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Key Performance Indicators For Content Based Sites

By Jody Nimetz

In the first few articles of this series, we discussed key performance indicators and how to determine the right KPIs for your online campaign.

To review, key performance indicators are items that you measure to help determine progress towards goals that are used to substantiate the objectives of your business (whether it is online or offline). When trying to determine the proper key performance indicators, one of the most important factors to keep in mind is the type of business that you have. And as we are in the online marketing industry, let's stay with the theme and take this one step further… when determining your KPIs you need to understand the type of site that you have.

Content Based vs. Lead Generation vs. e-Commerce vs. Service and Support

Ok, so you have determined that the purpose of your site is to act as an information portal. Maybe you offer an online periodical or provide online news. Being that your site is a content based information portal, we can assume that you continue to provide fresh, relevant and useful content to your users. You have also determined that your target market consists of those people who are in the research phase of the buying cycle. In addition, part of your target demographic is people who are simply doing research and are also early adopters. Due to these facts, your target actively participates in the Blogosphere, and use RSS feeds to quench their thirst for knowledge and data.

Having done your research, you have realized who your target demographic is and have set-up blogs, forums, RSS feeds and other methods of providing content on your site. You've also added newsletters and the ability for users to login and receive even more information through a subscription service. You have established your online goals of increasing online subscriptions by 20% year over year, offline subscriptions by 10% and you want to increase the amount of time users stay on your site. The question now becomes: how do you measure success? Specifically what metrics do you need to measure to determine if you are achieving online success?

Key Performance Indicators to Measure for Content Based Sites

Based on the goals that you have established, we can now determine the proper KPIs to be tracked. Keep in mind that these metrics would be tailored specifically to your online campaign

* Conversion Rates: the likelihood users will sign up with you, subscribe, register or ask to receive information. This KPI addresses both goals of measuring online and offline subscriptions. Online by determining how many new online subscriptions occurred and offline by the number of information form requests filled out requesting information about offline subscriptions.

* Length of Visit/Average Time Spent on Site: this metric helps measure your goal of wanting to increase the amount of time users spend on the site during a given visit.

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Other Key Performance Indicators for Content Based Site Owners to Consider

* Average Page Views: the number of pages the visitor visited can indicate the strength of your visitor's connection to the information you provide

* Percent Returning Visitors: percentage of retained visitors returning to your site

* Cancellations: the likelihood your subscriber cancels their subscription through an unsubscribe form

* Average subscription length

* Active subscriber base (based on different time weekly, monthly, etc depending on model)

* Visits per month (or quarter or week).

* RSS Syndication

* Blog Stats: (ie. Technorati, Digg etc)

In order to determine the proper KPIs for a content based/information portal type of site, you need to realize the overall purpose and scope of your site, establish realistic online goals and have the proper analytics in place to measure the metrics that should be your key performance indicators.

Next we will present examples of KPIs for e-commerce sites.

About the Author:
Jody Nimetz
Search Marketing Strategist
Search Engine Positioning by Searchengineposition
Enquiro Full Service Search Engine Marketing

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