“When people say “web analytics,” they really mean web metrics” (Kaushik, 2010, pg.36). Web analytics involves information based on data (metrics) or reports (KPIs). In terms of measuring a brand’s online presence, web analytics enables brands to determine what is working, what is not working, where to invest time/money, and where there are opportunities for optimization. A good understanding of web analytics can help brands determine effective ways to increase online presence.
Certain metrics can help a brand gain actionable insights into improving its online presence. These metrics include visits/visitors, time on page/time on site, bounce rate, conversion rate, exit rate, engagement. These metrics helps a brand track its audience’s online behavior and understand the type of content that resonates with them. Brands are able to gain valuable insights such as sales, conversions, how visitors find and use their website, and what keeps them coming back.
To effectively base business decisions on web analytics, a brand must have a clear understanding of its business objectives, goals, metrics,KPIs, targets, dimensions, and segments. Even with large amounts of data, a company can still fail with analytics and have poor information. A company must have a clear business strategy that can be adjusted with actionable insights.
The process of choosing which metrics are best suited for certain objectives can be challenging because business objectives are often qualitative and measurable goals are quantifiable (http://www.business2community.com/big-data/5-web-analytics-tools-help-untangle-big-data-01361074#9TVmS6jSYzAzt4PW.97) The infographic below details that fact, along with some very key statistics such as what brands value (84% consider brand awareness most critical marketing goal), as well as how it is important to understand that not everyone who visits your site is a good quality lead (advice to better channel that is below)
To properly align certain metrics with objectives, analytical goals must be created by breaking down business objectives into measurable goals. “Translating business goals into analytics goals means first constructing a list of business objectives, tying them to measurable goals, and identifying the aspects that can be measured using web analytics” (Hansen 2014) This understanding will enable brands to determine the appropriate metrics that deliver actionable insight.
To effectively establish a starting point for KPIs, brands must understand the purpose of its website and create Critical Success Factors (CSFs). “CSFs are specific conditions that measure or facilitate the meeting of business goals and objectives within set timeframes”(Deder 2013). Once CSFsare established, KPIs can be established to measure strategic performance. The use of KPIs helps with quantifying CSFs.
A great way to do this, is through Google Analytic’s Goals (https://blog.kissmetrics.com/critical-goal-types/)- this allows you to set up these KPis & CSFs on different interactions within your website. You can set Goals based on certain webpages (eg. submissions of requesting a quote, subscribing to email newsletters, etc.); how long people have visited key pages, or the their overall visit– someone who is on your site for 5 or 10 minutes is more likely to be a higher quality lead vs. someone who visited for 1 minute or less. The same is probably true for page views per session. This would be another great goal to setup since someone who views 5 or more pages is a better lead vs. someone who just browsed the home page.
Kaushik, A. (2010). Web analytics 2.0: The art of online accountability & science of customer centricity.Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing. ISBN# 978-0470529393
Kaushik, A. (2010, April 19). Web analytics 101: Definitions: Goals, metrics, KPIs, dimensions, targets. Occam’s Razor Blog. Retrieved on March 25, 2012 from http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/web-analytics-101-definitions-goals-metrics-kpis-dimensions-targets/
The 8 Critical Web Metrics – Web Design, Website SEO. (2012, February 7). Retrieved January 13, 2016, fromhttp://myinternetmarketingpartner.com/the-8-critical-web-metrics/
Hansen, M. (2014, June 27). Translating Business Goals to Analytics Goals. Retrieved January 18, 2016, from https://megalytic.com/blog/translating-business-goals-to-analytics-goals
Peder. (2013, August 7). 5 Steps to Actionable Key Performance Indicators. Retrieved January 18, 2016, from http://unilytics.com/5-steps-to-actionable-key-performance-indicators/