The proof is in the digital marketing metrics pudding
A long time ago, in a marketing land far far away, marketing measurements were seen as a superfluous expense. They were really only something that money was spent on when the overall budget could accommodate it. Fast forward to today, when digital marketing metrics are seen as the science of effective campaigns, rather than a nice to have.
Solid metrics insights take the unpredictability out of anything one is trying to accomplish online. Whether you are just getting your footing in the digital marketing metrics space, or a seasoned vet overhauling your existing marketing strategies, these 10 marketing metrics should be core to your measurement plans:
1- Total Visits
Your website should be the hub of everything you are doing online. It is the primary target for your customer, and of course potential customers. Measuring the total number of page visits will give you an idea of how well a specific campaign is driving traffic. Of course you can pull in data for campaign landing pages, but the overall numbers will give you that quick look at how things are running – allowing you to quickly investigate if numbers shift drastically.
2- New Sessions
The total number of new sessions within your Google Analytics reporting dashboard will allow you to see how many of your site visitors are new and how many are recurring. Its a metric that will give you the information necessary to see whether or not your content is engaging enough, and if your website is sticky enough to make sure people are bookmarking and returning on a regular basis to seek your knowledge and insights. If this number drops, its a sign that your content value may be dropping.
3- Channel Specific Traffic
This metric looks at the referral traffic from a specific origin. Are visitors coming directly from a url? Are they referrals from an external link on a website? Have they visited through organic traffic/ by performing a google search? Or are they visiting through social media? And what channel specifically is giving you the highest social media marketing engagement for your time and money?
4- Bounce Rates
The bounce rate shows you the percentage of visitors that are leaving your website before they explore the website further. If a visitor finds your website through a google search, and doesn’t quickly see the information they are looking for, and leaves before clicking another link within your website, they will be considered to have “bounced” from the site. You want to try to get the bounce rate as low as possible – this shows how much time people are spending on your website. Giving you a higher chance to convert the visitor.
5- Total Conversions
Considered as one of the most important metrics for measuring the profitability of your overall marketing metrics, total conversions is a way to define and track a conversion in many ways, from filling out a form to completing a checkout on an ecommerce website. To track this, a goal is set up within Google Analytics to track the progress of a visitor. Low conversion numbers in your metrics could be seen as the result of poor design or offerings, no clear calls to actions, or visitors that are just not interested in what you have to offer them.
6- Lead to Close
This metric is a measure of your sales success. Its a way to understand the context of your overall investments online. By dividing your total number of sales by the total number of leads, you will get a ratio that defines your sales success outside of your marketing efforts. Close rate low? Try looking into the final sales strategies your team has in place.
7- Customer Retention
If your buying cycle is long, or if you are based around a one time sales model, this could be difficult to measure. Subscription based services, ecommerce platforms, and conventional businesses can measure customer retention nu calculating what percentage of customers return to do business again. Low retention rates? Maybe your product or service just isn’t sticky enough. Do you have a customer retention program in place?
8- Customer Value
While a difficult metric to calculate, this is going to be helpful in determining your overall return on investment. To find your average customer value, you will have to take into account all of the sales the average customer will initiate over the course of your relationship. You can generally estimate based on the number of transactions expected per customer, per year.
9- Cost Per Lead
While dependant on the type of strategy used for each lead generation channel, its a much more specific metric than some of the other “big picture” figures discussed above. To calculate your cost per lead, look at the average monthly cost of your chosen campaign and compare this with the specific channel over the same period. If you spent $100 in advertising for a PPC campaign and achieved 5 total conversions over the same period, your cost per lead would be $20. When preparing this metric, make sure to add in other costs such as management time, startup expenses etc.
10- Projected Return on Investment
ROI is the most important factor for any marketing campaign. This is the metric that demonstrates profitability for your chosen campaign. A positive ROI demonstrates an effective marketing strategy, whereas a negative indicates a need for adjustment. To calculate total ROI for a campaign, you’ll compare your cost per lead against your lead to close ratio, and compare that figure against your average customer value. As an example, if you pay $50 per lead and close 50% of your leads, you’ll pay $100 for each new customer. If your average customer value is more than $100, you’ve generated a profit and your marketing campaign can be classified as a success.
Finger to the digital metrics pulse
By regularly checking in on your digital marketing metrics, you will have an accurate pulse of the health of your digital campaigns. This is the baseline for establishing which strategies work, and why, and which ones need more refining of tactics.