Build a Solid Foundation With Key Performance Indicators, Part 1: Lead-Generation Sites

  |  July 20, 2004   |  Comments

Key performance indicators: How to establish, define, and use them to improve performance on the four major types of commercial Web sites. Part one of a series.

Just as a blueprint establishes the form and proportions of a house, a Web site's key performance indicators (KPIs), or success metrics, help establish a common foundation for all team members involved in building, analyzing, and improving your site.

Your Web site's success depends on this foundation's quality. That's why we recommend investing time and money up front to define the KPIs that tie to your overall business and site goals. The KPIs you select help determine the type of analytics data you need to collect and how you can use this valuable data to improve site performance.

Establish KPIs

No matter what type of site you have, you can apply this four-step methodology to maximize the value of the analytics data you gather:

  1. Define key site goals and metrics.

  2. Configure the tracking tool.

  3. Analyze the data.

  4. Optimize the site based on the findings.

This ongoing process is most effective when periodically repeated to continually fine-tune a site. The overall process fails if key site goals and KPIs aren't established early on and a method to measure the metrics tied to these KPIs isn't related to information your team can act on to improve your site.

How Do You Use Your Site?

There are different sets of important metrics, or KPIs, for different business types. These metrics are just a starting point for those who feel they haven't been looking at meaningful data in the past.

Over the coming weeks, I'll focus on each of the four commercial site types:

  • Lead-generation site

  • Commerce

  • Customer service/care

  • Content

Many Web sites typically don't fall into just one category. Most include two or three different elements. When you define key site goals, divide the site into these different groups so the goals can more easily be defined. This holds especially true when you're analyzing a large site.

Lead-Generation Sites

Lead generation is often considered the most common of the four site types. A good example of a lead-generation site is a high-end real estate site. It offers a product customers typically don't buy directly online. The client needs to entice a visitor to contact the company and arrange for a face-to-face visit to close the sale.

It's important for this company to track online leads and understand how those leads ultimately convert to offline sales. The average lead value can be defined based on the average close rate and the value of the properties purchased.

Understanding the value of these leads drives the need to better understand site behavior and identify ways to optimize the conversion.

Lead-Generation KPIs

The key to a lead-generation site or site section is to capture information about a visitor to use in future communications. Different types of lead generation include:

  • Request more information forms or email

  • Apply online

  • Sign up for a newsletter

  • Register to download product or information

  • Get referral to partner site

For each of the following lead-generation KPIs, there are a number of important metrics to track to understand the behaviors that improve each metric. Some of the most common KPIs include:

  • Overall conversion. This is a basic calculation: leads divided by site visits. This is a primary metric to watch as changes are made to the site.

  • Conversion by campaigns. How do visitors from different campaigns or visitor segments convert to leads? Understanding the differences can allow for tuning messages based on different audience segments.

  • Drivers to registration process. Look at what content leads visitors to the registration process and ultimately drives them to register and become customers.

  • Step-by-step conversion analysis via the registration process. For longer registration processes, it's important to understand where visitors are dropping out of the process, then focus on correcting steps that drive the most defectors.

  • Analysis of registration process dropouts. When people drop out of the registration process, understanding where they went next is often helpful. Understanding what other information people are looking for can be helpful in optimizing the registration process.

  • Conversion of leads to actual customers. Besides just knowing what types of lead-generation options drive the most visitors to register on your site, it's also important to understand if and how those visitors ultimately convert into customers.

Lead-generation sites are often undervalued. In many cases, they drive significantly more revenue than full commerce sites. Recognizing this is the first step toward maximizing the return on investment (ROI) of your online investment with the help of Web analytics.

Next: Looking at the KPIs for commerce sites.

Join us at ClickZ's upcoming AdForum and at Search Engine Strategies.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Burby

As president of the Americas regions for the digital agency POSSIBLE, Jason is responsible for leading the long-term stability and growth of the region. Jason has 20-plus years experience in digital strategy. He is a long-time advocate of using data to inform digital strategies to help clients attract, convert, and retain customers. Jason supports our clients and employees in driving new engagements and delivering great work that works.

Jason speaks frequently about helping marketers take advantage of data to make smarter business decisions and improve the success of their organizations. He is the co-author of Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions.

Follow him on Twitter @JasonBurby.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Analytics newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...