Beyond Bounce Rate: Adding Tools to Your End-Of-Year Web Reporting
The beginning of a new year brings excitement and anticipation. On the other hand, the end of the year brings about reflection and planning.
Professionally speaking, that end-of-year reflection and planning often manifests as dreaded end-of-year reports. For those us in charge of marketing strategies, reports often dial in on metrics — impressions, click-through rates, and pageviews. But while that may provide a clear enough picture of customer engagement with marketing campaigns, does it cover everything?
The easy answer? No.
An end-of-year report can never cover everything — there’s just too much that you can focus on. The key is to figure out what key metrics might serve as important plot points in the story your report is trying to tell.
It’s not just bounce rate and number of visitors. Before you start to edit your Powerpoint deck, consider these recommendations on web metrics that matter.
Start with annual goals.
Everything — and we mean everything — should stem back to your annual goals.
If your company practices ecommerce, this is often easy — your annual goals are largely tied to sales. But if you’re not a commerce-focused company, all is not lost.
We encourage you to break down your annual goals and decide how your website fits into the expected outcomes. Are there certain user interactions on your site that suggest a user’s early intent to buy? Is there an opportunity to prove customer loyalty through content engagement?
Those metrics aren’t always the easiest to connect to your annual goals but they do matter in the big picture of the customer journey and your company’s bottom line.
Report on the bad stuff.
Hear us out. We all know that mistakes and failures are an opportunity for improvement. And, we believe that end-of-year reporting is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the wins. But, we should also indicate where future growth should be focused — and we encourage you to really lean into the bad.
Your reporting should ideally inform next year’s annual goals and marketing plans in a way that continues the momentum you started this year. They should also pay due to the areas of your business that aren’t performing as they should.
Don’t forget the less glamorous numbers.
When you’re tasked with presenting yearly numbers, the pressure is on. It can feel feel tempting to hit on the buzzwords or the sparkly metrics.
But health and maintenance metrics also help paint a picture of your site’s performance. For example, scores relating to performance or accessibility, while less exciting, are crucial to understanding your marketing effectiveness and the current state of your tech stack.
Ignoring these factors now may cause an annoying roadblock next year when your site rankings decrease or you see a dropoff in web conversions.
Consider your internal processes.
Finally, understand that maintaining a website and its content is a team effort.
Team efforts requires process — to establish expectations and to ensure things get done and on time. Note any successes or hiccups within your processes. Did you enter a record high amount of blog posts this year? Were alt tags added to all assets in your media library?
These might not be numerical findings, but they are important to note.
While data doesn’t lie, numbers alone don’t communicate a direction — context is key. Remember that your website is an important part of your digital strategy and provide vital context beyond the typical stats.