A Guide to Using KPIs to Improve Web Content

You can never know whether your marketing campaign succeeded unless you set the right performance indicators. Once the results from carefully poised metrics are in, you come up with a strategy to improve web content.

Here is a smart guide on how you can approach web content through KPI analysis.

More than just tracking leads

Generating leads is one of the main goals of a solid marketing strategy. However, leads are not a key performance indicator (KPI) that should be analyzed on their own. Google Analytics has already made it possible to track leads with ease but you need a more encompassing view of the whole sales process.

Therefore, you should include all types of interaction into the “leads” category. This way, altering and/or updating content can be expanded to various sections of your business. For instance, downloads, blog post visits, received e-mails, interaction with salespeople, etc. are all formally leads.

It’s worth noting that there are websites that are ad-driven, i.e. they are not focused on generating leads and drive e-commerce sales up. This makes tracking leads harder but then again, you are most likely to outsource marketing content, so the data collected doesn’t really matter.

Clarify your business goals

The best analysis of KPI on the planet will be worth diddly-squat unless it’s accompanied by clearly delineated business goals. Of course, this doesn’t mean that goals are (pre)set in stone, as one of the KPI’s main purpose is to ease the process of selecting business goals, such as sales targets.

Even though they are changeable, business goals should be clear and specific as much as possible. This helps ideally optimize indicators, so they yield reliable data.

Among the most used business goals that are fairly easy to measure are market expansions, the aforementioned sales targets, new partnerships, increasing e-commerce revenue, etc.

When it comes to the impact business goals have on web content, marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads should be among top priorities.

Give vanity metrics a wide berth

When listening to politicians on TV, you get the impression that the whole country lives in a utopia. This is because politicians use only the data they find relevant, painting a pretty picture for the people. In the world of marketing, reporting on vanity metrics is the exact same thing.

You should avoid being selective when it comes to the KPIs you use for creating web content. Showing off with irrelevant metrics will work at first but you will soon find out which indicators are double-edges swords.

In most cases, vanity metrics include data about the number of page views, the bounce rate, the average time spent on site, social media shares and likes, etc. The latter figure is especially alluring to use as KPI but as we’ve said, try to give vanity metrics a wide berth.

KPIs that work

We have seen which are the most treacherous KPIs. Their existence makes it that much important to choose the right KPIs for content pieces. This choice is primarily based on the content’s ability to prompt the user to get to the next step in the process (e.g. from a lead to a conversion).

KPIs that work are the ones that can measure the success rate of content pieces designed to motivate users to proceed with the purchase. For example, when a user reads a blog post, one of the KPIs that is relevant is whether users clicked on a download link.

Furthermore, when users receive e-mails (it’s important that it’s more than one e-mail), you should track whether those particular users contacted a sales representative or did they shop online.

Another important type of web content are personalized deals. By measuring the conversion rate of these deals, marketers are able to determine which percentage of shoppers thrives on custom offers.

Generating great web content

We have mentioned earlier that you can outsource content creation but that doesn’t mean that the link with KPIs should be severed. Regardless of who does your content, whether it’s an expert web design agency or you do it yourself, you have to consult key performance indicators first.

After a careful analysis of the impact of visuals, for example, you might realize that your target audience thrives on infographics, while they find videos less appealing. As a consequence, you will make fewer videos, saving thousands of dollars on production costs!

Revenue is the ultimate KPI

The whole reason why marketers have a job in the first place is a business owner’s wish to generate and/or increase revenue. When you think about matters from this perspective, revenue is really the ultimate KPI.

However, revenue is only one, albeit important KPI and you cannot align web contact exclusively to it. On the road to achieving this ultimate business goal, there are smelled KPIs, i.e. micro-conversions. You use these stepping stones of performance indicators to reach the ultimate goal of increasing revenue.

Micro-conversions are an excellent indicator that something is seriously wrong with your business model. Namely, excellent KPI on the micro-level doesn’t necessarily mean that revenue goes up. When this happens, it’s time to revise your short-term business strategy.

KPIs are not universal

You probably realize by now that there is more than one type of KPIs but you don’t have to use them all. Setting different key performance indicators for different campaigns is challenging, especially when you’re still learning but don’t shy away from this tactic.

Primarily, you have a digital marketing campaign and an offline one. Web content, in this aspect, is going to be different from other promos, such as leaflets and TV ads. This means that KPI should be tweaked separately for both campaigns, even though they might be similar goals-wise.

KPIs management

Sometimes, the sheer number of indicators makes it hard to first identify them all, measure them, and finally track them efficiently. Various worksheets such as Excel spreadsheets can help a lot with keeping track of KPIs during and after a marketing campaign.

These sheets help track work at various levels, from the overall KPIs (e.g. the aforementioned revenue), across, campaign-level short-term key indicators, all the way to content-level indicators that are relevant the most for web content creation.

Attribution is crucial

Since numerous analytics solutions work with a specific type of attribution (last-click attribution is just one example), inaccurate metrics are a common problem.

This can disrupt the sales cycle in various manners, from prospect clicks on a PPC, prospect downloadables, and prospect clicks a link in the downloadable content.

When your analytics program uses last-click attribution, one sale link is attributed to the campaign link and zero are sales attributed to the (PPC) ad campaign. In this case, attribution is self-exclusive.

What are “interactions per visit?”

As mentioned earlier, the ultimate goal of a marketing strategy is to increase revenue. This is done through leads that (hopefully) turn into conversions. However, even when a conversion doesn’t occur, there are still KPIs to track.

Namely, the “interactions per visit” indicator tells you which pages have the highest potential to become lucrative, sort to say. By observing how long visitors stay at a particular page and what they do on it, you can improve its web content just enough to get more conversions.

Load time is a KPI

When it comes to the technical aspects of your website, page load time is a crucial KPI. The sapped at which pages open on your website have a huge impact on overall revenue. For most businesses, load times on their web platforms are short but you should still track this indicator.

For example, if you change the graphic designer, webmaster, or developer, the loading time can latently increase. Since you (and the users) are used to short load times, you might not notice the defect at first. However, one look at this KPI in the abovementioned spreadsheet and you’ll diagnose the issue.

Dwell time speaks about the quality of web content

Even if the page opens fast, this is not the guarantee that readers will digest the content that pops up before them. Namely, dwell time is a KPI that tells you volumes about the quality of content found on your website.

Once you know how many people are taking the time to read the web content you have prepared for them, you will know if things need changing. When dwell times drop, then you have quality or topicality issues with videos, blogs, and other materials you have uploaded.

Dealing with the bounce rate

The final KPI that is connected with tweaking web content is the bounce rate. Essentially, the bounce rate can be controlled using great SEO and compelling content. When marketers analyze the bounce rate, they always do so in comparison with the average time on a page, i.e. dwell time.

It’s not all the same when users open a page and leave right away or if they stay for a couple of minutes. These are basically two types of feedback. In the first case, the user might have simply clicked the wrong link, while the second scenario indicates that the web content isn’t good enough.

We hope that you now better understand the correlation between web content and KPIs. Carefully tracking KPIs will help you make web content more user-friendly.

 

Michael Pignataro
co-CEO - Operations at 'corePHP'
Michael spearheads ‘corePHP’s software solutions and service offerings. Focus on sales and marketing for the organization. A huge believer in family and has an amazing wife and 4 beautiful children. Loves camping and hiking.

Michael's philosophy is simple: "If you can dream it, we can do it."
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Michael Pignataro

About Michael Pignataro

Michael spearheads ‘corePHP’s software solutions and service offerings. Focus on sales and marketing for the organization. A huge believer in family and has an amazing wife and 4 beautiful children. Loves camping and hiking. Michael's philosophy is simple: "If you can dream it, we can do it."

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