Cover by Sean Power, Alistair Croll

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Tailoring the Monitoring Mix to SaaS Sites

SaaS companies want to replace desktop software. Their products must be at least as fast and as dependable, and ideally more convenient than the desktop alternatives they’re replacing. They should also offer features, such as sharing and group scheduling, that aren’t easily available on standalone desktop applications. So most of the metrics a SaaS provider cares about focus on performance, usability, and end user productivity.

How Much Did Visitors Benefit My Business?

Primary metric: billing and account use

Secondary metrics: conversion and abandonment; offline activity

SaaS companies make money when subscribers pay for access to the application. Monthly billing is based on the number of users and seats, and should be the basis for revenue reporting. Usually, this kind of accounting is done within the application itself and tied back to payment systems directly.

You should view the parts of your site that sign up new subscribers or convert free users to paid services as a transactional site using traditional conversion-and-abandonment monitoring.

The interaction your subscribers have with your helpdesk, however, needs to be tracked because it is a direct reflection of performance, availability, and usability issues with the SaaS site itself. Helpdesk calls are negative outcomes that need to be traced back to the pages, processes, or outages that caused them.

Where Is My Traffic Coming from?

No primary or secondary metrics

Traffic sources aren’t ...

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