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Measuring The Value of Your Site Content

This week we’re looking tracking your online marketing. We started with a look at what your marketing dashboard should look like, then showed how to track online marketing effectiveness in Google Analytics.

Today, we’re going to take a quick look at how to use one of my favorite Google Analytics features: $index (pronounced “dollar index”). Simply, $index looks at pages that contributed to conversions during a given session (you can see a full definition here).

To use $index, define a conversion value for each of your goals in the “Goal Settings” section of Google Analytics:

Goal setting goal value

Ideally, e-commerce sites will calculate the $index using the e-commerce tracking code. But I like to set a value for every goal on a site, even if there’s no absolute value. For instance, if the primary goal on a site is worth $100 to the business, I can then use that as a baseline and estimate the value of other goals. A goal that’s worth roughly 20% of the primary goal gets assigned a $20 value, one that’s worth 5% gets a $5 value, and so on. Even non-commerce sites can use this technique. Set your primary goal as worth $100 and, as just mentioned, calculate your other goals’ values as a percentage of that number.

Once you’ve established your goal value, you can measure the value of each page on your site by its $index. For instance, here are pages on this blog sorted (with a weighted sort) on $index (the goal value for this profile’s goal is $10):

$index ranking

I can clearly see that people who visit my blog’s home page convert at 16.1% ($1.61 divided by the goal value of $10), those who visit my website home page convert at 14.8%, and those who visit my company’s services page convert at 31.6%. Pretty useful, huh?

Where this really comes in handy is when deciding which site elements to fix. If you’ve got a page that gets loads of visits but has a low $index relative to your site average, that’s a great place to start improving your website. For example, here are pages on this blog, sorted by page views, using a comparison view of $index:

$index comparison

Clearly, those top 3 pages (and 7 out of the 10 shown) trail the average on $index and offer plenty of opportunity to improve site performance. Now just imagine what you could do on your site with this kind of information. Need help with any of this? Drop me a line. I’m happy to help if I can.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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