Performance measurement 2.0
For many, web performance measurement means “clicks” and “page views”. This data, although useful, gives only a tiny part of the information that a website could provide. To get a real idea of the impact of a website and extract useful and tangible recommendations, you have to look further. Welcome to performance measurement 2.0!
It was Avinash Kaushik, author of the book Web Analytics an hour a day and Analytics Evangelist at Google, who consecrated the expression in September 2007. Here is his definition of Web 2.0 performance measurement:
1. Analysis of quantitative and qualitative data of your website and your competition
2. with the aim of continuously improving the online experience of your customers and potential customers
3. to meet your business objectives (online and offline)
Measurement 2.0 is a direct response to the important notion that no human being is the same and not all have the same goals. Do all visitors to an e-commerce site come to buy? No. In many cases, a visit is for: evaluating products, looking for comments on them, finding the store near you, etc. Why then do most companies measure the conversion rate of their e-commerce site by dividing the number of transactions by the number of unique visitors? Wouldn't it be better to just use the number of visitors who came for the purpose of making a purchase? To obtain this information, it is necessary to go beyond traditional measurement methods.
Here are the 5 data sources you should measure if you want to do Web 2.0 performance measurement:
This data is the one that is analyzed by the majority of companies. It can be provided by tools like AwStats , Google Analytics, Omniture , etc. and lets you know the number of visits, the most popular entry pages, the bounce rate, the keywords generating the most visits, etc. If you only analyze these figures, you are currently measuring Web 1.0 performance!
ACHIEVEMENT OF BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
This data makes it possible to measure the conversion of a website according to different business objectives. We are thinking in particular of sales, document downloading, etc. When properly configured, web performance measurement tools can give you information such as cost per conversion based on different sources/keywords, etc. On the other hand, where the problem for many companies is that they do not measure the offline impact of their site (in-store sales, brand image, etc.) and that they only analyze quantitative data without assess the quality. As mentioned earlier, all visits to a site are not necessarily to achieve one of the objectives you have set. To know the intentions of visitors to your site, you must conduct surveys. Thereby,
TESTING AND EXPERIMENTATION
Nobody can claim to be able to guarantee that an image is more convincing than another or that a text is more seller than another. Why not let your client decide rather than your boss? This is the strength of testing and experimentation. By using tools like Google Website Optimizer, it is possible to confirm a hypothesis beyond any doubt rather than trusting your intuition.
THE VOICE OF CONSUMERS
Still few companies use surveys to know the real intentions of their visitors and to obtain qualitative information. However, this harvest could change your ways of doing things and inform you about aspects that quantitative data cannot express. Consider in particular the reason why a visitor failed to complete his task. Is it because he couldn't find the information, he didn't trust your company or he couldn't pay by Paypal? According to Avinash, three key questions are often enough to learn a lot:
1. Why are you on this site today?
2. Did you manage to accomplish what you wanted to do?
3. If not, why?
The web is full of information about your competitors. Taking it for granted that they know it and that they are analyzing your actions is a good way to convince yourself of the urgency of analyzing this information. The new Benchmark feature of Google Analytics or the data offered free of charge by Fireclick allow you to compare yourself for a large number of metrics to your competitors. Many other tools allow you to know the strategies used by your competitors.
By using all of this data rather than just relying on clicks and visits, you'll get more useful insights and can recommend improvements that will bring real benefit…that you can measure!