(See our thread on engagability and where we start pondering how to measure that, to see what I mean.)
Bryan Eisenberg has been writing about web site performance lately. Here's a recent article:
The Nitty Gritty Behind the Glamour
It's time we had a serious talk about numbers. Data. Metrics. Web analytics. Doesn't matter what you call the stuff, you simply must stay on top of how your Web site is doing. And the only way you can do that is by looking at those digits. Are you making money or losing it hand over fist? Do you know which parts of your site are humming along like a perfectly tuned engine and which stand in need of a complete overhaul? If you do something one way and then decide to make a change, are you evaluating the effect of that change?
We can all go swimming in the massive quantities of data we are able to collect online. But not just any old data will do. In fact, most of what you can collect is fundamentally useless. However, ebusiness does have its own meaningful set of relationships that can be measured and evaluated to advantage. Analytics dudes and dudettes call them Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. These are the babies that are going to mean the most to your online efforts.
In this forum, I'm going to be gathering up more information on measuring web site performance, and specifically hunting down anything related to the usability side of testing and gathering data.
Conversions are another area, related to ROI, that sooner or later, some of us become concerned with. Bryan has another web site called FutureNow in which he writes on this, and offers a free report called "Increasing Conversion Rates One Step at a Time", which you may want to check out.
You're used to tracking things like traffic, page abandonment and search engine placement, but now we hope to explore how we can understand the people behind the data. When you get to know what they need and want, your web site will be successful.