Before you start
There’s a lot of information on this page.
You don’t HAVE to read it but as an existing A1WebStats subscriber, you’ll benefit from spending time on it.
In any one year we only ever shout out “this is the one thing from us that you really should read”.
This is the one for 2017.
It shares with you our viewpoint on analytics software, including how our new system and our help will help your business to grow further.
As you’ve probably come to expect, we’re very transparent and prefer straight-talking to sugar-coating.
So put the kettle on/get the vodka out and read on …
What do YOU mainly use A1WebStats for?
Probably: identifying companies that visit your website.
That’s got some value but not as much value as what deeper use of the A1WebStats system can provide.
Yes, the new A1WebStats continues to provide details of businesses that visit your website, including stronger data and making it easier to cut through the noise of some of that data, BUT the key strength of the new system is to focus on this one important point:
Why go to the pain of chasing companies that have visited your website, when the A1WebStats system will help you to identify weaknesses that, when fixed, will lead to more companies deciding to make contact with you, instead of you having to reach out to them.
Another way of putting that is:
What do you want to sell more of, and how can the A1WebStats system help you to achieve that?
Some people say that they don’t care about anything apart from identifiable companies that visit. If that’s you, then sorry, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business if ‘companies’ is all that interests you.
Most people will say that Google Analytics is unfriendly to use and doesn’t make it easy to interpret website visitors data.
Many people say that the new A1WebStats is like Google Analytics on steroids because it allows a laser sharp focus on what matters: getting more people to make contact, having been to your website.
But it is still just software with a certain level of intelligence. The data still needs interpretation, which is why we have humans here to help you get the best out of it.
If you’ve been using A1WebStats mainly to identify companies that visit your website then you’ll find that easier and more refined within the new system. If you’re ready to use the deeper aspects of the system to help enable those visiting companies to make contact in the first place, then we’re here to help you.
Now, on with the key changes …
You may have seen our new pricing page.
Good news: your pricing doesn’t increase. You stay on your current pricing.
It’s only new subscribers that pay the higher pricing.
It’s just our way of saying thank you to all of you who have been patient in waiting for the long development time of the new system.
Our customers asked for the ability to pay directly from bank accounts, so the new system allows either GoCardless (for payments from bank accounts) or Stripe (for card payments).
As part of your migration to the new system you will be guided on setting up new payment details when the time comes for your next payment to become due.
The new A1WebStats system is not an adaptation of the existing system. It’s a completely separate, and new system, that is hugely robust and flexible.
At the heart of the new system is advanced filtering of data that will enable you to create very detailed reporting in a way that Google Analytics can only dream of.
As an example, you can create templates (that can be run at any time, including optional automated reports being emailed to anyone you like, at a timing of your choice) that would allow you to see:
Over a defined time period …
… visitors from identifiable companies …
… from two countries only …
… who got to a certain part of the website …
… and maybe another part of the website …
… but didn’t get to another part of the website …
… and who weren’t tagged as client, competitor, or supplier.
Another example would be …
Any visitors from Google Adwords …
… who were from selected countries only …
… who went to one page …
… and then another page …
… but didn’t get to an important page.
Here’s another example …
People who clicked through from an email campaign …
… who went to more than the page they landed on …
… but didn’t get to a certain page.
Overall, the advanced filtering allows incredibly detailed combinations of filters to be added together, resulting in data that allows you to focus on positives and also opportunities for improvement.
All you need to do is ask the question:
What do we, as a business, want to know more about our website visitors?
The advanced filtering will then help you get to the answers and if you can’t find the answers within the system then just ask us – we’re here to help.
Tagging in the new A1WebStats system is much more advanced than the previous system because you can filter data based on the tags you’ve applied.
You can tag visitors using the pre-defined tags (for example, Clients, Competitors, Prospects) but can also create your own tags. For example, you may want to tag some visitors as ‘Email recipients’. There is no limit to the number of tags you can create.
The more visitors that you tag, the more opportunities you have to include or exclude those types of visitors from your data.
So, if you want to create templates or automated reports that include or exclude certain types of tagged visitors, then it’s easy to do.
Never Show tag
There will be visitors that you never want to see in your data again. You can tag those as ‘Never Show’, which will stop them being visible within your account.
You can refer to those set up as ‘Never Show’ within the system at any time, in case you need to show them again.
Visiting companies data
With new A1WebStats you receive a daily companies report email that includes the names of the companies within the email itself.
You can click on individual company names or can click on a link to show you all companies from the previous day.
A difference within the new system is that you’re asked to log in when you click on the links. Typically, your browser will remember your login details for future logins after the first time so the need to log in each time doesn’t become a pain.
Another change in the new system is that you can create filtered daily companies reports so that you see only the companies data that is of interest to you. For example, you may have tagged some visitors as competitors, clients, or suppliers, and want to exclude those tagged visitors from the daily companies reports.
You can also now add other filters that include or exclude certain types of visitors. For example, you may want to exclude companies from other countries or those who didn’t get to certain website pages.
The more companies data you have each day, the more likely you’ll want to create extra filters to cut down ‘noise’ in the data.
Tracking visitors and notifying others
When you see a visitor of interest, you can choose to ‘track’ the visitor, including who you want to be alerted when that visitor returns to your website. This can be one or more people within your team who will receive an instant email as soon as that visitor returns to the website.
You may also want to notify others of a visitor to your website. By using the Email link you can choose a team member who will be instantly emailed a link notifying them that a certain visitor has been to the website.
It is now much easier to create templates that you may re-use in the future.
A template is a sequence of filters that you want to analyse at any point in the future (for example, visitors from one country who visited a particular page but not another page).
When you’ve created templates you can run them for any date period of interest to you.
You can also use templates to generate automated reports to one or more people within your team.
Instead of having one account accessed by multiple people, each person can be set up as a team member with their own login email address and password.
This makes it easy to:
- Select team members to receive certain types of reports that you create within the A1WebStats system.
- Remove team members (for example, if someone leaves the business and you want to stop their access to your data).
Team members can be internal or external. Typical use of an external team member would be someone who is responsible for your Google Adwords, who needs to get a weekly view of what happened to those clicks after the people landed on the website.
Report generation flexibility
In new A1WebStats you can create automated reports that are emailed to one or more people on your team, on days and times that suit you.
For example, you may want to look at visitors who came from Google Adwords during the previous day, and want an email including a link to that data at 2.15pm each day.
Each report also has the option of an accompanying Excel attachment and you can choose the columns of data and order of the columns within that attachment.
Although not designed to replace your existing CRM system, you can add notes to individual visitors. Each note that’s added can be viewed by anyone using the system. So if one person has added a note about a visiting company then someone else can see what they’ve said.
This allows you to see a history of visits for a visitor in summary view and detail level. This helps you to build a picture of how that visitor engaged with your website over a period of time.
The previous version of A1WebStats showed all visits from one visitor lumped together each day. This painted a misleading picture.
Now, if a visitor spends more than an hour of inactive time on your website, in any given day, they will appear again as a fresh visit. It may not have been a fresh visit (for example, they may have gone off to do something else and then returned to your website) but it could equally be a separate person in that same business who has gone to your website, and so it’s useful to separate out such visits.
You now have access to the API.
This allows you/your development people to pull in raw data from our system and integrate it with your systems.
This is ongoing in development and will facilitate integration with a range of popular CRM systems. In the meantime, the API will be an option if you have access to technical resources.
Q: What support do I get after migrating to the new A1WebStats system?
A: As much as you need. While we value your ongoing subscription payments, we would much more value you being so in love with how the A1WebStats system and people can help you, that you’d recommend us to other people. It’s very much in our interests for you to be more successful, so we’re available whenever you need us. Except when we’re sleeping. That would be a bit too much. You may sometimes need to book in a call date/time to go through some aspects in more detail but that would usually be in the next day or two from when you contact us.
Q: What happens with the advanced reports I’ve already set up?
A: Because this is a totally new A1WebStats system, we will have to recreate those for you. This would typically be done during your system familiarisation call so that you will also learn how to create similar reports in the future.
Q: Will all my current data be in the new system?
A: Because it’s a totally new system, with different infrastructure, we took the decision not to move all historic data across to the new system. However, although the old system will stop tracking new visitors, you will still have access to the old data for many months. When we decide to switch off the old system, everyone will be notified so that you can export any additional old data that you want to, although it’s likely to be at least 6-12 months old by that time.
Q: Can I analyse data from larger date ranges?
A: Yes – the old system struggled with large data sets. This system has been built differently so that it copes with big demands. If you run reports that generate large amounts of data then they will run, although sometimes may take a few minutes.
Q: Do I have to migrate to the new A1WebStats system?
A: Yes – although we are allowing a lengthy transition time period. Those that have migrated already are benefiting in much bigger ways so sooner rather than later will benefit you more.
Q: I have questions that aren’t answered here – can you help?
A: Of course – just contact us via email@example.com or 01227 251251 and we’ll be happy to help.
Returning to the point about changing mindsets, you’ll be aware that A1WebStats, although one of the earliest in the market, is not alone in the space of offering details about companies visiting your website. Many have jumped on the bandwagon of what appears to be a good idea (tracking companies visiting websites).
While we will of course continue to provide that companies information as part of the overall A1WebStats system, we are 100% dedicated to helping businesses to shift mindset towards:
Get more results from websites instead of chasing companies who should ideally have made contact in the first place.
Many of our competitors offer what is effectively similar tracking of companies visiting websites. To us, while such information has some value, it’s dangerous for any business to focus too heavily on that.
It’s also clear that businesses work that out for themselves.
This is backed up by numbers …
The biggest provider of lead identification in the market has only a few thousand paying subscribers. They’ve been operating for around 10 years, have huge human and financial resources, and yet have only captured and retained customers representing a microscopic percentage (a few thousand) of the millions of businesses worldwide.
If, with their vast resources, they haven’t dominated the market of companies worldwide, then what does this tell you about the validity of identifying companies that visit your website?
The A1WebStats view is that the identification of companies visiting your website, even with supporting data about those companies, will very rarely deliver you the individual person who visited you from each company. Some software may offer you details of contacts within that company but that doesn’t mean they were the people who visited OR that they would welcome a cold sales call from you! This means you have to do the hard work in finding a friendly way to have useful dialogue with the right person from that business. The bigger the business that has visited your website, the bigger the haystack the needle is buried within.
And that’s why many companies don’t continue with the so-called market leader.
It’s worth noting that many companies leave them and come to A1WebStats, aware that such data has a certain value, but not for the prices they were paying before.
At A1WebStats, we consider ourselves the true market leader, and our subscribers to be more forward-thinking, because our product focuses on what should be most important – using analytics data to make websites (and the way they’re marketed) stronger, resulting in more companies making contact without having to be actively chased.
However, we’ve been historically weak in broadcasting that message and recognised that we needed to create the new A1WebStats system to make such analysis easier for our subscribers.
Website strengthening is our history and will be the future for us and those of our subscribers that choose to think bigger. We still acknowledge the value in seeing details of companies that visit websites, but true website success comes from a much more detailed focus on what the website visitors data is actually telling you.
We look forward to helping you become more successful via your website and, as always, welcome any feedback you may have for us.
The A1WebStats Team