Your Top 10 Website KPIs
You now have your website designed and you finally feel as if you are competing in the global Internet economy. The next step is to make certain that your website is giving you the return on your investment that meets your goals.
In any business you always look at the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to determine if your marketing, customer service, retail operations, etc. are producing the results you want and need. Your website is no different. We have developed a tracking system to know the what, where, why, when and how your website is performing month to month.
The following are the top ten basic website KPIs:
1. Defining visits and unique visitors. Your hosting company should have access to this information 24/7 in the form of analytic software like <a href=”http://awstats.sourceforge.net/” target=”_blank”>AWStats</a> right on your server. If your hosting company does not have this information available you need to find one that does. Remember that most people confuse the large number of hits their site may be getting with the often time much lower number of unique visitors. The number of unique visitors is what’s important. For the sites that we host, we make certain that this information is tracked monthly at the very least.
2. Search results. You typically find a search function on the larger websites on the Internet. This makes it easy for a site visitor to find exactly what they want. If the right search application is installed, it tracks the numbers of searches visitors are making and what it is they are looking for. Armed with this information we can expand and beef up those areas on your site where necessary. The application can also track the keywords visitors are using to search with. That information can be used to maximize your keywords for search optimizations of your site.
3. Visit duration. This is important when looking at your site’s traffic analytics from your hosting provider. It shows the average duration that each visitor spends on your site. Considering that the average person spends less than two minutes, often times less than thirty seconds on any given site, you want to look for an average of two minutes or more. When that time continues to climb your site is really beginning to work for you and grow your business.
4. Conversion. Conversion events is another factor we examine. These indicators give a strong notion that what information you have on your site as well as the offers you are making are what site visitors want. Here are just a few (non exhaustive list) conversion events:
– Makes a purchase.
– Opts into a Newsletter,
– Submits some type of personal information,
– Subscribes to a RSS feed,
– Prints a page,
– Uses “email this to a friend” functionality,
– Spends more than ten minutes browsing the site.
– Downloads a document or an application.
– Looks at a set of important pages.
– Views a set number of pages during a visit.
– Clicks on a particular link to leave the site.
– Search for a specific product or piece of information.
Those are a few of the conversion items we track month to month.
5. Cost per referral. The nice thing about the web is that your site takes a visitor from a cold prospect to a warm referral. A warm referral is already familiar with your company, knows about your products and/or services and is comfortable enough to contact you by phone or at the least complete a contact form with their information. We make certain your contact form works for you and qualifies your visitors’ needs. Expanding your contact form alone can improve significantly your return on referrals.
6. Reach. With today’s analytics we can actually track the number of visitors, including what cities they have come from to reach your site, from the ‘global marketplace.’ That alone is a huge advantage over your competition. You can use that data to target marketing campaigns, franchising efforts, expansion, and more.
7. Stickiness. This is not just a buzz word. We consider a site ‘sticky’ if it has the sort of resources and fresh content that encourages return visits, and as an end result, more purchases. We create blogs for our clients and that is one of the easiest ways to create stickiness. Our goal is that our own Brainstorm Blog becomes ‘sticky’ for many visitors.
8. Measuring offline activities using online support. If you want to improve website use and decrease call center costs, we have a recommendation for you. We have more and more of our clients using unique URLs or landing pages for their offline communications. We suggest that you use a unique telephone number of the call center that can be found only on your website. This will eventually reduce your costs and provide important tracking information.
9. Feedback Often times feedback from your existing or past customers can help you identify the areas in your business (including customer service) that need improvement. There are some very interesting ways to get that information that doesn’t cost a lot of money or take much of your time. You can do it by running an online contest for a drawing. The bigger the prize the more information you can ask them to give you about your website, your products, services and your company overall. An online survey, without the visitor being required to give their name, is the best way to get the truth.
10. Profit The defining measurement of the success of your website is your profit. Using all of your KPI’s from your website, and those from the offline portion of your business, we help you define if the web is working for your business, and most importantly, growing bottom line profits.
Having the knowledge of your KPI’s, we can improve your website based on the most important information available – what your visitors are telling you.