TL;DR [too long; didn't read] 🤯
- Success can mean different things to different people, but KPIs are the ones to focus upon.
- You can’t measure what you don’t track, so take note of your important web metrics
- Tracking KPIs is a great way to blow your own trumpet
A new web project is on the horizon; you’ve defined the objectives, who will be involved and ultimately how the end result will benefit the user. But have you defined what success will look like once it has been implemented?
- Do you want more or fewer phone calls?
- Do you want to encourage actions to be carried out online, replacing offline?
- Do you want to increase web traffic to certain areas of your website?
Knowing what you want to achieve from the outset will help guide your project's direction and ensure that the goal is never overlooked for gimmicks or trend-led features. That is where key performance indicators come in.
Why the KPI?
Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are quantitative measures of performance and progress tracked against a business objective. It is essential to set KPIs for several reasons, the most important being that you can’t measure what you don’t track.
A new website, app or digital service requires an investment of time and money, and with most investments, you want to know if it had a good return. It’s great if your digital project launches on time, but you need to see if it’s performing as it was intended. And ultimately, has the cost of the project been justified?
How can you confirm you met your key objective, for example, reducing phone calls and increasing online requests, if you’re not monitoring this activity all the time? Without this data, it’s impossible to gauge if you’ve met your success criteria.
Tracking KPIs puts a number on your success and recognises the impact of the work carried out. It could even become the baseline for an award submission, so don’t miss the opportunity to blow your own trumpet! Get tracking your KPIs because, at the end of the day, who doesn’t love a good statistic?
Track the success of your new web project
We’ve made it clear that you can’t measure what you don’t track, so what should you monitor to define success? Your KPIs depend on your business goals and objectives; you don’t need to track everything just because the internet tells you.
If your goal was digital transformation, you’ll likely focus on reducing offline activity, requests or processes, for example, phone calls, and look to increase online requests such as form submissions.
Reflect on your success criteria, and you’ll easily define your key performance indicators. We’ve compiled a list of example web metrics you might want to track, depending on your goals.
Note: To prove the success of the finished project, you’ll need to take note of your “before” statistics to create a baseline to reflect on the “after”. You can then use the comparison to improve your web project post-go-live iteratively.
Examples of key performance indicators to track
- Total web traffic
- Time on site
- Page load speed (accessibility & engagement)
- Conversion rate
- Offline requests vs online requests (digital transformation)
Total web traffic - organic and paid 🚦
We all know that the more visitors to your website, the better. Fundamentally, that is the purpose of your website.
Therefore, tracking the percentage increase in visitors is a good gauge that you have improved on your previous website.
Time on site ⏳
This metric indicates that the information and content displayed are relevant to the audience and entice them to stick around on your site.
If your previous website struggled to keep users engaged for a long time, restructuring your information architecture or providing better quality content should help up the time spent on the site, for example.
Page load speed (accessibility & SEO) - lighthouse score 🚀
Page load speed is one of the most important metrics for user experience (UX). The longer it takes for a page to load, the less likely a user will stick around.
Take your previous load speeds as a benchmark and compare them with the new site. Tools like Google lighthouse measure page quality and provide recommendations for improving user experience.
Conversion rate 🎯
Conversion rate tracking tracks any action a web user takes that is meaningful for your business. A conversion can be a sale made online, but essentially it’s just tracking an action made on your website, which could also be a phone call, a contact form submission, a newsletter sign-up, or booking a service.
Conversion rate essentially measures how easy it has been to carry out an action on your website. The better your web experience, the more conversions you’ll likely see.
Digital transformation - offline vs online requests 📲
Whilst this metric is covered by conversions, if your goal was digital transformation, tracking the offline to online request metric will prove how successful the digital transformation was.
For example, Contensis users Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire police had an 80% reduction in non-emergency telephone calls at the implementation of their new award-winning website.
By creating a web service that was fit for purpose and made reporting non-urgent crimes easy, the constabulary freed up the force’s contact centres to deal with time-critical emergency calls.
Digital transformation - offline process vs online process 📚
Similar to the point made above, if your goal is digital transformation, the proof that your project was successful is the implementation of new digital strategies.
For example, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) replaced 16 print publications with a new digital service powered by Contensis.
The old process required updating and reprinting 16 PDF print publications, with over 200 pages, every two years. In contrast, the new approach has replaced inaccessible PDFs with an accessible CMS and created greater efficiency reusable content that can be updated whenever required across the web-based resource.
Finally, whilst it might not be a usual key performance indicator, a goal or business objective may be to save money by implementing a new digital system.
Therefore, knowing how much you spent previously compared with the savings made with a new website can track whether you met your organisation's goal.
For example, by replacing multiple printed brochures with a fit-for-purpose content management system, the team at OMAFRA were able to cut $1.6million in production costs every two years.
- Set your KPIs at the outset to lead the vision of the project
- Check your KPIs align with your top-level objectives and company goals
- Check if the product owner has set the direction
- Take measurements of your previous website, intranet or service as a benchmark for your next web project