Digital marketing is complex and full of variables that prevent it from being an exact science. But you can measure more than you think, which means, if you get it right, you can tailor your digital marketing efforts for success. Knowing the metrics is the thing though; you need to be fully aware of what you are looking for when measuring the effectiveness of your current campaigns. The following metrics are essential.
Whatever you are doing, at some point you’ll need to attract people to your offer. Whether on a website or a social media platform, you’ll need traffic. You’ll also need to measure that traffic – where it comes from, and how many unique visitors you have. The key here is unique. Having the same people visit time and again is fantastic, but knowing that there is a constant stream of people coming to see what you are about is fundamental to growth.
Keep an eye on repeat traffic as well. It shows that your site is growing steadily and becoming more useful to visitors. And if you’re paying for traffic via ads, know how much traffic you’re getting so you’ll know if your investment is paying off. If all you’re getting is a few page views a month and you’re spending a small fortune, it’s time to rethink. So get to grips with traffic metrics if you want your digital marketing to pay dividends.
The majority of searches are carried out on mobile devices so it’s important to separate these from general search. Building a mobile strategy is key to growth these days, so aim to understand your mobile audience. Be aware of how long they stay on your website looking at your offer, and how often they visit. You can’t do any of this without tracking this vital mobile traffic metric.
This is another important metric, some would argue the most important of all. Conversions happen when someone comes to your website or platform and takes an action you want them to take. This could be clicking on an offer, purchasing a product or signing up for your newsletter. As long as they do what you want them to do, that qualifies as a conversion. You’ll need to know the conversion rate of individual pages, so you can compare them to other pages, and see which works best. Marketers spend hours analysing these things with good reason.
Knowing how many pages your visitor views is also important. How successful is your site at capturing attention and engaging prospects? If average page views on your site is low, people are not sticking around. That translates as a poor quality site that is neither useful nor compelling, so boost that average page view score straight away.
Your site has to be engaging overall, which takes time and effort. You want visitors to hit as many pages as possible. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, it indicates that people are finding your site useful – your content is hitting the mark – and will be back for more. Secondly, it means your site is ranked favourably by search engines. Working to boost the time spent on your website should be a major part of what you do. And you can only see the results when you have your eye firmly on this metric.
This is another key metric that reveals which pages are most effective, or which pages are most likely to be effective. Let’s say you have an ‘About Us’ section that visitors tend to spend time on. You haven’t done much to it but it’s getting attention all the same. Use that page more effectively, perhaps by adding a call to action, and you have an instantly improved page.
This can be a depressing metric, but it’s a useful one. It reflects the ‘bounces’ you get, or the number of people who hit the site and immediately leave. If it’s high, you’re in trouble. If it’s low, the site is working. Work on reducing the bounce rate to improve your site’s overall effectiveness.
This tells you how much interaction with your content is actually going on. The higher the rate, the better. Engagement is important, and the fact that you can measure it makes your job easier. Let’s say you have two social media accounts, one on Facebook and the other on Twitter. Comparing these to see which has the higher rate of engagement gives you important information. If your Twitter account has more engagement by a mile, it may be worth putting your efforts into a campaign to boost your Facebook account.
You can also use the rate of engagement to help with certain campaigns. If, for example, you’re putting together a series of videos for Twitter to help with an upcoming product launch. By noting how much engagement the videos get, you can work out how much work you need to put into the launch. If people love the videos and are clicking on them in droves, you’re looking at a success. If no one ‘likes’ or clicks on anything, the launch will be tricky.
Leads generated through ads are one of the most powerful ways to boost your digital marketing efforts. But knowing exactly how much you are paying for each lead is the most important aspect of all when it comes to metrics. If you’re paying too much for leads and not getting anything in return, you are literally wasting money. Keep an eye on this metric and you will ensure that your campaign pays for itself. Ignore it at your peril.
So there you have our definitive list, the eight most important metrics for digital marketers to focus on. Neglect these and you won’t grow. Use them habitually and you’ll reap rewards. It really is as simple as that.