We’re likely to return to a different digital landscape when we emerge from our lockdown bubbles. Audience demand may have changed, marketing budgets may be reduced and many other possibilities may have emerged.
Out of this change comes opportunity, and a chance to make the most of what we’ve got. Take Te Papa Venues for example – they wanted a new website, instead we worked in-house to improve the existing one. By engaging user insight, straight-forward SEO techniques, competitor research, and beautiful images and content we doubled online weddings enquiries.
It’s crucial to ensure that you’re getting meaningful success rather than meaningless numbers out of your digital performance. Once you’re clear on your goals, and tracking the right things you can make significant improvements to your site’s performance.
Identify the right goals
Identifying goals for your website is easy if there are clear conversions to measure, like purchases, enquiries or downloads. It’s difficult when your main measure of success is ‘track whether users understand the information’. You want to show that your content is successful with hard evidence, and page visits don’t really cut it.
There is no easy answer to this dilemma – there’s no simple measure to show that your content is working. To effectively measure performance, you need to change the idea of success in your organisation. What works is a holistic view of user demand and behaviour. When you understand your audience you can give them valuable content, fix pain points and open pathways to important content.
Even if you have clear conversions, tracking these alone will rarely show success. If people are contacting you because they can’t understand your website it’s not a success. If they’re downloading something and finding it doesn’t meet their needs it’s not a success. Get the context you need to understand the ‘why’ behind the insights.
To get a collective understanding of what success looks like in your organisation, it pays to hold a goals workshop.
Hold a goals workshop
- Identify workshop attendees
- Give a presentation to show the value of data.
- Everyone introduces themselves and shares their goals for the session.
- Define performance goals.
- Walk-through the website to identify what success looks like.
- Discuss a monitoring strategy
Book out an hour and a half for your workshop to do justice to these tasks.
1. Identify workshop attendees
Invite people who are strongly invested in the site. A goals workshop is a great way to show the value of your digital work. They make people feel included in the decision-making process and reveal different perspectives.
2. Give a presentation with successful case studies
Share case studies which show how other organisations have successfully used data. This promotes the value of data, and shows what it can (and can’t!) do. Showing examples that are relevant to your organisation will help you to get buy-in and inspire people to get involved long-term. Feel free to use my blog posts if you like!
3. Introductions and individual goals
Get everyone to introduce themselves and say what they want to get out of the workshop. This will give you an idea about everyones’ needs and priorities.
4. Define performance goals with post-its (or notepads!)
Ask the group to write down their goals for the website, along with any success measures they can think of. Write them on post-its, or notepads if everyone is working remotely. Make sure that people define their end goal and not the metrics they want to see, as long lists of metrics rarely deliver actionable insight. For example:
Goal: the team wants conference venue content to perform better in Google.
Success: increase in clicks from Google from ‘conference venue’ searches.
Ask everyone to read out their goals, and explain why they are important so that everyone can see where they’re coming from.
Take a few minutes to group the post-its into themes while the group take a break. Common themes we’ve found across organisations include:
- understand your audience and meet user needs
- improve the internal search experience
- reach more people (especially through Google and social traffic)
- increase conversions
- simplify the user experience
- remove unnecessary content to reduce clutter
- find out how people are using navigation elements
These are common goals, but the means to achieve them will be different for each team. Your website, audience, and business needs are unique, so discuss what success measures look like for your organisation.
5. Website walkthrough
Once you’ve got a list of goals, walk through the relevant user journeys on the website to define what success looks like. For example if you want to increase enquiries through the website, identify the different ways that users can enquire, and note how you can track enquiries (e.g. ‘Thank you’ page URL, CRM system that captures enquiries).
6. Discuss a monitoring strategy
Find out what tools and reporting that will be useful for your organisation. These might include Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Hotjar and Crazy Egg along with other sources of business data like call centre and sales data.
Automated dashboards that have free-text fields can be really useful – you have the important data at your fingertips, and you can also provide context in plain English to explain key insights.
If you need help to track your goals and achieve meaningful success, then please get in touch and we’d be happy to help.
If you can already track your goals that’s great! It would make our day to hear about your experience – please get in touch for a chat.