What’s happening on your website?

By 26th February 2015Digital Marketing, Digital Strategy
I love Google Analytics

Most websites are designed, updated and tweaked based on gut feelings, hunches and experiences. As the web industry matures however, so does our understanding of web data, and more importantly – the way we can use it.

In my previous post – what’s going on behind your website – I built a case for the need of clear business objectives, goals and tactics of how to reach them. The idea is to put everyone on the same page and move towards a set of DUMB (Doable, Understandable, Measurable, Beneficial) objectives. In short – to give your site a purpose. In this post, I’ll illustrate how this can be used in a practical day to day kind of way.

How to use KPIs to monitor your site

I will use a fictional example to illustrate this. Let’s imagine a company called Excellent Chairs. They are the leading ecommerce reseller for Hawaii Chairs.  One of their business objectives is to:

  • Help people stay fit at work by using the Hawaii Chair and exercise at the office.

To reach this specific objective, their goals and tactics are to:

  • Sell more products online
  • Engage visitors through the blog

To measure their success for these goals they’ve defined the following KPIs.

  • Sell more products online:
    • Quantity purchased / month
    • Average order value / month
  • Engage visitors through the blog
    • Number of visitors / month
    • Social share / month

To make sense of their KPIs, Excellent Chairs also decided to segment the data they are collecting. They segment it by:

  • Device used by the visitors
  • Geography
  • Age

Every month the web team at Excellent Chairs sit down and look at their KPIs. This month they’ve noticed that there are fewer  social shares for the blog posts this month. Bummer. What to do now?

The idea of using goals and KPIs is to quickly identify issues on a site that aren’t helping you to reach your goals. The below example is what our made up company’s data look like in this case.

objectives, goals, kpis

Since our friends at Excellent Chairs have segmented their data, they can also see the following information.

objectives, goals, kpis, segmentation

Do you note anything odd? Only two mobile visitors have shared blog posts this month. The web team has noticed this as well and decides to investigate further. They’ve decided to check the blog pages with their mobiles to see if they can spot anything that might have caused the low number of shares from mobile phones. Quite quickly they notice that the social share buttons don’t appear when you look at the site from a mobile phone. They’ve defined the problem and can now make sure it gets fixed by their web developers. Voila!

Take away

This was just a simple case in point but you get the basic idea. By understanding what the objectives of your site are, you can create goals. By defining goals you can set KPIs. The KPIs will let you know what is going right and what is going wrong. By segmenting your data it makes it easier to pin down exactly what is going on. This will help you to quickly identify issues and opportunities.

In the above fictional example there was a technical issue causing the issues. The general idea of monitoring your goals is that you can identify issues and opportunities and then either investigate them further by drilling into your data or implementing A/B testing, run a usability test, tweak newsletters…etc.

We’re crazy about data, we love a good challenge, and we like  talking to you if you have questions about your web data.