How Do You Measure Web Site Success?
How do you measure the success of your Web site? As more and more people ask me this question, I have learned that the answer is never the same. Though there are some effective public indicators of your site success, it is evident that unless the goals have been defined in detail, success will remain an epheremous goal to reach. Here are my seven recommended steps you need to take to be able to measure the success of your Web site in a reliable and sound way:
1. Identify Your Audience
Make sure you assess and evaluate well who are the main visitors of your Web site, and learn as much as possible about their demographics, technographics, content preferences and information needs. Utilize log analysis, traffic monitoring and user surveys to get all of this information.
2. Identify Your Stakeholders' Primary Goals
What are your key stakeholders primary goals? What do they want to achieve?
Why have they invested in creating a web presence?
3. Identify The Key Goals And Needs Of Your Audience(s)
What do your readers need to do with your information? What are the tasks they need to carry out when they visit your site?
4. Prioritize / Harmonize Goals Of Stakeholders And Audience(s)
Harmonize the strategic goals of your key stakeholders with those emerging from your audience research and analysis.
5. Determine Success Criteria
Identify which will be the criteria utilized to evaluate the success of your online presence. Number of visitors, time on site, subscribers to your mailing lists, Google Pagerank, link popularity are only a few of the multiple metrics that can be used to evaluate the effective success of an online site. Clearly this is much easier for ecommerce sites selling products, while I am here focussing on sites that provide information without selling anything: non-profit, research and development sites, UN sites, etc.).
6. Select Appropriate Technologies To Monitor And Track Web Success Metrics
Select and adopt appropriate tools, services that support and facilitate the effective gathering,systematic monitoring and tracking of such success metrics.
7. Start Measuring
Implement rules and policies that facilitate the easy distribution/access to this data by relevant staff. Identify all of the people that may benefit from accessing this data and train them on how to make best use of it. review and discuss periodically such metrics and base new editorial, PR, PA and marketing communication strategies on hard data coming your site audience.
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