Measurement by Objectives – a new way to understand the website performance

website performanceHow do you measure the success of your website? How do you relate and map business goals with KPIs for understanding the website performance holistically? Here is my approach for understanding the website performance holistically. I call it “Measurement by Objectives (MBO)”. Let me give the definition of MBO first, and then I will explain how it works.

“Measurement by Objectives (MBO) is a process of defining objectives of an organization’s online presence (websites, blogs, social media sites, mobile apps) for managers, marketers, designers, content developers; and understanding metrics and setting KPIs to measure those objectives for success.”

Before defining the objectives and measurement metrics, it is essential to understand the purposes of a website. A website purpose gives the direction to the business goals / objectives and strategies. The website marketing goals; content development goals and design or technical goals have direct relation with the business goals and strategies. Let me explain how. By the way, website purposes also help to build website design strategies.

The easiest way to determine the purposes of a website is to ask why it exists. Most websites exist to meet one or more of the following purposes.

  1. Website for generating leads – the Lead Generation site
  2. Website for selling products online – the Ecommerce or Only Store site
  3. Website for selling services online – the Online Service site
  4. Website for building user community – the Publication or Media site
  5. Website for delivering customer services – the Support site

A website may have one or more purposes based on the nature of the business. Based on the purpose, management team will define the business goals and strategies. For example, if a website purpose is selling products online then top management team cares only about the number of sales and return on investment; and business goal will be – to increase online sales, to increase ROI. Based on the business goals, management team needs to define business strategies to achieve the business goals. Some business strategies are – sell products online, initiate content focus marketing, aligning internal business process with building customer relationship online, inspiring community engagement and collaboration etc.

Once the business strategies are defined, the next step will be defining marketing, content and design goals and strategies. Based on the strategies, we can identify measurement metrics and KPIs. See the Figure-1 below to understand the relationship between business goals, marketing goals, content goals and KPIs.


Figure -1: Relationship diagram of goals, strategies and KPIs

In most cases, the main goals for marketing, content development and design or technical activities are

  • The main goal of the marketing team is to optimize online visit and content sharing for increasing conversion rate
  • The main goal of the content development team is to optimize content for motivating customers to take action
  • The main goal of the design team is to optimize design for increasing conversion rate

Table below gives some examples on how goals/ objectives are mapped with KPIs by business functions or teams

Team Goals/ Objectives Strategies Measurement Metrics KPIs
Business / Management Increase return on investment or increase sales and leads - Sell products/service online
- Content focus marketing
- Number of sales
- Number of leads
- Percent of ROI increase
- Percentage of sales increase
- Average Order value
Marketing Optimize visitors visit and content sharing for increasing conversion rate - Targeted marketing campaign
- Social media marketing for relationship building
Goals Conversion Rate
- By Channels and Keywords
- By Audience Demography and Devices- By Visitor Type
- SEO data
- Average Conversion Rate
- Percentage brand engagement
- Percentage of new vs returning visitors
Content Development Optimize content for increasing customer engagement - Initiate Content Strategy
- Develop content mix strategies for engaging online audience
- Implement web content accessibility guidelines
- Visits Frequency, Recency and Engagement
- Visits Engagement
– by audience demography and interest
- Visits Engagement
- Conversion, Likes, Comments, Shares/Tweets
- Internal search keywords
- Percent of increase in engagement
- Likes, Comments, Shares/Tweets
- Percent of bounce rate decrease
- Percent of Pagevies/visit increase
- Percent of visit duration increase
Design / Technical Optimize design for increasing conversion rate - Implement website usability and accessibility standard- SEO optimization is key for success - Landing Page: Visits, Page/visit, Page Load Time, Bounce Rate
- Device : Visits, Page/visit, Page Load Time, Bounce Rate
- Internet Browser : Visits, Page/visit, Page Load Time, Bounce Rate
- Language : Visits, Page/visit, Page Load Time, Bounce Rate
- SEO data
- Google webmaster technical data, SEO tools
- Path flow, Funnel visualization
- Percentage of page download time decrease
- Percentage of page bounce rate decrease
- Percentage of visitors receiving an error message
- Percentage of visitors change in internet browsers

So, in summary measurement by objectives (MBO) is a holistic approach to map website goals with KPIs for management, marketing, content development and technical teams. The aim of MOB process is creating a practice for individual business function and team to analyze their activities performance based on the goals, and bring back the results in composition with other business functions for measuring the performance of the website holistically.

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