3 Key Performance Indicators for Your Website

After two decades of watching clients develop amazingly sophisticated website metrics, we’ve learned there are two rules for designing website key performance indicators:

  1.  Keep them clear.
  2. Don’t have more than three on the C-Level Dashboard.

We love Big Data.  Nothing else in history has given us the ability to make such informed decisions. Yet an unstructured data funnel leaves client teams with information overload.  In order to handle the overwhelming amount of data, the data shuffling department staff numbers grow.  Information that drives decisions becomes bogged down, secondary to data acquisition, analysis and report generation.  You’re back to missed deadlines and sloppy information management.

What works for most of our clients, especially those without impressive content analytics teams?* 


  1. Brand Interest
  • Visitor comes to website and performs one of these four actions:

i.      Stays on your site six minutes or more;

ii.      Downloads something;

iii.      Forwards something;

iv.      Comes back to the site a second time within the same day;

  1. Lead Conversion
  • Visitor gives you something in return for the visit, e.g., email address.
  1. Transaction Conversion
  • Visitor gives you money or talks with someone from your organization.

Those of us who value metrics and want to make them more sophisticated than this have methodology boondoggles because we face two issues we just didn’t anticipate:

  1. Today’s higher turnover among both (client and agency)teams; and
  2. What I call “approximate math.”

Both create new sets of problems and, unless we have the ability to monitor the methodology used as well as the self-discipline followed, we have too many data gaps.  If we’re Qiagen (I like them a lot), we can be picky and bring out the fun stuff.  If we’re not, we may need to focus on keeping our business-driving data more focused, accurate, consistent and meaningful.

*We summarize content analytics as a combination of business intelligence and business analytics. Content analytics helps us find critical customer insight from digital content, such as discussion boards, document libraries, page-visit trends, distinct urls, and other digital content.

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