Before launching or redesigning your company website, you should align it with your business objectives. For example, you own a beauty salon and offer related services at your website. So, you should calculate the amount of appointments and additional sales generated on your site. With a proper site structure it is simple enough — but also there are other actions that need to be taken into consideration. You should also pay attention to white paper downloads, newsletter and RSS subscriptions, and user account signups.
Most of the companies I've been working with, don't have a clear idea what the purpose of their website is. Usually it is comprehended as an additional element of any organization, if there are business cards and an office, there's a budget for a website. But what do you want to do with it?
Business Website Types
There are four main classifications for business websites: e-commerce sites, informational (content) websites, lead generation websites, and self-service websites. Each type serves a different purpose, and you have to clarify it for your business website as well. Below there are goal examples for each type. You can use this information and align it with your business goals and objectives:
1. E-commerce sites.
The primary objective with internet commerce is to build up your sales and lower your marketing expenses. Basic dimensions include sales, product returns, items/sales per visitor, cost per visitor, and visitors conversion rate. Additional metrics include accompanied purchases, trend reporting, customer satisfaction, and RFM (recency, frequency, monetary analysis).
2. Informational websites.
The basic objective here is to improve your visitors' level of interest and the amount of time the user spends on the website. For such website we are measuring average visit length, page views, total/monthly rate of subscriptions and cancelled subscriptions. High quality, engaging, regularly updated content is very important for your internet-presence.
3. Lead-generation websites.
The main goal here is to enhance and segment lead generation (things like newsletters and white papers). Basic metrics contain downloads, CTR and CPC, average time spent on the website, bounce rates on form filling, and leads-to-close ratio. It sounds not very simple, but that's what helps your sales.
4. Self-service websites.
Fundamental objective here is to nurture customer satisfaction and reduce the amount of customer support inquiries. Primary measure is to strive a lower rate of customer calls to a call center, as the main measure of customer satisfaction.
With distinct objectives and a proper analytics reports your life might become easier. Your objectives say directly what you should do with your website and what the focus of your internet marketing campaigns should be.
However, there's no unified way for success measurement. Goals may vary, based on what the purpose of your website is, and what the users' path is when they reach your site. Again, an owner of a beauty salon site would be interested in different user actions than a news portal that wants people to add their updates into RSS feeds. Many adjustments can be made in analytics, so if there’s something you need to follow and measure, you can do it yourself, with the help of analytics program, or hire an internet-marketing team, for systematic reports tailored for your business goals.