Today, business leaders see the world through a numeric lens—number of leads, quantity of sales, and amount of revenue. It’s all qualitative. Digital technology has made it even easier to keep track of numbers and analyze trends. Almost too easy, as now there are so many different metrics to consider when looking to gauge business success. When it comes to tracking efforts to build brand awareness and grow the business bottom line, there are several marketing metrics that matter.
Why Track Marketing Metrics?
There are many numbers bandied about today in the business setting. It can be overwhelming. Yet, all the available metrics offer advantages. Today’s business leader can track marketing campaign success on a broad scale or with a level of specificity the ad guys smoking their cigarettes in the Mad Men offices would envy.
Setting marketing objectives can help you better understand what efforts are producing the desired result. Tracking those goals with marketing metrics can help you:
- Incentivize your workforce
- Raise the bar for sustained growth
- Identify areas of new opportunity
- Minimize wasted resources
- Focus your marketing campaign efforts
- Develop a process that provides results
There are many different marketing metrics you can monitor. This article explains 12 of the most important ones you need to track to gauge success.
#1 Website Traffic
Website traffic refers to the users visiting your website. You might measure traffic in terms of visits or sessions, but what you’re actually tracking is the number of opportunities your business has had to make an impression on online visitors by sharing your brand, selling them a product or service, and building relationships.
Website traffic tells you how many people are seeing your site. On its own, though, it isn’t the most actionable of the metrics that matter. After all, it doesn’t tell you what they did on your site or where they came from. Traffic simply tells you whether your site is popular or not. You’ll need to overlay other considerations to understand which digital marketing campaigns are working well.
#2 Referral Traffic
Using Google Analytics, you’re able to track organic search, direct visitors, referrals, and social. Referral traffic refers to visitors who find your website from sources outside of Google’s search engine. This can be someone clicking on a hyperlink from a different website, a banner ad, or a QR code you put on product packaging.
Referral traffic can help you understand where website traffic is coming from. Differentiating your sources enables you to know which channels you should invest more or less in and where to target your efforts.
#3 Search Traffic
This performance metric reflects the amount of referral traffic sent to your site through a search engine. Since we are only becoming more reliant on online search, it’s critical that you have people finding your content on the web via search engines.
Paid search is the search engine results you get from your paid advertising via Google AdWords or another paid search platform. Organic search traffic represents traffic to your page that you didn’t pay to get; you earned it. It means your website is doing its job and fulfilling the need of your prospects and buyers. Your website is findable, and people find value in what they discover.
#4 Keyword Rankings
When you track keyword rankings, you’re monitoring how high your website page ranks in search engines for your selected keyword. To begin with this metric, you’re going to have to optimize all your web content with relevant keywords.
Keyword ranking impacts web traffic, lead generation, and conversion rate (more on that below). “Research shows that more than half of all search engine users click on a result on the first page, and the higher you rank on that [Search Engine Result Page], the better off you are,” according to Wordstream.
#5 Most Visited Pages
Knowing which pages are visited most provides useful data about:
- Which areas of your website are most valuable
- What your audience is interested in
- What pages are leading to sales
You can also use the trends from the most visited pages to shape your buyer personas and flesh out your customers’ pain points. This information is found in the Behaviors section of Google Analytics’ website metrics.
#6 Session Duration
Session duration tells you how long a visitor is staying on your site. The longer a session, you could assume they are engaging more with your brand and interacting with your content.
According to one study, the average session duration for all sites surveyed was two minutes and 17 seconds. The researchers also found: “B2C companies set themselves apart from their B2B counterparts with visitors spending an average of 42.3 percent more time on site.”
#7 Conversion Rate
As promised, more on conversion rates. This is going to mean different things depending on the specific campaign. For example, your goal may be to get someone to buy a widget. If they do, that’s a conversion. However, if the goal is to have them fill out the form to download a white paper about that widget, the conversion would be made when users perform that action.
The conversion rate represents your success at getting the website visitor to do what you wanted them to do. This can be a big or small action. It only matters that it is important to you and tells you something insightful.
Drive conversion rates by knowing your audience and appealing to them with targeted content. Think of it like Sally Field’s “You like me!” awards acceptance speech. Only your conversion rate reflects your user thinking, “They know me!”
#8 Social Reach and Engagement
These are two metrics that matter in one section. After all, social reach tells you only how many people saw the social content you wanted them to see. To gauge whether they did anything about it or interacted with it, you would look at social engagement.
Don’t overlook social reach, though. You need a lot of it to get any meaningful social engagement. It’s estimated “a benchmark goal is to see 2-5% engagement based on your overall reach.”
Increase your social reach by branding all your social media channels, posting funny and/or informative content, and interacting with your social community. Social media marketing is not just about your business putting stuff out there on Facebook or Instagram. You want to build relationships. If you engage with them, they’re more likely to return the favor.
#9 Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Website promotion is the primary goal of many marketing efforts—whether it’s digital ad campaigns, social media campaigns, or email campaigns. That means you want people to click the link on your banner ad, tweet, or personalized email. Click-through rate (CTR) is the number that helps you gauge how successful you are being in getting people’s attention. They are not only seeing your content, but they are also interacting with it.
As with most of these metrics, looking at CTR as a standalone metric won’t get you very far. After all, this rate simply tells you how often people wanted “more”—whether your verb of choice in front of that is learn, read, know, find, see, etc. You’ll still need to consider metrics such as session duration or website conversions to get the full picture.
#10 Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
This online advertising performance metric represents the cost of getting a single click on your paid ad. Whether you are paying for display advertising or a social media campaign, many platforms see you paying for clicks to your site.
Since every marketing budget has its limits, the goal is to lower your CPC. That lets you do more with less.
#11 Email Open and Click Rate
Email marketing has many steps to success. Some of your recipients may glance at the subject line or sender and immediately delete your message. That’s not going to take you very far. This makes email opens a useful metric to evaluate what kinds of subject lines appeal to your target audience. Maybe emails offering discounts do better than witty puns? Or emojis get disregarded, but a first name in the subject line makes a big difference.
Yet, opening the email still doesn’t say enough. Yes, someone might open the message in their inbox. But do they do anything when reading it? Typically a marketing email is going to ask the recipient to click on a link. You might want them to schedule an appointment, download a brochure, go to your website, read your blog, view their abandoned cart, and the list goes on. The click rate is what tells you whether or not they are doing so.
#12 Leads Generated
Sales have one thing they want marketing to do: “generate leads.” That’s why this is one metric that helps marketing credibility within the organization. Of course, lead generation does not necessarily lead to increased sales and revenue. But it’s an essential first step.
In establishing key performance indicators (KPIs), make sure you understand the kind of lead you’re looking to attain. Defining a KPI for “more leads” is too broad. You’ll be better off setting a goal for the volume of qualified leads. Drive sales even more effectively by working with the people closing the leads to distinguish between a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and a sales qualified lead (SQL).
Today, it is simple to analyze what is working and what needs improvement. Determine KPIs that say something useful about your business or brand. Then, set up KPI metrics to drive analytical insights. With integrated analytics and tracking of these 12 metrics, you can make sure your marketing dollars are going to the right channels and that your campaigns are resonating with the right people.
Business Maker makes it easier to plan your marketing initiatives and track essential marketing metrics. Offering a platform that includes a website for promoting your products and services, Business Maker also simplifies adding landing pages to increase conversion rates on digital ads or email signups. Centralize your online efforts to promote your brand, strengthen SEO, and drive business success.