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User analytics: All you need to know

11 min read
What are user analytics and why is it important for the success of your business? Learn all you need to know in our full guide to analyzing user behavior, sentiment, surveys and more below.

Author: Rosemin Anderson

Subject Matter Expert: Juliana Holterhaus

What is user analytics?

User analytics is the exploration and analysis of user data for useful insights. It can cover a wide range of data, such as demographics, engagement, behavior, interests and preferences. By analyzing this information, businesses can identify and fix points of friction, as well as replicate successful interactions.

Collecting user data and analyzing it effectively can provide multiple areas of your business with insights to improve products, services, processes and revenue. User analytics tools can easily help you to advance product design, user experience, marketing and advertising and other business functions, simply by analyzing what’s already happening on your customer-facing platforms.

Start using Digital Experience Analytics and improve customer experiences today

Types of user analytics

There are three main types of user analytics that you can use to glean insights for your business:

Segment Analytics: grouping users together

This type of analysis examines data on demographics, behavior and other user-specific information to form segments. Segments are collections that group together similar customer profiles by their behaviors and background information.

This is handy when creating experiences, developing marketing campaigns and designing products. By grouping together similar users into segments, you’re able to personalize at scale, improving the odds of capturing, converting and retaining your customers.

Cohort Analytics: analyzing user behavior

This form of analysis looks at user behavior, identifying patterns and working out how best to support positive customer behavior and streamline experiences causing unwanted behavior (such as actions that lead to customer churn).

It’s useful for creating better environments for converting customers and optimizing experiences for repeat customer visits.

Funnel Analytics: examining the user journey

Funnel analytics examines how users flow from one interaction to another on their journey with your business. From the moment they encounter your business all the way to being a lifetime customer, your customers are making choices based on their experiences.

By analyzing this kind of data, you’re able to get actionable insights into improving user experiences and streamlining the flow of your user journey.

Benefits of user analytics

Setting up user analytics tools can require time, effort and financial investment. There are significant benefits to making this investment, however. Here are some of the main reasons below:

Create intuitive products, services and experiences

Knowing your customers’ demographic information isn’t enough to provide them with experiences that will resonate. Building intuitive products, services and more requires an understanding of what motivates user behaviors. The right user analysis strategy will discover what your customers are doing, but more importantly, why they take the actions they do to help you refine your offering.

Improve retention rates

When you collate and analyze information with the right user analytics tool, you’re able to clearly see the experiences that valuable customers prefer. Improving retention rates is easier when you’re able to create environments that encourage user behaviors that are positive, such as easy-to-use search functions,

Build your customers’ lifetime value

Customers will come back again and again when you’ve made it clear that you understand their choices and behaviors. For example, if customers commonly buy batteries when they purchase a new device, prompting them to add batteries to their basket shows that you’ve thought about their needs and provided solutions. This demonstration of care encourages customers to return for your great customer service.

The user analysis process

Start gathering data with a user analytics tool

session replay details

Whether you’re using free tools such as Google Analytics or more comprehensive enterprise-level tools like Qualtrics® Digital Experience Analytics, you can begin your user analytics journey by collating data. Track user behavior across your site, noting where they start and end their interactions with your business. Add in information you gather through customer experience surveys or from watching session replays of specific customer interactions.

Flesh out your user personas

Mapping behaviors and user data to personas can help you to flesh out your understanding of your customers. You might already have a set of buyer personas that you’ve compiled, but understanding if they’re relevant to the real audiences you want to attract is where user analytics comes in handy.

Your personas should already have buyer demographics, needs and preferences listed, but with user analytics data, you can add details on actual purchase habits, likelihood to recommend and more. You can confirm assumptions on current personas and create new ones, based on the information you’ve learned through user analytics.

Create user journey maps

Knowing what to target your audience with is part of the battle to win them over – the other part is knowing when it’s the right time to reach out. Mapping out your customer journeys allows you to see broken experiences and fix them, smoothing out friction for effortless interactions and improved customer experience.

Update or develop your products and services

Your user analytics data might uncover important information that can impact your products and services. For example, are customers calling into your customer service portal because they can’t find the information they need to use your products? Are they complaining on your social media platforms about specific product features that could be amended?

Learning what drives customers to take the actions they do is the key to developing better products and services that match the needs of a real audience. User analytics can help you to dive deep into their motivations, helping you to be more empathetic and proactive about providing what they need.

Key functionality and metrics for your user analytics tool

Web analytics

frustration trend by page dashboard

Analyzing user engagement with your website activity is key for seeing the points where friction dissuades your audience from converting. How users interact with web pages, website functionality, digital points of sale and more can help to illuminate where your team’s input is most needed.

Web analytics can be used to gather insights on your:

  • Customer journeys
  • Conversion rate
  • Customer churn rate
  • Frustration signals (rage clicks etc.)
  • And more

Metrics you might use here could be the reduction of drop-off rates, improvement of conversion rates and tangible financial results that are linked to website activity.

Survey analytics

Getting into the “why” behind visitor actions requires user analysis, but more than anything, it needs input from the customers themselves. Sending out surveys to gather customer feedback on all aspects of their interactions with your business is extremely useful for understanding their actions and better predicting the steps they’ll take in future.

Survey analytics can help you to understand:

Metrics you could employ to judge these survey results could be an improvement of scores or the gathering of scores from specific interactions that are currently causing friction, with the aim of fixing them.

Text analytics

text sentiment through customer surveys

This type of user analytics is incredibly useful for pinpointing the more nebulous reasons why a customer might convert or not convert. Detecting themes in customer communication with your brand, as well as the feelings they have about your brand, can help to add more context to the results you might find from surveys and web analytics.

Data you could glean through text analytics includes:

  • Sentiment: How do your customers feel about your brand?
  • Topics: What common themes are present in customer data, and what do they mean?
  • And more

Metrics you might use for this type of analytics include sentiment improvement and an increase in positive topics.

How to set up user analytics tools

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to selecting a user analytics platform. From free options to paid, choosing the right user analytics tool for collecting and analyzing user behavior data is important for your brand’s progress.

Google Analytics

One of the most popular user analytics platforms is Google Analytics. This platform is able to collect quantitative data about your users, allowing you to track their movements across your website.

It can provide you with:

  • Event tracking
  • Conversion tracking
  • Custom dashboards
  • Funnel analysis
  • And more

It’s free to use, and can be set up quickly by making an account with Google. It’s the industry standard for getting top level insights into how your visitors behave.

Qualtrics Digital Experience Analytics

Though Google Analytics can go into some depth into customer behavior, the key to making real change to your user experience is by understanding the motivation behind the actions. Qualtrics Digital Experience Analytics provides you with advanced analytics capabilities, with session replay functionality and behavioral understanding that goes beyond what happens on screen.

It can help you to:

  • Identify the causes of customer frustrations, errors, and negative engagement through web analytics and survey analytics
  • Discover opportunities by fleshing out information provided by third parties (such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics) with experience data gleaned from real customers
  • Better your chances of customer acquisition and improve conversion rates with a deep understanding of how customers flow across your digital properties and the drivers of their actions

Read more about how to use Qualtrics Digital Experience Analytics for your enterprise-level business, or get in touch to start today.

Increase user engagement easily with Qualtrics

frustration signals dashboard

To be effective, your user analytics needs to be capable of tracking data from all across your business and combining it for deep data analysis. It should be able to identify trends from operational and experiential data, and pinpoint key insights that can lead to improvement.

Qualtrics Digital Experience Analytics is an advanced user analytics tool that unites data analytics, session replay and behavioral heuristics to give you an unrivaled understanding of your audience.

Start using Digital Experience Analytics and improve customer experiences today