Query “What should you measure in your website analytics?” and you’ll net 190M search results. Pose the question to a dozen specialty web strategists and you will get a dozen different answers. The concepts of what a website can be are so fluid that your measurement approach could be tackled dozens of ways. Generally, these methods are neither completely wrong nor completely right, but you can achieve better results if clear on your website purpose.
The first question you need to ask yourself: “Why do I have a website?” Here are a few of the more common reasons for a website and Mansfield Inc.’s perspective on what you should be measuring for each
If you have a website that is primarily an online store, user journey is the top thing to track. All the visitors in the world are meaningless if they never purchase. User drop off will be the first problem you will want to monitor and tackle as it may indicate users experiencing bottlenecks, which is a common cause to prohibiting the completion of sales. Tracking and identifying how far users get through the purchase process before dropping off can indicate that your products not being adopted by your audience or your site providing a poor user experience that they abandon the process. More importantly if you have a high drop off rate on product pages that don’t have inventory you have a successful product, but no products to sell. Those pieces of information can dictate your own vendor purchase agreements.
For example, the gig economy has led to the explosion of services on demand, independents and entrepreneurs able to compete with large established companies for creative, marketing and consulting services. This type of website should include portfolios, case-studies and testimonials they believe represents their business. These sections of the website are the key drivers for website traffic, but page views alone are the not the main indicator of success.
For a successful portfolio website to work you must measure the amount of time on page. If users are generally skimming over the pieces presented on the site, they are not in line with their interests. However, if one page of your site is gaining a greater share of the time spent on site, it can indicate that that piece is more relevant or interesting to your audience. One solution is to move that more interesting content between the landing page and a call to action to sign up as a new customer and help convert passive scanning to lead generation.
Prior to the internet, people became thought leaders by publishing in books and journals that would lead to speaking engagements to grow their physical audience. Online publishing has not only greatly reduced the costs of sharing your ideas, but the lead time from concept to read content has dropped dramatically also. This content churn means that an optimized path to delivery and content topics is of the utmost importance.
To build out your website as a driver of content, some key metrics to track are pages per visitor and traffic from your newsletter. Treating your newsletter followers like an advertising campaign will allow you track which content is of interest to your current audience. Tracking the pages per visitor will give your perspective on whether all pieces of content are creating value for you or just a few select pages. Looking at which pages are getting the most views will help drive your content strategy in the right direction.
Understanding the difference between website and web application is critical. From a high level they both appear the same, both are viewed in a web browser and jumping between them is seamless with a good architecture. The big distinction is that web applications have processing done on a server level, driving information to a database and a code base that could be 20 times as big. A marketing website that supports these applications are used as landing pages or provide supporting documentation for new users.
A marketing website for a web application is useful to track inbound traffic to the application. Once you identify where the users are coming from you can target and remarket to turn them into customers. The most important metric to track is called the referrer source in the acquisition section of your analytics platform. These will be social media campaigns, organic search results or paid campaigns if you have implemented them.
If none of the above apply to you, perhaps you are just using your website as your online business card. Business cards are primarily used to facilitate communications with you from someone you have shared the business card with. An online business card essentially shares that business card with the world.
The key indicator of this type of website being successful is contradictory to how many SEO campaigns work. If the user finds the contact information they need it will be automatically be considered a drop off as they will most likely leave the site after they send an email or call. If the find the information on the landing page, then the page will show an abnormally high bounce rate. These terms are typically seen as enemies to the website, but in the right circumstances they are key indicators of success.
Mansfield Inc understands the importance of tailoring analytics to the success of your website. We don’t believe in a one size fits all approach to website measurement, contact us to create a custom measurement plan that fits your needs.
Chief Financial Officers are always looking for the answer to “What is the Return on Investment?”. Often with digital and social media it is tough to produce a robust solid response if you lack the architecture to measure.
Mansfield Inc. has developed a Digital Audit Program that evaluates digital presence, generates a report card, and outlines next steps aimed at improving website experience.
If your digital strategist and developer team is constantly upgrading your website, you may feel that your organization is safe, and the technology is up to date. However, if you do have a large team working feverishly, are they just supporting your current clients? If so the conversions that they are tracking for success may not be the same as the conversions that you need to track for client growth. While client retention may lead to increased margins or repeat sales, to grow your business new client acquisition should be a cornerstone strategy. Mansfield Inc’s Digital Audit can assess and determine how to extend impact to both nurture current clients and encourage new ones.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if your organization needs a digital report card:
Engagement and the measurement of engaged audiences on social media is a good way of building your brand’s audience, but these elements are only the first steps to a highly functional digital presence. A large, captive audience with nothing to convert them to clients is a lost opportunity. Appropriate architecture offers fact-based stats on the potency of your audience. This dataset will measure the visitors from social media to your website and their behavior as they browse content. Tracking conversions for successful content and user drop-offs for pieces that are not succeeding will offer you the data fueled evidence to help evolve the direction of your content and make you more successful.
Defining conversions are not just for income generating line items for the organization – they are cost saving strategies as well. In fact, a highly optimized website will also help to minimize overheads. For example, a Deloitte study regarding Talent Acquisition, new hire cost $4,000USD each. That spending was focused on the cost of recruitment agencies that accounted for 18% of the money spent to acquire each new hire.
With recent updates to the Google search algorithm that has placed open positions for companies on the search engine results page, with one click access to apply to those positions, search engine optimization will pay for itself. Web pages optimized for social media will allow for personal networking on LinkedIn to drive traffic back to your organization with the same techniques used by media companies.
Contact Mansfield Inc. to set up a digital audit so we can give you a report card on your website for back to school.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018, Toronto — Kanetix Ltd. announced today Mansfield Inc. as their PR Agency of Record. Kanetix Ltd. drives digital growth for the insurance and financial services industry by integrating data insights and technology to create best-in-class customer experiences. Their trusted suite of insurance and personal finance comparison websites are used by more than 8 million Canadians every year: Kanetix.ca, InsuranceHotline.com, RateSupermarket.ca, Rates.ca and ComparaSave.com.
Mansfield Inc. will lead the national PR strategy, including media relations and influencer campaigns for Kanetix Ltd., focused on brand building and raising awareness.
“We are looking forward to working with the Mansfield team to further build our brands under the Kanetix Ltd umbrella. Their creativity and demonstrated expertise in consumer and corporate PR, strong media relations network and experience with new technologies made them the right agency for us as we continue to develop offerings to help Canadians make better money decisions,” said Leonie Tait, vice-president marketing, Kanetix Ltd.
“We are excited to be AOR for Kanetix Ltd. and its family of brands. We look forward to working together creatively to bring their value proposition to the forefront and raise awareness of their extensive offerings. Their prominence in the InsureTech vertical presents a wonderful opportunity to reinforce their leadership position,” said Mansfield Inc. president and CEO, Hugh Mansfield.
Mansfield Inc. was selected following a competitive bid process earlier this year.
Follow Mansfield on Twitter at twitter.com/MansfieldInc and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/mansfieldinc. Follow Kanetix Ltd. on Twitter at twitter.com/KanetixLtd and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/kanetixltd.
Over the past year, the demand for our crisis communications services has been on a considerable rise. Not surprisingly either. With the advances in technology and associated ability to convey issues of consequence through social media, the court of public opinion has become both a ruthless judge and jury within minutes of many issues, grievances and disasters both real and perceived.
If left unattended, perception will always outflank reality and most companies have very little time to respond to a crisis. Every day that passes by without acting to resolve a crisis will negatively impact your brand and often results in significant losses. More often than not the public trust is weakened and, in some cases, irreparable. Sadly, we are seeing these situations in social and earned media on a regular basis.
Most glaring is the amount of time required for companies to respond to a perceived crisis. It is inexcusable. There is no longer room for “no comment” or “next day” strategies. Today, the public expects an immediate response. Failure to do so is usually dealt with a swift blow to the company’s brand.
Given this regular occurrence, more companies are now beginning to evaluate their crisis management plan preparedness for such an event. Moreover, shareholders of publicly traded companies are asking management and board members alike if such plans exist. And yet in a recent Nasdaq poll close to 50% of organizations do not have a crisis communications plan and only 50% felt their companies were “adequately prepared to manage crises effectively” exposing them to serious risk.
While this number is staggering, risk exposure rises even further when one considers the last time many of these companies with a plan in place have had it updated, including vulnerability audits and stress tests to ensure crises readiness.
The harsh reality is that if your company hasn’t updated their plan annually or are not regularly practicing scenarios they are invariably exposed to a wide variety of issues. If you are completely lacking a comprehensive crisis communication management strategy, your level of risk has grown exponentially.
Recently, newer issues have appeared more frequently in the media and public domain and it is probably worthwhile to re-examine the issues that you may be up against. Some of the more frequent issues include:
What can you do to avoid these potential problems?
To begin with, I recommend having an internal team meeting to determine whether or not your company has a current plan in place, and if you do, to carefully evaluate if the plan is sufficient. If there is even the slightest hesitation, bring in an outside expert to review and augment. You may find yourself in the middle of an exercise that requires considerable renovations to your existing plan. If your organization is completely without a strategy you should move quickly to have one built. This is not an exercise that should be taken lightly or handed to someone inexperienced. Each crisis communications management strategy is unique to each company and while many follow fundamentals, the end strategy can often take between two and three months to assemble.
What does it cost to hire an outside expert?
No two plans are alike and therefore careful consideration should be given to the experience and size of undertaking you may be embarking upon. There is no set cost equation or template plan but consider the following to be some numbers to give you a barometer of costs likely to be incurred.
Keep in mind the scope of your costs will be largely dependent upon the size of your organization, the amount of training involved, and the vulnerability audits and program adjustments required. At the end of the process you should have a manual, a crisis ready communications team and a good understanding of the possible scenarios you may experience and what to do when they happen.
The cost of not having a plan and reacting poorly to a situation can cost you millions and even billions of dollars within hours. At the end of the day, the money you spend now will be considerably less than the money you will have to spend without one.
The likelihood of a company crisis today is not a matter of “if” vs. “when”. Having a crisis communications management strategy in place will undoubtedly help you mitigate your losses and protect your brand.
Hugh Mansfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) has over 25 years of crisis communications management experience. Hugh has handled some landmark cases including data theft, privacy, FDA, FTC and State Attorney investigations, Auditor General enquiries, filing issues with SEC, NASDAQ and TSX, along with major labor disputes, public health and safety, consumer product recalls, and numerous environmental disasters.
This Tuesday November 21, 2017 Hugh Mansfield, CEO of Mansfield Inc will be speaking on the points of social media measurement/marketing law firms in Canada. Information for the conference can be found on the Legal Marketing Association’s website. The conference is at the Sheraton Center Toronto Hotel and panel discussion goes from 3:45 to 4:30. Join the conversation: #LMAEC17
The panel is hosted by:
Melanie Trudeau - @Melanie_Trudeau
The panel consists of:
Hugh Mansfield - @hughmansfield1
Farzana Crocco – @fjsyed
David Perry - @SocialDave