I have recently been working on a project with Bowen Craggs for a client’s corporate website, defining the value of the website to the client using a Balanced Scorecard. This includes assigning values to specific pages within the website based on how well they are performing using web analytics data. Before the project could proceed, we needed to create formulae based on available web analytics data that could be used to calculate the value for each page.
This required me to think about how web pages can be grouped or categorised. While I am sure there are many ways to categorise web pages, the method I came up with was based on the purpose of the web page. This means the same method can be used to evaluate the performance of, and calculate a value for, all pages within each category. I am sure I will evolve this categorisation and evaluation methodology over time but it has given me a nice place to start.
The different categories of web pages that I have identified are:
These are destination pages containing information that may be of interest to visitors. As there is no action to take on these pages, it can be very difficult to evaluate whether the page is performing well or not. Given the objective for the page is for the visitor to read the content, success can be defined as the visitors who spend at least XX minutes on the page or who exit the website from that page (assuming this is because they have found and read the information they were after).
These pages contain links through to other internet pages, whether within the site or through to 3rd party websites. These pages do not contain any direct information and instead exist purely to direct visitors onwards. Success is defined based on the visitor clicking on one of the specific links contained within this page (not the general navigation links).
These pages are just one in a series of pages. It may be a set of pages containing information or one stage in a checkout process. Either way, the intention is for the visitor to arrive on this page from the previous step and then to proceed to the next stage in the process. Success is defined by the visitor going through to the next stage in this process.
These pages contain one or more actions that it is desired the visitor takes. These could be anything from downloading a file to submitting a form to adding a product to their basket. Success is defined by the visitor taking at least one of the desired actions.
These pages allow the visitor to interact with them in some way. It could be to watch a video or to use a calculator. Success is defined by the visitor interacting with the element on the webpage. Note that this just defines whether the web page is good at getting the visitor to interact with the element, not how well the actual element is performing.
It is quite possible for a web page to fall into multiple categories. An example of this would be the Travelex UK homepage. This is a navigational page that visitors can interact with and (ideally for Travelex) click on a button to add the currency exchange to their basket. The performance of this page can be measured in different ways to understand how it is performing as a navigation page, as a transactional page and as an interactive page. It is possible for a page to perform well in one category but not so well in a different category.
This post was originally published on AussieWebAnalyst on 11th Nov ’08