Measuring non-transactional websites
Welcome to Depesh Mandalia’s Weblog. So first thoughts? Well 2008 has been an interesting start. First challenge. Measuring non-financial KPIs. Many companies and individuals I’ve met have expressed a view on non-transactional websites and the difficulty in measuring success. A transactional website is traditionally primed at focusing on look-to-book conversion ratios and revenue streams. There are always measures available for data collection but how else do you measure success?
So there are tools out there, such as Webtrends Marketing Labs 2 allowing you to unleash enterprise level data collection around your customer, all available for analysis. However, there is a far cheaper and pain-free way in which to achieve a measure of current success, allowing you to analyse direct feedback from your customers, the most important people out there in the online cosmos.
An online site survey. So what’s the big deal? Instigate the most appropriate questions pertaining to your business and you’ll uncover some interesting home truths. Think that the design of your site is great? Have you really spent enough time on the Information Architecture? There are no better direct responses en-mass than a site survey. Set up a selection of questions based on what you want to learn about your site, your customers, their views, their preferences and you’ll open a Pandora’s box of feedback. Please your customer and you’ll please your boss!
But how do we measure the success of non-transactional websites?
Benchmark, analyse, improve, measure. By using a survey to benchmark results of your non-transactional KPIs, you can plan a programme of continual improvement to ensure a) you improve the customer experience and b) you continually engage the success of your website.
Measuring the success is simple. Deciding what to ask is not so easy. Using an expert such as Neil Mason (search for him online) , vastly experienced in data collection and analysis is a viable option! However if you wish to do things yourself, pick up a free or cheap survey tool, attach it to your homepage and take a look around the web to see what others are asking to guide you down the path of discovery. Each business is different so there’s not much value in explaining our particular approach.
So how do we measure the success of non-transactional websites?
The measure of success is based on analysing the monthly results to gauge the rise or fall of your ratings. How well your visitors have rated your website experience. This does rely on the following however:
- Give the visitor the option to opt-out. If they opt-out don’t ask them again.
- If the visitor opts-in and completes the form, don’t ask them again
Setting a cookie threshold of 6-12 months allows you to ensure that each month you obtain a fresh batch of results to ensure an unbiased view of your website. This has the drawback of effectively continuously changing the goalposts, however this also ensures that your website improvements are effective enough to keep the majority happy. Use the 80/20 rule. Or 90/10. You decide.
There is far more to it of course than this but this should be enough to give food for thought for those that are interested. Watch this space for more on this in the coming months.