Three Key Web Metrics to Watch
Terms such as clickthrough, cost-per-click and channel integration get a good deal of attention from online marketers these days, but the real holy grail of the online world is that other “c” word: conversion. “Despite advances in both technology and design, most Web-based marketing efforts reveal a continuing struggle among business leaders, marketers and developers to grasp a fundamental truth—success hinges on conversion,” writes Jeannette Kocsis, vice president, digital marketing for Harte-Hanks Direct in the recent whitepaper, The Conversion Point—Leveraging the Web to Convert Visitors into Customers. The challenge for most marketers, however, is how to get to that much-sought-after point.
The best place to start, contends Kocsis, is by analyzing your Web site: “To determine how best to attract, hold and convert visitors at an optimal ROI, it’s essential to measure a digital campaign or Web site. This measurement takes the form of Web analytics.” Sound advice, but as anyone who has ever viewed a tracking report can attest, there are so many numbers and metrics on there, that it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, Kocsis goes on to identify three key metrics you’ll want to start with:
• Drop offs. Parts of your Web site that cause potential customers to click away are a real danger to conversion and should be monitored closely. “Drop offs may indicate an overly complicated form, a broken link or a demand for required information that visitors are reluctant to provide. … many users will not return to sites that suffer such problems, or will unsubscribe from promotions and messages,” she writes.
• Time spent. Watching how much time visitors spend on your Web pages can deliver both learnings that you’ll want to replicate and challenges you’ll want to avoid. “Analyzing the time visitors spend on specific pages, it is possible to determine which pages are attracting and holding the most attention, and then assess whether that attention is because of strong content and design, or merely overly complicated material or confusing requests,” Kocsis explains.
• Clickstream analysis. “The clickstream is the path that a visitor takes through a Web site, and reviewing how visitors are navigating a site is key to redesigns and campaign analysis,” asserts Kocsis, adding that, “Such analysis is especially important when integrating a campaign with an existing site—understanding where visitors currently go makes the placement of call-outs to registration or purchase much more likely to attract the desired attention.”