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Have Your Key Performance Indicators Changed?
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
As the online world matures and you continue to measure your online success, have you looked at your key performance indicators to see if there are any changes in how you measure your online success?

We are assuming that you understand that KPIs are:
  • a metric that an organization measures to help determine its progress towards a goal;
  • a reflection of the tactical performance of an organization;
  • and, is used to substantiate an organization’s objectives.
We know that in the world of search engine marketing, there are numerous metrics that can be measured. The trick is to determine which ones are the correct ones for your online campaign. So which ones are you tracking? There are a number of metrics that can act as key performance indicators to help you measure your online success:
  1. Percent Returning Visitors: percentage of retained visitors returning to your site
  2. Cancellations: the likelihood your subscriber cancels their subscription through an unsubscribe form
  3. Average subscription length - how long are users subscribing to your news letters or subscription based content?
  4. Active subscriber base (based on different time weekly, monthly, etc depending on model)
  5. Visits per month (or quarter or week).
  6. RSS Syndication - how many people are subscribing to your feeds?
  7. Blog Stats: (ie. Technorati, Digg etc)
  8. Conversion Rate: the likelihood of successfully driving a visitor to purchase. You will need to track online purchase vs. offline as a result of visiting the site. The percentage of visitors that download white papers, sign up for mailings, subscribe to a newsletter, etc.
  9. Cost Per Visitor: the cost of each site visitor to your business.
  10. Average Order Value/Size: changes in the overall audience makeup and the affect on the online revenue patterns
  11. Percent New Visitors: the number of potential new customers landing on your site each month. Are these visitors qualified? What stage of the buying funnel are they in?
  12. Ratio of New to Returning Visitors: the ratio of new to previously acquired visitors as well as a measure of customer loyalty and repeat online business.
  13. Page "Stickiness": the likelihood of successfully retaining a visitor who arrives at a key landing page
  14. Customer Life Time Value: the likelihood that satisfied customers will tell their friends resulting in an increase in online/offline sales. This is more intangible and may be difficult to track.
  15. Add/View: as well as cart abandonment
  16. Effect on Offline Sales - how many offline sales were a result of an online engagement?
  17. Unique toll-free numbers called
  18. Store locator views - how many times did users visit your online store?
  19. Order printout
  20. Conversion Path Analysis: How are users converting on the site?
  21. New Account Signups: how much time and money are these new account signups spending on your site?
  22. Contact Us Form Completions: for products or services that are purchased offline and have an extended sales timeline, Contact Us Forms should be treated as a conversion
  23. “Get a Quote” Requests: this can also be a conversion
  24. 1-800 Tracking: the number of calls to the (preferably unique) toll-free number listed on your site
  25. Ratio of Leads to Close: the likelihood a lead will complete the transaction – this is an offline ratio
  26. Length of Visit: the amount of time a visitor spends on your site in a given visit
  27. Percent of Visits by Entry Page: measures the efficacy of your marketing messages at driving visitors to the site
  28. Conversion by Campaigns
  29. Ad Clicks: measures how successful your PPC campaign is; however, try to remember that CTR is not as important as Conversions/Click – I would rather have a 2%CTR and a 100% conversion rate because this indicates that my online marketing message is bang on; meaning I am driving both my sponsored and organic traffic to conversions
  30. Site Abandonment
  31. Information Conversion Rates: In this case a "conversion" would be something like the likelihood that a user will successfully locate the information needed
  32. Percent of Visits under 90 Seconds: you want to make the site efficient, but not difficult to use. Measure the percent of your audience that is unlikely to have found the information they sought
  33. Percent Returning Visitors: percentage of retained visitors returning to your site
  34. Top Internal Search Phrases: not a KPI in the "traditional" sense, but very important to identifying new trends in support needs. Tracking which phrases users type into your internal search will help indicate what type of information they are seeking.
  35. Videos/Podcasts Accessed: including technical support videos or podcasts
  36. Bounce Rate: Exits from the first page that the user arrives at when they land on your site. A lower bounce rate is better.
  37. Customer Satisfaction/Engagement Metrics: determine if the site is successfully handling problems and engaging the user in a successful site experience.
  38. Ad Clicks
  39. Exit Surveys - how many times has your "Thank You" page been served up?
  40. Forum Logins - how many times have users logged into their accounts?
Online success is not simply being #1 in Google or Yahoo for a key phrase. Online success involves engaging your audience and ensuring that they have a successful experience with your Web Properties so that ultimately they purchase your product or service. Identifying the proper key performance indicators can help ensure that you are accurately measuring what is important to your organization's bottom line.

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posted by Jody @ Tuesday, July 08, 2008  
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Name: Jody
Home: Kelowna, BC, Canada
About Me: SEO guy by day, family man 24/7.
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