Website Goals for the Visual Learner

I’m a right brained, visual learner. But, I work with numbers all day.

In fact, I went to college and graduated with a degree in Fine Art. I never in a million years thought I’d be staring at Excel spreadsheets and analytical data most of the day, much less enjoying it all the while. How I arrived at my current position is an incredibly boring 10 year long story I only tell to overly sugared nieces and nephews to bore them to sleep. What might be of some value to others though is how I have allowed my right-brainedness to influence my work as a data geek.

Because I always learn best with a visual explanation, and feel that others sometimes do too, I try to incorporate simple graphics into my presentations to clients when we have to deal with numerical or data-oriented concepts. The results are usually positive. I created this series of graphics in Keynote recently to explain to the team at the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) how our Google Analytics goals relate to the traveler’s planning process and how that affects our media planning decisions.

First, I created 5 simple categories for travelers:

Next, I outlined the CVB website’s Google Analytics tracking setup including basic data, goals, and conversion events into a simple tiered chart. The lower you are on the chart, the closer you are to our ideal conversion (you getting to Charleston).

After doing this, I showed how these goals stack up nicely next to the categories of travelers outlined previously. There is some overlap in the goals that match the “Going Somewhere” and “Booking” travelers.

It’s a fairly simple funnel in the end, but this really helped the CVB understand how website measurement relates directly to different types of travelers. It also helps us unite on what goals we might want to push hardest on for a given digital media campaign. The tactics and measurements we would use for a campaign to push immediate hotel bookings in the next 1-2 months is very different than a campaign that is geared to raise widespread awareness of Charleston as a destination for future vacations that might be 6-12 months out.

Once we’ve agreed on the goals of the campaign, it’s easy to align tactics that deliver on the website goals the best with available media planning budget.

This exercise works great for any type of business. We also recently did this with a university here in Charleston, swapping out the traveler categories for prospective students decision stages. Smooth as silk again. I guess being a visual learner in a data geek’s world isn’t so bad after all.