You can’t manage what you can’t measure. That’s a fact. If you are serious about getting results from your company’s digital marketing efforts, it’s time for you to start measuring and managing the right web metrics for your organization. To date, there is no commonly accepted standard for how to measure the success of a web site, but there are some key principles that can help you set the right foundation.

Many organizations currently rely on the default web analytic reports that come with free or propietary systems. Now, the most common problems associated with this approach are:

  1. You get too much data and not enough business intelligence you can actually use to make informed marketing and business decisions.
  2. Tracking systems are by nature not perfect. Web analytic packages can provide different results for the exact same web site.
  3. Almost all web analytic packages provide the same basic information by default, information that by itself doesn’t tell you anything.

At the end of the day what happens is that organizations simply don’t know which metrics they should be tracking, don’t trust the metrics they do track and/or don’t know how to interpret web analytic data and turn it into actionable business intelligence. What can you do?

A BASIC RECIPE BASED ON KEY PRINCIPLES

  • Create the right metrics mix for your Business. It is recommended to have a mix of business (ex. revenue, transactions and profit), site (ex. conversion rate, time on site and most visited pages) and user metrics in place (ex. customer support inquiries, user testing results and focus group feedback) aligned with your business and/or marketing goals.
  • Focus on trends, not snapshots. Do not obsess about short-term results. Even though they’re important, your focus should be on trends that may be pointing you to real business opportunities you don’t want to miss.
  • Use success metrics in $. Expressing the dollar value of the web site’s contribution to your company’s success gets more attention than any other type of metric. It can be a good way to unite your “troops” around common quantifiable goals and get the internal support you need to move forward faster.
  • Consistency beats accuracy. Now that you know that web metrics data is rarely 100% accurate and trends are more important than point-in-time stats, it’s more important than ever for you to track consistently the right metrics over a long period of time. This will ensure the validity of long-term trends and also data comparisons between two time periods.
  • Integrate for maximum benefit. To get the most out of  your web metrics integrate your web site with any customer relationship management (CRM), sales force automation (SFA) and/or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Gain the powerful ability to track customer behavior from “click to close” and far beyond.
  • Get professional help. If you can’t handle web metrics or the topic is just too technical and complex for you and your staff, get professional help. There are affordable solutions in the market you can outsource to gain valuable insight and information that will help you improve your web site’s effectiveness.

Are you measuring your web site’s performance with the right metrics?  Share your experience!