Why do you need a measurement plan?
Table of contents
- A measurement plan: the roadmap for your business
- “What is the measurement plan and why do I need it?”
- “I’ve found some measurement plan template on the internet, can I use it and be happy?”
- “Okay, you sound persuasive. What do I need to create a measurement plan?”
- “Can I create the measurement plan myself?”
A measurement plan: the roadmap for your business
To make your business work, you need to define business goals and the ways to measure if you’ve succeeded or not. You can integrate both of these important things into a measurement plan.
If your website represents only one landing page and you need to track one goal or Google Ads traffic only, you can handle it without a measurement plan. Just set up GA event and goal, start tracking Google Ads Conversion and you’re all set.
But if you expect users to perform different kinds of actions (to watch a product video, to sign up for the newsletter and so on), you’d probably want to track micro conversions as well. If you have multiple traffic sources (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Bing), you may want to set up conversion tracking pixels for them. And that’s just for starters.
Also a well-planned strategy can be of great help to you if you’ve just set up Google Analytics account for your website and don’t know where to start and how to make your measurement efficient.
The key idea of the measurement strategy creation is to plan it all first and only then implement. Your marketing road can have its twists and turns, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a map to check with from time to time. In this post, I’ve tried to cover the most common questions about measurement plan I’ve been frequently asked. Let’s get it started, shall we?
“What is the measurement plan and why do I need it?”
Measurement plan is the individual step-by-step guide that leads you from your business global objectives right to the metrics with which you can measure your success (or the opposite thing). From the general to the specific, from the role, your business plays on the global market to the certain steps you need take towards your goals.
If you’re planning to install Google Analytics on your website and integrate it with Google Ads, Facebook Pixel or track the dynamic remarketing campaigns with its help, it’s important to focus on your measurement plan first because the configuration will depend on what you need to measure. If you’re seeking for the ideal structure of the data and a setup which is close to perfect, measurement plan will be of great help there.
Sometimes we all need to stop for a minute, reflect on our business initiatives and ask ourselves: “Am I doing the right thing?” When you have a measurement plan with all business objectives, KPIs and targets defined, the answer will be not long in coming.
“I’ve found some measurement plan template on the internet, can I use it and be happy?”
Does the guy who created the template know which KPIs are important to you? When customized, measurement plan can bring you more effectiveness.
Think of your measurement plan as a doctor’s prescription. In pursuit of a better health, you can follow the recommendations of your friends, advice found on the internet and some recipes of “but it helped me, try it too” type. Alternatively, you could go to a doctor, to a really good one, have a full check-up, identify your problems and needs and get the personalized treatment plan. Sounds like a better option for me. So, skip all the guesswork, define what you need to achieve, find out how to keep the track of the situation and get the best result.
Though, let’s not underestimate the potential value of templates. Of course, there are some more or less common KPIs which probably would be beneficial to you. You can check out some of them in one of our previous posts for an e-commerce business.
But again, it’s not the replacement for the thoroughly planned strategy. A good measurement plan not only includes KPIs descriptions — it shows a whole picture of how it all will be tracked and implemented. So, templates could be useful — but only when analyzed and customized.
“Okay, you sound persuasive. What do I need to create a measurement plan?”
The measurement plan creation includes several steps.
1. Define your business objectives.
Think of what you want to achieve at the global level and which steps should be taken for this. In case with the law firm, one of the goals would be to get more clients from the website; for the e-commerce website, the goal would be to increase the revenue; for the blog — to increase the number of loyal visitors who will read, comment and share your posts.
It’s important to keep a balance between wishy-washy goals and overly detailed strategy easy to get lost in. Keep it simple while structured and determined.
2. Translating those business objectives into KPIs.
What do you need to track with Google Analytics to achieve those objectives from the first paragraph?
In case with the law firm, you should track the number of leads and conversion rate for the lead form.
In order to increase the revenue of the e-commerce website, the following KPIs will be relevant: total revenue, number of sales, e-commerce conversion rate, average order value.
If you write a blog, you’ll benefit from tracking the number of users scrolled 100% of the page, the number of the comments on the article, average time users spend reading the article, internal or external links clicks (if you have a partnership and want to track its effectiveness).
The list of KPIs should be a result of a teamwork: in order to keep the measurement plan both business-oriented and technically correct, the process must involve the analyst as well as a business owner (or somebody with a clue). If you want your dashboards to be informative, it should reflect only what you need to know and analyze.
3. Finding out how exactly track these KPIs and what technologies to use.
Should you use GA goals, events, or e-commerce conversion tracking? Google Ads Conversion tracking and Facebook Standard events or Conversions? The same goes with LinkedIn, Twitter, Bing, and other pixels — that’s why the measurement plan should be created individually because depends on YOUR traffic sources.
4. Explaining to your developers, what should be done on the client-side and/or the server-side of the website.
This is an individual thing too because in some cases you need just to set up a few tags and triggers in the Google Tag Manager, while in others you may need many parameters to be sent to these tools, like for Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce tracking. We call this part the “Implementation plan”.
“Can I create the measurement plan myself?”
As an option. What I know for sure is that you know your business as no one else does. So, it’s completely on your shoulders to think of the role your business plays on the global market and write down your business objectives. But the following steps can seem more complicated: choosing the right KPIs, understanding different data segments, setting up more or less reasonable targets and making your measurement plan organically lead to the implementation plan. You’re lucky if you have a GA expert who has it all under control and goes with you all the way — starting right with a measurement plan.
Another important thing which may confuse you is that a good measurement strategy should include the implementation plan to cover the programming part of the issue. Done by the professional, the implementation plan will help your developers bring some structure to the code on the website and tags in Google Tag Manager. This, in turn, will help you to avoid situations when, for example, you need to add new pieces of code to the website or new tags to GTM like every 2 days.
I’ve already told you that sometimes people see Google Analytics as a magic tool, with which there is no need for some special setup and especially no need for the measurement plan. But as it was said earlier, if your website has many forms and pages and your digital marketing covers many channels and campaigns, measurement plan can become a guiding roadmap for you to keep all your marketing initiatives under control.
Before I say goodbye, let me ask you: was this article useful? If you need help with measurement plan creation, please, fill in our contact form, and we’ll get in touch with you. In one of the next posts, I’ll give you a detailed example of how to create and implement a measurement strategy for the lead generation landing page and what benefits you can gain from it.