Google Analytics is relatively useless unless you take the time to establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). You will get reams of data. Most of which will either mean nothing to you. Or make you think that you have accomplished something when in fact you have not. Traffic to a website is a moot point unless you understand the nature of that traffic and how it is helping you meet your overall business objectives. Hence the need to establish KPIs.
Simply looking at your Google Analytics data is akin to sailing a a boat without an effective rudder. You’ll end up somewhere. But probably not where you want to be. KPIs are the rudder of your website and a solid Google Analytics strategy .
The tough part is translating business objectives (which we are all familiar with) to KPIs (which are somewhat foreign to most people).
How do I establish my website’s KPIs? One needs to start with the goal of the website. Why is it there?
What do you want web surfers to do when they have arrived on your website?
- Contact you?
- Buy something?
- Request a quote?
- Read all of the content and subsequently tell you that you are amazing (tongue in cheek)!
How do we measure the above utilizing Key Performance Indicators?
IE: How does your website articulate your company’s mission and objectives? And then how do we narrow these broad objectives into something more finite and measurable?
KPI need to be:
- specific (you have to be granular)
- measurable (linked to a number)
- actionable (you have to be able to do something with the results you attain)
- useful (no use measuring something you can do nothing about)
- within a finite period of time (a slice in time)
Without the above criteria being met, you are wasting your time with KPIs. Why bother?
Digging down….. KPIs need to be directly related to the bottom line of your business. If you sell Widgets, then your KPIs need to be related to the sale of those Widgets. Case in point. You have spent a chunk of change ensuring that your organic and/or paid search strategy has driven good and qualified traffic to your website. A Visitor arrives on a pre-defined landing page (a targeted page in the case of a paid (AdWords) strategy). Now what? You want them to go somewhere once they have arrived.
1. Targeted Landing Page
2. Product (Widget) Overview Page (Click “Buy Now Link”)
4. Thank You (for spending your hard-earned cash with us) message
So measure this interaction via a KPI. Perhaps you have traffic landing on the Targeted Landing Page. They then go on to the Product Overview Page. Then a subset leaves the site! Aren’t you glad that you have implemented a KPI that helps you determine that you have an “abandonment” issue on your Product Overview Page? This is an example of a KPI not being met. That’s okay. At least you have placed yourself in a position to know that you have a problem versus being “fat dumb & happy”.
What about a non-revenue generating website? In other words, the website’s existence is part of a broader marketing initiative whose goal is to help generate revenue for the corporate entity.
A KPI may be measuring something as simple as how many people (linked to a number) downloaded the corporate brochure during the first quarter (a finite period of time). You have spent a great deal of money creating some wonderfully branded marketing material that extols the virtues of your Widget-eliminating software. Isn’t it nice to be able to go to the head of Marketing and let her know that her money was well-spent (hopefully!).
These were simple of KPIs based on fictitious websites. The question for you to answer is what are you doing to measure your web property’s success? Have you implemented a Google Analytics strategy that includes a clear set of KPIs that help you get the most of your website investment? If not, we can help you establish clear, meaningful & measurable KPIs!