If you work for a GIS or geospatial web map development company, you understand how important engaging and re-engaging users is with your applications. Often times, web map applications are built and forgotten about a few months later without any real understanding of its usefulness.
To avoid getting in the rut of building and forgetting about it, here are a few ways to make sure your continuously improving your web maps.
1. Plan to optimize your web map app in the first 4 months.
Similar to any website, a web map is never really completed. If you have traffic coming to your web map or you’ve built an application that runs on geospatial data, testing and editing along the way is just part of the process. It’s important to plan 4-6 months of optimizing and testing your app in the real world to track engagement and conversions. Depending on what kind of web map you’ve published you may look to track specific conversion goals such as sign-ups, marker clicks per user, or layer interactions in a specific area.
2. Talk to your colleagues to understand what type of metrics and reports can help them do their jobs.
Analytics in geospatial is becoming a hot topic. More-and-more, C-Level executives in the GIS industry are asking for in-depth metrics regarding their location-based products. Understanding how, who and where users are on a company’s web map application is useful for the product management team, engineers as well as marketing. The whole team benefits from user interaction insights that weren't available just a few years ago.
Moreover, GIS developers tend to be tucked away in a corner office somewhere and like many engineers, focus on the hard technical problems instead of the overarching product goals.
Bringing management and fellow colleagues into the conversation in terms of product goals can be very helpful with building the right application. Getting their input on core metrics and analytics evens the playing field for product discussion. Everyone from engineers, marketing and management can speak to core user interaction metrics.
3. Drill into your data.
To get a better understanding of your users you have to drill into their interactions and segment them based on their level of interaction and interest.
These users have come to visit your web map but haven't interacted with it in any way. Whether it's clicks, pans, zooms or layer interaction, these users haven't touched your web map. A quick way to calculate these users is by tracking bounce rates.
These users have interacting with your web map. Segmenting these users by number interactions in a session is a good way to see how active users are.
These users have performed an action in some kind of meaningful way that best represents the goal of your application. Whether it's sign ups, hitting a number of interactions or making it to a specific page in your application is to be determined by your key metrics.
With standard analytics tools, you simply can’t see your web map data. Although they provide higher level analytics in terms of page views and some bounce rates, drilling into your web map dataset and seeing how your users are interacting with your layers, markers and tiles is impossible. But with analytics built for web maps, tracking web map events is simple and easy.
4. Where in the world are your users looking?
When it comes to web maps, pin pointing where visitors are on your map is probably a good idea. Wouldn’t you want to see which areas of your map are most looked at, clicked on and which tiles have the most activity? To non web map developers, this might seem arbitrary, but when you’re working on a web map app that depends on visitors having a delightful experiences on your web map, seeing where your users are looking can provide invaluable insights.
5. Find out what causes users to leave your web map.
Getting visitors to convert is difficult. People make a living and build a careers off of increasing conversion rates and figuring out how to get visitors to do the thing you hope they’ll do with your product.
Understanding when and where those "aware" but inactive users drop-off in your application is the first step to identifying why users don't convert.
Bounce rates, click through rates, interactions per session are all key metrics that can identify issues with your web maps conversions.
6. Determine what users like and dislike.
Figure out what your visitors like and dislike by viewing what they’re interacting with on your web map. Once you figure out what your visitors are engaged with, you can offer them similar information or promotions that might interest them.
IF you want to learn more on how to setup analytics for your web map, book a demo with us.