What should you measure when it comes to your digital performance? It a question that is often posed to us as an agency. When thinking about this, it’s good to consider not just conversions, but more in-depth metrics. Looking at gaining more organic traffic to your website, a broader reach on social media, or a higher email click-through rate will provide a vast array of options.
Hygiene checks of your website are imperative and should be looked at constantly, but also considered when looking at what metrics to measure. There are so many variables that affect the performance of your site and thus the visitors to it, how well your goals are met will be seriously impacted by this.
Realistically if your site speed is slow for example, visitors will get bored and leave. When your content isn’t aligned with relevant keywords, you are essentially missing out on potential opportunities – these things sound obvious but when looking at KPI’s but they often get dwarfed by the end goal.
Taking into account the site, its function and its UX is a big consideration when setting any kind of a goal. A good example of this is if you have mainly mobile traffic and the site has poor performance on mobile, then this will impact your conversions and all associated activity. Are your users being diverted to 404’s – again ensuring the hygiene of the site will help bolster your KPI’s.
So often collecting the user’s data is paramount for businesses and a clear CTA such as a form fill is common practice, but how many touchpoints does it take for the user to get what they want? This is seen as the main reason for people part completing forms or indeed filling it with dummy data – if you can make this and any other CTA’s as smooth, clean and as easy as possible you will see vast improvements in your numbers.
Quantifiable metrics that are aligned with your business goals is crucial. For most businesses, as well as being the most obvious choice, is a conversion. This could take the form of either a sale or leads etc. depending on the business and is the main metric measured in order to assess progress.
When considering metrics, however, it is essential that things that can’t be impacted are not used as a benchmark. If you can’t control a particular element, then measuring this as a KPI would be futile. Choosing a vanity metric and setting it as KPI’s – such as wanting to be at the top of Google for a keyword that doesn’t provide any converting traffic – is not conducive to productivity or growth and will likely spend the budget with little or no yield.
Depending on the channel that you are measuring, will depend on the KPI you look at. Essentially you can fix your budget or your KPI’s – but fixing both would be impractical. If your budget falls below what is required to compete or even bid in your market, then fixing this as the KPI – albeit at an unachievable level – could set you up for disappointment.
To avoid this, budgets and KPI’s should be set after consultation as to what this could realistically look like. SMART goals will aid you in making these KPI’s measurable, meaningful and within the agreed time limit. This will keep you on track and will allow you to see if you go off course. Reaching these goals, adjusting them and striving for new ones will follow a logical and progressive path and make the process quantifiable.
Below are some suggested key metrics that are worth tracking and assessing in order to gauge progress and how closely you are growing against your business targets.
Overall website traffic – How busy is the site and what can affect this?
Traffic by source – who comes from where and is your budget right for each channel?
New visitors vs returning visitors – how much are you growing from new business and how many people return?
Sessions and average session duration – how many sessions are there at given points over the day and how long do these sessions last?
Most visited pages and page views – why are these pages the most/least interesting? What can be done to improve pages or can the elements of successful pages be replicated?
Bounce rate – how many people bounce from the site
Conversion rate – how many conversions are you getting
These can impact traditional conversions either directly or indirectly, but the above metrics will give depth to these conversions or goals. Knowing what pages and content engage your website visitors, what channels they come from and if they are a returning visitor or a new one will provide you with the metrics to really make a difference.
All this wealth of data can be tracked and found in Google Analytics. Tagging and setting up this tool correctly is the best way of storing your data and easily allowing you to compare periods, channels, campaigns etc. This will provide you with granular
Tracking a concise, relevant set of metrics will set you in good stead as a business. Paying close attention to these stats will have other benefits too such as being able to see where there is an issue, knowing more about your user and ensuring you are spending your budget in the right areas and the right channels.
The data you will collate will be imperative and will form the underpinning of your site, allow you to have visibility over all your channels and most importantly, steer your success.