Key Performance Indicators and Your Website – It’s all about the (measurable) results!

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable objectives that can be used to identify trends over time, assess Return on Investment (ROI) and ultimately,...

Thursday November 17, 2016

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable objectives that can be used to identify trends over time, assess Return on Investment (ROI) and ultimately, to determine the effectiveness of your organization’s website and available online services.

Typically, KPIs involve evaluating qualitative data using tools such as Google Analytics. This may include monitoring historical user data—which can be further filtered according to demographic information, such as gender, age or location—and weighing it against your organization’s goals.

However, there are many additional KPIs that may be used to ascertain whether a website is doing its job. Here are some of the KPIs that we recommend using to evaluate your website’s effectiveness: 

Content Management System (CMS) Usability

How easy is it for back-end users to manage the site?

The success of a website partially depends on how easy it is for authors to create, update and publish relevant content and information. The following KPIs can be used to determine how user-friendly a CMS is: 

  • Stale content: The number of pages that have not been updated in 30, 60 or 90 days.
  • Page statistics: The number of pages that have been added, deleted, updated or have expired.
  • Average time to publish a page: The amount of time that it takes between requesting a new page and the page appearing the website (or being declined).
  • Number of news items published. 

Community Engagement

Is the website providing both new and returning visitors with the information that they need? 

Measuring community engagement is vital to verifying whether your website is building strong relationships with users, visitors and the community. Engagement levels can be examined using the following KPIs: 

  • Conversion rate: Number of calendar, news, and event subscribers.
  • Number of visitors who come to the website via social media.
  • Number of visitors who fit the desired demographic.
  • Increase in accessibility: Number of errors found decreases.
  • Average rating on website feedback forms.
  • Decrease in bounce rate on homepage. 

Website Content Audit

Does the website’s content accurately represent and meet the goals of the organization? 

Reviewing the content of a website helps to establish the quality of information that is being provided to both new and returning users. In addition to identifying poorly performing or outdated pages, an audit can help improve search engine optimization (SEO). While not a qualitative KPI, this is no less important and the following should be considered: 

  • Does the tone of the website match the tone of the organization or business?
  • Is the website’s content relevant?
  • Literacy: Is the content readable for all users?
  • Does the content follow “Writing for the Web” principles, such as presenting information in an inverted pyramid? 

Mobile Friendly

Is the site easy to use with a SmartPhone? 

Regardless of whether it’s an app or a mobile site, users must be able to access the information they need through their mobile devices, which can be measured in the following ways: 

  • Decrease in homepage bounce rate when accessing from a mobile phone
  • Increase in mobile traffic 

Search Usability

Can users find the information that they need on the website?

Examining the search relevance rating of a website’s custom search toolbar is another important KPI. Apart from helping users to find the information that they’re looking for, a search toolbar—once connected to an analytics program—can help to identify common queries and the pages visited as a result. 

Service Improvement Indicators

Has the organization’s service improved as a consequence of the website? 

Dependent on the nature of the organization or business, some of the KPIs that may be used to evaluate whether service has improved include: 

  • Phone call volume: If the information on the website is accessible and easy to find, call volume should decrease.
  • In-person traffic: Moving more information online, including online services, should result in fewer people visiting a bricks-and-mortar facility for basic information.
  • Sign-ups: If events are more prominent and easier for users to find, there should be an increase in event sign-ups.
  • Increase in online applications and online transactions.
  • Frequency of website and social updates made by staff internally.

Website Analytics

Are more visitors accessing and using the site? 

Ultimately, measuring the website’s return on investment (ROI) is a key reason for measuring KPIs. The following can be used to measure ROI:

  • Number of unique visitors: should increase over time.
  • Number of new visitors versus returning visitors.
  • Number of referrals, including those from newsletters or social media campaigns.
  • Bounce rate: this should be less than 50 per cent for the overall website.
  • Average visit duration should increase over time.
  • Number of pages that visitors access per visit.
  • Increase in organic search traffic.
  • Increase in traffic to top pages on the site.


 Need help understanding what KPIs can do for the success of your website? Contact us for information. 




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