Creating an Online Measurement Plan

I found this great video from  Google on how to create an online measurement plan for your business. It’s important to clearly identify what to measure and how to measure it if you want to make better decisions leading to better market performance.

Take a look at the video and let me know what you think in the comments below. I’d also like to add my 2 cents to the conversation. So here’s my take on the important aspects of the video.

Creating an online measurement plan

Each business is different and each website is unique in its own ways. Maybe you have a blog to help with SEO and, more importantly, engage visitors. Maybe you have a forum or an FAQ section to address questions and concerns visitors have either before or after they buy your product.

Because each business and each website is different, your measurement plan will also be different. Regardless, the process used in creating an online measurement plan is virtually the same. The process detailed below builds on Avinash — a leading online analytics expert.

Setting objectives

First, you need to figure out what your objectives are for your online business — including driving offline sales. Remember, your objectives should be SMART goals — that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely.

Create strategy and tactics

  1. What social media will you use?
  2. What are your keywords?
  3. What’s your content marketing strategy?
  4. How will you build engagement?
  5. Will you use a mobile app or other tools to support your strategy?
  6. How will you implement your strategy?

KPI’s

Creating an online measurement strategy leads to your KPIs (key performance indicators). KPIs tell you which metrics you need to analyze. KPIs should involve both macro-conversion (sales, leads) and micro-conversion (actions leading to conversion — such as positive word of mouth, increased visits/ mentions, etc).

KPIs might include:

  1. Sales/ leads
  2. AOV (average order value)
  3. Coupons downloaded
  4. Visits to review pages
  5. Filling out a request for more information or trial
  6. Visits to product information pages (such as specs)
  7. Sentiment

Segment data

You can segment your data based on channel or visitor characteristics. Examples of channel segmentation are: organic search, social media visits, and PPC (pay per click or paid visits). By segmenting data you can more easily determine which channels are working and make decisions that improve market performance.

You can also segment data by visitors: first time versus return visitors, visitors from different geographic regions or using different devices, such as mobile versus non-mobile, or other demographic variables. By segmenting market performance into groups you can more easily spot problems, then fix them.

Set targets

Now, I personally think this is something you should do as part of the first step in creating an online measurement plan, not at the end of the process. Targets should be part of your SMART goals. However, at this stage, you should refine your targets to ensure they remain challenging, yet do-able.

After creating an online measurement plan

Of course, you’re not done yet. After creating your online measurement plan, you need to implement it. And, that really goes beyond the topic for today. Implementation may involve multiple folks within your organization, including your IT staff or, if you’re a small business, YOU may be the implementation team!

Once you’ve implemented your online measurement plan, you need to tweak it and refine it to ensure it keeps up with the changing demands of your digital strategy.

A piece I think is missing from Google’s video is using the analysis to make decisions — what’s working and you should do more of it, what’s not working and should be either dropped or modified, etc. After all, it’s not the measuring and monitoring that improves market performance, it’s the tweaking that brings results.

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