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Using the web to solve business questions

Routinely I field questions from clients regarding the metrics of their site. The questions are typically related to how many visitors came to the site over the past month, how many pages were viewed on average. Inevitably the next question I am faced with is "is this a good number?" Much to the chagrin of the person asking the question, I inevitably respond with a simple "it depends."

At the end of the day, does it matter how many people are visiting a website or how many page views they see during a given session if these people are not performing your desired tasks.

The more that I analyze web data for clients and companies, the more I am realizing that these individuals that base their ROI models on the above metrics are really missing the boat. They are the same individuals that become frustrated that the reports are not telling them anything in particular. And they are correct, but it's also correct that they are not asking the correct questions.

Look, at the end of the day it truly depends on how your individual web presence is delivering for your customer. Just like you would be foolish to run a business without a business plan, so is running a website without a web strategy. By outlining clear goals and objectives you can begin to ask solid business questions and hone in in your desired response.

Questions such as:
- Have we been able to increase site utilization while decreasing reliance on our phone representatives?
- Are we increasing our revenue by posting full-featured demonstrations of our products online?
- What kind of impact are our online sales channels having on our offline sales efforts?
- How are we building brand value on the website?
- What specific pages appear to be posing a problem to our visitors?

As a stakeholder, certainly you can see by being able to answer questions you can begin to properly determine a furthered strategy. This is as opposed to merely saying on X date, Y amount of people came to my site, which does not tell you what they are doing once they are on your site.

Once you develop your questions and subsequently have them answered; develop additional questions. You will find that gauging success or failure on the web becomes more obvious.

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1/13/2009 09:36:00 PM Subscribe to RSS FeedSubscribe to RSS Feed

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