Marketing is no longer what it used to be. It used to be a vague art but with the advent of digital marketing it has become more of an exact science. It is more advanced, targeted and result-oriented.
Why digital marketing metrics are essential
Metrics are important in modern day marketing because of one simple truth – you can’t improve what you can’t measure. Measuring results is what makes the difference between marketing initiatives that are rooted in wishful thinking and those that are actually aimed at securing more nurtured leads.
Today’s consumers do not like generic marketing approaches. They want customized experiences and yet having access to the right digital marketing metrics is the key to delivering this personal touch.
How marketing analytics help marketers achieve their goals
Marketers constantly need to weigh their marketing budget against the value they are adding to the business. Marketing analytics allow marketers to quantify their metrics. This in turn helps them achieve their goals by enabling them to make informed decisions based on real time campaign performance.
A marketer who tracks the vital marketing metrics of their marketing strategy can use them to consistently revise, refine and improve their campaign for better results.
How to use digital marketing metrics to measure marketing success
There are four key steps to follow in using digital marketing metrics to measure marketing success:
1. Determine the objective of the program.
Some common objectives for digital marketing initiatives include:
- gaining more website traffic
- generating more leads
- making more conversions
- increasing audience engagement
- raising brand visibility or credibility
Example objective: Gain more website traffic
2. Break the objective down into a SMART goal
SMART stands for:
- Specific – the goal should be specific and exact not vague and obscure.
- Measurable – it should be tied to a particular KPI that can be tracked to determine success.
- Achievable – it should be challenging but attainable and realistic to the marketing/sales team.
- Relevant – it should actually add value to the business upon being achieved
- Time-bound – it should be tied to a specific target time period within which to be achieved
Example SMART goal: Attract 1,000 new visitors to our website in the next 90 days.
3. Find the right strategy for your SMART goal
Some of the more common digital marketing strategies include:
- social media marketing
- email marketing
- video marketing
Example strategy: increase the frequency and quality of posts published on the company blog
4. Select a relevant metric for the KPI
This should be based on the particular nature of the marketing campaign you’re looking to execute.
Example metric: Number of views specifically generated by the blog posts published during the 90 days.
Key digital marketing metrics to track
There are literally hundreds of statistics you can track with the marketing analytics tools available today. The key is to cut the noise and zero in on the metrics that are particularly relevant to your marketing efforts. That said, here are 10 key metrics that are applicable to most digital marketing campaigns:
1. Total Site Visits
This gives you a rough idea of your campaign performance as far as driving traffic goes. If this number is dropping steadily over time, that’s a red flag that you need to reevaluate your marketing initiatives.
2. Bounce Rate
This is the number of people who visit your site and leave right away without doing anything else. It can be a sign of inaccurate campaign targeting, unrelated traffic sources, ineffective landing pages, etc.
3. Mobile Traffic
Mobile is an increasingly dominant channel for content consumption so you should know:
- What fraction of your traffic is mobile?
- Which devices and browsers are used?
- What mobile-only search terms are being used?
4. Click Through Rate (CTR)
This refers to how many people out of hundred clicked a link in your email. It gives you an idea of the relevancy of your email marketing in terms of what your audience wants and when they want it.
5. Cost Per Conversion
This is the the total cost of your digital marketing campaign by the number of conversions. Depending on your marketing objectives, this can be called cost per lead, cost per referral, cost per click, etc.
6. Conversion Rate
This is the number of conversions made divided by the number of clicks generated. This helps identify and reevaluate the vital points of your website that need improvement for a better buyer’s journey.
7. Exit Rate
This is the percentage of people who left your website right after visiting a specific page. This helps you analyze your funnel to identify which particular pieces of content need revision and/or optimization.
8. Interactions per visit
Understanding the interactions of non-converting visitors with your site can help you figure out how to turn them into conversions. How many pages do they visit? How long do they stay? Do they comment?
9. Engagement Rate
This is a measure of how responsive your audience is to your content in terms of social media engagements such as views, likes, shares, and comments. It shows which content you should use more.
10. Traffic by Sources
This is useful for identifying which channels are bringing the most (useful) traffic to your website. This is usually segmented into direct visitors, organic/search, referrals from other sites and social media.
How to automate marketing metrics and web analytics
Marketing automation refers to the leveraging of software to automate digital marketing activities for greater efficiency and to provide a more personalized experience for customers.
Examples of popular marketing automation tools include:
- HubSpot, Constant Contact (great for SMEs)
- Marketo, ExactTarget, Eloqua (great for large enterprises)
- Customer.io, Adroll (great for tech companies)
There are many software tools that offer automated web analytics on website traffic, page views, clicks, keywords, etc., for marketing purposes. These include Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Crazy Egg, FoxMetrics, Heap, Optimizely, Woopra, ActualMetrics, Piwik PRO, Mixpanel, and Segment.
All in all, paying the right attention to the right digital marketing metrics is key to better sales and marketing performance for any modern day company.
Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance web content writer and Content Solutions Provider (CSP) focusing on business reporting, HR management, IT and digital marketing.