- A two-parter: measure and analyze
- The final step: decide
- The end of our Startup Theory journey
The fifth chapter of our Startup Theory is also the last stop of our series. So far, we’ve covered mastering the lean canvas, de-risking your business, mapping out the user success flow, and setting objectives like a pro. Now, we’ll be rounding things up by letting you know how to best measure and analyze the data that’ll come your way via analytic tools that we highly encourage you to use. We’ve also prepared a few tips on how to make the decision process a little more efficient.
We know how eager all of you entrepreneurs are to get back to running business, so let’s jump right into it.
A two-parter: measure and analyze
The reasoning behind this step is really easy to comprehend: successfully running a business means always being on top of things, and always being able to optimize in order to not get left behind. It’s a fast-moving world we’re living in, and being able to fully adapt is crucial. So, it is essential to know exactly how your target audience is interacting with your startup, in order to know what changes need to be made. Even the smallest adjustment can make a world of difference, so get used to working with details.
We’ve prepared a list of analytic tools we encourage you to use. Their goal is to show you a detailed picture of the interaction your business has with the outside world – with the user base. They’re extremely helpful in letting you know which steps of the different conversion flows you want your users to undertake work best, which ones don’t. By analyzing the data correctly, you’ll also have an idea of how to adjust the situation accordingly. They’re also a great tool for analyzing your website and your online presence all together. Without any further ado, here they are:
Sign up with Heap in order to capture your user’s every move, either on your website or in your iOS app. This analytics tool prides itself in being easy to understand for everyone – no need for being a master in coding. It uses a point-and-click interface for tracking your events, even the ones you may have forgot to log upfront: clicks, taps, swipes, page views etc. All data is retroactive, so you never need to worry about it being incomplete.
One fact we find really cool about this tool is that you’re able to pick a user and have the program display every action the user performed on your website or in your app. Think about how we’ve discussed the importance of user segmentation in our previous articles. Wouldn’t it be nice to see what your customers are really up to? This way you can easily optimize your website and the conversion flow the users have to go through, specifically for a user segment.
Heap Analytics provides you with a free package of their services to get you started: you’ll be able to use every analysis feature they offer, email support and 5,000 recording sessions per month. You can very well upgrade to a more complex plan – just ask for a custom pricing for your needs.
Tips on how to use Heap Analytics
By now you’re most probably familiar with the idea of setting up a funnel in order to track your user’s evolution to the customer status, or whatever other status you want him to reach. Lay down the points you want your users to reach in a funnel model and watch them do it using the Heap analytics tool. You’ll see what points get passed easiest and you’ll see the ones where your users get stuck. Optimize this conversion flow accordingly. Give it more than just a try; keep on trying different settings and see which one converts best.
“Find your hottest opportunities for growth” – doesn’t that sound good? The Hotjar analytics tool is as good as it sounds. It’s thought out to help you optimize your website tailored to your customer’s online behaviour.
Hotjar provides you with a heatmap for your website. This will clearly show you the hottest points of your screens – hence the hottest opportunities for growth, as the creators state themselves. Using this tool, you’ll get a precise visual of where your customers spend their most time on your website.
This analytics tool also provides you with recordings of your user’s experience on your website, enabling you to identify usability issues on the screen and address them accordingly. This is also a great way of seeing what the online behaviour of your site visitors is. Think of ways to work with it, the best you can. Other features include form analysis (discovering when the users most often abandon the form), feedback polls (helping you understand what your visitors what and what impediments they encounter on your website) and real-time surveys.
Hotjar offers a basic, free plan for you to start out. It enable you to manage up to 3 heatmaps, funnels, forms, polls and surveys and up to 300 recordings. You’ll also get data storage for 3 months. You can upgrade to the Plus plan for $29/month, or to the Business Plan for $89/month.
Tips on how to use Hotjar
You’ll be able to optimize your website knowing exactly where it makes the most sense to insert valuable information, be it an offer, a sign up button, or whatever is most relevant to your business at the moment.
Though Google Analytics certainly needs no introduction, we’d still like to point out the perks of using it for your startup. Not only will it enable you to keep a close eye on sales and conversion rates, it’ll also give you valuable insights into your audience – how they find you and what it’ll take to keep them coming back.
Google Analytics is a tool for tailoring your online presence. It paints a complete picture of the people interacting with your website: you’ll see how they get to your website and what they were looking for when they did, what device they’re using to do so, what their likes are and how they behave on your website.
The purpose of this analytics tool is to help you optimize your digital strategies. Use it to monitor your website and to make sure it’s working perfectly. Also, use it to establish which marketing strategies work out best, to ensure the success of landing pages and so on.
Tips on how to use Google Analytics
Track your every online move with Google Analytics – and while you’re at it, track your users every move as well. Using this analytics tool will help you organize your website according to your customer’s behaviour, by seeing his actions. See if there is any need for optimization when it comes to:
- The keywords that bring people on your website
- The landing pages you want people to land on
- The different conversion flows you want your customers to work through
- Remarketing strategies
- Audience reports
- And much more.
The final step: decide
This measure-analyze-decide process is something you’ll be doing over and over again. After a while, you will have some guideline of what your business entails and how to effectively communicate with your target audience. But whenever something new will come into the picture, be it a new product release or the landing page to a competition you might organize, you’ll have to keep track of it just as you did with everything else. All the decisions you make have to be in sync with each other and your business’ image and stance.
When considering more than just one strategy designed for the same outcome, you’ll have to decide which one is best. There are times when you’ll have a hunch of which one it is, but there will be various times when you’ll need help making this decision. Help from your audience, of course.
Gather data on every strategy using analytic tools like the ones we presented to you just now. Lay down the results and how each scenario performed. And then pick one of the three:
This scenario performs well, but not as well as expected. Take a close look at the data the analytic tools have gathered up for you and see where the problem might be and optimize accordingly. Maybe it’s something as small as the copy being ambiguous that scares the people away. But even the smallest details count.
This scenario performs marvellously. Which can only mean that you have to add it to your business’ personal best practice guide and keep it in mind whenever you’re doing something similar – or not. You can replicate this scenario as a whole, or just extract the details that make it work so well.
For example, you might be looking at a landing page that performed really well. You might not have the need for a landing page any time soon. Still, there might be something in it for you. Say this landing page performed really well with the younger segment of your target audience. Take a close look at the copy you’ve used or the visuals involved. It might be the cute-and-simple tone of the copy or the bright colors of the visuals used that performed very well. You can and should make use of these aspects in the future.
This scenario did not perform. Period. Don’t hang on to an idea more than necessary. As much as you’d personally like this strategy, and no matter how well thought out it might be, sometimes your target audience simply won’t act as expected. First things first: analyze the strategy carefully, make sure there were no mistakes whatsoever. Do some A/B testing before completely throwing the idea to the trash. But do not waste more resources on it than necessary.
The end of our journey
That being said, we’ve reached the endpoint of our startup-wisdom-venture. We want to make sure that you’re fully equipped with all the bits of info that could make your entrepreneurial work more efficient and easy to deal with, so here’s the full list of our Startup Theory series:
Chapter 1. Mastering the Lean Canvas
As renowned business theorist Alexander Osterwalder put it, “a business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates,delivers, and captures value”. The Lean Canvas, developed by Ash Maurya, is a business model perfectly suitable for a startup. Fill it out and you’ll get a detailed picture of your business, for you and your team to consult every step of the way. It’ll keep you all on the same page, fully informed and focused.
Chapter 2. Define, de-risk, experiment
Define your Unique Value Proposition. De-risk your business taking a close look at each one of the main business risk areas: product risk, customer risk, market risk. Experiment with different strategies in order to determine the right metrics to analyze. Tiny hint: it’s the actionable ones, not the vanity metrics.
Chapter 3. How to map a coherent User Success Flow
There are seven steps in the User Success Flow. Thoroughly going through each one of them will help you properly: define your user base in detail, find your target audience and the right tactics and channels to reach it, how to best convert your user base to real customers and last but not least, how to fully meet their needs in order for them to amplify the news about your products and your solutions.
Chapter 4. Create & prioritize objectives like a pro
Does OMTM ring any bells? If it doesn’t, it should – and it will, right after you’ll get through this article. We’ve detailed how to define the One Metric That Matters, how to establish the main objectives you’re after at any given point, and how to best work with hypotheses and prioritize efficiently.
Chapter 5. The final touches: measure & decide
After having gone through all of the previous steps we’ve laid out for you, the one thing left for you to do is learn how to work with analytic tools to your advantage. Gather up all the data the analytic tools deliver, analyze it carefully and decide on the strategies that have worked best. Remember: this is an ongoing process.