The number of visitors is a vague metric when it comes to understanding if your site visitors are qualified or not. Since not all visitors are created equal, how do we determine if your site is getting a qualified traffic to your website? In this post, I’ll talk about how we could be measuring qualified visitors for none transactional website. (None transactional website = not an e-commerce website)
The answer will be determined by what you consider as success within your web site’s goal. In this entry, I would like to look into this by approaching the non-transactional site. Note that unlike transactional site, a lot of the focus to depict qualified visitors for non-transactional sites would be to focus on the process rather than the actual metrics applied.
None Transactional Site
In non-transactional sites, it is not that easy when you are trying to depict the qualified visitors. Since in non-transactional sites, visitors aren’t required to complete any transaction, therefore, analyst won’t be able to assign a dollar amount to metrics to determine if the visitors were qualified or not.
A high-level breakdown of a point of interests to determine types of qualified visitors in non-transactional websites would be listed below.
1. Definition of success in the non-transactional site.
Defining what type of visitor activity would mean a success for your online business is a question all website owners should ask regardless of the type of website you run. From non-transactional site’s point of view, it could mean anything apart from visitors completing the sales. Non-transactional sites’ conversion or definition of success would be to have visitors read certain contents, download files, register for news or updates, e-mail a friend about a certain article from a web page, visitors filling out a contact form, etc. Once this critical step of defining the success and goals for your website, an analyst would have a better direction of applying the crucial KPI’s to answer if your site is receiving qualified visitors.
2. Define KPI’s and connect each metrics to your web site’s goal.
Since we know that non-transactional sites can come in different forms of site objectives, it is very important to link the defined KPI’s to the site goals. As KPI’s are listed out on your website, linking the KPI’s to the site goals will give you a better understanding of why those KPI’s would give you insights to web site’s goals. For example, if your website is about providing articles about tech then it would be very important to answer why it would be necessary to apply such KPI’s like “repeat visitors vs. new visitors”, “page views per visits”, “visits duration”, “popular tech pages by visits and page views”, “bounce rate”, “popular landing pages”, etc. Connecting the metrics to your site objective will answer if your website is attracting qualified visitors or not.
3. Consume the success metrics, and benchmark it for future analysis.
Once the KPI’s are defined, and the significance of the applied KPI’s are understood across the key stakeholders, then it is time to make it actionable. Web sites would have various elements that could fall under as an uncontrolled or controlling factor that impacts the metrics to trend in certain ways.
Web analytics analyst should be able to raise and call out the factors impacting the metrics, and answer what the numbers are telling you in terms of website goals. The metrics or data results should be an active benchmark for future assessment. For example, “a site has received 1,500 file download in one month” would not mean anything until we look at other metrics like a number of visitors. Say the site has received 3,000 visitors in one month, and then we can say that 50% of the visitors have performed a file download in one month.
Now, we can ask a question, “is that bad or good?” Further discussion should be made between the analyst and further evaluate by looking at the data from different month to find the trend and perform necessary action to improve the performance or business. Focus on the site performance trend by visitors’ behaviors is the key to depicting the site’s qualified visitors.
We have avoided discussing the actual KPI’s to be used to define qualified visitors in non-transactional sites. The reason is that it is difficult to assign money besides expense or invested amount to the KPI’s and say it is good or bad, especially, when non-transactional sites could serve its business in various ways.
A website can have a lot of qualified visitors, but when the dollar amount is assigned to the metrics, the perception of site owners seeing those numbers to expense or investment with low visual to the return could miss guiding the actionable practices. It is definitely important to coin invested money to KPI’s, but in the context of finding qualified visitors, the process of applying the listed points above would be crucial for non-transactional sites.