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Planning: Meeting key performance indicators

June 4, 2016

Planning your measures of success

For each new piece of development it’s essential that you plan how you will measure success by setting realistic and achievable targets. These should be communicated clearly to your agency so they can advise the best digital strategy to get results.

We have outlined below typical key performance indicators (KPI’s) that regularly crop up during the planning (and ongoing evaluation stages) with our clients. These are broad suggestions and we are not attempting to second guess your own KPI’s. Some of these are tangible (audience numbers) whilst others are less so (time saving) but it’s important to list every aspect however it is measured.

Time savings in the management of the website

  • Simple but powerful CMS – no technical skills needed
  • We would look for ways to automate tasks
  • Allow members/partners/supporters to manage their own profiles and submit content (if appropriate)

Cost saving

  • Less administrative cost
  • Reduce print and postage costs by doing things online
  • Resource distribution (including online sales if appropriate)
  • Ecommerce channels (sales and donations)

Increase in audience

  • Attract more visitors
  • Increase engagement
  • Turn casual visitors in to supporters
  • Turn supporters into contributors and advocates
  • Increase influence
  • Raise awareness (in all channels)
  • Stimulate debate
  • Contribute to debate
  • Influence policy
  • Raise your profile

Measuring results

A website is never “finished”. To be successful it must respond to changing circumstances.

This means it is essential that KPI is measured, and that the website and CMS are flexible and responsive enough to change whenever change is required. This is why the choice of CMS is important. Good code and practices should encourage good SEO and high visibility of the redeveloped site.

We would measure the site through these specific tools.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free service which provides statistics in superb detail. By default, Google provides the following data in numerous formats, including tabular data, bar-charts and more.

  • Unique visitors
  • New visitors
  • Average time spent on site (and on any page)
  • Popularity of pages and documents
  • Popularity of paths through the site
  • Sites visited before arriving on your site
  • Site visited after leaving your site
  • Number of pages visited
  • Location of user
  • Browser used
  • And much more

In addition, Analytics allows you to create custom statistics, measuring against criteria you can define. So if you wish to know details of a particular set of pages, or perform a like-for-like comparison of the performance of content, you can do so.

Google provides live statistics, so you can see activity as it is happening (note that it usually takes Analytics a couple of days before the first statistics are measured).

Analytics can be configured to automatically create and send to you a PDF document of your statistics. This can be sent daily, weekly, monthly, or by any other criteria you wish for as long as the site is live at no additional cost.

Benchmarking

Treeline offers an additional service to clients. We benchmark all our sites during the first three months of launch to analyse performance in key areas including:

  • Traffic to the site
  • How well the site is being marketed
  • Social media impact (how well the site is being shared socially)
  • Technical issues (code issues that need to be optimised)
  • Content review
  • Accessibility compliance
  • How well the site and content is optimised for search engines
  • Identifies broken links

The combination of analytics and benchmarking means you can access detailed statistics about the performance of every part of your website and online marketing communications.

Analytics is free and can be plugged in to any CMS. However, benchmarking is free for the first three months then provided to clients who take advantage of a service level agreement or wish to commission paid reports on an ad-hoc basis.

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