September 2, 2014

Top 5 Metrics You're Measuring Incorrectly


Vice President, Digital Analytix Product Management
The bad news – user experience has become increasingly fragmented across multiple devices. The good news – with more access options than ever, people are ultimately spending more time online across all available devices.
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With the availability of numerous devices offering web access, daily usage trends, and multi-device ownership by individual consumers, traditional analytics are not only misleading, but often flat out wrong. Here are a few of the metrics being measured incorrectly or not addressed at all by traditional analytics providers:

1. Unique Visitors (Unique Browsers)

digital analytics unique visitorsWith the majority of the total U.S. internet audience using multiple devices, visitors aren’t just counted when they visit a site; they are counted every time they visit via a new electronic device throughout the day. “Device proliferation” is here to stay but it’s causing us to misrepresent the way our visitors are measured – an analytics platform not attuned to multi-platform engagement will over count the number of unique visitors, which leads to a miscalculation of all other derivative metrics.

2. Conversion Rates

digital analytics converion ratesConversion rate is one of the most important KPIs for any business with a digital presence – yet these are often severely undercounted because they are a direct reflection of total visitors. If your analytics solution is not accounting for consumers accessing your digital properties via multiple devices, you aren’t seeing the whole picture of your consumer journey across platforms.  Conversion rate metrics must follow the user, not the device. For example, in traditional web analytics, two visits or sessions by the same user (one on a PC and one on a smartphone) would be counted separately and reported out against two different browsers, one with a conversion rate of 0 percent and another at 100 percent. 

3. Engagement Metrics (Time Spent, Page Views,
Video Completion Rate)

Digital Analytics Engagement MetricsIf your digital property is accessed by a unique visitor via both their PC and smartphone, a legacy web analytics system will interpret these activities as two separate users with a lower rate of engagement as opposed to a single user who engaged via multiple devices. Research shows that consumers who engage with a brand using multiple devices are often much more valuable consumers of that brand. If your analytics platform cannot capture multi-device users or total engagement across platforms (eg. video channels), then you’re likely missing out on identifying an extremely important segment of your customer base.

4. Total De-duplicated (Global) Audience

digital analytics De-duplicated AudienceMore and more businesses are becoming global and global consumers are multi-platform users. Existing measurement solutions aren’t scaling fast enough to represent true audience size because an increasing proportion of content consumption is happening on non-PC devices (60% of users’ digital time is spent on mobile). UVs/browsers are not always the most credible metric to share for monetization or to understand total people interacting with your brand. Therefore, businesses need an integrated overview across all channels to capture a worldwide view of multi-device usage across their audience.

5. Viewable Impressions

digital analytics viewable impressionsActual Impressions consumed by a digital business’s audience are often improperly forecasted because audience-based measurements must analyze impression data that spans devices, browsers, and users, as well as the viewing platform – whether it’s web, mobile-web, application or video streaming players. With more than 54% of display ads not viewable by the user, digital ad validation has become essential to ensure campaign guarantees are met and to analyze campaign performance

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