Perking Up Interest in Web Analytics

Last time, I discussed the gap between overall corporate strategic goals and the goals typically assigned to the Web channel. Most basic Web metrics aren’t as important as establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) tailored to your business. Management must receive and evaluate those reports on a regular basis.

But management is only part of the process. You must also make sure every employee understands your KPIs and knows what she can do to improve them.

Unfortunately, this isn’t easy. Employees get plenty of reports. Many ignore the parts that don’t matter to their jobs. Large software companies, for example, regularly send their employees various product sales reports. But rarely do those employees review them. Report access isn’t enough. Employees need incentives to care about them, too.

What are we talking about?

  • Goal setting. Part of having a successful Web site is working against benchmarks. If you have KPIs, you should also have realistic ways to measure your progress against them. It’s not enough to say, “let’s improve this.” You must define success as well, and work toward it.
  • Communication. There’s no point collecting metrics no one sees. Create a Web metrics dashboard: single-sheet reports that break down the relevant statistics daily, weekly, or monthly, and present them in a meaningful way. Also, hold regular meetings to discuss metrics or include them as a running feature in other meetings.
  • Rewards. What better way to get people to pay attention to statistics than to give them a real incentive to do so? Rewards needn’t be large. In one Web site redesign, my firm tested three different home page designs. To get people interested in the results, we let all the employees predict which page they thought would do best. The person with the most accurate prediction won a $25 Starbucks’ gift card — and bragging rights. It was a small price to pay for having the whole team engaged in the process.

Next, I’ll discuss executive sponsorship and buy-in to align Web team goals with corporate goals. What does it mean to manage up? We’ll find out.

Do you have techniques you’ve used to align your internal team? I’d love to hear about them.

Related reading