Finding Business Intelligence through Web Analytics
To measure success, it is vital to first define what success looks like.
Where your Web site is concerned, the data you need to pay attention to must be relevant to what your business is trying to accomplish.
What are you trying to accomplish?
The list can be long, but most businesses generally want to achieve one or more of these four basic objectives:
- Increase market share
- Increase customer retention
- Improve the company’s brand
- Improve product or service quality
Matching Data to Objectives
Key performance indicators (KPIs) map key business data to key business objectives. They are agreed upon, quantifiable measurements that reflect the critical success factors of business.
For Web analytics to be carried out in the right direction you must identify and map the right KPIs as per your business objectives.
Your Web site provides a window into your current and prospective client’s behavior.
By paying attention to their behavior, you can focus on activities that drive results and map those metrics to your KPIs and your business success.
Not all site metrics are created equal
Many business owners and marketers are unsure of which data matters — in part because there is simply too much data to sift through, measure, and map to chosen KPIs.
And mapping too many KPIs may lead a multitude of information that provide no true insights or recommended actions.
Web site analytics serves a noble purpose, but only when certain metrics prove relevant to short- and long-term business objectives.
How can you be confident that your strategy works if you don’t know what to data to track against?
Lead Generation Website Metrics
If your purpose is to collect leads, you need to measure the quality and cost of the traffic.
Your Web site needs to be optimized for conversion.
Here are the KPI’s that lead generation Web sites gain value from:
- Cost per Lead – A leading indicator of the cost you are paying to acquire each lead.
- Conversion Rate – How many visitors are converted into leads. This measure the performance of your marketing campaign.
- Traffic Concentration – Compares the search traffic for different pages on your website versus the total visitors.
- Single Access Ratio – The number of visits that people enter and leave quickly from the same page.
Service Website Metrics
Service Web sites focus on what you do to portray the value of the offering. Performance is measured by customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The following KPI’s provide the most insight for service-based companies:
- Content Depth – This is the trust you build with your readers. How much value does your content provide?
- % of Repeat Visitors – The number of visitors who have landed on your website multiple times.
- Visitor Loyalty – How your visitors behave. How often do they return or mention your website?
- Customer Satisfaction – How your service lives up to customer expectations. This will often reveal whether they will keep doing business with you.
Does Business Size Matter?
Yes. Business size is important when determining which metrics to assess.
Analytics that examine customer acquisition, behavior and outcome vary amongst different business sizes.
For example, small companies with simpler sales processes may only look at the cost per click or cost per acquisition to measure cost of sales.
Larger businesses will add to these data points by measuring the percentage of new visits and click-through rates to map to new or returning customer acquisition.
As your business grows, so your metrics collection and analysis should adapt to larger and more complex KPIs.
The goal is to increase market share and customer retention by exploiting what is probably the most underused asset of your business — your Web site.
Can poor data collection undermine your KPI objectives?
Most certainly … and here’s how.
If you are just looking at site-centric data for your Web site, you are not getting the full picture.
Competitive intelligence needs to look at the industry data as well as the trends in how your site performs. Think beyond the limitations of direct competitors by looking at the entire ecosystem.
Using ecosystem-centric analysis allows you to catch wind of what is happening in your industry. Drill down into one category to see the overall trends to apply to your marketing strategy.
Make sure you are skipping data that does not provide useful insight. When looking at the competitive landscape understand that time spent, and the number of page views provide no real context at such a high level.
Adapt a wider scope instead of staying internally focused. Know what your competition is doing and analyze their demand.
You can locate insights on the top sites by looking at the trends of unique visits and seasonal trending. Query the fastest rising search terms to optimize your marketing campaign. Some information you need to go outside of the Google universe to find. Understanding the ecosystem trends will help you set your brand apart from your rivals.