The first post we launched with BORYL, “What is Web Analytics?”, told us that web analytics is a process made of 4 steps: Data Measurement, Collection, Analysis and Interpretation. Only, this post only gave a few insight about each step. This blog post, will focus on the first step of the analytics process: Data Measurement.
The Data Measurement consists in the initial work of the process, that precedes the data collection. It mainly consists in defining the goals we want to reach regarding the website objective, and the building of the KPIs that will confirms if the goals are being achieved. Once we’ve set up the goals and created the KPIs, we will be able to collect the needed data.
1- Defining your goals
Before doing anything, the most important thing you have to understand, is why does your website exist.
What is the purpose of your website? What do you want your users to do on your website? Do you want them to purchase a product? Do you want them to see a specific content?
Once you know what you website objective is, you can set goals that will help you improve your main objective. As an example, if your objective is: Make people buy my product, a good goal could be: Reduce the number of users that fill in the form on my landing page but do not reach the second step of my acquisition funnel.
As says Jim Sterne:
“Your focus should always be on either increasing revenue, lowering costs, or improving customer satisfaction. Doing all three would be just fine.”
As soon as you know what your goals are, you can start listing the events that have an impact on your objective, and build the KPIs that will measure your goal achievement.
2- Building your KPIs
KPIs are quantitative metrics that will measure you goal achievement. KPIs must have a meaning directly linked to your goal. Your KPI should definitely makes you understanding that things are doing good or bad. It cannot let you indifferent. KPIs must be relevant.
A good set of KPI’s for our goal would be: ratio of people successfully going from step 1 to step 2, ratio of people leaving the step 1 to any other page, step 1 bounce rate.
These KPIs will be directly impacted by the optimization we can be doing on the website, and they will let us know if those optimization were worth it or not.
Before starting to collect every data possible, it is mandatory to execute these 2 first steps correctly. Making sure to know what is your website objective is a must before starting to analyse anything. Setting the goals that can help you improve your website’s objectives will help you focus on different lever and facilitate your objective improvement. Finally, the use of KPIs is mandatory if you want to have a follow up of your goal achievement. KPIs must be relevant to your goal, and easy to understand. Once you’ve done all this preparatory work, you can start working on the data collection.