What do 400,000 surveys tell us about your corporate website?

Our archive of corporate website visitor surveys, which we’ve been conducting for clients since 2011, continues to grow – to more than 425,000 currently. We recently presented an update on what this body of research can tell us about how to serve your visitors more effectively. Here are the highlights.
 

For a full recording of the web meeting, please email Dan Drury: ddrury@bowencraggs.com. 

Corporate website measurement is maturing

Digital managers want to measure engagement and journeys rather than simply tracking visits or downloads through analytics: they want meaningful information – did users achieve their tasks and if not, why? Using surveys and analytics together, as we do for some of our clients, can help answer these questions. We are able to see at a granular level, what particular audiences did on a site, or where visitors failed when trying to do something specific.
 

There is much room for improvement when it comes to ‘goal achievement’

Only just under half of survey respondents, 48 per cent, say they achieved their goals on corporate websites. Nearly a quarter of respondents say they definitely did not achieve their goals, and 28 per cent ‘partly’ achieved them.

Jobseekers and customers continue to outnumber other visitors, but only sometimes succeed

The largest audience on websites, according to our surveys, is jobseekers, and the biggest reason for visiting a corporate site, at 39%, is to search for a job.

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The second biggest audience continues to be customers, at 25%: confirming what our analytics  suggest – that customers are indeed present on corporate sites, whether site managers want them to be or not.

Of those, almost half come for customer service or to find out about a specific product. Sites which fail to address those needs, or at least to direct customers to the appropriate place to serve them, risk alienating customers.

Our surveys suggest this is happening more than digital managers may like. Customers may be the second biggest audience on corporate sites, but they are least likely to achieve their goals of all corporate audiences, with a goal achievement rate of 41 per cent. Journalists and CSR analysts do not fare much better, with a 46 per cent success rate, while many web managers might worry that their largest audience, jobseekers, only succeed half of the time.

Jobseekers have the most positive perception of the brand, and customers the least

We measure how corporate website visitors’ perceptions of a company’s brand improves or declines after visiting the site. Jobseekers are the most likely audience to  have their brand perception improved after visiting, at 55%. In contrast, only 34% of customers have their perception of a company improved by a corporate website visit. Investors, on the other hand, tend to leave with their perception unchanged: a challenge to investor relations teams?

Failure to achieve goals is linked to a decline in brand perception

Overall, 44 per cent of survey respondents leave with a better perception of the company (in itself an opportunity for improvement), but only 24 per cent of those who fail to achieve their goal do so. Helping website visitors complete the tasks they came for could improve the company’s reputation.

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To discuss our measurement services, including how we can help with visitor surveys and analytics, please contact Dan Drury ddrury@bowencraggs.com or see our website.

For more information on the Bowen Craggs Club, visit our website, or contact Lisa Hayward, lhayward@bowencraggs.com.

'Light quant' - the sexiest job of the 21st Century?

In my recent column I lamented the fact that the typical corporate web team is unlikely to have the budget or resources to do measurement well. Even if budget were no object, an article by Gil Press, Forbes contributor, shows how the problem is compounded because data scientists are in such high demand. We’ve all seen the explosion of job titles with ‘digital’ in them; now it’s ‘data’. 

Gil defines a data scientist as ‘an engineer who employs the scientific method and applies data-discovery tools to find new insights in data’. Our own super-star data scientist Helen Lindsay is indeed an engineer who uses the excellent tool Tableau to provide our clients with insight.

In the survey on which Gil’s article is based half of the respondents cited turning analytical insights into business actions as one of their top analytics challenges – as my column suggests and as Helen would attest. 

Tom Davenport, writing for Deloitte, defines the need for ‘light quant’ as someone who knows something about analytical and data management methods; knows a lot about specific business problems; and can connect the two. An ‘analytical translator’ is someone who is extremely skilled at communicating the results of quantitative analyses.

I’m not sure that Helen would describe the job as ‘sexy’ - as Gil Press attempts to, although with tongue in cheek - since it involves equal measure of painstaking detail (data wrangling) and frustrating generality (people wrangling). But I’m sure she’d agree with Tom that these are indeed the types of skills needed by anyone trying to find the metrics that the board cares about most. 

- Dan Drury