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Is your Web site working? How would you know? Clients constantly ask me what they should be measuring, and my answer is always, “It depends.”

So for all of you who have wondered the same thing, here is the handy-dandy Sterne How-To Guide for measuring the success of your Web site.

1. Identify Key Stakeholders

Who cares? Inside your company, I mean.

Ensuring the success of the company Web site is not something that belongs exclusively to one job function or title. It's not something that can be forced on somebody. If you want your site to be successful and you want to measure that success, then you'll have to round up the people who are vitally interested.

Perhaps they have an agenda and see the Web as a way to help. Perhaps they are techno-geeks and just love to mess around with whatever is on the leading edge. Maybe they like the distinction of being an Internet person. The people in your company who care about your site enough to complain about it should also be asked to join the team willing to take some responsibility for it.

2. Identify Key Stakeholders' Primary Goals

With the stakeholders listed, cataloged, alphabetized and (with any luck) in the same room, find out what they want. This is a multi-tiered question that involves finding out what they want out of the Web site on behalf of the company, on behalf of their departments and as individuals. Sometimes these conversations even get down to how individuals are compensated.

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image of Jim Sterne

Jim Sterne (jsterne@targeting.com) is the founder and director of Target Marketing (www.targeting.com), founder of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and the founding president and current chairman of the Web Analytics Association.