependent variables

“First of all, quantitative datasets are everywhere, but there are few things you need to remember when playing with quants:


1. Ensure the initial measurement is taken in the right way. As they say, shit in = shit out. If your Google Pixel doesn’t track the events correctly or your margins are calculated incorrectly, there is not much you can do


2. Track and flag the data points, keep the documentation and repository of ‘what is what’ to help new people working with datasets. It saves a lot of time


3. Keep in mind to track changes in your data calculations. Visual software such as Alteryx or Tableau may help with creating logical and easy-to-understand data flows which you can modify and work with


As for making the most out of the data, keep it simple but maintain rigor. In other words, don’t push for creating multilinear regression models if you don’t really get how the correlation works. In other words, applying the wrong method is worse than not doing anything.”


Maciej Wilczynski, Managing Partner at Valueships

Now, let’s see some examples of how various parties approach quantitative data in business.

A general approach to quantitative data in business 

There is a slight tendency to prefer measurable, quantitative data over qualitative data. Take G2 for example — they state “Because quantitative data and structured data go hand-in-hand, quantitative data is generally preferred for data analysis.” Our subject matter expert also acknowledges this tendency.

“Many people involved with digital analytics have a technical background. Because of this, qualitative and quantitative data is often siloed. People with strong quantitative skills might not value qualitative data as much as they should.“


Mikko Piippo, Senior Consultant, Founder at Hopkins

It might be because numbers, charts, and stats seem to convince people more than stories and qualitative data.

With this approach, businesses should rely on quantitative data to:  

  • Understand existing business trends
  • Identify problems and patterns
  • Allocate resources for business projects
  • Evaluate the future value of products  
  • Assess their bottom line

As historical data is a key asset for many industries, companies will want access to large amounts of data and have the option to analyze it. It’s not uncommon for business leaders to value quantitative data over qualitative data as this approach is often taught in university. Let’s take a closer look.

“I got my PhD from a university which was purely quantitative, to the point that they completely demonized qualitative research. They were like, ‘This is what we do, you’re going to learn quantitative, and going to learn it well.’


So I was from the get-go, I was trained to think in numbers, and it didn’t really help that I got my bachelor’s and master’s in computer science. So that really drove my mind to work in analytical ways. 


And one of the other reasons why quantitative research gets so much clout in the industry, as well as in the academic space, is because it’s easier to publish quantitative research when you put numbers and statistically significant results


And it becomes much more persuasive versus qualitative and saying that: ‘Oh, I interviewed five people, and these are their stories.’ As powerful as those stories are, they require compelling writing, and moving results to see the light of day. 


In quantitative research, you just have a bunch of variables, and you can just crunch the numbers and you can bring up some p value which is less than 0.05, you will at least get the attention of a reviewer.”


Aditi Paul, PhD, Mixed-methods researcher, LinkedIn profile

In regard to quantitative analysis in business, it seems that many companies rely on numerical methods in the first place. In the next section, you’ll learn more about the value of the qualitative approach. 

What is qualitative data analysis: goals and the general approach relating to business

In this section, we’ll look at 5 practical examples of qualitative data analysis, including the goal of the analysis and how businesses can use this type of data for best results.

First, let’s start with a short definition of qualitative data. Qualitative data is non-statistical in nature — it’s subjective. It’s descriptive and has an unstructured or semi-structured form. You can classify qualitative data based on properties, attributes, labels, and other identifiers. Qualitative data collection methods include focus groups, case studies, and ethnography.

5 examples of qualitative data in business settings   

  • Customers choose your mobile app as it allows them to pick up a new language while having fun
  • Your customers feel that a new feature speeds up their processes and makes their team more efficient
  • Your mobile users didn’t provide personal information like credit card numbers because there was a bug in the payment stage that stopped them from proceeding further
  • Your customers churned because they didn’t find the product valuable 
  • 50% of your mobile users experienced problems logging in 

Now, let’s look at how you can use qualitative data in a business setting. You’ll learn about the goal of qualitative analysis, including the general approach favored by business professionals.

What is the goal of qualitative analysis and what does it mean for businesses?

A qualitative approach can provide your business with lots of value as it adds context to numerical data. As a result, your business has a better chance of understanding explored phenomena. 

The main goal of qualitative data analysis is to:

  • Explore — to generate insights and knowledge
  • Understand — to add context to quantitative data

“I would assert that qualitative research methods are malleable, adapting to the reactions and responses of participants as they arrive.


As the research session progresses, researchers can inquire about respondents’ reasons for preferring certain products over others, providing the company with a more nuanced understanding of their customers’ perceptions of their products.


During a research session for a forthcoming film, the data collected indicates that respondents have relatively neutral feelings about ending A and ending B. 


A skilled qualitative researcher can quickly modify the survey by asking participants to elaborate on the aspects of endings A and B that appeal to them. The film studio can then create an ending that incorporates the positive aspects of both endings.”


SumitBansal, Founder & Managing Director at TrumpExcel.com

Now, let’s see some examples of how various parties approach qualitative data as it relates to business.

A general approach to qualitative data in business  

“No great marketing decisions have ever been made on qualitative data,” said John Sculley. This opinion doesn’t put qualitative data in a good light. But let’s keep in mind that technological advancement has made it easier than ever to gather qualitative data and make the right decisions with it.

Take Brené Brown for example. All of her groundbreaking studies are based on qualitative research. She proved that qualitative research has big potential and value if you know how to use it. All you need is a skilled data professional to help.  

Let’s see what our expert has to say about the value of qualitative analysis.

Qualitative data tells you the ‘why’ behind quantitative data. For example, quantitative data informs you about a landing page’s drop off rate. But you don’t know why people drop off. Qualitative data lets you understand why, so you know what to do to fix the problem.


There is a false belief that a data collection method is either qualitative or quantitative.


The truth is that one method can be both quantitative and qualitative. For example, the famous Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey. The first question on the NPS survey is quantitative because it asks you to rate, from 0 to 10, if you’d recommend a business. The second question of the NPS survey is qualitative because it asks you, ‘what’s the reason for your score.’“


George Gavrila, Marketing Director at Survicate

In summary, qualitative data and analysis opens new possibilities for your business projects and gives you a more complete picture of the phenomenon you’re analyzing. If your business currently depends on quantitative data, consider adding more context with qualitative data.

Combine quantitative and qualitative data for best results

While some sources say that one approach is better than the other, we’ve decided to take a different path. 

After interviewing seasoned data professionals, we’ve concluded that qualitative and quantitative analysis complement each other and should go hand-in-hand.

The best thing you can do is marry the qualitative and quantitative approach to make the best decisions for your business. You’ll understand what your customers do and why by doing so. 

Joanna Kaminska
Joanna Kaminska

is a content marketing strategist at Smartlook. She is a seasoned writer interested in storytelling, SaaS and new technologies. Her goal is to create content that is easy to understand for all. After work, she enjoys hiking and nature photography. | LinkedIn profile

The post Qualitative and quantitative data: differences, examples, and use cases for businesses appeared first on Smartlook Blog.

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How to Optimise Your Website for International SEO

If you are a business looking to create new opportunities in the international market, you need to optimise your website for international SEO. 

While the search engine optimization process for Google is mostly global, international SEO focuses on building better visibility by targeting specific countries or languages. 

Based on a report by CSA research, 40% of global consumers won’t buy a product that is listed  in a language they can’t read, while 73% prefer to read reviews in their native language. 

This shows that having a global website does not necessarily make you successful in other countries. You need to do international SEO and here’s how you can get started!

What is international SEO?

International SEO (or global SEO) is optimizing your site content and structure to drive organic traffic from multiple countries and/or languages.  

It is built on standard SEO knowledge and skills, but with an extra step of making sure search engines can easily identify the target country that your content is created for. 

With international SEO, your website can cater to foreign markets like Spanish people in the United States or people in Spain.

Is international SEO for you? 

Unless your products or services are specifically local, any business can go international and target visitors from different countries.

However, should you?

For content and e-commerce marketing, promoting your website globally means reaching a wider audience and a higher number of visitors, which will increase conversions. 

Still, this comes down to reviewing market reports, statistics, and your website data to help decide if this move is profitable. 

If your business is already at the top in the country, and then looking to expand your business to other countries — international SEO is certainly for you. 

However, take care that you will also need the resources, production, and logistics capacity to fulfil international needs. 

How to develop your international SEO?

Google and other search engines work by matching the best result to a person’s query.

International SEO works by helping search engines identify the domains or pages you have for targeting different countries and selecting language-specific content for users visiting your sites.

This makes your business globally available, and your website will have better visibility in your targeted countries or regions. 

You can get in front of audiences in different areas by optimizing your website and creating multilingual and multiregional content. 

Get your website ready for global traffic 

To succeed in international SEO, let’s first look at the technical aspect. 

1. Website structure

A significant factor in international SEO ranking is your website and URL structure. There are three options to choose from, each with its benefits and drawbacks. 

Given that your website domain is www.example.com, let’s dive into each option: 

  • Country-coded-top-level domains (ccTLDs) are country-specific domains such as www.example.jp or www.example.my. This structure offers a clear geolocation signal and is suitable for sites planning to serve entirely different content to users based on their target country. Still, note that websites will have to start with zero SEO authority.
  • Subdomains like www.jp.example.com are great options when you are still showing the same website content and design but with different language variations. You can still geo-target within Google Webmaster Tools though they have a much weaker signal than ccTLDs.
  • Subdirectories like www.example.com/jp are convenient to set up and allow easy separation of sites. However, this website structure splits link authority among several sub-domains while the target location can be vague to users and search engines. 

2. Hosting location

Google is said to prioritize speed for ranking search results, giving fast sites an edge over sites that take longer to load. 

For international websites, your hosting provider can greatly impact your site loading speed and user experience. So make sure your website can be assessed in target countries quickly. 

Speed depends on the location of your server. The further away it is from your target country, the slower the connection can be made, which will result in a bad user experience.

When selecting a hosting provider, pay attention to the uptime rates and server locations to improve your website performance.  

3. Hreflang tags 

Hreflang tag is an HTML attribute showing the language and geographical targeting for a specific webpage, such as:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com/” hreflang=”en-us”>

The HTML tail “en-us” here tells the search engines that the content is created for English speakers in the United States. 

Using hreflang tags, you can easily cross-reference pages with similar content for different audiences, avoiding content duplication issues. 

But note that this is only supported by Google and Yandex. For Baidu and Bing, use the content-language meta tag:

<meta http-equiv=”content-language” content=”en-us”>

Overall, consider the search engine you are targeting and look into their respective technical optimization practices for your website. 

Best practices for a strong international SEO strategy

Next, here’re some best practices for optimizing your website and content globally

1. Analyse the competitive landscape

First, identify the target countries you want to promote products or services. 

Research business opportunities using your data and market reports from trusted authorities to decide your target countries and languages. 

Discover the top competitors in your target countries and conduct a competitive analysis of the businesses you will be against. 

Look into your future competitors, gauge their performance, and find your edge over them. Are you offering products or services they don’t?

This will help you further narrow down your target countries and identify the country you are more likely to succeed. 

2. Conduct an international keyword strategy

Always conduct keyword research. Though the Google algorithm is universal, search results can vary widely locally. 

Researching keywords specific to the country will not only let you understand the local market better, but you will also be able to adapt your message accordingly for better visibility.

Seek keywords with high volume and buyer intent for each country you target. Be aware of local interests and the native keywords they use. 

For example, white skin is a standard of beauty among Asian consumers. Therefore, to rank well in South Korea, Japan, or China — your skincare company should target keywords that involve skin whitening to be effective. 

Additionally, you can reverse engineer your current organic competitors in your target countries to determine their keyword strategy. 

3. Localizing your content and website

Preparing your website for international audiences is not only about translating content, but the goal should be for the website to appear natural in the country.

Even though there are convenient translation plugins, local translators who are aware of context can create more localized content that will boost online engagement.

From your content and image to website interface and navigation, optimize each element for the country’s local audience to boost their user experience. The key to creating this localized content, improving your site’s visibility by getting real-time news databases on user-provided keywords, can also be made with Google news API.

This should also involve catering to local consumer behavior, such as integrating preferred payment methods or shipping and delivery services.

Plus, you can create a new company and blog name in the native language to build a more local brand to better interact with your target consumers.

4. GMB, Bing places, and social media

While Google has stated that its rankings aren’t directly affected by business listings and social media profiles, these profiles can still be a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website. 

So set up social media profiles for your business in all of the key markets you’re targeting, and share high-quality content regularly.

Make sure to add all your websites as separate properties on Google My Business and Bing Places to help with local SEO. 

Because creating country-specific profiles can significantly boost your visibility and reach audiences who are searching with keywords like “Car rental in Japan.”

Creating a strong social media profile can help build up your brand among locales, which will help boost your visibility on SERPs. 

5. Diversify and allocate resources holistically

With more than one language or country to focus on, managing your international SEO can quickly become complicated and overwhelming.  

Prioritize time and resources based on overall strategy. Between creating a new blog post or optimizing an old one, focus on what you bring the greatest return on investment. 

Also, know that SEO is not a one-off project, so allocate resources for your technical and content management

It’s always best to collaborate with people who know what they’re doing. Hire content writers and SEO experts from local markets to ensure your international SEO campaign success. 

6. International link building

Like standard SEO, you need a link-building strategy to boost your website’s authority. 

For international SEO, quality backlinks are relevant links from your target country with high domain ratings, which can add value to ranking locally. 

After all, if your site gets a lot of backlinks from URLs ending with .ru, Google will recognize your site as being relevant to the audiences in Russia.

Key takeaway: International SEO checklist

Ultimately, the key to international SEO is providing an excellent customer experience to everyone visiting your site, considering their country and native tongue.  

Here’s a quick checklist to summarize everything you need: 

  1. Choose a suitable website structure
  2. Find a hosting provider that supports fast loading speed
  3. Implement hreflang tags
  4. Analyse competitive landscape
  5. Conduct international keyword research
  6. Use native-speaking translators to localize content
  7. Setup social and business profiles
  8. Diversify and allocate resources holistically
  9. International link building

Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.  

How to Optimise Your Website for International SEO
 

The post How to Optimise Your Website for International SEO appeared first on RocketLink.

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Cross-platform analytics: Track web and mobile users in one tool

Cross-platform analytics is the process of tracking the behavior of users as they move between website browsers and native mobile applications — ideally, using only one tool. 

The ability to analyze user behavior across platforms is important for any company that has both a native mobile app and a website, especially for e-commerce businesses  where users have many touchpoints with brands’ sites and apps before completing a purchase. 

However, most mobile app and web analytics tools can only analyze one platform at a time, leaving user behavior data siloed into different tools or dashboards. 

Because only a few tools can track users on both websites and native mobile apps, many teams end up with the analytics data for their desktop and mobile site in one tool, while their native mobile app’s data is in another. 

In these cases, it’s still possible to get a cross-platform view of users’ behavior by organizing the data manually. Alternatively, you can use a third-party app that automatically syncs datasets from both platforms, but you still need to sort out what data gets sent to the app. You’ll also be jumping back and forth between tools constantly, as you’ll need to manage additional software alongside your web and mobile app analytics solutions.

Put simply, these manual workflows are time-consuming and prone to human error, which only gets worse as the volume of customer data grows. 

Instead, a better way to approach this problem is to use a tool that’s built to do cross-platform analytics. Specifically, a tool that can do two things:

  1. Identify and track users as they move between your native mobile app and website.
  2. Aggregate user behavior data from these different sources in a single, unified dashboard.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to do both of these things with our tool, Smartlook, which lets you analyze cross-platform user journeys without using any other tools or manually combining data. 

Besides setting up a combined website and mobile app project, we’ll also show you how to analyze and improve your users’ experience with the help of session recordings, events, and funnels.

Want to learn how Smartlook’s cross-platform analytics can help you get an accurate view of users’ journeys? Sign up for a free live demo with our team.

Collect and analyze user behavior data from your website and native mobile app in one place

Again, one of the biggest obstacles to getting a complete picture of users’ behavior is not being able to see all of your user data from different platforms in the same dashboard

Smartlook overcomes this problem with the ability to create a combined website and mobile project, letting you do native mobile app analytics and website analytics in the same project.

Adding a New Project in Smartlook

A common use case for cross-platform analytics is tracking users as they visit your site, click on a CTA to download your mobile app, and then start using it. Let’s look at PayPal as an example. 

Users can open PayPal’s website on their mobile phones and log into their accounts. Since PayPal wants to promote their app, they’ve placed a lot of messages and CTAs for logged-in users to download it.

PayPal Web version

Clicking on these buttons takes you to the App Store or Google Play, where you can download the app. 

Now, this journey may take place entirely on the same mobile device. However, it’s still a cross-platform journey, as users jump between a mobile website and a mobile app. 

If PayPal was using one tool to track website analytics, and another to track mobile app analytics, there would be no way to analyze this user’s journey across the two platforms. 

In one tool, user journeys would end when they click “Open in the PayPal app” and there would be no way to tell if they actually downloaded the app successfully and/or logged into it. 

In the other tool, user journeys would start with logging into the app for the first time, but you wouldn’t be able to tell how they found your app or what interactions they’ve had with your site prior to downloading the app — unless you find a way to manually match users between the two analytics platforms you’re using.  

But if PayPal was using Smartlook, they could track this journey using a combined web and mobile project, and both the website session and mobile app session would appear in the same dashboard. 

With our Identify API, they could associate each user session with an identifying characteristic like username or email, which would then automatically match users’ sessions across platforms.

Watch session recordings to see your users complete journey — from their point of view

Once you have a combined website and mobile app project set up in Smartlook, there are many ways to analyze users’ cross-platform journeys.

Session recordings (sometimes called session replays) let you watch a user’s entire session so you can understand their experience with your website or product. 

Once our code snippet is added (for websites) and the SDK is set up (for mobile apps), our tool starts recording every user session, regardless of whether it occurred on your website or native mobile app. You can find the session replays in the “Recordings” tab of your Smartlook dashboard.

Saved Segments in Smartlook

In a combined web and mobile project, the “Recordings” tab will show you a chronological list of all the latest user sessions that happened on any of the platforms you’re tracking. 

So, if one user opened your mobile app at 3:55 p.m. and another user browsed your website at 3:57 p.m., you’ll see both sessions in the same feed. The type of session is indicated with an icon representing mobile app or desktop (as you can see in the screenshot above).

If your site gets hundreds of visitors each day, you won’t want to watch every session. Instead, you’ll want to use filters to narrow the feed down to only a few sessions that will show you specific user behaviors. Smartlook offers more than 30 filters, such as session duration, country, device, and new users or returning ones, to help you quickly find relevant recordings. It’s worth noting that some filters only work for websites and others only work for mobile apps (as indicated by the icon next to the filter name). 

If you select one of these filters (visited URL, for example), it will only show you sessions from the platform it’s compatible with, eliminating all sessions from the other platform. But filters like session duration and number of visits work for both platforms.  

Recording Filters in Smartlook

You can also watch all session recordings of specific users to analyze their behavior in the context of all their previous interactions with your site or app. 

When you click on a session, you’ll see all the past sessions of that user, with a mobile or desktop icon representing which platform the session took place on.

User Detail Sessions in Smartlook

Let’s say you have an eCommerce store and you know that 20 regular customers drive a lot of revenue each month. Using Smartlook’s Identify API, you can send an identifier to Smartlook with each user to make it easier to look up those customers. You can identify these users via their email, for example, since they have to provide it when logging in and checking out.

From here, you can locate all of their session recordings and watch them chronologically to get a better understanding of these high-spending users’ behavior.

For instance, you may see that they tend to browse your site for a few hours, add items to their cart, and complete their purchase through your mobile app a few days later. Such behavioral data (alongside engagement metrics like retention rate) can give you ideas for improving the customer experience or encouraging other users to follow a similar path.

Analyze your users’ journeys across platforms and calculate conversion rates with funnels

Funnels help you analyze the user journey across your website and mobile app, calculate conversion rates, and find out where users drop off

In Smartlook, you can create a funnel by placing two or more events in the order you believe your users follow. Events are the specific user actions that you track, like URL visits on the web, navigation between screens on mobile apps, or text inputs, which can be both web and mobile events.

Once it’s setup, Smartlook captures several events automatically:

  • For websites, Smartlook automatically tracks all user interactions, like URL visits, button clicks, text inputs, and more. You can create custom events via JavaScript to track pretty much everything else outside of the automatically captured standard events.
  • For mobile apps, Smartlook tracks user interaction events like finger touches, gestures, and focus on UI elements. For native iOS and Android apps, our tool also captures Analytics events that initialize an action in the app, like button clicks and navigation between screens. With mobile apps, custom events are usually the primary way of tracking user actions.

In a combined web and mobile project, you can also create merged events when you have events that take place on both platforms. If you want to track the total number of purchase events happening across both platforms, you first need to create the purchase event for web, and then create another one for mobile. Then, you can merge the two. Smartlook will aggregate the data for both platforms.

Once you have created your events, simply put them in the order you believe your users follow to create a funnel.

Creating a funnel in Smartlook example

When you create a funnel, you can see how many users went through it, the overall conversion rate, and the drop-off rate between each step.

Highest Funnel Dropoff 88.89%

Let’s go back to our example of tracking high-spending users’ behavior and add funnel analysis to the mix. Say you’ve watched their session recordings and saw that they often start on your site but complete their order through the mobile app. You can map their actions to events and create a funnel

For example:

  • Event 1: Users visit the website homepage (web event).
  • Event 2: They search for items (web event).
  • Event 3: They login into the mobile app (mobile event).
  • Event 4: They add items to their cart (mobile event).
  • Event 5: They complete their order (mobile event).

Here’s what that funnel might look like in Smartlook:

Highest dropoff in Step 2 of the Funnel with 25.41%

You can always add or remove events, based on new assumptions you have about users’ behavior. For instance, session recordings might show that most high-spending users have started to visit a new product category. You can add this event to the funnel to more accurately reflect their journey.

And if you wanted to track the overall conversion rate of both of your platforms, you could create a funnel using merged events. To create a 4-step funnel that tracks the conversion rate between viewing a product, adding an item to the cart, clicking “checkout,” and completing a purchase, you would create the following events

  • product view (mobile)
  • product view (web)
  • add to cart (mobile)
  • add to cart (web)
  • checkout (mobile)
  • checkout (web)
  • purchase (mobile)
  • purchase (web)

Then you can merge each web event with its respective mobile event, and then put those four merged events into a funnel. The merged event aggregates data from both platforms and lets you see that data together in the same funnel.

In any case, building and tracking such funnels over time shows you how many users go through specific flows and where most of them drop off.

In addition, combining funnels with session recordings can reveal even more crucial customer behavior insights. Going back to our PayPal example, we saw they’ve placed a few CTAs on their site that prompt users to download their app. Naturally, in such cases it’s a good idea to track:

  1. How many users click on these CTAs.
  2. How many of them end up logging into the mobile app.
  3. What they do once they log into the mobile app.
PayPal Web version

Funnels, in combination with session recordings, let you do all three of these things.

First, a simple two-step funnel can show how many of the people that click the CTA end up logging into the mobile app:

  • Event 1: Click on the “Open in the PayPal app” button (web event).
  • Event 2: Log into mobile app (mobile event).

This lets you evaluate and quantify the impact of adding the CTA, as you can confidently say, “We added the mobile app CTA to our website last week and since then, X number of users have clicked on it and logged into the mobile app.” You can’t get these insights without a tool that tracks user journeys across platforms. 

Additionally, Smartlook lets you watch session recordings of users at a specific stage in your funnel. Going back to the sample funnel we created above, you can see there’s a “Play” button under each step of the funnel.

Highest dropoff in Step 2 of the Funnel with 25.41%

Clicking on it takes you directly to the session replays of all users who made it to that stage. As a result, you can watch what users did before clicking the CTA button, as well as after logging into the mobile app. 

This can reveal important insights about users who switch from web to mobile. For example, you might find that users tend to immediately complete the task they started on your site, or that they get distracted in your app and do something else entirely.

It’s also worth noting that you can track any type of relevant action as your first event in such a funnel. For example, Event 1 might be a user clicking on a “Download App” button placed inside a blog post about a new feature for your mobile app. 

This allows you to attribute app installations to the specific marketing campaigns that brought the users to your site because you can see the complete user journey and understand the context behind users’ actions. When you see that they’re coming to your app after reading a post about a certain feature, you can jump into these users’ session recordings to see everything they do once they log into the app.

See a Smartlook cross-platform project in action

To set up cross-platform analytics in Smartlook, simply implement our tool on all of the platforms you want to track with the same project key/SDK key. 

Keep in mind that our cross-platform analytics feature is currently only available upon request, so you’ll have to be a current Smartlook customer to try it out immediately. If you’re not a Smartlook customer yet, you can request a personalized demo from our team to see our cross-platform analytics feature in action.

Here are the setup steps in detail:

  1. Create a combined website and mobile app project, as shown in the image above. This project brings user behavior data in one place, so you don’t have to constantly switch between web and mobile projects.
  2. Install the Smartlook code snippet on your website. You can insert the snippet into your site’s HTML (directly or via Google Tag Manager), integrate it into your CMS, or import and initialize via NPM.
  3. Set up Smartlook on your mobile app by implementing the relevant SDK. Smartlook has SDKs for 10 native mobile app platforms, frameworks, and engines — including iOS, Android, React Native, Flutter, and Unity.
  4. Set up user identification to track users as they navigate between platforms. Our Identify API allows you to pass identifying characteristics like username, email, or user ID to Smartlook. By associating an identifier with a specific user, Smartlook can track that user’s activity across different platforms and show you their entire customer journey. (Note: The Identify API is available on all paid Smartlook plans, which have a free 10-day trial that doesn’t require a credit card.)

You can learn more about the setup process in this article.

If you want to learn more about Smartlook’s cross-platform analytics functionality and how it can benefit your business, sign up for a live demo with our team.

Martin Bolf
Martin Bolf

is the product manager at Smartlook. Martin is enthusiastic about delivering the best possible customer experience. Prior to joining Smartlook as a product manager, he used to work as a consultant for Oracle NetSuite. Martin has a deep professional interest in biometric signing and work digitalization. He is also an NFL enthusiast and likes to enjoy good food (ideally while watching NFL).

The post Cross-platform analytics: Track web and mobile users in one tool appeared first on Smartlook Blog.

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A Comprehensive Guide To Using The Best Link Shortener For Your Site

There are many reasons why you might want to use a link shortener for your website. Maybe you’re looking to save space on your links, or perhaps you want to make them more user-friendly. Whatever the reason, there are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing the best link shortener for your site.

What is a Link Shortener?

A link shortener is a service that helps you save time and effort by reducing the size of links before you copy them. 

Link shorteners come in two main varieties: those that take the URL of a website and shorten it, and those that save the link as a text file.

Why Use a Link Shortener?

There are many reasons to use a link shortener.

For one, they can save you time by reducing the size of the links you need to copy and paste.

They can also help you improve your SEO by reducing the number of links to your site.

And finally, they can be helpful if you want to share a long URL with someone else, like when you’re sending them an email or posting on social media.

How Do I Use a Link Shortener?

There are a few basic steps that you need to follow in order to use a link shortener on your website:

1. Choose A Link Shortener That’s Right For You! There are dozens of different link shortening services out there, so it’s important to choose one that meets your specific needs. 

2. Copy Your Links And Paste Them Into The Shortener’s Form! After choosing a link shortener, copy your shortened URLs into the appropriate form fields and hit “Create ShortenLink!”

3. Verify That The Shortened Links Work Correctly! Once you’ve created your shortened links, make sure to test them out before going live on your site. This will ensure that everything is working as expected and no typos or errors have been made along the way.

4. Add Your New Links To Your Site’s Footer And Enjoy! Once your shortened URLs are up and running, it’s time to add them to your footer so visitors can easily access them from anywhere on your site.

How Does a Link Shortener Work?

A link shortener is a website or app that helps you easily share links with others. When you shorten a link, the shortened URL includes a unique identifier ( or “hash”) that allows people to find and share the link without having to type it out.

Shortened URLs are often used when sharing a link on social media, emailing a colleague, or in an Instant Messenger conversation. Simply enter the full URL into the shortener’s box and it will create a shortened URL for you. You can then share the shortened URL with ease!

What are the Benefits of a Link Shortener?

A link shortener is a website that provides a text-only link to a different website. When someone clicks on the shortened link, they are taken to the original website. A link shortener can be helpful for people who want to share links quickly and easily.

Some benefits of using a link shortener include:

saving precious time

Shortening URLs is a great way to save precious time. By using a link shortener, you can easily and quickly share links with others. Plus, link shorteners make it easy to track the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts. Shorter links are easier to type and remember than full URLs, so you can save time when sharing links with others.

saving your server bandwidth

Server bandwidth can be saved through the use of link shorteners. When a user clicks on a link, the browser sends a request to the website’s domain name servers (DNS). The DNS converts the URL into an IP address and sends it back to the user’s device. By shortening links, users are reducing the amount of data that is sent over their network connection. This can save your server bandwidth and speed up your website. When you shorten a URL, you’re saving the web server’s bandwidth, which may be valuable if your site is slow or if you have limited resources.

better user experience

There is a growing trend in the design world to create better user experiences. This means creating interfaces and products that are easy to use, understand, and navigate. It’s no surprise then that some of the most popular link shorteners on the web are designed with this goal in mind.

Some of the best link shorteners make it easy to find the information you’re looking for without having to sift through a long list of links. They also provide useful context about where those links lead. For example, Bitly provides a list of all the links in a text or image file as well as information about where each link leads. This makes it easy to see which content is related and makes it easier to copy and paste links into text or email messages.

This content marketing trend is likely only going to continue as more people begin using online services that are difficult to use or navigate. By making those services more user-friendly, we can help everyone from beginners to experts get what they need quickly and efficiently – no matter their level of experience.

What are Common Mistakes with using Link Shorteners?

Most people use link shorteners without realizing the consequences. Here are some common mistakes bloggers make with link shorteners:

Using a shortened link that is not domain specific.

There are many link shorteners available online. Some are specific to a certain topic or category, while others can be used for any purpose. Some popular link shorteners include RocketLink, tinyurl.com, bit.ly, and goo.gl. When choosing a link shortener, make sure it is not domain specific in order to avoid creating irrelevant links that could harm your website’s SEO score. Always look to work with a verified SEO professional if you need more advice on implementing these links.

Link shorteners can be used for malicious purposes by clicking on shortened links that take you to phishing pages or sites that collect personal information.

Link shorteners are a convenient way to share links easily, but they can also be used for malicious purposes by clicking on shortened links that take you to phishing pages or sites that collect personal information. Phishing scams target individuals by convincing them to enter their personal information into fake websites in order to steal their credentials or money. Shortened links can be easy to spot if you’re familiar with the site they’re linking to, but if you don’t have that information, a shortened link could lead you right into a scam. Be sure to use link shorteners responsibly and only share shortened links with people you trust.

Shortened links can also be difficult to track down.

Shortened links can be difficult to track down because they are typically not indexed in search engines. Additionally, shortened URLs often have less information than their full URL counterparts, which makes it difficult for users to determine the destination of a link.

Adding a Link Shortener to Your Site

There are a few different ways to add a link shortener to your website. You can use a library or plugin that comes with your web hosting package, or you can install a standalone link shortener.

If you’re using a library or plugin, simply visit the link shortener’s website and enter the short code into your site’s footer. If you’re installing a standalone link shortener, find and download the appropriate software, and add it to your website via HTML or CSS.

Once you’ve added the link shortener to your site, visitors can access it by clicking on the shortened links in your footer.

What are the Different Types of Link Shorteners?

There are a few different types of link shorteners, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. The most common type of link shortener is the RocketLink link shortener, which automatically truncates long links before displaying them on the web page. This can be helpful if you want to share a long URL with your audience but don’t want them to have to scroll down on their screen. Another type of popular link shortener is the tinyurl.com link shortener, which allows you to embed a shortened URL within your own website. This can be helpful if you want to share a long URL with your audience without having to redirect them to another website. 

Good Practices for using a Link Shortener

Use a link shortener only if you really need to.

Not everyone will click a shortened link, and it could negatively impact your website’s ranking.

Use a link shortener that is reputable and has a good track record.

When people are looking to save time online, they often turn to link shorteners. A link shortener is a web tool that helps people cut down on the number of links they need to view a particular piece of content. There are a few things that you should keep in mind when choosing a link shortener. First, make sure that the shortener is reputable and has a good track record. Second, be sure to choose one that works with your browser and platform. Finally, be sure to only use shortenters that you trust. 

There have been cases where shorteners have been banned or had to remove links due to spamming or malicious activity.

Make sure the shortened link accurately represents the original link.

When creating a link shortener, it is important to make sure the shortened link accurately represents the original link. Otherwise, users may not be able to find the original source information. For example, if you are using a shortened link for a news article, make sure that the shortened link accurately reflects the title of the article.

For example, don’t use “http://www.example.com” as the shortened link for “http://www.example.com/”; use “http://www.example.com/shorten/”.

Keep a list of all the shortened links on your website and make sure they are updated regularly.

It’s important to remember to keep a list of all the shortened links on your website and make sure they are updated regularly. This will help you avoid any issues with Googlebot, which can penalize your site for using outdated shortlinks. By keeping your shortened links up to date, you can ensure that your visitors have the best possible experience while browsing your site.

Conclusion

A link shortener is a great way to save time and effort. It is easy to use and can be used by anyone. There are many different types of link shorteners, so you can find one that fits your needs.

The post A Comprehensive Guide To Using The Best Link Shortener For Your Site appeared first on RocketLink.

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Seznam in SERP API: Add This Popular Search Engine to Your Rank Tracking Tool

Have you ever heard of Seznam?

Don’t confuse it with “sesame”, the word from the “open sesame” magic spell that opens a cave with hidden treasures in “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”

In the real world, Seznam is the second largest search engine in the Czech Republic, with a local market share of 13.05% and millions of monthly users. In May 2022 alone, it had 293.7 million visits and is currently the most popular website in the country after Google.

Being a Czech company, Seznam takes aim at the local market and thus provides search results tailored to the preferences of Czechs. That is one of the reasons why many Czech users prefer this search engine over Google.

Considering such popularity, it is reasonable to conclude that there are plenty of SEO experts optimizing for Seznam.

With the new Seznam endpoints in DataForSEO SERP API, you can add this search engine to your rank monitoring software and target SEO professionals who require its SERP data. In the following paragraphs, we explain how the new endpoints work, give you three reasons to add Seznam to your tool, and calculate the cost of using Seznam SERP API.

How the Seznam endpoints work

Seznam SERP API provides from 10 up to 500 search results from the Seznam search engine, including extra SERP features. It currently supports only the standard method of data retrieval, meaning that you have to send separate POST and GET requests to set a task and retrieve results.

To send a POST request, it is enough to specify three required parameters:

keyword — the keyword for which you would like to receive SERP data.
location_code or location_name — the location of the device to emulate a search session from.
language_code or language_name — the language of the device to emulate a search session from.

Note that Seznam SERP API supports only the Czech language ("language_code": "cs", "language_name": "Czech"). However, you can still specify the keyword parameter in any language.

Your basic POST request will look like this:

[
    {
        "language_name": "Czech",
        "location_code": 21502,
        "keyword": "pizza prague"
    }
]

 

When you send a request, the API emulates set parameters and initiates a search session on Seznam. The data is then scraped from the returned results page and structured into JSON.

You can retrieve the results by using the Seznam Task GET Regular or Task GET Advanced endpoint. The difference between the two is that the latter returns more data. The Regular endpoint provides organic results only, while its Advanced counterpart returns organic results with extra SERP features, including related searches, local packs, videos, images, shopping items, top stories, and featured snippets.

If you would like to receive SERP as raw HTML, use the Task GET HTML endpoint.

No matter what endpoint you choose for obtaining results, your account will be charged only for sending a POST request. Consequently, you can use any of the Task GET endpoints at no extra cost.

Here is an example of the API response (Task GET Advanced endpoint):

{
    "version": "0.1.20220428",
    "status_code": 20000,
    "status_message": "Ok.",
    "time": "0.0961 sec.",
    "cost": 0,
    "tasks_count": 1,
    "tasks_error": 0,
    "tasks": [
        {
            "id": "06171506-2806-0066-0000-534a6ca9aa1c",
            "status_code": 20000,
            "status_message": "Ok.",
            "time": "0.0320 sec.",
            "cost": 0,
            "result_count": 1,
            "path": [
                "v3",
                "serp",
                "seznam",
                "organic",
                "task_get",
                "advanced",
                "06171506-2806-0066-0000-534a6ca9aa1c"
            ],
            "data": {
                "api": "serp",
                "function": "task_get",
                "se": "seznam",
                "se_type": "organic",
                "language_name": "Czech",
                "location_code": 21502,
                "keyword": "pizza prague",
                "device": "desktop",
                "os": "windows"
            },
            "result": [
                {
                    "keyword": "pizza prague",
                    "type": "organic",
                    "se_domain": "search.seznam.cz",
                    "location_code": 21502,
                    "language_code": "cs",
                    "check_url": "https://search.seznam.cz/?q=pizza%20prague&count=10",
                    "datetime": "2022-06-17 12:06:14 +00:00",
                    "spell": null,
                    "item_types": [
                        "local_pack",
                        "organic",
                        "images",
                        "related_searches"
                    ],
                    "se_results_count": 0,
                    "items_count": 17,
                    "items": [
                        {
                            "type": "local_pack",
                            "rank_group": 1,
                            "rank_absolute": 1,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[1]",
                            "title": "Dáme jídlo",
                            "description": "1,6 (154) Rozvoz pizzy \nOtevřeno Praha, Libeň \n",
                            "domain": "www.damejidlo.cz",
                            "phone": null,
                            "url": "http://www.damejidlo.cz/#utm_source=search.seznam.cz&utm_medium=ppd&utm_content=hledani&utm_term=pizza%20prague&utm_campaign=firmy.cz-13063190",
                            "is_paid": false,
                            "rating": {
                                "rating_type": "CustomMax",
                                "value": null,
                                "votes_count": 154,
                                "rating_max": null
                            },
                            "cid": null,
                            "rectangle": null
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "local_pack",
                            "rank_group": 2,
                            "rank_absolute": 2,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]",
                            "title": "Pizza Čakovice",
                            "description": "4,9 (4) Rozvoz pizzy \nOtevřeno Praha, Čakovice \n",
                            "domain": "www.pizzacakovice.cz",
                            "phone": null,
                            "url": "https://www.pizzacakovice.cz/#utm_source=search.seznam.cz&utm_medium=ppd&utm_content=hledani&utm_term=pizza%20prague&utm_campaign=firmy.cz-13323076",
                            "is_paid": false,
                            "rating": {
                                "rating_type": "CustomMax",
                                "value": null,
                                "votes_count": 4,
                                "rating_max": null
                            },
                            "cid": null,
                            "rectangle": null
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "local_pack",
                            "rank_group": 3,
                            "rank_absolute": 3,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[3]",
                            "title": "Pizza Modena",
                            "description": "2,9 (26) Rozvoz pizzy \nOtevřeno Praha, Kobylisy \n",
                            "domain": "www.pizzamodena.cz",
                            "phone": null,
                            "url": "https://www.pizzamodena.cz/#utm_source=search.seznam.cz&utm_medium=ppd&utm_content=hledani&utm_term=pizza%20prague&utm_campaign=firmy.cz-13087028",
                            "is_paid": false,
                            "rating": {
                                "rating_type": "CustomMax",
                                "value": null,
                                "votes_count": 26,
                                "rating_max": null
                            },
                            "cid": null,
                            "rectangle": null
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "local_pack",
                            "rank_group": 4,
                            "rank_absolute": 4,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[4]",
                            "title": "Pizza Comeback",
                            "description": "Rozvoz pizzy \nOtevřeno Praha, Malešice \n",
                            "domain": "www.pizzacomeback.cz",
                            "phone": null,
                            "url": "https://www.pizzacomeback.cz/#utm_source=search.seznam.cz&utm_medium=ppd&utm_content=hledani&utm_term=pizza%20prague&utm_campaign=firmy.cz-13220744",
                            "is_paid": false,
                            "rating": null,
                            "cid": null,
                            "rectangle": null
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "local_pack",
                            "rank_group": 5,
                            "rank_absolute": 5,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[5]",
                            "title": "Pizza Comeback",
                            "description": "4,1 (8) Rozvoz pizzy \nOtevřeno Praha, Chodov \n",
                            "domain": "www.pizzacomeback.cz",
                            "phone": null,
                            "url": "https://www.pizzacomeback.cz/#utm_source=search.seznam.cz&utm_medium=ppd&utm_content=hledani&utm_term=pizza%20prague&utm_campaign=firmy.cz-13113145",
                            "is_paid": false,
                            "rating": {
                                "rating_type": "CustomMax",
                                "value": null,
                                "votes_count": 8,
                                "rating_max": null
                            },
                            "cid": null,
                            "rectangle": null
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "organic",
                            "rank_group": 1,
                            "rank_absolute": 6,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[2]",
                            "domain": "www.pizzahned.com",
                            "title": "Pizza Hned | Online objednávky | Rozvoz pizzy Praha 4 Nusle",
                            "url": "https://www.pizzahned.com/",
                            "cache_url": null,
                            "related_search_url": null,
                            "breadcrumb": "pizzahned.com/",
                            "is_image": false,
                            "is_video": false,
                            "is_featured_snippet": false,
                            "is_malicious": false,
                            "is_web_story": false,
                            "description": "Kdykoli vás přepadne hlad, jsme tu s naší nabídkou pizz a dalších čerstvých jídel. Pizza Hned Praha. Rozvoz pizzy po Praze, online objednávka. Praha 4 - Nusle. https://www.pizzahned.com/",
                            "pre_snippet": null,
                            "extended_snippet": null,
                            "images": null,
                            "amp_version": false,
                            "rating": null,
                            "price": null,
                            "highlighted": [
                                "pizz",
                                "Pizza",
                                "Praha",
                                "pizzy",
                                "Praze"
                            ],
                            "links": null,
                            "faq": null,
                            "extended_people_also_search": null,
                            "about_this_result": null,
                            "related_result": null,
                            "timestamp": null,
                            "rectangle": null
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "organic",
                            "rank_group": 2,
                            "rank_absolute": 7,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[3]",
                            "domain": "www.pizza-einstein.cz",
                            "title": "Nejlepší pizza v Praze | provozovny i rozvoz pizzy | Pizza…",
                            "url": "https://www.pizza-einstein.cz/",
                            "cache_url": null,
                            "related_search_url": null,
                            "breadcrumb": "pizza-einstein.cz/",
                            "is_image": false,
                            "is_video": false,
                            "is_featured_snippet": false,
                            "is_malicious": false,
                            "is_web_story": false,
                            "description": "Chutná, křupavá a z čerstvých surovin. Taková je pizza, kterou si můžete dopřát s vašimi blízkými, v jedné z našich pizzerií v Praze.",
                            "pre_snippet": null,
                            "extended_snippet": null,
                            "images": null,
                            "amp_version": false,
                            "rating": null,
                            "price": null,
                            "highlighted": [
                                "pizza",
                                "Praze"
                            ],
                            "links": null,
                            "faq": null,
                            "extended_people_also_search": null,
                            "about_this_result": null,
                            "related_result": null,
                            "timestamp": null,
                            "rectangle": null
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "images",
                            "rank_group": 1,
                            "rank_absolute": 8,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[4]",
                            "title": "Obrázky › Pizza prague",
                            "url": null,
                            "items": [
                                {
                                    "type": "images_element",
                                    "alt": "pizza prague-0",
                                    "url": null,
                                    "image_url": "https://img.obrazky.cz/?url=66895e97ef47fdb8&size=2"
                                },
                                {
                                    "type": "images_element",
                                    "alt": "pizza prague-1",
                                    "url": null,
                                    "image_url": "https://img.obrazky.cz/?url=94fce513280fe7e0&size=2"
                                },
                                {
                                    "type": "images_element",
                                    "alt": "pizza prague-2",
                                    "url": null,
                                    "image_url": "https://img.obrazky.cz/?url=517e657a17108f48&size=2"
                                },
                                {
                                    "type": "images_element",
                                    "alt": "pizza prague-0",
                                    "url": null,
                                    "image_url": "https://img.obrazky.cz/?url=9d6dc1419d624c36&size=2"
                                },
                                {
                                    "type": "images_element",
                                    "alt": "pizza prague-1",
                                    "url": null,
                                    "image_url": "https://img.obrazky.cz/?url=1821c17deb06b21a&size=2"
                                },
                                {
                                    "type": "images_element",
                                    "alt": "pizza prague-2",
                                    "url": null,
                                    "image_url": "https://img.obrazky.cz/?url=ec9a9df98640d0b4&size=2"
                                }
                            ],
                            "related_image_searches": null,
                            "rectangle": null
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "organic",
                            "rank_group": 3,
                            "rank_absolute": 9,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[5]",
                            "domain": "www.pizzagohome.cz",
                            "title": "Pizza GoHome - non-stop rozvoz pizzy po celé Praze",
                            "url": "https://www.pizzagohome.cz/",
                            "cache_url": null,
                            "related_search_url": null,
                            "breadcrumb": "pizzagohome.cz/",
                            "is_image": false,
                            "is_video": false,
                            "is_featured_snippet": false,
                            "is_malicious": false,
                            "is_web_story": false,
                            "description": "Nabízíme pizzu, saláty, těstoviny, burgery, nápoje a deserty. Možnost také bezlepkových jídel a rozvozu.",
                            "pre_snippet": null,
                            "extended_snippet": null,
                            "images": null,
                            "amp_version": false,
                            "rating": null,
                            "price": null,
                            "highlighted": [
                                "pizzu"
                            ],
                            "links": null,
                            "faq": null,
                            "extended_people_also_search": null,
                            "about_this_result": null,
                            "related_result": null,
                            "timestamp": null,
                            "rectangle": null
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "organic",
                            "rank_group": 4,
                            "rank_absolute": 10,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[6]",
                            "domain": "www.pizzazeero.cz",
                            "title": "Pizza rozvoz Praha 10 | Pizza Zeero",
                            "url": "https://www.pizzazeero.cz/",
                            "cache_url": null,
                            "related_search_url": null,
                            "breadcrumb": "pizzazeero.cz/",
                            "is_image": false,
                            "is_video": false,
                            "is_featured_snippet": false,
                            "is_malicious": false,
                            "is_web_story": false,
                            "description": "Pizza Zeero rozváží pizzu zdarma po Praze 10 do lokalit Strašnice, Skalka, Malešice, Vršovice, Zahradní město, Hostivař, Štěrboholy, Záběhlice",
                            "pre_snippet": null,
                            "extended_snippet": null,
                            "images": null,
                            "amp_version": false,
                            "rating": null,
                            "price": null,
                            "highlighted": [
                                "Pizza",
                                "pizzu",
                                "Praze"
                            ],
                            "links": null,
                            "faq": null,
                            "extended_people_also_search": null,
                            "about_this_result": null,
                            "related_result": null,
                            "timestamp": null,
                            "rectangle": null
                        },
                        {
                            "type": "organic",
                            "rank_group": 5,
                            "rank_absolute": 11,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[7]",
                            "domain": "www.firmy.cz",
                            "title": "Pizza Praha (Praha, Žižkov) • Firmy.cz",
                            "url": "https://www.firmy.cz/detail/13154597-pizza-praha-praha-zizkov.html",
                            "cache_url": null,
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                            "is_featured_snippet": false,
                            "is_malicious": false,
                            "is_web_story": false,
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                            "highlighted": [
                                "Pizza",
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                            ],
                            "links": null,
                            "faq": null,
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                            "timestamp": null,
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                        },
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                            "type": "organic",
                            "rank_group": 6,
                            "rank_absolute": 12,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[8]",
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                            "title": "PizzaCompany - nejlepší pizza ve městě! Pizzerie po celé Praze",
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                            "cache_url": null,
                            "related_search_url": null,
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                            "is_malicious": false,
                            "is_web_story": false,
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                            "amp_version": false,
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                            "rank_absolute": 13,
                            "position": "left",
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                            "domain": "pizzafresco.cz",
                            "title": "Pizza Fresco",
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                            "cache_url": null,
                            "related_search_url": null,
                            "breadcrumb": "pizzafresco.cz/",
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                            "is_video": false,
                            "is_featured_snippet": false,
                            "is_malicious": false,
                            "is_web_story": false,
                            "description": "Naše poslední a nejnovější pobočka je právě v Praze Letňanech. Zákazníkům nabízíme krásné a příjemné posezení během čekání na jejich objednávku.",
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                            ],
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                            "rank_group": 8,
                            "rank_absolute": 14,
                            "position": "left",
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                            "domain": "www.pizzarondo.cz",
                            "title": "Pizza Rondo - Praha 10, Vršovice",
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                            "is_video": false,
                            "is_featured_snippet": false,
                            "is_malicious": false,
                            "is_web_story": false,
                            "description": "Pizza - rozvoz a prodej. Velký výběr pizz - saláty, dezerty, domací bagetky, nápoje a zmrzliny. Rozvoz po Vršovicích zdarma. Všechny ceny včetně obalů.",
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                            ],
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                        },
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                            "rank_group": 9,
                            "rank_absolute": 15,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[11]",
                            "domain": "www.facebook.com",
                            "title": "Pizza Express Praha - Hlavní stránka",
                            "url": "https://www.facebook.com/pizzapraha",
                            "cache_url": null,
                            "related_search_url": null,
                            "breadcrumb": "facebook.com/pizzapraha",
                            "is_image": false,
                            "is_video": false,
                            "is_featured_snippet": false,
                            "is_malicious": false,
                            "is_web_story": false,
                            "description": "Rozvoz Pizzy A VÍNA PO Praze Zdarma! Votická 2405/8, 13000 Praha",
                            "pre_snippet": null,
                            "extended_snippet": null,
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                            "amp_version": false,
                            "rating": null,
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                            "highlighted": [
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                                "Praze",
                                "Praha"
                            ],
                            "links": null,
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                        },
                        {
                            "type": "organic",
                            "rank_group": 10,
                            "rank_absolute": 16,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[12]",
                            "domain": "aaapizza.cz",
                            "title": "AAA Pizza Praha | Rozvoz pravé italské pizzy do 30 min u Vás!",
                            "url": "https://aaapizza.cz/",
                            "cache_url": null,
                            "related_search_url": null,
                            "breadcrumb": "aaapizza.cz/",
                            "is_image": false,
                            "is_video": false,
                            "is_featured_snippet": false,
                            "is_malicious": false,
                            "is_web_story": false,
                            "description": "️ Pizza - Praha ️Rozvoz pizza Praha️Nejlepší pizzerie Praha️Pravá italská pizza️Rozvoz gnocchi️Zapečené brambory️Pizza Prémium️Nejrychlejší rozvoz",
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                            "images": null,
                            "amp_version": false,
                            "rating": null,
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                                "Pizza",
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                            ],
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                        },
                        {
                            "type": "related_searches",
                            "rank_group": 1,
                            "rank_absolute": 17,
                            "position": "left",
                            "xpath": "/html[1]/body[1]/div[1]/div[3]/div[1]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[1]/div[13]",
                            "items": [
                                "pizza nuova",
                                "pizza praha",
                                "pizza praha 3",
                                "pizza praha 1",
                                "pizza praha 8",
                                "pizza praha 6",
                                "pizza praha 5",
                                "pizza praha 9"
                            ],
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                        }
                    ]
                }
            ]
        }
    ]
}

 

Now that you know how the Seznam endpoints work, let’s discuss why you should add it to your rank tracking software.

3 reasons to enrich your rank tracker with Seznam

At this point you may ask yourself: why bother supporting Seznam in my rank tracking tool?

Let us give you three reasons.

1 As indicated in the introduction, Seznam is highly popular in the Czech Republic. The majority of Czech SEO experts (or foreign SEOs who work with Czech websites) will likely be optimizing for this search engine. Obviously, they will need accurate rank trackers to rely on.

2 Despite the local popularity of Seznam, there are very few rank monitoring tools that support this search engine. Consequently, it will be easy to market your tool as a “Seznam rank tracker.“ You may even rank in the first ten results for this keyword and secure a regular flow of organic traffic.

3 Those very few tools that do support Seznam are not perfect: many lack advanced functionality and provide inaccurate results.

Let us elaborate more on the last point.

We will need an example for this — let’s google “seznam rank tracker” and pick whatever tool that ranks first. In our case, it is a rank monitoring solution from GeoRanker.