One of the primary goals of every online entrepreneur is to develop a website that satisfies their vision in terms of appearance, functionality, and content. If your dream website has been up and running for a considerable period, the next logical step is to measure its effectiveness and growth.
So how do you go about that?
Arguably, there are other ways to measure the growth of a website, but the most effective method remains to be KPIs.
What is a KPI?
KPI stands for “key performance indicator”. It is actually a general term that refers to certain measurements put in place to evaluate the performance of any business. In the internet world,
KPIs are types of metrics that measure the effectiveness of your online business. In other words, the purpose of these metrics is to reveal whether your website is gaining the traction that you desire in a given time frame.
KPIs will tell you the RIGHT and WRONG things you’re doing (or not doing) in running your website to attain certain business goals. You can use KPI data to make necessary adjustments and improvements to your website to ensure you’re not wasting time and resources.
How do you determine the best KPIs for your website? Here are some basic steps:
1: Identify which business type and industry your online business is in.
This is because NOT all performance metrics are equally important. Some of which will have greater impact and relevance to the successful growth of your online business.
If you own an e-commerce site and are selling specific products; some of metrics that may be relevant to you, but not necessarily relevant to a travel or lifestyle blog include:
2. Choose to focus on KPIs that are aligned with your online business objectives.
The reality is each business has specific goals and targets. Thus, the corresponding website must serve a certain purpose. Your performance indicators must give you a clear picture if your business goals are being met in a timely manner.
If your immediate concern is to make sure that the marketing system on your website is effective, then you may want to track progress and performance of marketing-related KPIs. Examples of these metric indicators include:
Similarly, if you want to focus on generating content that your target end users find valuable, you would need to look at KPIs like:
If you are new to the KPI game and classify your online business as small or medium, you may want to start off with 5 to 10 key metrics to focus on. Too many metrics will just overwhelm you especially if you’re still starting to learn to value and how to utilize them effectively.
Larger businesses have the budget to assign a person or a team that will focus on measuring KPIs and will make the necessary improvements. But this may be something you may be interested in doing down the road.
3. Select KPIs that are measurable.
This means that a KPI must correspond to a numerical value. Why? Numbers are quantifiable, they give you clear and straightforward results.
At the same time, break down your business goals to align with measurable KPs. Avoid a business goal that sounds vague and hard to quantify such as “widespread brand recognition”. This can be interpreted and measured in so many ways.
4. Opt for KPIs that are easily obtained and reported easily.
Do not make things difficult for you by trying to find performance data that are not readily available. The pursuit of the best KPIs involves a lot of common sense and a huge dose of practicality.
Fortunately, there are many available tools and systems on the internet that offer KPI reporting. Free KPI online tools cover the basic metrics, and one of the most popular ones (if not, the most popular) is Google Analytics.
However, it’s important to note that Google Analytics is not necessarily the best KPI tracking platform for your online business. This is because KPIs are not created equal, and the indicators offered by this platform may not be sufficient or suitable to your needs.
You may find it more useful for your business to invest in a more powerful and flexible KPI dashboard system that allows you to select or even create your own set of advanced KPIs, specific to your online business targets.
Some online systems give their clients customizable dashboard templates. This means that you can build a unique dashboard that shows only the KPIs, which really matters and are able to drive positive business results.
5. Pick a KPI tracking tool that provides reliable and accurate data.
Your chosen KPI tool or dashboard software must be able to provide valid information in a consistent manner. The ideal KPI dashboard can provide accurate data in real time as well as for a specific timeframe.
Use a KPI tracking tool that’s created by a reputable provider that guarantees security and regular update. As mentioned, Google Analytics is one of the more reliable yet free ones.
If you’re willing to spend some money, then you should take more time and do more extensive research before settling on a KPI tracking tool or dashboard software.
Aside from providing accurate data, find a KPI software that’s relatively easy to set up and use. It should have qualities that make it stand out from the other products out there.
Some of the paid KPI tool and dashboard software options include (in no particular order):
Most of these paid services offer a free trial to prospective clients.
6. Choose KPIs that are actionable.
KPIs must give you insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your websites.
With regards to the weaknesses, KPIs must clearly indicate areas that you can improve in. It must be possible to break these areas of improvements into steps that will lead to impactful changes.
If you, a website administrator or content provider has absolutely no power in improving a KPI, then it is absolutely useless to track in the first place.
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