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How Welcome to the Jungle took ownership of their web data with Snowplow

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As we’ve discussed during the course of this series, privacy updates, ad blockers and the changing web landscape have made web analytics a more complex and challenging industry. 

At the heart of this challenge is the decline of third-party cookies, rendering packaged web analytics tools less reliable for getting a complete, accurate view of your web data. Data mature companies should consider the advantages of building a more modular stack, made up of best-in-class solutions. Doing so can enable them to deploy behavioral data to empower their internal teams, drive their use cases and equip their business to keep up with the demands of customers today. 

A good example of an organization that took these steps is Welcome to the Jungle, a content hub and hiring platform taking a novel approach to the job application process.  Welcome to the Jungle’s product and business model revolves around a central web application – combining editorial content with an employer platform to create a seamless candidate experience. 

Welcome to the Jungle at a glance 

Welcome to the Jungle is a media company and jobs board launched in 2015 in Paris that matches working professionals with their dream employers. 
The platform has grown rapidly with almost 2 million monthly users and more than 3000 company profiles. 

Welcome to the Jungle is not a typical hiring platform or jobs marketplace. After landing on their website, the user encounters a hub of rich media content around recruitment, job search and interview techniques. Look closer, and you’ll see company listings or ‘employer profiles’, where companies can give a glimpse of their size, culture and mission to entice professionals to apply. 

The Welcome to the Jungle website is a rich digital experience – a good example of how far the web has come from 10 or 15 years ago. But this has not happened by accident. The website’s structure, content and flow are the result of carefully tracking user interactions, gradually building a picture of how people behave across their website. Using these insights, Welcome to the Jungle has been able to improve the web experience for job seekers and employers alike. 

This systematic, data-informed approach was born out of necessity. Capturing complete web data was not only vital to internal business intelligence and product teams at the company, but a key demand of their clients (employer brands) who required accurate conversion rates in order to see the impact of their job ads. Without accurate data to demonstrate the value of their ads, clients would not see the true value of their ad spend. Reliable web analytics was central to the company’s business model. 

Breaking out of Google Analytics 

Soon after their launch in 2015, Welcome to the Jungle rapidly grew to a point where millions of users were interacting with their website each month. 

Aurélien Rayer, the company’s Head of Data, quickly found that the company’s Google Analytics stack was not able to keep up with the growing demands of a fast-growth company. 

One major problem was lack of ownership. Without owning their raw data, it was impossible to combine data sets or implement user stitching to build the full picture of the customer journey across all platforms and channels. But worse than that – the data didn’t add up. Some users were going missing altogether, conversion rates didn’t look accurate, and it was clear that the behavioral data provided by Google Analytics wasn’t telling the whole story. 

While this was a challenge internally, it was also a cause of concern for clients. Employers wanted to know the conversion rates of their ads, and what they could do to improve them. 

Missing pieces in the puzzle

We’ve mentioned previously how relying on packaged tools can be problematic when it comes to delivering complete web data. With Google Analytics, the team at Welcome to the Jungle were experiencing this first hand. This was more than a frustrating challenge – their business model and relationships with key clients relied upon delivering accurate metrics such as conversion rates. This would enable clients to monitor the performance of their employer profiles, informing their decisions around investing in Welcome to the Jungle’s ad solution.

“Since working with Snowplow, we uncovered over 2 million user ids were flagged as bots”

– Aurélien Rayer, Head of Data, Welcome to the Jungle

With complete web data now seen as business-critical, Aurélien decided to move to Snowplow for more reliable behavioral data capture. Welcome to the Jungle could now deploy first-party, server-side tracking, finding that this enabled them to overcome the restrictions of Safari’s ITP and other browser privacy measures. 

With Snowplow, Welcome to the Jungle could track users without worrying that third-party cookie data would be deleted, giving them a much more complete view of user activity. Snowplow’s first-party tracking also meant that Aurélien could track web visitors who used ad blockers (as long as they granted their consent). These users could previously not be tracked with Google Analytics, since ad blockers often automatically prevent tracking as a side effect of blocking ads. 

Once the Snowplow tracking was in place, Aurélien was able to compare his new data set with the data sets he was capturing from Google Analytics. The results were astonishing. Welcome to the Jungle gained visibility into 3% more unique users each month – which amounted to around 600,000 users who were previously invisible. In addition, Aurélien was able to examine user behavior more closely to discover that over 2 million of the company’s user ids were bots. This meant the platform could waste less time displaying ads to bot accounts and focus their targeting on real users. 

Welcome to the Jungle’s web analytics revolution

Over 2 million user ids flagged as bots
Visibility of 3% more unique users per month
Captured 5% more page views per month 

The transition for Welcome to the Jungle from third-party tracking with Google Analytics, to first-party tracking with Snowplow had a huge impact on their business. Now the product team could deliver accurate insights with clients, and take steps to help them improve their conversion rates where required. 

But their web analytics transformation didn’t stop there. Welcome to the Jungle also benefited from the flexibility Snowplow offers when it comes to tracking key metrics. Using ‘pages pings’, a feature of Snowplow’s core web tracker, Welcome to the Jungle gained a more accurate understanding of user engagement with their media articles than an out-of-the-box tool could offer. 

With page pings from Snowplow we have a very precise way of measuring engagement on our articles. This is something we simply couldn’t do before with Google Analytics. I think this is one of the most interesting metrics we’ll see in terms of media analytics.

– Aurélien Rayer, Head of Data, Welcome to the Jungle 

With Snowplow, Welcome to the Jungle were able to take ownership of their behavioral web data, and leverage first-party tracking to get a complete picture of their users and how they interact with their web content. 

Aurélien and his team were now equipped, not only to capture web data in a way that made sense specifically for their organization, but to own their behavioral data set. This can open up a host of possibilities for the future, allowing them to explore use cases such as building a view of the customer journey or powering content recommendation systems. 

This is an 8-part series

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If you’re looking to take ownership of your web analytics like Welcome to the Jungle, get in touch.

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