Understanding the numbers game

We seem to be obsessed with numbers and targets, but what actual use are these? And do we really understand them?

With so much effort being put into communications, it’s a sound idea to measure what they actually achieve. Just taking internet activity, there are many statistics that you can monitor, from web site visitor numbers to page views, click-throughs and bounce rates (where a visitor leaves a web page without exploring further), but what do they mean?

For any business that wants to sell or promote itself over the internet, figures are useful. Sites that sell products online can measure success directly through sales figures and profit generated, but brochure sites aiming to attract customers to call or email are not so easy to measure.

The number of visitors or page views alone are not that useful if those visits are not from your target market. Thousands of visits are pointless if nobody ever responds, whereas low numbers of enquiries leading to large amounts of business are valuable.

So we have to be careful when we analyse numbers because they don’t always reveal the quality of performance. Delving deeper to find out if we are attracting our target audience, monitoring how many web visits convert into actual enquiries and calculating the value of business obtained from web site responses give us a real indication of success.

If we do this with all our communications, we’ll have a better idea of how well they are performing.

After our last blog, do you need to find suitable providers?

z2zine on Monday: print or digital?

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