The role of developing and maintaining an online presence is becoming much bigger and therefore occupies the checklist of every business practitioner. All marketing managers understand that performance monitoring is essential to make the most out of your websites. To do so,
- You establish a dedicated team of analytics.
- You employ some of the best analytics tools.
- You get a dashboard of numbers, charts and so on.
- You believe that your website is perfectly monitored.
- You feel that your digital strategy is well formulated.
But the truth is that you still find it difficult to attract more leads and fail to convert them.
According to Econsultancy (2016), only about 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. Similarly, 63% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. (HubSpot, 2017).
Because an optimized performance monitoring strategy is not simply about acquiring and making hasty conclusions from a set of numbers and charts. It's time to sit back and look at the big picture of your performance monitoring activities.
With 4 reasons, this article will clarify why your current strategy does not work, as well as how to get your performance monitoring on the right track.
Reason 1. You do not define your goals and KPI
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
– Tony Robbins.
Setting goal is essential for every activity of your business. Therefore, your performance monitoring strategy never works without having clearly defined goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Defining goals and KPI for your website is the first step in your performance monitoring strategy. It gives you a clear direction on how to evaluate all your digital assets and come up with solutions to any problems.
However, setting goals can mean a lot. You can't simply want to have a nice website or want to perform “better. You need to set SMART goals. SMART means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
- Specific: What will be the result?
- Measurable: How will the result be measured?
- Attainable: Is that attainable? Is that challenging?
- Relevant: Is that relevant to your business?
- Time-based: When do you want to achieve the objectives?
For example: Increase the number of monthly qualified leads by 15% by the end of the third quarter.
Only a SMART goal can give you a direction on how to leverage your performance monitoring activities.
Reason 2. You set the same goals for different platforms
It's good that you have defined your SMART goals. But in the case of performance monitoring, “one size doesn’t fit all. For this type of website, you expect your contents to be exposed to as many people as possible. For another website, a huge traffic is enough, but further actions such as social sharing or purchasing are awaited.
It means that you have to set different goals for different platforms, which will lead to different KPIs for your monitoring strategy. Here are some examples:
- Branding website: increase brand awareness, generate more qualified leads
- E-commerce website: increase conversion rate and generate more sale
- CRM website: increase new member registration, improve customer service, etc.
Reason 3. You try to make bounce rate low across all sites
Bounce rate is an important KPI for performance tracking, which is the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your website after viewing only one page. The bounce rate of an average website is around 40.5%. It seems a really bad thing that nearly a half of your users leave your website without even navigating to another page. Therefore, most of us do not like a high bounce rate, because we always expect our users to read more of the awesome contents that we have been carefully prepared.
However, a high bounce rate may also be indicative of strong performing contents. It is because some users come to the website just to get a specific information. If the information has perfectly serviced their needs, they have no reason to navigate to another page. For instance, if a user is trying to find the address for a local branch, a high bounce rate may be a measurement of success.
In short, whether your bounce rate should be high or low depends on what goals you are setting for your website.
Reason 4. You misinterpret high time on page as strong performing contents
Similar to bounce rate, time on page is also misinterpreted frequently. There are two reasons you should not interpret high time on page as strong performing contents:
First, as discussed in reason 2, different websites have different goals and therefore, KPIs should be interpreted differently. For example, we should expect a website with blog posts to have high time on page; meanwhile, high time on page of an e-commerce website is bad because we expect the users to navigate quickly and make purchases.
Different types of websites have different KPIs, so as different pages within a website. For example, in an e-commerce website, we don't expect the users to have high time on page on the homepage because it's not good to see your customers just scroll up and down and can't make further decisions. However, high time on product pages may be a positive signal because the users want to read more information about the product, meaning that they are interested in the product.
Mobile behavior is different from desktop. For mobile, the information access needs to be simplified because of small screens. Therefore, time on site on a mobile website would be lower than the desktop version, indicating high performing contents.
If your performance monitoring strategy does not work, it may not because you don't have a good team or advanced tools, but you may be wrongly interpreting your valuable data. To truly leverage the power of performance monitoring, you need to understand the role of digital assets in your business, then define your SMART goals and suitable KPIs, and finally adjust your digital contents based on your analysis of your customer's behavior. That is the road to success for your data-driven marketing strategy.
At ITC, we help businesses leverage their data and optimize their performance - Contact us now.