Friday, May 18, 2007

Web Analytics related to Business Goals

It is usually common for Web Analysts to simply report the data and follow the instructions as told. But the core of Web Analytics is the deeper analysis of data based on the business goals. Once you have the business goals then a question comes to my mind. Will the Web Analyst be able to state what metrics to use in order to calculate a business goal?

Let us take the example of a content site which displays banner ads and gets paid according to the number of impressions reported. The page views would be the business goal in this scenario. It is apparent that a Web Analyst should look at all metrics converting to page views. More the page views more is the revenue generated. The other metrics which in turn map to the pag eview can be Visits, Keywords, Unique Users, and Referrers. So what do you think should be the most important metrics? Logically looking at these 5 metrics, I would say each and every one is important as these are equally important for generating page views. Once the metrics is known, it is now that the Web Analyst needs to make sense out of the numbers and report them in a presentable manner. He needs to effectively communicate what these numbers mean and in some cases give recommendations on how to increase these numbers.

Let’s think of another scenario where a user comes to a website, chooses a product and enters the cart (funnel). What do you think would be the appropriate business goal? The business goal in this scenario could be to sell a product or complete a registration form. So the metrics to measure in this case could be bounce rate, exit rate, page depth. Another good value to measure would be see where on the page the people are clicking to exit or bounce off the page. This can help us to detect which are the problem areas that are turning the page into a bounce page. We can then act accordingly and remove those links which are making the people abandon the cart. Another advantage of measuring these metrics would be introduce A/B Testing on the pages to test which page has a lower exit/bounce rate.

All in all it is imperative that Web Analytics is tied with business goals and continuous analysis will help companies stay on top of things.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I work at a non-profit and we are in the process of implementing Omniture. As a former Urchin client, we were limited by the metrics we could support. Now with Omniture, we have the flexibility to define KPIs. Our struggle is that we are not sure which KPIs are relevant for our type of business. What is the decision making process for determining that? Some key points that could frame this is that we are looking to improve our reputation, influence and funding. What KPIs would indicate performance in areas like that? (Obviously funding is obvious as we have donation pages on our site.) Thank you.