You don’t need a tuxedo for this kind of event. Find out how to start tracking the events in your website or app and which are the most relevant tools in the market today.
What is an event?
A word that you definitely heard when working in product analytics is “Event”. According to Amplitude, an event is:
“any distinct action a user can perform in your product (e.g. add to cart) or any activity associated with a user (e.g. in-app-notifications, push notifications).”
To be a little more specific, an event can be a slide, a scroll, a click, a download, a text field being filled, a page loading, an audio or video playing. Usually, every event is tagged with the user action’s name as well as the element type and its name. So you can usually find, for example, events like “Create Account”, “Share Blog Post”, “Play Tutorial”, “Brochure download” or “Select Option”, to name a few.
An event may or may not be a conversion. There are things that people do on your website and that aren’t necessarily your main goal, but you want to be aware of them.
For example, an event can be “download a PDF” (something you want people to do on your page). However, an event can also be clicking on a button that leads to an external website, such as a button that leads to a customer’s site (something you don’t want people to do). With events, you can track when traffic is sent to the external page and from there improve your strategy.
Events are not just about clicking this or that, they also allow you to visualize the context in which those clicks occur. You can usually view details such as activity duration, the time of day when it happened, from which device it was made & where the person was geographically located.
At Google Analytics, for example, with each event, you can send parameters (additional pieces of metadata that add more context to the event). They can be used to provide context about the event that occurred and where, how, and why it occurred.
These metrics can help you paint a clear picture of usage patterns for any website or digital product, like mobile applications.
Why would you want to track events then?
Usage data tends to be much more reliable than just relying on qualitative information (such as user surveys or product testing).
For product teams, data can bring you a more complete picture and let you make the right decision to drive business outcomes and improve the product experience.
It’s not a secret:
To correct or improve your products or applications, you must obtain detailed knowledge about your users.
Tracking the metrics within the product provides that information: you can know in detail how, when & where your users interact with your product’s components.
With the right info, you can stop guessing what your users like and you can really know which features generate more engagement.
Get to know your star features and use them to generate a higher percentage of retention among your users (and therefore, a higher profit).
The big question: How can you start event tracking?
Amplitude also said about events: “When deciding what events to track, it is helpful to think of event categories first.”
Google Analytics records many parameters and events automatically, which allows to obtain a lot of information without so much effort. You can find information about all the pre-established events that Google Analytics has.
Besides, the number of events that can be registered is unlimited. This freedom, if paired with poor planning, can lead to problems in the setup of the data you wish to track.
Problems like: omitted events, poor names, and improper use of properties, can generate complications and prevent you from getting the full value of your data.
On the other hand, keep in mind that although the information may be unlimited, your time to analyze it and apply it to the product is not.
So before you even start tracking events, the most important task you need to do is think carefully about the priorities that your team must respond to, in order to measure them.
If you’re starting, maybe focus on two or three business objectives to pick which events you need to follow. Some objective examples could be improved user acquisition, optimized conversion, increased retention, or improved engagement.
Example time: Suppose that improved engagement is really important at the moment in your company. You have a lot of visitors or downloads, but just a few active users. In the case of a video platform/app, you can begin to track the duration of the plays per user or the number of videos the users upload daily/weekly.
Note: When your company is using a PLG strategy, it is important that you use product-oriented metrics and not simply the same metrics that marketing or sales teams use.
Now you have the basics to know how to track an event, you need to know which tools are available for the task.
Most popular analytics tools
No analytics article will be complete without mentioning the most common and popular analytics tool: Google Analytics.
Although Google Analytics is one of the first tools (and free!) that appeared on the market, it was developed thinking of tracking metrics for websites, at a time when there were only a few actions to perform and everything was more static.
So while it is still one of the best tools in general, it is not the best for tracking events within digital products.
In response to this, many other competitors have emerged and have established themselves as leaders in the area, such as Amplitude, Mixpanel, Hotjars, Looker, Heap, and Pendo.
These types of tools, unlike Google Analytics, allow you to choose which metrics you want to see by default and are designed for product team collaboration. They also offer a much friendlier user interface and clear terminology.
In this sea of product analytics applications and complex metric reports, what does Palabra add?
At Palabra, we analyze the needs of product teams. Thanks to this, we have developed a tool capable of displaying data easily with a super friendly interface for non-coders.
In short, you can see in real-time the paths that users have taken in your product (even drop-off) and all the possible combinations, just with a few clicks. It’s simpler and painless.
Solidify the foundations of your product team by tracking the correct events with the right tools. Book a discovery call and start learning how to unleash the power of event tracking.
Think you just can use any metric to measure your product’s performance? Think again. PLG companies need to use product analytics that combines growth and user experience. Here’s how.
Have you recently changed from a sales-led to a product-led model and are still using the same metrics to analyze your products?
If you have not yet switched to a PLG strategy: What are you waiting for to implement PLG? Learn more about the product-led strategy in our recent article.
If you have already started using a product-led growth methodology, but are still looking at the same metrics: join us in this article to review your approach.
Not every sales-led metric is right to measure your product’s performance. Product teams need to focus on a few specific metrics to analyze and improve the features of the product.
Why product analytics matter?
Even if you are just starting your business or if you have been in the market for 20 years, you must collect all the data you can about your product and your users.
Data is the foundation stone that will allow you to build the rest of the product and the strategies for your teams to maintain and improve it.
With the analysis of the product data, you will be able to fully understand how your users use your product, which functions are the ones that hook them the most or which they dislike and make them drop off the flow.
Trying to improve your products without data is the worst thing you can do. One of the cardinal sins of product teams is often assuming they think they know something about users rather than verifying it.
In summary, product analytics provide us with revelations about the true behaviors of users and not simply those that we wish, or want, to validate to corroborate our hypotheses.
But another very important mistake made by companies is using the same metrics that are used in marketing or sales to measure the performance of technological applications or products.
Product analytics you need to start prioritizing
Among all the metrics that exist to observe, product teams must prioritize some of these in order to know that they are going the right way.
Free to pay
To see how users go from using free apps to paying for them (which is the main goal), we can look at the engagement metric.
Engagement allows us to look for signs of a deeper commitment to the product. This is not just using features, but also for how much time it is used (minutes, hours, days), and the speed and ease with which an action is completed within the circuit.
Music apps, for example, could measure the number of minutes users listen to songs during a period of time.
But for the engagement measurement to be relevant, you must face it against the number of active users currently in the application. It is not the same to have 50 minutes of song listening time divided by 5 users than divided by 2 users.
Sign in to conversion
To improve the percentage of visitors who immerse themselves in the product trial, we must look at the activation metrics.
Activation metrics measure when a new user becomes an active user. For example, if you have a music app your conversion goal will be that the person who signed up listens to 5 songs or makes a playlist in a specific period of time.
These kinds of actions are key to determining that your visitor is now a user who will continue using the app’s features in the long-term.
This metric allows you to know the growth of the user better than just counting the number of new users who joined your app.
Occasional to active user
Your users signed up, activated the product, used it once or twice. That’s great, but what happens next?
To measure the next phase you can use the “active users” metric.
Your users can be considered “active users” when they have found value in the product you offer and have used it continuously in the short term.
If your product is not delivering value to users, you will clearly see a low percentage of active users.
In the event that your activation metrics are good but your active use metrics are not, it is possible that your product is attractive but is missing something in the design or in the way in which you display the content.
You can use different tools to find out why this is happening. Palabra was built to make it easier to see how users move towards value. Whether you use our tool or not, we highly recommend you look into the steps users need to take towards a desired outcome, and find where most of them are falling out.
It’s also advisable to look at the retention metric:
Maybe you need to analyze which is your engaging feature, which is your star product, and which are the issues that scare your users away.
The retention metric is the number of users you retain over a period of time. This is one of the most important metrics when you have a subscription-based business. Even if this is not your case, retention is a way to maintain your business profitable, given that getting new users is far more expensive than maintaining them.
Keeping your retention metrics up to date will ensure the possibility of performing the necessary iterations to increase the success of your product
Don’t forget to watch your total number of users.
It would let you see the total number of people who pass through your app (either active users or not).
This metric allows you to define the percentage of active users and estimate the maximum capacity of active users that you can obtain given a certain period of time. If your reach is high, but your other metrics are low, you need to revisit your product and your user flows to find what’s going on.
As you can see, when we work with technological products, the metrics that we must observe may be similar to some that we have already been using, but with a different approach.
Product teams should focus on improving usability so that it has a positive impact on the rest of the metrics, and not focus so much on profit or increasing the number of users just because.
Offer your team much more than just Google Analytics. Schedule a demo of Palabra and let them see for themselves the value it can bring to their workflow.