Web Analytics - Reaching the Limits of What's Possible

A Presentation by Martijn Scheijbeler at the All Things Data 2016 Conference

After being impressed and inspired by his presentation at the All Things Data 2016 conference, we contacted Martijn Scheijbeler, Director of Marketing at The Next Web, and asked him if we could post his presentation slides on our blog.

Martijn not only agreed to sharing his presentation with us, but also provided us with a concise summary of his talk – although I suggest you take the time to go through all of the slides.



You want to get better results from your marketing program but you don’t know how to achieve that? It will all start by creating a better tracking for your site or business to make sure the data you’re collecting is better then it currently is.

Better tracking > Better data > Better Decisions > Better Results.

The presentation I gave during All Thing Data in Israel dived into the subject of creating a better tracking set-up for your Web site which provides a better context in why you’re tracking what, and why that matters to your business. Why should you feel the need for so much data in the end?

Well, as you want to get better results for your business you need to have more context around the data that you’re already collecting. If you have 10k visitors on a monthly basis, that’s great! But do you for example also know what kind of pages they’re visiting and what that potentially means to your business? You do? Great! Do you also know why these pages are performing better then others? Probably not, as the context on this content is missing for you. Let’s dive into how you can optimise for this to reach new levels in your tracking.

If you start to optimize your tracking though, you first need to create a process to make sure tracking won’t break while working on it and that you have the right ways in place to make sure new tracking is implemented and tested. For The Next Web that meant last year removing most of the tracking from the code base and moving it in combination with the DataLayer to Google Tag Manager so it could more easily be supported throughout all the projects at TNW.

Optimizing our Tracking

In optimizing and tracking more data to reach the limits on what’s possible we decided to work on 5 bigger areas:

  1. Custom Data: Provide more context around the data we have already: think about time zones of users, author information.
  2. Engagement: Do you really know how people engage with your content on your site? Probably not, we intensified our tracking and made sure that we could track all forms of engagements on-page.
  3. Cost Data: How much money are you spending on your online marketing campaigns and what is the ROI on them?
  4. Testing: What versions of a design works better then others, testing via our set-up in Google Tag Manager learned us a lot on what works and what doesn’t.
  5. Filters: The data you’re collecting never ain’t pitch perfect. So you need to apply filters to filter out the traffic that isn’t interesting to you and that is screwing up your data.
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