February 6, 2019

ProDev Lunch 023 – Audit Your Website Metrics Beyond Engagement

Help them get what they want: the shortest distance between a problem and its solution.

If customers spend 30 minutes on our website, are they engaged… or frustrated?

A main goal of a customer-oriented business is making sure everyone who visits your website can easily understand what you do and confirm to themselves that they’ve come to the right place. Jeffrey Zeldman (“An Event Apart” co-founder and veteran web designer) brings in a new measurement of design success based on the time it takes a customer to find, receive, and absorb your content.

The Talk

There are currently plenty of myths around engagement, many say it’s the #1 metric for a project’s success. But is it the right metric for every business?

Jeffrey Zeldman argues that for some apps and websites, engagement is clearly the right thing to measure (take Instagram for example). The same goes for travel and photography websites or long-form articles: people turn to them for research and it’s where you want them to linger on for more than a few seconds.

But when your website sells a product or a service, visitors don’t want to spend much time engaging—because that’s not what they’re there for. They want their questions answered, and the website with the sharpest answers wins them as customers. That’s why Jeffrey came up with a different metric to help guide stakeholders, which he called the Content Performance Quotient (Design CPQ) and it’s all about the speed of usefulness.

How quickly can you get the right content to your customers and solve their problem?

Jeffrey invites people who work together to create digital content to:

  • Be the surgeons of their website by taking a scalpel to the content and removing the stuff no one cares about. By doing this, you’re not only making the customer’s job easier—but also yours.
  • Think about it as a new way to deliver value. Whether you’re writing the code, designing the interface, drafting the copy, offering customer support, or you’re the manager—customers’ goals should be everyone’s job.

Our Thoughts

We’re actually seeing that Google’s algorithm is looking for relevant content to be delivered fast, so focusing on the Design CPQ is also beneficial for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Make sure your company cares about your customers and thinks about the top five things visitors need (and want) to see on your website. Many of us are looking to get people engaged with our content so that they’ll spend as much time as possible on our websites. But Jeffrey showed us that’s not necessarily best. “If the content you deliver is for the good of the general public, the presentation must facilitate slow, careful reading. But if it’s designed to promote your business or help a customer get an answer, it must be designed for speed of relevancy.”