Management of content proliferation is important of course, but in evaluating content effectiveness it is also important to consider the goals of the site. All too often we hear that “reading content” is a site goal. While that may be true if you’re selling advertising, it is generally not true for content rich sites. (For more on this, you’ll want to read next week’s post on Mission Critical Content)The purpose of content is to drive an action or a task, such as a purchase, event registration, donation, newsletter sign up, lead generation form completion, using a selection wizard and so on.
Measuring Task Completion gives you an initial sense on whether the web site is effective in getting visitors to complete the tasks on your site that are associated with business goals. Once you establish Task Completion Effectiveness, you can use this as a benchmark to determine whether you content management actions are working. The goal: raise the site’s Task Completion Effectiveness percentage.
Task Completion Effectiveness (TCE): Measures completion of site tasks associated with your goals and mission
Calculation: Expressed as a percentage based on the total number of task-completion page views divided by total number of site page views. A higher percentage indicates more successful task completion.
Calculation Notes: The completion page for each task will need to be identified, such as a “thank you” page or a submission confirmation.
Example: During the month, there were 500,000 total page views. Of this total number, there were 10,000 task-completion page views. This equals a task-completion effectiveness of 2%.
In the chart below, you’ll notice that we’re using “visits” and not “page views” as a baseline metric. Why? This report was done in Google Analytics. GA bases its metrics on visits and can not correlate events to page views. While we could have created filters to obtain the page view data, we opted to go with what GA does best. Using visits as an alternative still provides a reliable measure of task completion effectiveness. If we had done this in SiteCatalyst, we would have been able to correlate the events to page views.
In this example, the TCE has gone down slightly over a 3 month trend. Next steps should include reviewing the page view totals of the task confirmation pages to see which ones are experiencing declines, and then determining what factors are influencing the drop. Is it because there has been more content added to the site, thereby “diluting” the completion page views? Less marketing and acquisition driving towards task completion? Or, perhaps tasks are seasonally driven? Like any good high level “health” report, the TCE will drive additional questions that require you to do some analysis and investigation.
As I mentioned in my first post, this metric becomes even more effective through segmentation of audiences by geolocation, subdomain, visit frequency, and acquisition source.