Swedish furniture store Ikea is an example of a company with a strong brand identity and well-defined customer experience. Ikea’s mission statement is as follows: “Ikea’s mission is to offer a wide range of home furnishing items of good design and function, excellent quality and durability, at prices so low that the majority of people can afford to buy them.”
Ikea has been able to translate this mission very well onto its website, which gives its users a graphic and modern experience, but does not alienate its middle-of-the-road customers who could easily be turned off by extravagance. Functionally, it allows visitors to shop online, but also encourages them to visit their brick-and-mortar stores by allowing them to assemble a “shopping list” for the next time they visit a store.
Think about your own brand and how you can translate your core mission to an online experience. This will help you define your ambitions in tangible ways.
Services such as Google Analytics provide ways to measure your site’s traffic and help better understand your visitors. Further, analytics can help you determine how visitors use your site, and provide clues to help you determine if your site is meeting its goals.
Google Analytics is able to track your website’s performance based on various criteria. Its data can give you an idea of how visitors use your site such as whether stay on your site (bounce rates and time on site), where visitors enter and leave (entry and exit pages), and if you’re attracting new visitors or the same core users (first time versus repeat visitors).
Based on your website goals, you have to determine the most important metrics for your company’s site.
Google Analytics can identify the physical location of visitors, showing you what regions are popular among site visitors. This can help you better target your website content to that area, and determine your strategy for locally focused online advertising and more traditional venues such as billboards and newspapers.
It can also provide information on what external websites and search terms brought visitors to your website. By knowing what sites led visitors to your site, you have a greater sense of the impact of affiliates, external online advertising, and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Knowing what search results lead visitors to your site’s landing pages can help you optimize those landing pages to fit what visitors want from those pages.
When it comes to gauging your website’s success, it’s really not just about attracting the most visitors, but rather to have visitors that are within your target market. Once you have these visitors, you want to give them the experience that they are seeking and, if possible, convince them to take a desired action.
When determining what statistics are important to your site, it’s important to decide on goals that align with your company’s goals, which are unique to every business and can only be known though understanding your business and its customers.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool, but it is no magic bullet. Using analytics can help you qualify changes to your website, and enable you to measure how those changes alter its performance and user engagement. But having a core understanding your customers and their needs will help you interpret the site reports to help you make more informed decisions on what areas of the website are performing to your expectations, and which are in need of improvement.
In further posts, we’re going to provide some tips on how to read your site’s statistics, and how to use Google Analytics to report on your key measurements. In the mean time, contact Kobayashi Online for more information on how to create, measure, and deliver on your website goals.