The Importance Of Custom Built Analytics Tools For Personalized Site & App Optimizations

Anyone working within the web & app space understands the importance of strong personalization from a user experience perspective, as well as that data from analytics tools & platforms serves as the backbone for any successful strategy.

But something that is often overlooked is the importance of combining the two concepts from an internal company perspective, in order to optimize internal content creation & optimization processes.

The following is based on a keynote presentation that I gave at the #DMWF conference last year, where we discuss the importance of companies & agencies developing their own internal tools that are custom tailored to their needs, in order to better harness the power of their analytics.

What Are Custom Built Analytics Tools?

Most people think of Excel dashboards & Tableau workbooks when they think of analytics reports; exporting out data from their sources (Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools etc…) & then combining them together.

That is most of the battle, but there are additional ways to better make use of all of the data points & put them into a clear, concise & easy to digest manner.

As user journeys become more complex & new mediums are used more & more frequently to access site content, each company & all of their associated web & app properties needs a birds-eye view of exactly what is happening within their ecosystem.

Site & app content can be accessed through so many different sources now, whether it be Desktop, Mobile, Voice Search etc…, and each visit type will need a more drilled down reporting approach to accommodate for the differences in how each source is utilized, and how the user personally interacts with these sources.

No two companies are completely alike in this manner, yet many still rely on semi-customized cookie cutter reports from mediums like the ones mentioned above.

Even within a single organization, their unique properties all require a custom-tailored approach to their reporting in order to make the best use of their data, leading to better decision making for the business & their customers.

In my earlier days of digital optimization & analytics consulting, we used interactive Excel workbooks where we would take our analytics reports from various mediums & sources to create the base-elements for our client facing slide decks, using click-wheels to change months & quarters etc…

This worked great for backwards looking reporting & for getting an idea of future forecasting, but there are other things that can be done using analytics data & interactive tools.

What Other Custom Analytics Tools Can Be Built?

Custom tools can be built for things beyond just merging the cookie cutter reports that everyone knows & loves.

I’ve built out reports that were used to track the platform health of sites, where we could identify not only the status of all pages across a large global enterprise’s sub-sites, but were also able to identify needed on-page optimizations, establish benchmark reporting for projects, and track the status of larger jobs.

This data could also be combined with reports from other sources & tools that we subscribed to, in order to make a completely customized, high-power report that gave not only clear actionable insights, but enabled us to view in real-time the impact that our work had.

Custom tools like this can also be used to aid in making a more detailed & effective equity analysis for a web migration’s re-direct mapping, where you can ensure that the semantic relationships between ranked terms for each deprecated page provide even more strength than the typical matching of just looking at backlink equity & traffic matchups, helping to create an even stronger & more efficient new site structure.

Custom tools can also be utilized to help take a macro view of your site’s taxonomy, enabling you to see what pages are ranking for which terms, and which pages can benefit from internal links coming from high ranking pages that may belong to a different content silo, but that still semantically are similar enough to make use of a link without cannibalizing other site content.

They also can be used to identify content gaps, and using the method just outlined, figure out how to strengthen them through internal linking so that they are more competitive coming out of the gate upon publication.

Finally, custom built analytics tools can also be used for competitive analysis; helping your company to see what measures your competitors took so that you can directly counter them & maintain favorable ranking & visibility.

The possibilities are endless, it just requires your organization to understand what data it has access to & what its long-term goals are.

How To Determine What Custom Tools Are Best Suited For Your Company’s Needs

In organizations of all sizes, I’ve noticed that everyone & every department has goals that they align on, as well as individual goals that other teams & stakeholders may not understand.

The first thing that needs to happen is each team needs to directly speak with all stakeholders that they report to, so that common goals can be created & agreed upon.

From there, all involved need to understand the KPIs that will be tracked, so that everyone is speaking the same language with the data once reports begin rolling in.

This enables more fluid discussion not only about the current state of what is reported on, but also on what future goals & tweaks the organization would like to see made happen.

These meetings enable your organization to establish which gaps need to be bridged, which in turn dictates how these customized tools will go about making that positive change needed for your optimization efforts.

Tying It All Together

While it is often overlooked or considered more of a “nice to have” vs. a “need”, the way that search & UX are evolving is making it even more imperative that organizations take advantage of custom built reporting tools.

The advantages that they bring to the table will be what dictates who the big winners are in the coming years, especially as we see more & more increases in people utilizing online resources & shopping.

Throw in the way that there are more sources & mediums to access your company’s web & app content from, and that each way has distinct differences from other sources/mediums & it becomes clear: just as your users require a personalized experience, each organization & team within also do in order to provide the best possible experience & optimizations.

As each organization & team will need something different, it is imperative to ensure that all stakeholders involved are on the same page about the fundamental reports, with each team also being able to address their specific needs.

This way, everyone is able to understand the data being relayed across the organization, and the company as a whole can make better informed decisions.

Below is a copy of the deck that I presented in September of 2019 on the topic; if heading into 2021 you realize that this is something that your organization can benefit from, feel free to reach out & see how Demarkles Digital can help!

PDF Report Here: