If you wish to be successful with your digital government initiatives, you must measure. Without reasonably good metrics you have no way to determine success and no way to gauge how you should direct your resources. Putting up a website is not a measure of success. You really need to understand what that website is accomplishing and numbers are the best way to tell the story.
- Unique visitors – I don’t look at hits ever because it has so many variables. Unique visitors is a measure I always want to increase year over year and I maintain a separate chart where I transfer the monthly stats so I can track it over time even if my tools change.
- Time spent – I need to understand how my users are doing at accomplishing what they want to do. Are they finding other interesting things?
- Bandwidth – What is the average bandwidth of our users’ connections? What percent are on broadband? This has everything to do with the kind of experience we can provide for the user.
- Browser – Do I understand how many are accessing the site from a mobile platform? Which mobile platforms are they using? Have I tested for their experience so that I understand it?
- Majestic SEO – Search engine optimization is a key factor in any successful website. Be sure you are backlinked from important relevant sites. This site will help you measure how successful your SEO efforts are. For example, here’s a look at one of our more popular sub-domains.
- Click-through measurement – Don’t forget to measure your social media efforts. We have over 150 state and local agencies in Utah that use Twitter. Be sure to measure the click-through rates of your links to understand what your readers are most interested in by using a tool like bit.ly or go.usa.gov.
- Google Chrome Extensions. I use quite a few of these to have immediate access to all kinds of information. For now, I will recommend Chrome SEO, but there are many more.