A website measurement plan tells you how well your website is supporting your business goals.
But wait! You probably already view a monthly traffic report from your website people. If you are like many business owners, you see numbers like ‘bounce rate’ and ‘sessions’ and resign to spend your time on more important things in your business.
Configured correctly, your website measurement plan will contain numbers you care about. It will also save you a ton of money and time.
Think of a website measurement plan like a financial statement.
Your accountant (or accounting software) is the mechanism that gathers the financial data. Financial statements help you gain insights about your business. A quick glance at your cash flow statement helps you know where to prioritize your efforts. Your daily dance of balancing revenue and controlling costs would be very difficult without financial data insights.
There is no ‘print report’ button on the back of a website.
Consider the following process if your business depends on the performance of your website.
Start with the reasons why your website exists.
Sounds too basic, right? Answers to this section might include:
- Sales leads
- Educate potential customers
- Support other promotional channels
- Sell products (e-commerce)
Write these reasons down. It may look like this:
The second step is to include some goals under each of the reasons. The goal is what you want your website to do for you. This means using verbs like provide, gather, capture, etc… Again, this may look like this:
The third step is where you (and your website people) specify the actual things you wish to measure under each goal. This may be the part where you begin working with your web developer or marketing company. It will be perfectly clear to them what you wish to measure because you completed the two steps above and handed it to them. Your website people will know what can be measured to help you understand how your website is attaining the goals you outlined in step #2.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see how many valuable website interactions can be measured. Remember, each thing you decide to measure should directly relate to the website goal.
Finally, ask that the report be organized to align with the objectives you outlined above. Remember, there is no ‘print report’ button on the back of a website. Website tracking and reporting is a deliberate effort and it takes way more work than you would think. Ask that your report show data as a timeline whenever possible. This will make it easier to spot trends or anomalies in your data.
Now you can use data insights to make decisions.
Example: A law firm had spent a great deal of time creating PDF downloads for potential customers. The client had dozens of these documents on their website for the benefit of potential customers. After adopting a measurement plan, the client found that just a handful of people had actually seen these documents in the past year. It was an easy decision to redirect the effort spent creating those PDF downloads to more productive projects.
This website measurement structure is an adaptation of a beautifully simple method from Avinash Kaushik from Google. Check out his Digital Marketing and Measurement Model here.