Reinforce understanding of:
The business models of web-based services
The marketing/sales strategy of business websites
Based on what we have learned about digital analytics and the function of landing pages, it’s time to focus on business goals. How do design choices enable businesses to execute their goals and, more important (for our purposes), how can we measure progress toward accomplishing those goals?
Business goals vary depending on the type of business, even the industry that business is in. An e-commerce business seeks to increase the sales and revenue your website receives. A lead generation business, on the other hand, wants to track form submissions on the contact page.
Eric Peterson, recognized as the founding father of digital analytics, writes the following in Web Analytics Demystified: “Very few companies have websites just for the fun of having one. Most, if not all, companies build websites and applications to accomplish specific goals and objectives.”
Here are six example website goals:
Sell products or services
Gather qualified leads for marketing, e.g., form submissions
Increase entries in a subscription database, e.g., newsletter sign-ups
Decrease internal costs by servicing customers via less expensive channels
Attract loyal and frequent visitors, e.g., to increase advertising revenue)
Facilitate the visitors’ search for information
These are just several possible scenarios. Your job as a future digital marketing professional is to figure out what’s most important to the business so you can track results and understand how well the website is contributing to your business.
For the most part, e-commerce sites are easy to identify, particularly if they are trying to sell you a good or service. The purpose of this week’s discussion is to connect the goals of the e-commerce website with our ability to track them. How do we know a website is successfully achieving its goal(s)? We use analytics software to determine if a particular activity (or set of activities) was accomplished by the visitor. If we set up the set of activities correctly, we can obtain an accurate picture of our website’s ability to convert visitors into customers (because they did what you wanted them to do).
What activities can we track on an e-commerce site?
Products: Which products they buy, in what quantity, and the revenue generated by those products
Transactions: The revenue, tax, shipping, and quantity information for each transaction
Time to Purchase: The number of days and number of visits it takes to purchase, starting from the most recent campaign through the completed transaction
1. Pick a website that you deem has e-commerce goals.
2. In a few sentences, describe its goals, e.g., the goal of [COMPANY NAME]’s website is to sell [PRODUCT OR SERVICE].
3. Identify three metrics – or, from an analytics perspective, key performance indicators (KPIs) – that you would use to ensure the company is making progress on its e-commerce goals. (Consult the reference materials below and from this week’s assigned reading for help with metrics / KPIs.)
Read this post for a great overview of setting goals and laying out web pages to effectively accomplish those goals.
Read this post for a great discussion on business goals and how to use analytics tools to monitor progress.
Finally, here is a link to a discussion of how to use Google Analytics for the purpose of e-commerce tracking.
This discussion will be graded using the standard Discussion Rubric (located in the “Read the Syllabus” section). In order for meaningful conversation to occur in this discussion, initial posts must be made on time. If you do not make your initial post by the designated time, you will only receive half credit (minus any other deductions) for the discussion.