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Key Metrics: Getting started with Key Metrics and KPIs

Gudrun Gustafsdottir avatar

Once you have an understanding of KPIs and Key Metrics, it is time to actually define them for your website(s). This article will help you define KPIs and Key Metrics for your website. Also, check out the Key Metrics Academy Course. You will need:

  • A piece of paper and a pen (or an Excel spreadsheet).
  • Your web team.

Watch a short video on defining Key Metrics and KPIs, and follow the steps below to get started.

Key Metrics and KPIs


1. Determine your website KPIs

All websites have a purpose. Whether it is generating leads for your business, showcasing new products, or helping users find information, websites are built for a reason. Ask yourselves: 

  • What is the purpose of our website?
  • How does our website support our business?

Create a spreadsheet matrix where you list all the KPIs you have come up with across the top of the matrix. You should keep the list to 6 or fewer KPIs.

Metrics/ KPIs Lead Generation Sales Self-help


2. Identify your Key Metrics

Key Metrics are the most important actions that you want your users to perform on your website. This can include signing up for a newsletter, signing up for a trial, performing a table reservation, or filling out a self-service form. There is a default limit of 100 Key Metrics per site. Discuss with your web team all of the most important Key Metrics and place them on the left side of the matrix. 

Metrics/ KPIs Lead Generation Sales Self-help
Newsletter signup      
Requested an offer      
Downloaded brochure      
Read FAQ page      
Organic sale      


3. Pair Key Metrics and KPIs

Now that you have defined your overall KPIs and Key Metrics, it is time to pair them. This is easy to do in your matrix. Just add a check mark or an X for each KPI each Key Metric supports. It is alright to have multiple Key Metrics support the same KPI. Once you are done, you will easily be able to see each Key Metric supports one of your KPIs. 

Metrics/ KPIs Lead Generation Sales Self-help
Newsletter signup X    
Requested an offer  X  
Downloaded brochure    
Read FAQ page    
Organic sale    X  


4. Identify the triggers that will make it all tick

Now that you know what you want your users to achieve on your website, it is time to figure out how your users are actually achieving it by identifying triggers. Triggers can vary depending on how your website works. The important part is to figure out what triggers a successful completion for each metric. 

What will trigger the action you want?
Is it a visit to a specific page? A click on a button?

As an example, a sign-up to your newsletter might be triggered when a user visits the "Thank you" page or when the user clicks on the "Newsletter Sign-up" button. 

You need to ensure that you define triggers for each of your Key Metrics. There may be more than one way to trigger the same metric. If a metric seems to get too complicated it might be a good idea to split it up into simpler, more specific metrics.

Metrics Trigger
Newsletter signup Page visit /newsletter-thank-you/
Requested an offer Page visit /request-sent/
Downloaded brochure Event fired: clicked brochure download button
Read FAQ page Page visit /faq/
Organic sale Page visit /order-confirmation/ - and- Referrer is search engines

Once you are done, you can start setting up your key metrics and creating your KPIs in Siteimprove Analytics. 

Key Metrics Academy Course

The Siteimprove Academy offers scalable learning programs, interactive course content, and actionable outcomes for you and your team. Take advantage of our online courses, including the ""Key Metrics"" course to get the most from our products.

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