When you’re looking through your marketing reports, it can often feel like you’re drowning in data. In the sea of clicks, shares, and conversions, how do you tell which metrics are surface-level “vanity metrics” and which ones will help you make better data-driven decisions?
The trick to diving deeper into your digital marketing analytics is to make sense of what each metric means for your business growth. But, with so many metrics and so little time, how do you decide which marketing metrics to track? We’ve put together a buzzword-free guide to measuring your marketing success and extracting those business insights.
Digital marketing metrics are the percentages, averages, and data points you can use to measure how a campaign is tracking and how your customers are connecting with your brand online.
When you tie these metrics to your overall business goals, you’ll have the actionable insights you need to shape your strategy and make key investment decisions.
Different digital marketing metrics will help you measure each stage of the marketing funnel. The stages tell you where your customers are in their buying journey and can be broken down into awareness, consideration, conversion, and retention.
Each of your digital platforms, from your website to your social media channels and online ads, will provide you with an endless number of metrics that you can use to track the effectiveness and profitability of your marketing efforts. These are the top metrics for measuring business growth.
Your website is often the first thing potential customers see when comparing your business with other brands. So, keeping track of how people are using your site will give you a good idea of buyer behaviour and growth trends.
The first thing you’ll notice in your website analytics is how many users are visiting your site over a certain period of time. If this number is growing steadily, you’ll be able to see how effective your campaigns are at driving traffic to your site.
2. Traffic sources
The different paths that people use to find your website are called traffic sources. Knowing where customers are coming from can help you make decisions about which channels to prioritise.
For example, if most of your traffic comes from organic searches, where customers type something into Google or Bing, and your website comes up in the options, then you should consider investing in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategies that help you rank higher.
3. Average session duration
A session is a measure of time from when a customer first lands on your website until they leave. How long they spend on your site will tell you how relevant they find the information on the page. If the average amount of time is low or the bounce rate (people quickly leaving the site) is high, the page might not have the information that potential customers need to make decisions about buying.
4. Average page views per session
The number of pages that a visitor views within a session directly relates to how interested they are in your products or services. If they’re viewing multiple pages, they’re more likely to move into the next stage of the buying process.
5. Conversion rate
Depending on what your analytics is tracking, a conversion could be when someone fills out an enquiry form, downloads a piece of content, signs up for a trial, or purchases your products. Your conversion rate compares the number of visitors to your website with those who actually complete a call-to-action.
SEO uses keyword research and analysis to send users to your website. SEO metrics are a good indicator of how relevant your website content is to potential customers.
1. Organic traffic
The ultimate goal of SEO is to increase organic traffic from the right audience. Organic traffic is all of the non-paid clicks that come to your website from a search engine. If your organic traffic is growing, it means your SEO strategies are paying off.
2. Keyword rankings
When a customer types a search term into Google or Bing, all web pages will show in order of relevance. Keyword rankings show where your web page sits on the search results page for a specific search query. How you rank for certain keywords is important to know when measuring your SEO performance.
Slightly different from SEO, SEM deals with pay-per-click advertising (PPC), also known as paid advertising. For online advertising, you might be using platforms like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. For this type of digital campaign, the most important metrics are the ones that tell you whether or not your investment is paying off.
1. Impression share
An impression occurs when someone searches for a specific keyword that shows your ad. The impression share is how many people saw your ad compared to the total number of impressions your ads could get. This metric will help you understand whether your ads could reach more people if you increase your bid or budget.
2. Click-through rate
The click-through rate measures the number of clicks on your ad versus the number of impressions. It’s an important metric that highlights how compelling your ad is to those who see it.
3. Conversion rate
Your conversion rate is a measure of how many people take action once they’ve clicked through from your ad onto a landing page. This will tell you whether or not your landing page has the information your customers need to take that next step.
Cost per conversion or cost per action (CPA) tells you how much you spend to get each conversion. Having a good click-through and conversion rate will bring down your cost per conversion because it means your ads are more relevant to your target audience.
5. Return on ad spend (ROAS)
Return on ad spend compares the amount you’ve spent on your ads with how much you’ve earned. While conversions and clicks are essential metrics to track for your paid advertising, your returns will tell you if you should double down on your campaign or stop spending money on it.
Whether your emails are part of your marketing funnel to help convert customers or more awareness-based to build brand relationships, your email tools will be able to track how your subscribers are engaging.
1. Open rate
The open rate of your emails measures the total number of subscribers that the email was sent to against the number of subscribers that opened the email. While it’s great to increase the number of your subscribers on your database, you also want to see your open rate grow along with it.
2. Click-through rate
Your click-through rate is another important email marketing metric which tracks engagement. Emails are also a good website traffic source to monitor and see if those leads become customers.
Understanding what your digital marketing metrics mean for your business is the first step in achieving strategic alignment. Connect the dots and numbers, and you’ll have a crystal-clear picture of your marketing performance.
The next step is getting your marketing attribution right. Marketing attribution is the science of evaluating competitor behaviours, consumer trends, and market opportunities so you can make decisions about your product suite. Keep an eye out for the next article in this series to learn how business intelligence can help you predict the future of your business.
If you want to know more about how to align your marketing campaigns with your strategic business goals, then we’re the agency for you. Get in touch today.