What is a measurement plan and how can it help your business succeed online?

We explain the importance of translating your business objectives into KPIs

What is a measurement plan?

A measurement plan is a document that translates your business objectives into goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).

The plan provides a framework not only for a customised configuration of your web analytics, but also forms a vital part of your wider digital marketing strategy. This then determines how your digital channels best play together to achieve your KPIs.

What are your website objectives?

During this phase of this process, start by asking yourself what is the overall aim of your website? Is it to promote products? Sell directly? Or simply generate leads?

It can be a number of things, so establishing the overall aims of your website is a good starting block in discovering your objectives.

Once the business objectives have been clearly defined and understood, the next logical step towards a successful measurement plan involves identifying the various conversion types that can occur on the website in question.

These conversions can broadly be split into two categories: macro (or primary) conversions and micro (or secondary) conversions.

The macro conversion you’ve set for your website drives every other strategic element on the site: the copy, design, layout, everything.

But for any macro conversion to take place, visitors often go through a series of micro conversions. These are the small steps they must take to understand the value of your offer and gain enough trust to take action.

Digital Marketing - Micro and Macro Conversions
Digital Marketing – Micro and Macro Conversions

Macro conversions

Most website owners focus heavily on tracking and optimising their primary conversion point (or macro conversion); this might be an order completion for an e-commerce website, a completed contact form for a lead acquisition website or a subscription sign up for an online software provider. These overall conversions are commercial outcomes that deliver against the company’s main objective.

Macro conversions can be categorised into:

  • Revenue based conversions
  • Lead acquisitions conversions
  • Enquiry Conversions

Examples of macro conversions for business websites can be broken down into a few different types:

E-Commerce Websites

The purpose of e-commerce websites are to sell products to users. The most successful websites are carefully optimized to achieve a high percentage of purchases. To achieve success e-commerce websites need to integrate all of the latest online closing & upsell techniques available which have been proven to increase the chances that a visitor will purchase.

Macro conversions for e-commerce based websites would commonly be:

  • E-commerce order completion
  • Paid subscription sign up

Service-Based Business Websites

The purpose of a service-based business website is to convince website visitors that they should become customers of the service company. This is done by positioning the company as a dependable, trust worthy and experienced service provider in the target market.

Visitors will pre-screen potential service providers by reviewing their websites before they make any phone calls. During this process, they are trying to find the best company that will meet their specific needs. They are trying to ascertain how expert the company is, the quality of the work they will receive, whether the provider has a good reputation and how long the company has been in business. Visitors can be helped by providing them with information and articles which demonstrate your knowledge, a visual portfolio of your work, videos, and customer testimonials and so on.

Macro conversions for service based websites would commonly be:

  • Contact form completion (for websites without e-commerce)
  • Phone call (driven from websites without e-commerce)

Information based websites

The purpose of an information centric website is to convey specific, helpful information to a specific user/audience so that the reader learns something new or understands a topic better. These websites are geared around more actionable information and may contain “how to’s”, tips and tricks, fix and repair, guidance, support information, directions, instructions, etc.

Macro conversions for information based websites would commonly be:

  • Pages per visit
  • Duration Goal

Micro conversions

Macro conversion performance is of obvious importance. However fixating solely on this single metric (or any single metric) is ill-advised. This alone will not paint the full picture of performance and in fact there may be a multitude of other user actions that indicate changes in performance. These actions are often referred to as micro conversions and mark an outcome on a website that is of less importance than the primary, or macro conversion.

Taking an e-commerce website for example, the macro conversion would be an order completion whereas micro conversions could include sign up to an email newsletter, a PDF brochure download, a Facebook like, etc. In this case these actions indicate user engagement and potentially even lead users to complete an order at some point in the future. However in isolation they do not generally drive revenue or customer acquisition at the point of their conversion.

Micro conversions could also include more standard actions such as viewing a product page or adding an item to the shopping basket. They can also include less obvious conversions such as click-through from search results (CTR could justifiably be counted as a micro conversion rate).

Examples of micro conversions can often be categorised as follows:

  • Navigation based conversions
  • Viewing a product page
  • Entering the checkout process
  • Reaching an application form
  • CTR from search results

Interaction (or completed action) based conversions

  • Email newsletter sign up
  • Adding a product to the cart
  • Downloading a PDF brochure
  • Watching a promotional video
  • Social actions
  • Request a call back

Engagement based conversions

  • Time on site over a certain threshold
  • Number of pages viewed above target
  • Visit frequency

Should you wish to create a measurement plan for your business or need assistance with putting conversion tracking in place then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Email hello@creo.co.uk or call us on 02920 653066.

Date Posted
22nd February 2017
Service Tags

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