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Measure Your Success in Running a Web Site

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There are many ways to measure your success in running a business. And there are many ways to measure your success in running a Web site.

There are many ways to measure your success in running a business. And there are many ways to measure your success in running a Web site. Knowing how to measure is almost as important as knowing what you want to measure. Consider site design as a tool for improving e-metric analysis. Creating your site and your reporting systems to be quantifiable requires considerable time and attention.

Determine Your Needs

Scope out the "who, what, and where" of your Web project. Perform a needs assessment with the goals of evaluating your current environment and available resources, determining what actions you want users to take on your Web site, deciding what functionality on the Web site supports the desired action, and clarifying your high-level objectives. This will allow you to chart out the path that will lead to those goals from your current situation. What will you need in the way of people, training, equipment, and software? How much time will it take? What will it cost?

Understand Your Online Customer

Your business metrics are driven by the relevant data you collect and store. They enable you to establish a baseline that will provide context and serve as the foundation on which you build e-business intelligence. Identify the information available in your Web data that you are not yet using to full potential. Utilizing information about site navigation, product interest, and promotional success measurements all leads toward an improved Web experience for your users. Focus on your current inventory of customer knowledge and map out the next level of customer attributes to collect. What information can be collected the fastest-and with the least amount of customer disturbance-that will allow you to provide new customized online services? Work through the collection, normalization, and data application process to ensure a smooth operating environment.

Optimize Your E-Business Once you have successfully applied customer information back into Web design and content management, your e-business intelligence solution will be producing, with clockwork regularity, baseline business e-metric reports that reflect your core business achievements. With this solid contextual foundation in place, it is time to put the analytical infrastructure to practical use in your tactical business management activities. Apply the e-metric calculations described in the Research Study to create a new set of baseline figures. These are the new numbers to beat. These are the stage-one results that will guide you toward increased income, lowered costs, and higher customer satisfaction.

Quantify Success

A methodology is successful only if it is repeatable and measurable. Make sure your efforts are an iterative process. It is essential to review the methodology itself to ensure that it continues to meet your e-business intelligence needs. Once you have built a solid foundation of long-term e-metrics and have engaged in extensive tactical refinement of your e-business programs, it is time to engage in the process of extracting new business directions from actual customer interaction data. You will be setting new e-metrics standards and creating new e-metrics to measure your future success.

Once you have a handle on why you are measuring, how you are measuring, who is responsible for measuring and how often, all you have to do is figure out what to measure.

What, Exactly, Do You Need to Know?

Are you attracting new people to your site?
Is your site "sticky"? Which regions are not?
What is the health of your lead qualification process?
How proficient is your conversion of browsers to buyers?
What site navigation do you wish to encourage?
What behavior indicates that a prospect is ready to buy?
How do customer segments differ?
What attributes describe your best customers?
How can they help you target other prospects like them?
How can profiling help you cross-sell and up-sell?
What is your churn rate?
How do you measure loyalty?

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