Google Analytics is a fantastic tool. With very little effort you can bring a whole smörgåsbord of fascinating visitor statistics to the table. You can quickly discover that your bounce rate has fallen, time on site has increased, or there’s an increasing number of visitors from Germany.
With most analytics tools, all this data is just a click away. There’s a difficult-to-resist urge to track it. To check every analytics report with child-like anticipation! The availability of web metrics shouldn’t make you any less careful about choosing those web metrics.
Careful consideration and planning
Analysing visitor and usage data can give you valuable insights. There is a freedom to roam the data that allows you to sniff out interesting patterns. Setting and tracking metrics on the other hand requires some careful consideration and planning.
- What am I measuring?
- Why am I measuring it?
- Where am I measuring it?
- What’s the current value?
- What’s the target value?
- What are we doing to reach the target?
It’s far too easy to cut corners and turn a blind eye to those questions. If you do, then you’re are measuring for the sake of measuring – focusing on the figures themselves instead of the underlying goal.
Design your metrics
I’ve taken those questions and made them into a template to help you decide and design your web and digital metrics. Ideal for a small business owner or website manager.
If you aren’t the one setting the metrics, you can still use this template to keep track of what and why you are measuring.
In larger organisations you could use this template “in the background” to help you extract suitable answers from a product owner or manager or someone else who will own the metric on the business side.
All the templates I’ve created and published are available here.
- A Mini Primer on Choosing the Right Metrics for Your Website
- Best Web Metrics / KPIs for a Small, Medium or Large Sized Business
— James Royal-Lawson (@beantin) June 7, 2013