Digital Strategy is so much more than a new website but we really believe that our website is our home in the digital space.
At the end of the day, we want to invite people to our home. It's the place where we are most comfortable, and that best reflects out personalities and work.
You may have heard the analogy before: your website is your land in the digital space, everything else is just rented.
If you were looking to build a new home or renovate, you'd gather your inspiration around you. You'd find yourself suddenly interested in other people's skirting boards and cupboard configurations. You'd start to pay attention to how you use your space.
In other words, you'd start to collect evidence.
Our first stop ahead of our (soon to be launched) site redesign was our numbers.
Metrics can really inform how you set up a new website: by looking at the analytics behind your existing site, you can see what content your customers are searching for, how they’re travelling around your site and where they’re dropping off. In creating a new site then, you can prioritise the most important information, smooth out the customer journey, and iron out any kinks in the existing copy to prevent drop-off.
We're pretty comfortable looking at these numbers and seeing when things change. It was easy to draw fast conclusions and get to the fun stuff (Flashy designs! New content!) fast.
We'd set ourselves up for measurement success.
We'd laid the foundations when we had redefined our brand look, mission and purpose in 2015.
When we look back, we can see three clear pillars that set us on the right track and define our measurement philosophy.
1. Set your digital goals in-line with business objectives
There is no point setting a great digital goal - like get a million followers on Facebook - unless it directly corresponds with your business objectives.
What we look for
Maybe you want to increase sales of a particular product line - a goal could be to increase click throughs to the relevant pages. It may seem simple, but it’s something that we see frequently overlooked. Start with your business goals first and your digital goals will quickly take shape.
(We use our Digital Analytics Model as the basis for ALL measurement. Get a refresher on the Digital Analytics model here or download your free workbook!)
Demographics and devices - it's interesting to us to see how people are viewing our site and who and where they are. We know that (unlike how most sites are viewed these days) you're probably reading this on desktop - you're likely at work - and because you're sitting in front of a screen rather than holding one, you'll probably take a little more time to read, think and click around.
Enagement with our writing - as a consultancy it's important to demonstrate our experitse, thoughts and ideas. Evidence of people taking the time to view, engage with and take action on our blogs and on other publishing platforms means
Landing pages and flow through the site - how are people finding us and what do they do next? A lot of people jump in and look at our team first - people like to know we're real people too, especially beig based across multiple locations and with our head office in Dubbo.
All of these numbers have fuelled our new design. These would look totally different for a different business, but it works for us and our goals.
2. (UTM) Tag, and thrive
Campaign tagging (or UTM tags) allow you to add extra information to links, which makes it easier for you to track how people get to your website. This helps you avoid common traps in Google Analytics. You can learn more about how to tag your links in our previous post, Are Your Numbers Lying To You? The Trap Of 'Direct Traffic'.
This lets us attribute our effort to results in a very specific way. It is an extra step - but one we've built into our processes from the start to make sure we're gathering as much detailed information as possible. We use it to test the effetiveness of campaigns, and the different mediums we use to share those campaigns.
3. Stop, check, refine
Make sure you plan to succeed by setting regular reporting periods - and putting them in your diary - from the very beginning.
A more streamlined way of doing this is creating a dashboard of key metrics and setting these up to be emailed to you regularly - or by creating a real-time Google Data Studio dashobard. Otherwise, set yourself up a good content plan, and corresponding measurement spreadsheet, to make sure your measurement is comparable month-on-month and targeted toward uncovering meaningful information.
Our review of our numbers ahead of the redesign would have taken much longer if we didn't already have a background understanding of what normal looked like for our business. Regular reviews help you understand your baseline so that you can move in the direction of positive outlyers (and avoid the negative ones in future).
And, of course, don’t forget to TAKE ACTION.
No site will ever be ‘perfect’.
Ongoing measurement will uncover areas for improvement, and what’s really working, giving you the opportunity to refine your digital offering. Just like you need to clean or touch up your physical home, so to do you need to regularly clean up your digital one.
Business intelligence is one of the core focuses of our business.
It's a service we provide, but also something about our own culture that we really value.
If you're interested, you can read about the extent of our services for analytics and intelligence.