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Determining KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

the first article of this series I discussed what key performance indicators (KPIs) are and why it is important to define them. Unfortunately there isn’t a one size fits all model for which KPIs are right for you and your business. The next step is for you to look at your business and website and then compare what’s important to you to the metrics based on the purpose of your site.

First let’s begin with a homework assignment. Take 10-15 minutes and answer the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of your website?

a) Promotional & Service Based Site

b) eCommerce Site

c) Lead Generation Site

d) Support Site

e) Social Networking/Community Site

f) Portal & Content Site

  1. What are the top goals of your website? (Try to list 3-5)
  2. What are the top goals of your company? (Try to list 2-3)

Examples of KPIs

Now let us look at your answers and go over some examples of KPIs based on the purpose of your site. You might find that your site has multiple purposes, don’t worry! It will mean that you will want to evaluate the aspects of your marketing campaign individually based on the goals.

  • ALL websites regardless of type:
    • Site Abandonment Rate
    • Landing Page Abandonment Rate (also referred to Site Stickiness)
    • User Retention Rate (ratio of new to returning users)
    • Unique Users (UU)
    • Time on Site
    • Page Views (pathing of PVs is also very important if you have a purchase or lead generation funnel)
    • Sessions per User; Sessions per UU
    • Lifetime Value of a Customer
  • eCommerce KPIs: You’re selling something tangible
    • Conversions
    • Transactions/Purchases
    • Pay per Call (1-800)
    • Non Revenue Conversions
    • Wish List Creation
    • Event Registry Creation
    • Product Page Views

    Non-Revenue KPIs:

    • % of wish listed items purchased
    • Amount of Time items remain in wish list
    • Active vs Non Active users
    • Conversion Rate
    • Conversion Path Analysis
    • Account Creation
    • # Items In Shopping Cart
    • Shopping Cart Abandonment
    • Total # of Sales
    • Total Revenue (Total # sales * average sale * profit margin = Total Revenue)
    • Average Order Value
    • Revenue per Acquisition
    • Cost per Acquisition
    • ROAS, ROI
    • Customer Lifetime Value

    Lead Generation: You’re enticing the user to contact you for something (information, product, etc)

    • Revenue Generating Conversion Events
    • Request for more information
    • Get Quote requests
    • Pay Per Call (1-800) transactions
    • Form Completions
    • If the form is multipage—Completion per section of form
    • Conversion Rate
    • Cost per Conversion
    • Conversion Path Analysis
    • % of false lead data to good lead data
    • Ratio of Leads to Close
    • Revenue generated from closed leads
    • ROI, ROAS
  • Non-Revenue Generating Conversion Events

    • Contact Us completions
    • New Account Sign Ups
    • News Letter Sign Ups
    • RSS feed subscriptions
    • Twitter Following Subscription
    • Social Networking Site Connection
  • Service or Support: You’re selling a service or supporting a product
    • Conversions
      • Contact Us completions
      • Request for more information
      • Web Chats started
      • Forums accessed
    • Non-Revenue Conversions
      • News Letter Sign Ups
      • New Account Sign Up
      • Podcast subscription
      • RSS feed subscription
      • Twitter Following subscription
      • Social Networking Site connection
    • Searches per Session
    • Searches per UU (or User)
    • Page Views
      • White Papers/Articles Accessed
      • Videos Viewed
    • Case Study Downloads
    • % Of users on site for less than 1 minute
  • Content Based: You’re selling media placements and driving traffic into your site via articles, user generated content, social networking, etc
    • Page Views per Clicks
    • Page Views per User
    • Forums/Comments accessed per User
    • Return Visits per Month
    • CPM Based KPIs
      • Impressions per Site Page
      • Impressions per Section of Site
      • CPM Revenue
      • Delivered to Sold Ad Inventory
      • Remnant/Make Good ad delivery to Rev. Generating ad deliver
    • Non-Revenue Conversions
      • News Letter Sign Ups
      • New Account Sign Up
      • Podcast subscription
      • RSS feed subscription
      • Twitter Following subscription
      • Social Networking Site connection
    • Non-Revenue Conversion follow on KPIs
      • Subscription to Cancellation Ratio
      • Length of Subscription
      • CPA, ROI

Do your goals seem realistic? Did you set goals that are obtainable, that will make you stretch to achieve them, or have you aimed for the stars and are hoping to hire a rockstar that is promising to deliver the stars, the sun and the moon?

Are your website goals in line with your company’s strategic goals? Remember that different divisions within a company can KPIs that ladder up to the corporate strategic goal. If your company is selling a product you might find your goals tied between selling and supporting that product. You will want to have a mix of KPIs for both eCommerce & Service or Support.

So now that you have a general sense of what a KPIs is how do you select which ones are most important to track and monitor? Once you understand what to monitor, how do you prioritize the KPIs in order to ensure your company’s success?

Not all KPIs are created equal and they don’t have to have equal degrees of importance. You can have some basic goals that measure your site usability and engagement which help you understand elements that will contribute to financial goals. Prioritize your KPIs and share that prioritization with whomever is managing your marketing campaigns. Revist your KPIs on a regular basis to make sure that they still make sense and that all aspects of your business are aligned to the correct performance indicators.

Categories: KPIs, SEM
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