Key Marketing Metrics to Measure in 2018
Marketers have a whole lot of data available to them and it can be overwhelming knowing what to look at when trying to determine the success of your marketing activities. You’ve got to learn which metrics to focus on, because they don’t all matter. If you can relate to spending days on end pulling reports from your analytics platforms, sifting through seemingly endless amounts of data, only to not be able to fully answer, “How did last month’s email campaign perform?” then keep reading.
Data-driven industry results only matter if you can prove them. You won’t be able to grow your business if you aren’t tracking key metrics and improving on them. It depends somewhat on your priorities but here are a few major metrics we like to monitor on a recurring basis.
- Site speed: Site speed impacts user experience, SEO, conversions, engagement, and more so monitoring this metric regularly is vital. Issues with site speed can come down to a single simple fix or it may be indicative of a wide range of issues. Either way, keep an eye on page load times.
- Bounce rate: A bounce happens when people land on your home page and immediately leave. If there are a high percentage of bounces you want to consider switching up your design in order to get people to click around a bit more.
- Session duration: I like to take a gander at how long people are spending on a site. Are they looking at multiple pages, reading content across the site, or staying one page for awhile?
- Highest trafficked page: Which pages(s) are visitors frequenting and which are they spending the most time on? Time on page tells you how engaging your content is as well as which pages or posts resonate the most with your audience.
- Referral traffic: PR, influencer marketing, and guest blogging can help get your website in front of new people that you otherwise may not have reached. Be sure to track your top referral sources so you know if you’re receiving quality backlinks.
It’s not all about how many people visit your website. How many felt engaged and compelled to share your content? Audience engagement, which we’ll dig into in the next two sections, lets you know that the content you are creating is compelling and valuable. These content marketing metrics can even indicate what future content will perform well with your audience. Marketers, we care about results and conversions over traffic volume.
Social media performance is important to track regularly. How well is your current social media marketing strategy working? Are your posts performing well? To analyze this, collect the following data and adjust your social campaigns as needed.
- Engagement: Metrics like social shares indicate engagement but research shows that people often share something without reading it. Comments are a more reliable indicator of quality engagement. It’s likely a person will only comment if they’ve read your content and feel strongly about it.
Email Marketing Metrics
Document the following:
- Open rate
- Click-through-rate: Are readers following through on your calls-to-action? How many click through to donate, buy, etc.?
- Lost contacts (bounces or unsubscribes)
- Opt-ins: How many sign-ups are you receiving? Whatever you are offering (your service or product), is it something the audience wants or needs? Create great content that gets people to sign up for your newsletter (or blog or email list).
ROI and Lead Metrics
- Customer acquisition cost: How much does it cost to gain a new customer? To find this, you add up all your marketing expenses (don’t forget to include salaries) and divide it by the number of newly acquired customers in a given time period.
- Qualified leads: Many companies measure a marketing campaign’s success based on the number of new leads. Often there might be a small number of leads but a high percentage of qualified leads. Go through the leads coming in and determine whether they are valuable; quality leads is a better indicator of effectiveness. *While you’re at, also note the number of unqualified leads.*
- Conversion rate: This is a biggie. How good was the marketing efforts at getting people interested in your product, service, or solution? What is your visitor-to-lead conversion rate?
- Click-through-rate: CTR is a common metric through search, social, and email. How do you improve click through rates? Try A/B testing different email subject lines, title tags, or social posts.
These aren’t all of the indicators your business should be monitoring, but it’s a good start! My last piece of advice is to be careful not to waste a lot of time on vanity metrics. That refers to numbers like Instagram followers, Facebook likes, and video views. Marketers tend to fall into the trap of caring about metrics such as those and they end up spending too much time, energy, and resources on them. Companies should instead be focusing on metrics like user engagement, number of comments and shares on social, time on page, and number of opt-ins. KPIs like these are valuable and will help your business grow.
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High level execs primarily care how your marketing activities are supporting sales and driving revenue so be sure you can provide substantiated answers. Data-driven marketing is our jam, so if you’re in need of a little help, don’t hesitate to get in touch!