Once again, the guys at ZAAZ this time Jason Burby has come up with another useful article, this time regards using web analytics to determine branding KPI’s.
It’s particularly pertinent for me right now, because I am working with a customer whose primary function is to find out the effect of branding, reach and the imparting of information (rather than specific conversions) to stakeholder groups.
One of the important things that Jason mentioned in his article was that branding metrics can easily be used as an excuse for you to not define other site performance metrics. This is very true. We have determined why stakeholders need to visit the pages and measure whether they are successful at finding that information.
He also made a list of metrics, all of which I agree on in the context Jason describes (on site influencers to overall branding). However what I am interested in for my client is brand recall, reach and how it can be quantified via web analytics.
- Direct visitor traffic – As Jason said. Traffic from direct accesses or bookmarks, the most obvious branding KPI as it means that someone knows your site either by typing in the URL or coming from a bookmark. When someone does that it means they have remembered your brand.
- Search keywords – The brand name I’m working with is called Orion. Therefore when someone types “Orion” into a search engine or any combination of it (IE Orion Pharma finland) I can count the traffic as brand recall.
- Geographic reach – from which countries/cities do visitors access the website?
The next couple of KPI’s overlap with onsite measurement (similar to Jason’s article) and can’t be 100% directly related to brand recall, but in my view are also applicable for reach purposes which is why we’ll use them in our study.
- Stakeholder Segmentation – Which type of visitor is visiting the site and what kind of information are they accessing? In the Orion case we’ve grouped the stakeholders as Customers/end users, Students/Job seekers, Investors and Partners (We considered employees, but the site is not aimed at them unless they are at the investor level). These groups access different sections of content – primarily we need to determine if they are being served effectively, but knowing what kind of visitors access the site tells the branding manager where the brand is well known and where they need to improve.
- New Visitors versus repeat visitor share – In our clients case we expect certain things based on the type of stakeholder we’re looking at. Students and job seekers, probably will likely visit less than one a month, if ever more than once a quarter, though they need to be catered for. The stakeholders we expect higher repeat visitors from are the other three groups, customers, suppliers and investors.
- Page views per session (segmented by stakeholder where possible) – As Jason suggested, when a user is looking at more pages per session, the brand is more likely to register with the visitor.
Beyond this we’re also looking to looking to get 3rd party studies such as;
- Market/customer studies – Brand recall studies from clients/suppliers/investors/students, using traditional marketing methods like surveys based on mindshare and brandshare. Did the visitor have a positive experience? Positive enough to remember the website 6 months on? Does the visitor associate your brand or a competing brand with your service?
Anyone else looking at Branding metrics?