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Setting website goals – part 1

Vlad and Gus, forensic web analysts from the Web Detective Agency, are just getting on their bikes to begin their journeys home after work. They are discussing one client’s obsession with his conversion rate – from visitors into purchasers.

Gus: I just don’t get it, all Johann talks about is his conversion rate. What is it this month? What was it last month? What are the underlying trends?

Vlad: It’s what drives his business. The higher the percentage of people that convert on his website, the richer he becomes.

Gus: I know that, Vlad, but bear in mind he takes a good proportion of orders over the telephone and via the catalogue. Butt because he can easily measure the conversion rate this is what he focuses on.

I know there are other things his call centre could do to increase average order values – a few competitions, special offers, phoning up best customers.

Vlad: I think for Johann, he been surprised by the growth in online orders and he’s started to pay less attention to other aspects of his business. What he needs to do is look at some other goals that he wants his visitors to accomplish.

Gus: Like what?

Vlad: Well, given the business started as a catalogue business, he should be focus on the number of people who request a catalogue via the website. Some people, given his target market, are never going to order online, but they may request a catalogue.

Gus: So, at least we can see how well the website is doing at generating a catalogue request, and which traffic sources are good or not so good for acheiving this goal. Ideally, we need that goal to have a value, so we can quantify these traffic sources and the keywords that generate catalogue requests. But is there a way of doing this ?

Vlad: I think even you could cope with the maths of this.

You take average order value, ideally of catalogue requesters, and then multiply it by the percentage of ‘catalogue requesters’ who convert into a customer.

Gus: My maths is getting better every day, I can now do long division!

OK, to prove my point, if Johann’s AOV is 90 euros and 10% of ‘catalogue requesters end up ordering, then the value of a catalogue request is 9 euros. Yes?

Vlad: I am indeed a great teacher. Yes, that’s it.

Gus: Good. Well tomorrow, I’ll set up a goal on his Google Analytics account and then get Johann to give me the AOV and response rate figures. It also means that he could set up a PPC campaign just targetting people who want to request a catalogue. This way he’ll have a target cost-per-request and good measurement on how well this campaign is performing.

Vlad: If we can get him to understand that there are other goals on the site for him to focus on then perhaps we can get him to see a bit beyond his damned conversion rate.

Gus: Agreed.

OK. Well I better get home. I need to change before going out with the girls.

Vlad: I like the sound of that. Do you want to come along?

Gus: Another time, Vlad. Another time. See you tomorrow.

Vlad: Yep, see you tomorrow.

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