Insights and Observations

What Are Key Performance Indicators?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 by: Chuck Bankoff

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are the metrics most indicative of how well your internet marketing campaign is performing. These are the big things that “move the needle”.

For example; if you have a high “Bounce Rate” (visitors come to your website and never go beyond the landing page) that is an indication that there is an issue with the relevance of your landing page to the visitor.

There is no one set of standard KPI’s for every business, it really depends on what your objectives are. For example, if you are in a service related industry, the amount of phone calls generated by your online efforts would be a primary KPI. Digging a little deeper, the length of each phone call would tell you even more. Short phone calls (under a minute) might mean that no one answered the phone and no message was left. Longer phone calls are a good indication of customer engagement.

“Time on Site” is often an indicator of how relevant and engaging your site is. “Pages Visited” may indicate if your sales funnel is set up properly. The impact of any particular KPI may not be readily obvious. It often takes some insight to look past the numbers to find their true meaning.

Key Performance Indicators are somewhat unique to each type of business, and their individual objectives, but here are a few that I consider relatively universal:

Some KPI Definitions

Visit – This is when someone visits one or more of your web pages with 30 min or less time in between page visits.

Visitor – A visitor is a person that visits your website. Visitors can be broken into 3 categories:

  1. New Visitor – This is only measured once for visitors who have never been on your website before. It is different than a unique visit because a unique visit is measured over a specific period of time.
  2. Repeat/Returning Visitor – This is a person who visits your website two or more times over a given period of time, this is only measured once over that given period of time.
  3. Unique Visitor – A unique visitor is a person tat comes to your website for the first time during a specific window of time. Usually daily, weekly or monthly.

Conversion – Conversion is when a visitor or customer completes the action that you want them to take, for instance, making a purchase or filling out a web form.

Examples of Some Key Performance Indicators

General KPI

  • Average Time on Site – This is based on the assumption that if a person searches for a particular keyword or phrase, and they visit a page on your site, if it has relevance to what they were looking for, they will spend more time on that page than if they found information that was not very relevant to their search.
  • Page Views / Visit – This will tell you how many pages a visitor to your website views on each visit. Multiple page visits will affect this multiple times.
  • Page Views / Visitors – This is very similar to page views / visits except that it ignores the amount of visits that a specific visitor makes.
  • New Visitors / Visitors – Measures how many of your visitors are first time visitors; this is good for telling you how many new potential clients/customers are visiting your site.
  • Repeat Visitors / Visitors – Shows you how many of your visitors are returning, therefore showing you the site’s ability to attract visitors or customers back to your web site.

The Importance of KPI – Taking KPI to the Next Level

Developing the best KPI for your internet marketing goals will allow you to measure how well your different strategies are working to positively affect your business objectives. They can give you a warning sign to let you know what is working and what isn’t working. Once you are able to determine the results from examining your KPI, you can make the important adjustments to fine tune your sites effectiveness.

KPI’s may require more analysis than meets the eye. You might want to enlist the services of a professional digital marketing specialist. Sometimes it’s just a matter of interpreting your current data, and other times actual experiments might need to be setup to measure cause and effect of incremental changes. Professional Digital Marketing consultants with the right tools can even do a Competitive Analysis on the KPIs of direct competitors in your industry.



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