How do you know if your website is successful?
Creating a website for your business is an exciting venture. Working in an online format, you get to put forth your vision for how potential customers and clients will interact with your product. However, some businesses unfortunately fall short when measuring the success of a site. If you have a web site it is also wise to have a good website maintenance plan in place as they are so useful when you need aspects of the website changing and can work out much cheaper than having staff do such work.
How do you even know if your site is successful? It’s not enough to put it up on the web and hope for the best. We believe that websites are never a fully finished product, instead requiring routine maintenance and monitoring for optimal success. The best course of action is to create a site, examine key performance indicators, and adjust the site accordingly to improve conversions, sales and other metrics.
What Is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)?
A KPI is just what it sounds like. It is a metric that shows something vital to the performance of your website. KPIs are not just for websites; they are also used in manufacturing, IT, government and non-profit work, and any sector where professionals must examine results and adjust practices. The exact KPIs differ by industry, but they all give important feedback about how to improve something.
The Best KPIs for Websites
When it comes to websites, KPIs are most effective when they align with your business’s online goals. This may include things like getting users to fill out a form or survey, getting leads, making sales or getting a donation.
When choosing KPIs for your site, we recommend following the SMART model to ensure your metrics make sense. SMART is an acronym borrowed from the world of personal development and project management, and it stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time limited. These criteria help you choose KPIs that will give you the information you need to know about how your site is performing.
Examples of Great KPIs
1. Lead Generation Form Submissions
A form submission is the online goal for many businesses. Salespeople then use the given information to contact potential clients and users to seal the deal. This is a perfect key performance indicator for things which aren’t usually purchased online through e-commerce tactics including but not limited to marketing services, real estate and general consulting.
2. Online Purchases/Donations
Online purchases or donations are a very typical goal for any online venture. Sales and donations have many trackable metrics including overall number of sales or average total purchase. Pick one or track both as separate KPIs.
3. E-mail Captures
Many businesses rely on e-mail marketing to get in touch with users and potential clients, making e-mail captures a great KPI. The more e-mail addresses you have, the larger your potential direct marketing audience.
All of these KPIs follow the SMART model:
- Specific: Each of these is a precise facet of your website goals. None of them are easily confused with other metrics.
- Measurable: Every KPI listed about could be monitored and measured through comparing numbers from different time periods to each other.
- Achievable: The creation of your site’s features makes each of these possible. Choose realistic goals that are within reach, but still promote growth.
- Relevant: Each of these furthers your goals of gaining income for your business.
- Time Limited: Each metric is measurable over a specific amount of time. Set goals over a week or a month, then compare to measure!